It seemed fitting that Heidi Ellsworth, one of the founding members of National Women in Roofing (NWIR), was the first to receive its WORLD Award during NWIR Day 2020.

Ellsworth wiped away tears as she took to the stage on Feb. 2 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center during the International Roofing Expo. In accepting the award, she made sure to credit the NWIR’s executive committee and NWIR board for all their efforts.

“This doesn’t happen with just one person, it happens with many, many, many people,” Ellsworth said.

The WORLD (Woman of Outstanding Roofing Leadership and Distinction) Award was created to honor a roofing professional based on their commitment to the industry, perseverance against industry odds, identifying a new service or contribution to the industry, and making a difference in their roofing niche.

They also had to meet a number of qualifications, including being in the industry for three years and being affiliated with a roofing association.

Ellsworth has been involved in roofing since working as a marketing coordinator for Malarkey Roofing Products in 1993. She later worked as a marketing communications coordinator director for Carlisle Construction Materials as well as holding marketing positions at EagleView Technologies, and was the strategic initiatives director for National Roofing Partners from 2015 to 2018. She founded HJE Consulting in 2015, continuing her passion for roofing and marketing.

Ellsworth has served in various roles on numerous boards, including as a founding member and past chair of NWIR and a co-founder of the Roofing Technology Think Tank.

Judging for the award was “blind” to prevent any bias. All nominations were redacted and assigned a number to make them anonymous, and were subsequently provided to an independent third party to help choose the winner. A total of 37 nominations were submitted for the inaugural award.

“There’s just so many amazing women…all these women who were nominated, and that just shows the power of this room. The power of this room is amazing,” said Ellsworth. “Don’t let it stop here. Take it home, take it onto the show floor.”

Karen Edwards, owner of Casimir Group and NWIR vice chair of councils, was one of the women who nominated Ellsworth. She credited Ellsworth’s involvement with multiple boards and her passion for giving back to the industry as reasons for recommending her.

“She has a powerful vibe about her that makes you feel empowered when you are with her,” Edwards said. “I’ve seen her mentor many people, and I think seeing what NWIR has become is incredible…if you give her an idea, she’s going to make it happen and it’s going to be good for the industry.”

Ellsworth’s award was made all the more special when, immediately following the award, her daughter Megan performed an original song for the audience.

Shari Carlozzi, safety service solutions director at Tremco and NWIR executive committee immediate past chair, encouraged everyone to send in submissions for next year’s award, including if they want to resubmit someone who was nominated this year.

“The WORLD Award does not serve to only recognize women who have a mass or national or even regional appeal in this industry,” said Carlozzi. “It’s about the whole person — industry achievements, service to women in the industry and NWIR as well, but also community achievements outside of her job, and true life-work balance.”