CHICAGO — The Midwest Roofing Contractor Association (MRCA) announces the launch of the Women in Roofing initiative at its 65th annual conference held in Dallas. The launch of Women in Roofing (WinR) includes a leadership board of leading professional women who will forward the goals of the new group for mentoring, networking and education.

Visualized by current women roofing professionals, the organization will focus on networking for women within the industry with a focus on mentoring for incoming young women, professionals and business owners. With an increasing number of women-owned roofing companies and women is C Suite positions for roofing publications, technology, distribution and manufacturing companies, the time is right to create a support structure that will not only mentor but provide ongoing education for career success in the industry.

“This is traditionally a male oriented industry,” stated Steve Little, president MRCA and head coach for KPost Company. “When this concept was presented to me, I knew it was the right time to help launch this initiative. The MRCA has been active in developing enriching initiatives including our current Young Contractors Committee (YCC) and the MRCA/NRCA CERTA torch training program for roofers”. As an industry we need to embrace the talent that is emerging both in our youth and in women who may not have traditionally thought of this as a career avenue.”

As co-chairs of the new group, Shari Carlozzi, Hapco, national sales manager, and Heidi J. Ellsworth, EagleView Technologies, executive vice president of marketing, worked with Little and the MRCA to launch the idea of gathering Women in Roofing at the MRCA conference to form a volunteer organization. “I have worked in the roofing industry for close to twenty years,” stated Ellsworth. “It is an amazing industry where you can find a balance between family and business. The group of professional women that are forming are power houses in the industry, and will provide the energy and wisdom to create an organization that will provide excellent networking opportunities along with amazing mentoring and education for women throughout the industry.”

The initial leadership committee will include co-chairs Carlozzi and  Ellsworth with the following leadership support from Alma Garnett, Convoy Supply, president; Mary Rhinehart, Johns Manville, president; Sheree Bagado, Owens Corning, vice president, customer experience; Jill Bloom, Publisher Roofing Contractor; Karen Edwards, EagleView Technologies, marketing director; Pillar Garcia, Georgia Pacific, senior manager of analytics; Lindy Ryan, senior vice president of Tecta America and incoming NRCA president 15-16; Monica Gwaltney, Diamond Roofing; Kathy Hendricks, ABC Supply; Helene Hardy Pierce, GAF; Rachel Pinkus, MRCA, executive director; Dene Ellie, founder of No Roof Left Behind; Aileen Struble, KPost Company; and Jayne Williams, KPost Company, CFO and NRCA PAC chair.

The inaugural reception for Women in Roofing for all women attending the MRCA conference at the was held at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 11. The Women in Roofing leadership committee met Friday, Dec. 12.

Women in Roofing is a volunteer-based organization with the goal to provide networking, mentoring and education for women roofing professionals. With a strong focus in mentoring and education for incoming women into the roofing industry, the organization will also create opportunities for continuing education, support and networking for professional success.

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