Presented annually at the Best of Success conference, the Innovator of the Year Award honors a professional who advocates for the advancement of technology in the roofing industry and/or has contributed to product development in areas like production, safety, client service, employee recruitment and environmental impact.
"There are so many different components to be a recipient of the award, but there's four things that stand out to me: innovation, result, design, and strategy," said Anna Anderson, RT3 member and board member.
Kiesel serves as president of Division 7 Roofing in Galena, Ohio, as well as Imagine Technologies. Kiesel, along with Ryan Resides, developed Advanced Imagery with Optelos, a cloud-based imagery software that uses drone-captured imagery to create detailed 3-D models of rooftops for customers. The program allows for virtual reality integration that can transport building owners and managers to the roof without having to leave their office.
"It's been a four or five year journey," Kiesel said of his company's tech "It's really rewarding to see the industry starting to change and move over a bit to 'how do you improve roofing?'"
Kiesel has worked in the industry since age 17 after graduating high school, working in his father’s commercial roofing business. In addition to his professional roles, Kiesel serves as a director with the National Roofing Contractors Association and supports groups like National Women in Roofing and RT3.
John Kiesel (right) accepting the Innovator of the Year Award during the 2023 Best of Success conference.
"Not only does he focus on helping the industry with technology, he has taken this technology outside of the industry to trade schools," said Curtis Sutton, president of Rackley Roofing in Carthage, Tenn. and inaugural winner of the Innovator of the Year Award.
A team of RT3 members determine the Innovator of the Year recipient based on their innovations, results, design and strategies. Nominees must be a licensed and bonded roofing contractor for a minimum of five years and have a minimum $2 million in annual revenue. They also must be a member of a professional industry association and demonstrate community enrichment efforts through supporting nonprofits or company culture programs.
Kiesel joins an elite group of roofing professionals who have received the award since its inception in 2019. These include Sutton; Scott Riopelle, owner and CEO of Denver-based Interstate Roofing (2020); Ken Kelly, former president of Kelly Roofing in Bonita Springs, Fla. (2021); and Joe Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman Weber Construction New Brighton, Minn., and Roofle (2022).
The RT3 is a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry. Learn more about RT3 at rt3thinktank.com.