The dawning of a new year marks a time to evaluate last year's successes and challenges while looking ahead to new possibilities. This year is very special to those of us who bring you Roofing Contractor, as we celebrate our 25th year in 2006.

Sometimes it seems like only yesterday that we were embarking on a new millennium, but now we're well into the second half of its first decade. The dawning of a new year marks a time to evaluate last year's successes and challenges while looking ahead to new possibilities.

Our Silver Year

This year is very special to those of us who bring you Roofing Contractor, as we celebrate our 25th year. Founded by roofing contractor Danny Carson, it was first known simply as The Roofer. Carson felt that the trade magazines around at that time delivered editorial that was not focused directly on the issues important to roofing contractors. Being an aggressive entrepreneur, Carson took matters into his own hands and studied what it would take to start his own magazine.

The first issue of The Roofer was published in October of 1981 and featured a stylish poster-art cover that caused quite a stir in the industry. Carson used to buy some roofing equipment from me, which is where my involvement in this publication began. Fast-forward to the late 1990s, and Carson had long since sold the magazine and closed his roofing company. Taggart Henderson led the charge for Business News Publishing to acquire the publication and remake it as Roofing Contractor. Henderson has moved on to run the firm, now BNP Media, with his brothers, Mitchell and Harper.

From the humble beginnings of The Roofer, Roofing Contractor has grown into the top publication in the roofing industry as measured by readership, circulation, and ad sales. It has further grown from just a print publication to include a popular Web site, the host of the Best of Success seminars, and it is the official publication of the International Roofing Expo (IRE). As a guy who goes to work in the roofing industry every day, I have always been a fan of this publication in addition to being a contributor. Having this platform to share my thoughts with you here each month is a real honor for me, and I do not take it for granted for one minute. Thank you for reading and for actively participating with me (as many of you do each month) in this endeavor.

International Roofing Expo

As the official publication of the IRE, we have been working with the folks at Hanley-Wood, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and others around the industry that put together the trade show and excellent seminars that will be presented at the IRE in Las Vegas next month. See the insert in this issue for more details or check out all the expo has to offer by visiting our Web site, www.roofingcontractor.com, and clicking on the International Roofing Expo icon at the top left of our home page.

If you have never been to an international trade show and convention specifically geared to roofing contractors, you owe it to yourself and your company to attend this event. If you have been to the NRCA convention in the past, do not assume this is the same. The IRE has much, much more to offer in addition to the already significant activities of the NRCA. This opportunity only comes around once a year, and there is time to register, but not much. Your roofing contractors will have opportunities to learn more ways of improving your bottom line here than at any single event in the roofing industry. Hope to see you there.