TOLEDO — Nearly 600 contractors and their guests came together in Scottsdale, Arizona for the 2019 Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Conference held March 25-27 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. 

Featuring the theme “Next Level” the conference included intensive educational sessions, panel discussions, an awards ceremony, networking opportunities and inspiring key note presentations.

Highlighting an expanded educational track, the 2019 Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Conference delivered a breadth of learning sessions led by contractors as well as content masters in areas such as scaling operations, marketing and systems to help drive business performance and profitability. 

“Supporting the technical and business knowledge of contractors is fundamental to Owens Corning’s relationship with our Platinum roofing contractors,” said Jason Lewinski, Owens Corning Roofing Contractor network leader. “Contractor education and business development continue to lie at the heart of the Platinum Conference.”

Beyond education, conference highlights included presentations from celebrities, leaders and design authorities, including award-winning actor Gary Sinise, decorated retired Navy Seal veteran Jocko Willink and HGTV Good Bones personality Karen E. Laine.

Gary Sinise, founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, spoke about his gratitude to America’s defenders and shared how his foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program is helping injured and disabled service members and their families through the gift of a mortgage-free home.

In an interview following his remarks, Sinise reflected on how small businesses – including roofing contractors – play a role in his Foundation’s mission. “Without their skilled labor, knowledge of the local market, and passion for donating their services, we wouldn’t be able to scale the program the way that we have,” Sinise said. Remarking on the partners who support the R.I.S.E. program, Sinise added, “Owens Corning understands the importance of serving and honoring the needs of these special individuals. I am one ‘grateful American’ as we work each day to restore independence and support the empowerment of our defenders.”

The hard work and commitment of roofing contractors was also recognized by retired Navy SEAL, author and podcaster Jocko Willink during remarks at the conference. Willink drew on lessons gleaned from the battlefield as well as his work coaching teams, companies and organizations.

In an interview following his Platinum Conference remarks, Jocko remarked on the parallels between being a roofing contractor and a Navy SEAL, noting, “It is hard work, but you have to get the mission done.” In a tough labor market, he spoke about the importance of teamwork and relationship building. “If everyone on the team is looking out for one another and putting the team ahead of themselves, the team will be strong and that attitude starts at the top,” he said.

Continuing Owens Corning’s commitment to the Shingle Color of the Year initiative, Karen E. Laine, of HGTV’s “Good Bones” and co-owner of Indianapolis-based Two Chicks and a Hammer, shared her passion for color with Platinum conference attendees. She offered insights and tips for having the “color conversation” with homeowners including Owens Corning’s online resources for homeowners and noting that Owens Corning shingles have topped off roofs on her guest house as well as her clients’ homes.

While learning and networking dominated the Platinum Conference agenda, contractors and their guests also participated in recreational activities which facilitated networking and the strengthening the bond between this exclusive group of roofers. 

Jason Lewinski said the Platinum Conference continues to grow as a venue for contractors to exchange best practices, discuss challenges and elevate their business.

“The 2019 theme ‘Next Level’ really speaks to the continual improvement and passion for excellence that is at the heart of how Platinum contractors engage with their teams, customers and communities,” he said. “Our goal in planning this year’s conference was to celebrate and honor the work ethic and passion for excellence lived out by Platinum contractors every day.”