The Best of Success conference is about breaking down barriers and gaining knowledge presented by some of the country’s top roofing contractors, some of whom may be your competition. It’s why RC Publisher Jill Bloom kicked off the 2022 event with a humble request.
“I’m asking everyone to let down your guard and share your knowledge, and ask the questions you need answers to,” she said. “It is our goal that everyone at Best of Success feels like family, because the roofing industry is family.”
The 350-plus attendees who came to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz., to attend the two-day conference did just that, and the energy was palpable. The fog of COVID guidelines had long lifted, and the conference’s move to a December date meant the atmosphere was warmed not just by Arizona weather, but the venue’s holiday décor.
It also meant everyone was in the giving spirit. National Women in Roofing (NWiR) kicked off the conference on Dec. 4 with a panel of NWiR members sharing their collective knowledge on growing your business with social media.
“For anyone to call you, it typically takes an average of eight touches before they’re even going to pick up the phone to call you. Social media is a fantastic way for you to continually stay in front of those people and get those touches,” said Kristina Hill, co-owner of HomeShield Roofing & Exteriors of Lincoln, Neb. “It’s building that trust with your audience.”
On Dec. 5–6, 19 presenters shared invaluable information on a wide range of topics. This included how to hire millennials and Gen Z workers, building loyalty within your company, developing your brand, and how contractors can support the Latino community within the industry.
“We are here because we want to grow, we want to learn,” said Amparo Sancen, owner of Sancen Contracting. “If we support each other that’s going to be amazing, not just for (Latinos), but for everyone.”
Among those embracing the call to be vulnerable were Steve Little and Kyrah Coker, the CEO and CFO of National Roofing Partners, respectively. Their presentation examined fraud and how to prevent it in your business, using their own experience of discovering more than $1 million that was stolen from their company by those in leadership positions.
During the presentation, 59% of attendees said in an anonymous survey that they’ve experienced some form of fraud or embezzlement in their company, which highlighted the need for contractors to tell their stories and fight back.
“For us sharing our story, we hope that it provides a little bit of a moment for you to reflect and we hope that in itself can help you take this back to your business and prevent these things from happening,” said Coker. “Talking about it, being open about it, is a first great step for all of us.”
Tammy Clark, owner of Tammy K. Clark Companies and an OSHA-trained consultant, spoke about how to implement a safety plan that adds dollars to a contractor’s bottom line. The presentation received a lot of praise for the first-time attendee and presenter.
“I really had no idea to expect, I was very pleased with the attendance – I’m blown away by the amount of people here and the quality of contractors,” Clark said.
Steve Slepcevic, managing partner of Strategic Response Partners, said he was impressed by the crowd and the presenters as well, saying they embodied the energy, culture and atmosphere that Best of Success is known for.
“I attend many roofing conferences and industry-type trade shows, I’ve spoke at several of them throughout the country, and I have to say Best of Success by far brings out the tip of the spear,” he said. “Best of Success is the upper-tier venue for information, connections – it’s where the big bosses come.”
In addition to the presentations and nightly networking events, attendees could chat with companies that sponsored the conference. Among them was ABC Supply Co.’s Rich Thompson, director of marketing and national business development.
“Being a sponsor, we’re here for the networking aspect of it, so you always get to see new faces and, more importantly, old faces,” said Thompson. “But I think every presenter always has a nugget that you can take home and share with other contractors, you can share in your own businesses.”
The event gave more than information to attendees. Along with some fun giveaways, the conference served as the perfect venue for presenting the Roofing Technology Think Tank’s Innovator of the Year Award. The award recognizes roofing contractors who are advancing the industry through technology and product development.
This year’s winner is Joe Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman Weber Construction and Roofle. The latter, founded in 2020, is a service allowing homeowners to find pricing for a roof replacement online before connecting with contractors in their area.
“I was very honored to be up there and accept it on behalf of my team, because the team really collectively combined to get us where we are,” said Hoffman. “It’s great to be recognized, especially right now because there’s so many great things coming out of the roofing space as far as technology goes.”
Best of Success is also where RC presents its Contractor of the Year awards, given annually to a residential and commercial roofing contractor that embraces best practices and excel at leadership, workmanship and customer satisfaction. The Commercial Contractor of the Year went to Rackley Roofing Company of Carthage, Tenn. Rackley's President, Curtis Sutton, and COO Michelle Boykin also presented during the conference.
“All I say is reach for dreams,” said Sutton upon receiving the award. “I'm just the high school graduate that got in the roofing industry and loved it, and we hired a bunch of team members ... that's living one dream and we're trying to be the best company that we can be and change the industry.”
The Residential Roofing Contractor of the Year went to Wedge Roofing of Petaluma, Calif.
“We strive daily to walk our talk, we focus on being better tomorrow than you were yesterday,” said General Manager Gary Harvey, who was on hand to accept the honor. “On behalf of our company, I'm honored to receive this award.”