With employee recruitment and retention continuing to be dominant issues impacting the roofing industry, examples of positive workforce development are becoming more important to highlight. RC found a group of young self-starters in the industry that look to each other for solutions to every-day problems impacting their roofing companies and brought them to Best of Success in Frisco to share their experience.
Five recent graduates of the National Roofing Contractors Association’s Future Executives Institute (FEI) took the Best of Success stage to discuss their involvement in the program and how it enhanced not only their personal careers in roofing, but also helped their companies become more successful.
The FEI is a three-year program that offers a comprehensive, in-depth look at management theory and practice, and provides future leaders in the roofing industry a unique networking opportunity that also helps develop their leadership and communication skills. Students meet twice a year and spend a week at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago for intensive coursework with the school’s highly-regarded facilitators and business development experts.
From accounting and legal requirements to training and crisis management, the program’s entire approach is to give emerging leaders a crash course on how to operate a roofing business successfully.
“You’re learning the business side of our industry,” said Shawn Morgan, director of revenue with KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, of Dallas. “We all have product knowledge, we all know what roofing is, but the business side of the industry … it was all eye-opening.”
Joining Morgan on the panel were: Sean Beckham, project manager and estimator with Front Range Roofing Systems LLC, of Greeley, Colo.; Chris Bowman, vice president of Collins Roofing Inc., of Lehi, Utah; Bryan Karel, vice president of operations for Garlock-French Corp., of Minneapolis; and Diana Harari, director of administration for Red Pointe Roofing in Orange, Calif.
Another factor that makes this group of graduates stand out is that the five of them decided to continue their collaboration by forming a peer group. Each member is from a different geographic region and roofing market, automatically eliminating any potential conflicts about competition. They meet in person twice a year at one of each other’s businesses and conduct meetings where they share their company’s success, failures and ongoing challenges in a transparent environment that fosters honest discussions and problem solving.
“You get stuck in your day-to-day routine, you think you’re the only one dealing with these issues, and then you fly to Chicago and realize there are other people dealing with the same exact thing. You’re no longer on an island in your own market,” Harari explained.
For members of this graduating FEI class, the experience transcended business relationships into something much stronger.
“Our chemistry as a group as a whole was there because I believe we all have a deep passion for what we do, and because of that we have really great conversations and debates,” Bowman said. “If you participate you’re going to see huge results, and you get to have lifelong friends like these guys. I consider them some of my best friends.”
Visit nrca.net for more information.