November marks the beginning of the holiday season and the traditional Thanksgiving celebration … and in 2016 ... the end of the political season. For each of these things, I’m most thankful. While I’m at it, here are a few more things for which I’m thankful for this year:

I’m thankful for the current economic cycle in which we find ourselves. Personally, I don’t mind the challenge of more difficult economic times, but must admit that it’s — in the words of a roofing contractor friend much wiser than me — “…Better to be digging out than digging in.”

I’m thankful for rising wages. Not mine so much as for the hard-working people who’ve had years without meaningful increases. Contractors struggle against costs every day. I get that; everyone in business does. But rising wages for the working class is, to me, one of the best signs yet in the long recovery since the Great Recession. Besides, when regular folks can’t afford a roof over their head, where does that leave us?

I’m thankful for innovations such as drones that drastically reduce the number of man hours spent walking roofs; computerized metal-fabricating machines that improve productivity and reduce waste; improving business systems that allow roofing contractors to keep score of all the key performance indicators in their business; improving products and systems that contribute to more sustainable built spaces. 

I’m thankful for roofing contractors who give back to their communities. The trend for roofing contractors to step in to assist the elderly or disabled veterans, or those otherwise disadvantaged, continues to increase. Programs such as No Roof Left Behind, DryHome for the Holidays, and others have brought a great deal of peace and comfort to their recipient-clients, and a great deal of joy to those on the giving end.

I believe roofing contractors who participate in the support of construction-oriented non-profits like Habitat for Humanity International and Rebuilding Together are not only a credit to themselves, but to all of us in the roofing industry.

I’m thankful for Women in Roofing. It’s good to see you stand up and be recognized for what you are: vital participants and leaders in the roofing industry. Besides that, the industry really needs many more of you.

I’m thankful for OSHA. The most unlikely hero/villain I’ve ever encountered. Their new rules on silica exposure will reduce injury and illness but at the same time make me wonder what they’re thinking. For the vast majority of roofing work, even including work with masonry products, the rules are onerous and in some cases dangerous to roofing workers. Despite this and many other complaints I may have against OSHA, I’m glad we have a system for protecting workers. I’ve never met a roofing contractor who took joy in an injured worker.

I’m thankful for you: readers of this column, magazine,, eNewsletter, blogs, webinars, Best of Success participants, and all the rest. I’m most thankful for the sponsors who help us keep all of this information flowing. Their interest in the industry and their support is a valuable service to your career and your enterprise. I urge you to recognize them for this and send your business their way.