Roofing contractors attend the International Roofing Expo in droves every year, and many make good use of the education sessions held throughout the event. But they rarely have an opportunity to hear from one another about how business is going.
Whether it's sharing success stories, scary fails, or just gathering to air roofing-related frustrations, that changes this year in Las Vegas.
For the first time, IRE will present a roofing roundtable session comprised of industry veterans from the commercial and residential roofing markets and key representatives from multiple roofing suppliers.
Attendees will have the opportunity to join fellow roofing contractors to discuss first-hand how running a roofing business isn’t only about what happens on the roof.
Rick Damato, RC’s Editor Emeritus, will help facilitate the discussion by men and women with expertise in multiple areas impacting the industry. He said the presenters have much experience and knowledge and look forward to sharing their insights.
2024 IRE Seminar Sessions
Title: Industry Roundtable: There’s More to Roofing than the Roof
Speakers: RC Editor Emeritus Rick Damato; Greg Hudson, Dir., Commercial Sales at Georgia-Pacific Gypsum; Wendy Marvin, CEO, Matrix Roof & Home; Sherri Miles, President/CEO, Miles Roofing, Inc.; Bob Morgan, Owner, Upstate Roofing & Painting; Jessica Philpot, Co-owner/CEO, Command Roofing Co.; J.J. Smithey, President, Frost Roofing; Jason Stanley, CEO, IB Roof Systems; Brad Sutter, Exec. V.P., Sutter Roofing; Curtis Sutton, President, Rackley Roofing Co., Inc.
Date: 7:45-11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7
“The NRCA and the International Roofing Expo have recognized how important it is to give voice to roofing contractors’ concerns and opinions on a variety of topics,” Damato said. “These roundtable discussions are as lively and interesting as the attendees, which typically include contractors from all parts of the industry and all parts of the country.”
While the list of issues and topics to address could far exceed the session’s given timeframe, there are a few areas the discussion will be geared toward. They include:
- Roofers are seeing increased bid work despite signs of a slowing economy, mostly due to canceled/delayed bids put out for rebids. What challenges does this pose, and how do roofers handle submitting similar bids multiple times?
- While the supply chain issues of the recent past have mostly abated, getting paid on escalation clauses has become more difficult for many contractors. How are roofers addressing this?
- Luring workers with signing bonuses and higher wages can get people in the door, but that sometimes isn’t enough to retain them. What else are workers looking for besides money?
- How are roofers partnering with local high schools or trade schools? What outreach efforts have successfully attracted future workers and their parent(s) who may not see roofing as a viable career for their child?
- Roofing companies are operating with leaner staff. What roles lend themselves best to cross-training, and how have workers responded? Is compensation changing as a result?
Damato said that getting contractors to connect is among the benefits of similar roundtable discussions between roofing professionals that he’s been part of in the past. While every roofing market and roofing company is different, the daily issues their crews and leadership face are often similar, if not the same.
“Content found in roofing trade publications and in the next year’s IRE seminars often emanate from roundtable discussions such as this. Roofing contractor attendees at the 2024 expo looking for a more interactive seminar experience would do well to sign up,” he said.
WHAT YOU WILL GET:
- A candid discussion from roofers and other industry experts about their challenges
- Insight in how to recruit and retain talented workers
- An understanding of how roofing companies are operating with fewer people
- Exposure to ongoing training and apprenticeship programs in the industry.