The roofing industry is mourning the loss of one its long-time leaders in Don McNamara.
McNamara, 81, was the former owner of Milwaukee-based F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co., Inc. (FJAC) for decades and was an influential figure in both regional and national roofing associations.
A graduate of Marquette University Law School, McNamara became a CPA and started his professional career as a tax attorney. He then joined one of his clients and became majority owner of FJAC in 1967. He retired in 1995, but rejoined his family business to lead it toward the consolidation of companies that formed Tecta America Corp. in 2000.
“It is a rare talent to have someone like Don who could manage and control all the type-A people at the beginning of Tecta’s formation,” Said Kim Schwickert, a Tecta co-founder and chairman of Schwickerts. “Without that calm personality I think Tecta would never have gotten off the ground.”
He served as the company’s first CEO and later on its board of directors.
“Don was an imposing man – physically as well as intellectually – but also warm, caring and a lot of fun,” said current Tecta President and CEO Mark Santacrose. “He was the first person I met at Tecta in 2001 and he taught me a ton about the company, the roofing industry and the cast of characters that made up Tecta at the time. He cast a huge shadow and it was my privilege to follow him in my role and my honor to know him.”
McNamara had several roles with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and ultimately served as president from 1986 to 1987. He was a past recipient of the NRCA’s J.A. Piper Award, and the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association’s James Q. McCawley Award, the highest awards bestowed by each organization.
Current NRCA CEO and Wisconsin native Reid Ribble said McNamara was instrumental in getting him involved in the organization decades ago, and was often a mentor in business.
“He was a giant in our industry and will be sorely missed,” Ribble said.
McNamara is survived by his wife Valerie, their 3 children and 9 grandchildren.
Visitation will be at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Oconomowoc, Wis., on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Shorehaven, Salvation Army and St. Jerome Catholic Church.