2015 Top 100 Roofing Contractors: Leading Roofing Professionals Reflect on Last Year's Progress and Share Initiatives for Continued Improvement and Success
|2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009|
It’s our favorite time of year! Roofing Contractor is proud to recognize this year’s stand-out roofing professionals with its seventh annual Top 100 Roofing Contractors List. As both the industry and the economy continue to evolve, the nation’s leading roofing contractors have quickly adapted to stay ahead of the competition. For 2015, we’re thrilled to welcome new thriving companies as well as honor those that have made the list every year since its inception — proving that they know what it takes to consistently succeed regardless of the circumstances.
As always, the list includes only companies located in the United States, and rankings are based solely on annual sales revenue. Each roofing contractor voluntarily reported its total revenue and business statistics for 2014, while some also shared valuable insight into their companies, the industry and the economy. All information was self-reported between Feb. 4 and July 13 of 2015.
Coming out on top for the fourth year in a row is CentiMark Corporation of Canonsburg, Pa. The company reported more than $508 million in revenue for this past year — a significant increase over 2013. “CentiMark continued to enjoy a strong financial performance in 2014,” President and COO Timothy M. Dunlap said. “We had a double-digit percentage increase in operating income due to both an increase in sales and several operational-efficiency initiatives.”
Standing firm at No. 2 is Tecta America Corporation of Rosemont, Ill., with $397 million in reported revenue. (Read more about Tecta America on pages 38-42 of this issue!) Rounding out the top 10 are Baker Roofing Company of Raleigh, N.C.; North American Roofing Services Inc. of Asheville, N.C.; Nations Roof of Lithia Springs, Ga.; Mr. Roof/Able Roof of Columbus, Ohio; Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal of Wheeling, W.Va.; Beldon Group of Companies of San Antonio; American Dream Home Improvement Inc. of Downers Grove, Ill.; and Saratoga Roofing & Construction of Oklahoma City.
After reviewing feedback from this year’s Top 100 Roofing Contractors, it’s refreshing to share that many acknowledged an uptick in both the U.S. construction market and overall economy. While 2014 wasn’t devoid of challenges — several companies noted harsh winter weather and skilled-labor shortages as minor setbacks — the majority of contractors reported an increase in annual sales revenue over 2013.
Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing in Naples, Fla., explained that he started taking the necessary steps to acquire work and gain market share back in 2008, and now that the market is finally improving as a whole, his company’s piece of the pie is growing with it.
“2014 was the year everyone learned that the economy was recovering,” he said. “For those who had been properly planning for success and had the right pieces in place, 2014 was a great year. We had one of our best years ever in 2014.”
Kelly isn’t alone. Several companies such as North American Roofing Services Inc. of Asheville, N.C.; Lyons Roofing of Phoenix; and Aetna Roofing Corporation of Trenton, N.J., reported solid growth that exceeded initial expectations. Some even pointed to this past year as the best since the economic downturn.
“We’re proud to say 2014 was our best year in business since the Great Recession,” said Rob Kornahrens, owner of Advanced Roofing Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “The entire company worked hard to achieve its goals and to reach new heights with our products and service.”
Many contractors agreed that growth in both the new construction and re-roofing markets spurred a rebound in available work and overall sales this past year. “2014 was a very good year with both revenue growth and solid gross profits,” said Brynne Smith, president of Flynn – U.S. Operations in Minneapolis. “One factor of the improving economy is that some of our large manufacturing clients have been funding upgrades to their facilities over the last couple of years, i.e. re-tooling, expanding and completing re-roof work that had been put on hold during the downturn. New construction has also been improving, and we worked on several very large new facilities during 2014.”
An improved economy combined with old-fashioned hard work resulted in significant achievements for several of the top contractors in 2014. Stephen Little, president of KPost Company in Dallas, said his company grew its annual sales revenue by 25 percent over 2013. Anthony Schena, CEO of Schena Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Inc. in Chesterfield, Mich., said his company increased its revenue by 35 percent this past year. Leo Ruberto, president of Feazel Inc. in Westerville, Ohio, said his company improved its revenue by more than 100 percent in 2014. Rock Smeja, vice president of marketing for Metalmaster Roofmaster Inc. in McHenry, Ill., said his company earned its best financial performance in 37 years of business; and Sue Stricklin, vice president of marketing for Simon Roofing in Youngstown, Ohio, said her company enjoyed one of its highest annual sales revenues in the company’s 114-year history. Infinity Roofing & Siding Inc. of Houston; Precision Construction & Roofing of North Richland Hills, Texas; Donald B. Smith Inc. of Hanover, Pa.; American Roofing Company LLC of Summerville, Ga.; and Apex Exteriors of South Beloit, Ill., also reportedly celebrated record-breaking years in 2014.
“Last year’s financial performance has been eight years in the making,” said Kristine Regan, director of operations for Apex Exteriors in South Beloit, Ill. “Year over year, Apex Exteriors has strategically set forth training and development goals to lead us where 2014 took us. With every small victory came more obstacles to overcome and processes needing improvement. But it was those small victories that led us to grow revenue over 250 percent this past year and post a record-breaking $14 million in sales.”
Today’s leading roofing contractors are more than happy to evolve in an effort to continue this upward momentum. In 2014, many companies entered untapped markets, expanded service offerings, took on challenging projects, and embraced new policies and procedures.
Daniele Riopelle, owner of Interstate Roofing Inc. in Denver, noted that she recently started exploring new markets and pursuing unique jobs to differentiate her company from competitors. “We as a company chose to do more diverse projects that required more skill and knowledge of the roofing business,” she said. “We have tapped into the stone-coated metal roofing market, which is new for us, and we are really excited to see where it takes us as a company.”
Ray Ortin of Best Contracting Services Inc. in Gardena, Calif., said his company took a similar approach, putting “more focus on going after higher-end projects that reduce the number of qualified competitors that can perform the work, therefore increasing the percentage of securing the work and increasing our backlog.”
Hiring, training and retaining skilled workers was another top priority for leading roofing companies in 2014. Director of Marketing Paul Orbin said Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal of Wheeling, W.Va., made strategic staff adjustments and is focused on recruiting additional field personnel; Process and Efficiency Manager Nick Warndorf said American Roofing & Metal Company Inc. of Louisville, Ky., expanded its career-path training program; and Owner Rob Kornahrens said Advanced Roofing Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., partnered with the Associated Builders and Contractors to create Florida’s first federally approved roofing apprenticeship program.
According to Kirk McCoy, CEO of ASAP Roofing LLC in Denver, his company puts the same emphasis on employee development. “Our primary focus and what we believe sets us apart is our constant focus on training and recruiting new project managers,” he said. “We have consistently worked to groom that side of the business, and make them stronger and more successful every year.”
In addition to these advancements, companies also listed customer relationships, sales and marketing as key areas of improvement in 2014. However, embracing new technology to enhance both customer experience and internal productivity stood out as one of the most important concepts for this year’s top contractors.
“Through the use of technology, we’ve been focused on automating sales and business processes to increase efficiency in the field and in the office,” said Jacob Noland, president and CEO of Universal Builders of America in Columbus, Ohio. “One step in that process was implementing a fully customized mobile CRM solution to streamline the sales process, increase productivity and increase closing percentages.”
Several other companies are also integrating the newest technology to streamline daily operations. Vice President of Marketing & Strategy Shari Chesser said Aspen Contracting Inc. of Lee’s Summit, Mo., recently implemented the latest equipment, software and business-process-improvement initiatives. Director of Marketing TJ Willets said Burns & Scalo Roofing Company Inc. of Pittsburgh has refined its use of technology to improve the company’s efficiency, communication and reporting. Vice President of Marketing Rock Smeja said Metalmaster Roofmaster Inc. of McHenry, Ill., has invested in state-of-the-art estimating software, equipment and vehicles to better serve its customers.
Leo Ruberto, president of Feazel Inc. in Westerville, Ohio, noted that his company has also benefitted from the use of technology. “It still comes back to the customer experience driving our decision-making process,” he explained. “Implementing technology solutions to improve our business functions has been the catalyst to positive change and growth in the company. If you make the entire process, from first contact through final billing, as easy and stress-free as possible for your customers while maintaining top-quality work, you’re going to have a service that people want and seek out.”
Now that 2014 is behind them and this year’s roofing season is in full swing, the top contractors are busy with current projects and focused on the future success of their companies. Most headed into 2015 with a positive outlook, expecting that the improving construction market and economy will allow for a prosperous year. Ken Gwyn, CEO of The Bulldog Group Inc. in Winston-Salem, N.C., predicts growth in both new-construction starts and private re-roofing along with decreased competition. Ray Ortin of Best Contracting Services Inc. in Gardena, Calif., believes projects that have been on hold for some time will finally begin to move forward.
Anthony Schena, CEO of Schena Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Inc. in Chesterfield, Mich., has similar projections. “All indicators are pointing to a strong 2015 for us,” he said. “We have a backlog of work, and bidding activity has been flourishing throughout the winter months. Many property owners put off large capital expenditures when the recession hit in 2008 — Michigan was especially affected. Now that businesses are seeing better financial performance, they’re willing to start investing in their property again.”
“With businesses and municipalities back in growth mode and reinvesting in their properties, we expect strong commercial real estate re-roofing demand throughout 2015,” agreed Rob Kornahrens, owner of Advanced Roofing Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “We’re ready to meet the demand. We added 20 new employees last year and anticipate adding an additional 20 in the next six months. In 2015, we will continue to invest in training our employees, developing the next generation of roofers and supporting the community, all while working to increase our revenue by 20 percent.”
Many of the top roofing contractors share this same view, as they’re expecting to perform just as well — if not better — in the current year. Stephen Katchmark, president and CEO of Katchmark Construction Inc. in Chantilly, Va., projects his company will again experience 20 percent growth due to planned expansion into a new market. Terry Dickerson, president of The Roof Depot Inc. in Alpharetta, Ga., predicts improvements in both the commercial and residential sectors, as well as 40 percent growth over 2014. Brynne Smith, president of Flynn – U.S. Operations in Minneapolis, expects significant growth in 2015 as the company works a healthy backlog and expands its roofing-service business.
Paul Orbin, director of marketing for Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal in Wheeling, W.Va., also anticipates continued growth through 2015. “The marketplace continues to provide more opportunity, and the company is experiencing controlled growth by being selective in the work it pursues,” he explained. “Projections show that this trend will continue through the year end.”
We certainly hope so. It’s encouraging that both the U.S. roofing industry and economy appear to be on the rise, and we hope to report more positive feedback from the Top 100 Roofing Contractors in 2016.