MIAMI — Roofing Contractor continued its annual tradition of announcing the residential and commercial roofing contractors of the year at the conclusion of day one of the 15th Best of Success conference.

Kelly Roofing, of Bonita Springs, Fla., was named the 2019 Residential Roofing Contractor of the Year, and Don Kennedy Roofing, of Nashville, earned the 2019 Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year designation.

RC Editorial Director Rick Damato and Editor Art Aisner delivered the awards before a packed ballroom of more than 500 roofing professionals in attendance. Watch the announcements recorded live here.

Roughly 100 contractors from across the country submitted applications for the award earlier this year.

“Ken Kelly has a great roofing story, from being thrust into leadership at such a young age to navigating a family business through ups and downs over decades,” said RC Publisher Jill Bloom. “But beyond his business success, he’s the kind of guy you want to surround yourself with because he’s organized, motivating and inspirational.”

Kelly, who took over his father's business, was thrilled to accept the award, and made sure his first call after receiving it was to his father.

“This is one of those moments where you say to yourself, 'you arrived,'” Kelly said. "This is the Super Bowl of the industry."

As part of honoring Kelly, BNP Media and Roofing Contractor donated $2,500 to his efforts with Angel Flight, where he volunteers as a pilot to deliver much-needed supplies to areas like the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.

Damato reflected on meeting Don Kennedy for the first time years ago and about seeing his company’s operations at a visit during the 2019 International Roofing Expo in Nashville earlier this year.

“I was impressed by the military-like organization of the place. It was buttoned and tucked,” Damato explained. “You would think someone named McArthur or Patton was running the place. Not true. Everyone there was running the place. Everyone there 'owns it'; not from the fiduciary standpoint, but rather in pride of ownership. This business, with everything in order and a focus on getting better, is more than a family business: it is a family.”

In accepting the award, Kennedy spoke about how his company strives to make all employees feel like owners and to live by a mantra: "It's a great day to have a great day."

“Wow, what a great honor it is for us to be honored with this award,” Kennedy said. "For this country, for this company and for your family to be a better whatever it is, every single day it starts with you."

Look for more coverage of the contractors of the year and the Best of Success conference on our website and in our November print edition.