If the sixth annual National Women in Roofing Day is any indication, women are unstoppable on their path in the roofing industry.
NWiR’s mission is to empower women in the roofing industry, a mission amplified at is sixth annual NWiR Day during Women’s History Month on March 5. In that vein, NWiR made history with record-setting attendance, said Michelle Boykin, COO of Rackley Roofing and president of NWiR.
“It was better than I could have ever imagined,” said Boykin. “We hit 500 registrants, which was huge for us … we actually, we asked everybody if they were the first-time attendees to stand up and it looked like half the room.”
Held prior to the International Roofing Expo, NWiR Day is a conference for multidisciplinary women professionals in the roofing industry to gather and learn about business strategies and tactics, along with sharing their success stories.
This year’s one-day conference focused on the theme of "Follow Your Path," encouraging attendees to connect, discover, and cultivate new relationships on their own paths to success.
The event kicked off with keynote speaker Nora Burns, a leadership advisor and executive coach, whose expertise in hiring and workplace culture is sought out by the likes of Forbes, CBS and Fox News. She spoke about how women’s roles in their careers are constantly shifting and evolving, and what they can do to secure their footing on a path to their best futures.
“The speaker this morning was unbelievably energetic and fun to listen to and super motivating,” said Megan Stone, manager of sales support at DaVinci Roofscapes. “It’s been a lot of fun meeting different people and making some friends.”
Stone said this was her second time attending NWiR Day, said she was glad to network with her peers from around the country, even running into the women starting her local Kansas City chapter of NWiR.
Forging a Path to Success
Motivated by the keynote, the roofing professionals attended multiple breakout sessions throughout the day covering business development, communications, career development, mentoring, recruitment, roofing technology advancements, and networking. Among the presenters was Ashlee Poplin, special counsel with Adams and Reese, who presented on insurance issues in roofing.
“[NWiR] is always receptive of any topic that has an educational aspect to it,” Poplin said. “There’s also topics about ‘how,’ like how to start conversations or implement diversity and inclusion.”
In the spirit of inclusiveness, the breakout sessions included presentations held in Spanish, a first for the event. Dani Herrera, a property loss consultant known as “The Roof Influencer,” said it was a welcomed addition to the event as the Latino community continues to evolve within the industry.
“We got the money, we got the labor, we just need the knowledge,” said Herrera. “There are so many things that we lack in knowledge for us to become the next contractors. So that's my goal. Empower them to understand insurance, gain insurance claims, understand how they can be their own boss.”
Along with presentations, companies like ATAS International, APOC, CertainTeed, Holcim, and GAF held demonstrations to give attendees a hands-on look at roofing materials and systems.
In addition to professional development, NWiR Day gave attendees the opportunity to update their professional headshots and have some fun with a photo booth as well as creating their own keepsakes to remember the day.
The day wrapped up with a presentation of the NWiR’s annual WORLD Awards, which honor women who exhibit outstanding commitment and leadership in the roofing industry. Read our article for more information on this year's winners.
Following NWiR Day, the organization planned a book discussion, wellness session, brunch, and a roof walk on Monday, March 6.