Many roofing industry events have been postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) wasn’t going to let the virus stop it from serving its members.

The association pivoted its annual Western Roofing Expo to be completely virtual this year, holding its first-ever Virtual Western Roofing Expo July 1-15, making it one of the industry’s first totally virtual expos. The event had more than 70 exhibiting companies, 40 educational webinars and nearly 700 registered attendees.

“In these unprecedented times, Western States has found ways to still bring you education on new and inventive products,” said WSRCA President Leo Ibarra. “That’s what this association is all about; continuing to adapt the industry in this ever changing world.”

Webinar topics covered everything from best practices for roof installation to legal issues, safety, and better ways for contractors to run their businesses. Those who missed the initial expo can still view new products and services as well as webinars at the expo’s website, giving them the chance to explore the various offerings at their own pace. The site will remain open for the rest of 2020.

Thanks to its virtual setting, the WSRCA also saw success with the Davis Memorial Foundation’s online silent auction. The foundation passed its goal of $50,000, which will benefit its scholarship fund. New to this year’s auction was the "Name Your" Scholarship program, offering bidders the opportunity to fund and name a $5,000 scholarship. Other prizes included lifestyle, roofing and sports items.

Other highlights from the first-ever Virtual Western Roofing Expo included awards handed out by Ibarra. These included the following:

Wrangler of the Year – Mike Trotter of Front Range Roofing Systems in Greeley, Colo. The WRSCA stated he was instrumental in establishing a partnership between WSRCA and the Colorado Roofing Association. The award is given to an WSRCA member who “wrangles” the most new members.

Outstanding Service Award – Trent Cotney of Cotney Construction Law. The WSRCA said Cotney’s guidance on legal matters, contracts, and protecting the values and priorities of the WSRCA made him a worthy choice for the award. Cotney presented four legal sessions during the virtual expo.

Board Member of the Year – Wendy Marvin from Matrix Roofing in Vancouver, Wash. Marvin is a first-year board member, but that didn’t stop her from signing up four new board members while working a shift at the WSRCA booth. The WSRCA said she was a key member of the vetting committee that interviewed potential candidates to the board.

During the closing of the expo, Ibarra announced the results of the vote for the 2020-21 board members: Jake Magalsky of Ace Roofing, Wilsall, Mont.; Hillary McPartlon of Brian McPartlon Roofing, Santa Fe, N.M.; Scott Riopelle of Interstate Roofing, Denver; and Wayne Sorensen of Top Line Roofing, San Diego.