NEW ORLEANS — Before the International Roofing Expo (IRE) kicks off next week, some event participants will be giving back to New Orleans via the event's annual Community Service Day Project.
The 13th annual Community Service Day will be on Jan. 31. In conjunction with the nonprofit organization, Rebuilding Together New Orleans, over 50 attendees and exhibitors in town for the IRE will give back to the city via a renovation project. Participating volunteers of all skill levels will make repairs to multiple homes.
"The service day is a great opportunity to get out see New Orleans, outside of just the convention center and make a truly life-changing impact for homeowners," said William Stoudt, Director of Rebuilding Together New Orleans.
In addition to volunteering, the IRE is accepting donations with a goal to raise $10,000 to help Rebuilding Together New Orleans. Donations can be made online at theroofingexpo.com and during the keynote session featuring the honorable Reid Ribble on Feb. 1. The IRE will also be donating an additional $10,000 to Rebuilding Together New Orleans.
"I'll spend some time talking about generosity and giving because that's kind of a core principle and value of my wife and me," said Ribble, CEO of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). "So, I'm looking forward to that because it's a beautiful tie-in to the Community Service Day event."
The recipients of the renovation projects are three homeowners whose residences were damaged when Hurricane Ida swept through the Gulf Coast area in autumn 2021. Repairs are not limited to roofs; volunteers will work on weatherproofing windows, fresh coats of paint, treating termite damage, fence repair, and more.
"Community Service Day is by far my favorite day of the year. We're able to literally change people's lives," said IRE Senior Conference Manager Brandi McElhaney, a native of the Big Easy. "Every single chapter of Rebuilding Together for 13 years now has told me you guys don't just come here for photo ops. You're truly putting in the work and making a huge difference. It's so amazing."
IRE's Community Service Day primary sponsor is Sika Sarnafil. Sika Sarnafil has been the primary sponsor of the Community Service Day every year since its inception, and they have generously donated $15,000 to the project. Additional sponsors include Carlisle Construction Materials, Centimark Innovative Roofing and Flooring Solutions, Damato Enterprises, GAF, ICP Building Solutions Group, and OMG Roofing Products. In addition, GAF is donating 50 roofs, which will help Rebuilding Together New Orleans reach their goal of replacing 100 roofs.
"It's literally probably the best day of the year I have," said Bill Bellico, vice president of marketing and inside sales at Sika. "You have people from across the industry — I mean competitors — working together to give back to the local community and it speaks volumes."
Another avenue for IRE's community involvement is National Women in Roofing (NWiR) Day, held Jan. 30. It provides the opportunity to be a part of the discussion focused on the unique challenges and opportunities that women in the roofing industry face. NWIR Day has adapted itself to support women who are just starting their careers to seasoned roofing professionals. The sessions are designed to bridge the gap between women at all levels by offering the chance to meet, network, and gain valuable insight from hundreds of roofing professionals (including technical experts and leading marketing and technology providers).
Additional activities at IRE include a keynote by Ribble, three days of education, and more than 400 exhibitors. The conference program features more than 60 sessions covering a large range of topics, including industry trends, best practices, and sales and management skills.
NRCA will also present a variety of educational sessions this year, including the Pro Certification Exams, the Roofing Alliance Construction Management Student Competition, and more. NRCA will be holding a silent auction in their booth to benefit ROOFPAC.
The IRE will take place February 1-3, 2022, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La. For more information on the Community Service Day Project or to register for the IRE, please visit theroofingexpo.com.