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Coffee Conversations - A Season of Giving with Trent Cotney Sponsored by Hunter Panels! - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Coffee Conversations - A Season of Giving with Trent Cotney Sponsored by Hunter Panels! On-Demand
December 13, 2022 at 11:53 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Trent Cotney of Adams and Reese. You can read the interview below, watch the webinar or listen to the podcast here.

Heidi:

Good morning everybody. Welcome to Coffee Conversations, and one of our favorite conversations of the year. We are here today to talk about one of the gems, the jewel of our industry. And that's our foundations. The foundations that every year are doing scholarships, are doing research, all the great stuff. And so we're going to talk about that today, how important they are and how you can be a part of that. But before we get started, I always want to mention that this is being recorded and it will be on demand within hopefully today, so that you can be sharing this out because today is a very special day. Not only are we going to be having this on demand, but we're asking everyone to donate to these foundations today because Trent Cotney will be matching every donation today. And he's going to talk about that in just a minute.

So we will also be taking questions in chat throughout. As you know, this is live and we are wanting to hear your comments, what you have to say. So the chat is open. Please say hi, let us know you're here. Tell us who you are, where you're at, and all your comments throughout the entire hour. So thank you so much. I also want to be sure to mention that our sponsor today is Hunter Panels. Talk about an amazing company out of Maine. They make polyiso, are a leader in the installation industry, and they have constantly been giving back to the industry. So this was there today. They wanted to sponsor it to make sure that everyone knew how involved they need to be with these foundations in giving back. So a very huge thank you to Hunter Panels for being our sponsor today and for everything they do for the industry. So let's get started. Trent, wow, third year. You are an inspiration. You do this every year. Please introduce yourself and talk about first your company and also this whole program, the season of giving back with the foundations.

Trent:

Sure. Well this is my favorite time of the year. I really enjoy this opportunity to shed a spotlight on the key foundations that really support our industry. And for me, this is a chance to hear what great work that our charitable foundations are doing. I'm fortunate enough to be a part of each of these groups that are present today. I work closely with the associations and with their charitable counterparts. And over the years I've seen the kind of great work that they do. I mean, they do everything from scholarships to research, to you name it. And for me, I think everyone in our industry should be very thankful and grateful for the fact that we can put food on our tables. And I owe a lot to this industry. I think about it every single day. So from my standpoint, giving back is not just an option, it's something that we have to do.

And what I want to do is make sure that we are investing in our future, that we're getting people into the industry through scholarships, that we are doing the right kind of research that needs to be done so that we're out there promoting professionalism, all these types of things. The charitable foundations that you're going to hear about today help really support and get that message out there. So I don't really remember Heidi how this started. I know it was a couple of years ago. This is the third year that we've done it and in the last couple of years we've raised $34,000 for charitable associations. That's nothing to snare at. I mean, that's a nice amount of money. So what I want to do is I want to make sure that I'm incentivizing people to donate. So I will match up to $2,500 for each association. So each charitable organization you're going to hear about.

So if you donate today, I will match up to that amount and then I will be contacting each of the people that are on the screen to say, Hey, tell me what the amount of the check, I've got a stroke and I'm happy to do it because I think you're looking at the end of the year. This is a great time to donate because if you're like me, you're worried about taxes and you're looking at what does my year end look like? What a better way. I can't think of a better way to not only support our industry, but also do something great out there for charity. So that's why I'm excited to be here. It's a great group of people. I've, I've worked closely with everybody on this call and I feel very fortunate and blessed to be here today.

Heidi:

That is awesome. So Trent, you've had some changes this year and I just want... because we do have our giving back page that everybody can get to. Megan's going to put that chat, where you can go to see all these foundations start, get to the place where you can donate. But also the giving back page is sponsored by Adams and Reese. And so I would love for you to share a little bit just about Adams and Reese and what's going on there too.

Trent:

Sure. So my background is I had the opportunity to work at larger firms for the first 12, 15 years of my career. I had my own law firm, construction law for 10 years. And then in March of this year, was fortunate enough to merge our group with Adams and Reese, which is a national, well-recognized law firm. I serve as a construction team leader and I'm a partner there. And we brought over our entire group with us. So it's a great firm.

They really welcomed us and welcomed what we do for roofing. Part of my concern in going back to big firms was I said, look, everything that I want to do from a roofing standpoint, I still have to be able to do that. I want to continue to do the stuff that I love and that inspires me and that I'm passionate about because at this point in my career, that's kind of what I'm looking for. And they welcomed it with open arms. They've been behind it, they get it, they understand what we're doing. Just an incredibly supportive group. I've had the opportunity to get some people involved. Heidi, I know you heard from one of our lawyers, Susan-

Heidi:

Yes.

Trent:

... the other day on drones. She wasn't part of the Cotney team that came over. But just one of the great lawyers that we have here throughout our offices in the US. So been a great group and glad we're part of it.

Heidi:

That's very, very cool. Well and speaking of your duties, maybe tell everybody what's going on, why you have to leave.

Trent:

Sure. So I'm in the middle of handling a case right now. So I'm in arbitration and I was fortunate enough to be able to take a break to be able to speak to everybody. I definitely didn't want to miss this. This is a important time of year. So my last parting advice to anybody listening to this, whether it's now, on a recording, is make me spend my money man. Match. I will match $2,500 per association. Gladly do it. Look forward to this every single year. So get those donations, only counts today for the match. So get them in today. I'll be contacting everybody tomorrow to figure out what I need to write. So again, thank you Roofers Coffee Shop. Thank you everybody for coming on here and I look forward hopefully to seeing you all on the road soon.

Heidi:

Thank you Trent, thank you for all you do for the industry. Thank you for this day and for your match. I mean that's just so generous and we'll do our best to help spend your money today.

Trent:

Good, good. Thank you guys. See ya.

John:

Thank you Trent.

Heidi:

Thanks. Thank you. Good. So we are going to get on with our introductions of this great panel from four leading foundations in the roofing industry. I'd like to start out with Kelly Braddy Van Winkle. Kelly, if you can introduce yourself and your company. I know we're going to introduce the association a little bit after this. So let's hear about you and your company.

Kelly:

I'm Kelly Van Winkle with King of Texas Roofing. We're right outside of Dallas, Texas. And my grandfather started in construction in the Great Depression when he was 16. So it's the third generation business now. Love every bit of it. We do commercial work, mostly specializing in warehouses.

Heidi:

Wow. Perfect. Thank you-

Kelly:

Thanks for having me today. Thank you.

Heidi:

I know you're going to talk about this a little bit more, but the president of the Roofing Alliance. So thank you for being here today to represent. Bill McHugh, thank you for being on the show today. Please introduce yourself and your association.

Bill:

Yeah, thanks. Really appreciate it Heidi. Honored to be part of this group here today. And really cool to hear Trent and the passion in his voice about giving back to the industry. And the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association has been doing that since it started just after the Great Chicago Fire. It's a great organization. The CRCA, Chicago Roofing Contractors Association. It actually predates the National Roofing Contractors Association. The first president of the NRCA was Moses W. Powell, first president of the CRCA. And I've been honored to be the executive director of the CRCA since about 2004. But actually my first experience with CRCA was in 1981 when I first started my career. First business meeting ever out of college was CRCA, first ever golf outing, CRCA when I was in the manufacturing business.

So great honor to be here, really enjoy working with all the CRCA volunteers of which there's many, our foundation, 400,000 plus over the last, since about 1995 given in scholarships. We give two a year, winds up being six to eight young people at any given time. Even carve out a little bit for the city of Chicago specifically since that's where our roots are as well. Again, just honored to be part of this. Really thank Trent a lot for matching the donations. So we pray that our friends donate and let Trent match it because he loves doing it. We love working with him as well.

Heidi:

It's pretty cool. It's pretty cool. Great. Well Chuck Chapman, please introduce yourself and your company.

Chuck:

Well first of all, thanks for having me, Heidi, and welcome everybody to a season of giving for 2022. And we're so happy that Trent is matching it. So we want to take enlighten his load a little bit today everybody. And I'm really, really honored to be here. My name is Chuck Chapman, as Heidi already said. And I have been a proud roofer for 40 years now. I work for Tecta America here in Phoenix, Arizona and no it is not snowing here. So I know everybody in the north and the east is jealous, but it's probably going to be about 72 degrees here today.

But I've also very, very proud to have been the chairman of the Davis Memorial Foundation for the last six years. Really, really important to me personally to give back to the industry that has provided me a means to support my family for the last 40 years. And I'm honored and often speechless to have been able to serve in that capacity. And I'll just keep doing it as long as I possibly can because there's a lot of people in this industry that could use our support and I'm proud to do it.

Heidi:

Excellent. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here. And I know this is your second year here, so thank you. And last but certainly not least, I'd like to introduce John Hellein with FRSA. John, can you tell us a little bit about you and FRSA?

John:

Yeah, it's great to see Trenton, appreciate him again this year matching funds and looking forward to the end of the day and seeing what we're able to do to help him. As you said, lighten the load. Trent is also, for the past several years at least, he's donated to our scholarship fund. And so that's another way that he helps support the FRSA Educational and Research Foundation. And we've been around since 1982. The association that founded the foundation in 1982 just celebrated its hundredth anniversary in Daytona Beach this past year. And so FRSA has been around since 1922 and been very much a part of the Florida roofing industry. The association helps contractors and contractors are really at the center of what we do. And they're the ones who make the association what it is, who bring their expertise to it. And so the foundation seeks to help them to do their job.

We provide educational seminars, so every contractor has to hit 14 continuing education credits every two years. And there's a lot of places that they can do that. But we really try to hit quality seminars that are focused on the roofing industry. And a lot of that is centered around... good or bad, our code changes every three years. And so a big part of what the foundation does is educate contractors on what they need to know about the code so that they can bid jobs and do jobs correctly. And so that's a big part of what we do. And then also the scholarship aspect and later on I'll hopefully get to talk a little bit about the research that now has been a big part of the code changes.

Heidi:

Yes. Awesome. Well welcome, welcome all of you. Thank you for all you do leading these great foundations. So let's talk about that a little bit. I do want to also mention again, if you have any questions as we're going through, questions on what you're hearing about scholarships, and the research you'll see here as we go through this. So again, we're going to remind everybody, I feel like a little bit like public radio, but we are going to remind everybody that we are getting matched by Trent today.

Also, Trent is general counsel for a number, I think for all of these associations with the NRCA and is very active with FRSA, Chicago and Western states. So again, giving back all the time with those different things. So here's our groups. We're going to hear from each one of them. We want to definitely get questions from all of you. So we're going to start out with the Davis Memorial. So I am very proud, first of all to be a trustee of the Davis Memorial Foundation. I've been on there now, Chuck, I think you asked me about four or five years ago. It's been just an honor and such an awesome foundation. So please share with everybody all about it. All about Davis.

Chuck:

I'll be happy to. The Davis Foundation was started in 1996 and became an official corporation in 1997. It's named after Larry and Mary Davis. Larry was a Western States board of director. They had a private plane and unfortunately they perished in a plane crash in 1995. So the foundation is named after Larry and Mary. One of the things that we got to enjoy a couple years ago was their granddaughter actually won one of our scholarships, which was really kind of special going full circle, 20 some odd years later that their granddaughter was awarded one of the scholarships. So that was a pretty neat deal. Since our inception in 1997, we've been able to award over 160 scholarships to the tune of over $700,000. When we started out, we were struggling. Pacific Coast, building products donated the seed money to get the foundation started and it's grown quite a bit. Every year on our way to where we are now, which annually we give out ten, five thousand dollars scholarships for $50,000 on an annual basis.

And every one of you out there that has donated to the foundation in the past or participated in our Golf and Clays events or bought something at our auctions, we're very, very grateful for your contribution. 'Cause we couldn't do this without you. And that's why we're here today. So we're going to be looking for everybody to donate again and Trent's going to be matching it up to the $2,500. The foundation itself has six people that work really, really hard on an annual basis and that's all of our trustees. As Heidi mentioned she is one of our wonderful trustees. The other ones are Joel Viera, he's our administrator and a trustee. He's also the executive director at Western States. Mr. Greg Bloom of Beacon Building Products is also one of our trustees. Bill Baley from C.I. Services in Mission Viejo, California is another trustee. Dennis Ryan from parts unknown.

Mr. Ryan has been in the industry for a long, long time and Dennis is another one of the trustees, and myself. So we enjoy doing this work on an annual basis. And of course the staff is absolutely outstanding because we couldn't do it without them. Our major fundraisers are held the very first day of the Western Roofing Expo, which in 2023 is going to be on Saturday, September the 23rd. And you can participate in our Golf Clays and Silent Auction and or live auction events in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel and help us raise money to fund the scholarships for the foundation. But in the meantime, today and all the way to January the first, we have our holiday silent auction going out. And you can go online to our BidPal webpage and you can access by either going on the Roofers Coffee Shop and going to the Giving Back tab on the Roofer's Coffee Shop.

And you can get to the BidPal page that way. Or if you would like, there is an alternative. Everybody get your pens ready because you're going to need to make a few notes here. You can text davisholiday2022, all one word. Davisholiday2022, and you text that to 243725. That's 243725. Then you'll get a link coming back to you on your cell phone and that will link you to the BidPal website.

And on the BidPal website there will be a tab where you can donate any amount of money you want. Two bucks, 200 bucks, 2000 bucks, doesn't matter. We will take anything and everything that we can get today and Trent's going to match it. So that's the good part. There are a few other silent auction items up there for bid. And those will be up till January the first, but today and today only is that correct, Heidi? Till the end of today?

Heidi:

Yep.

Chuck:

Okay. So we'll take-

Heidi:

Just today.

Chuck:

And Trent is going to match that. So you can go right there on that tab and be able to donate any amount of money that you want. Trent's going to match that today. I think that's about as much as I can tell you about the foundation unless anybody has any questions.

Heidi:

Well, put your questions in the chat. As soon as we go through all the foundations too, we're going to talk about some of the recipients because I think that's really important. Some really cool recipients who are out there that we've seen. So next I would love to have Kelly share with us what is the Roofing Alliance and how can people get involved?

Kelly:

Well, I am thrilled to be here today to speak with all of you about the Roofing Alliance. And Heidi and Trent have been incredible contributors to this group and A plus volunteers. We really appreciate their efforts with the Alliance. The Roofing Alliance was actually formed in 1996 by a group of manufacturers, contractors, distributors that got together and they felt similarly to Chuck and to the way that I feel that the roofing industry has been so good to us and to our families and it only makes sense to give back to others, so that they can also enjoy the industry and see how wonderful it is. So it was established in 1996 as a permanent endowment fund for the roofing industry. And the objectives right now that we have are to do research, to do various educational projects. Of course the philanthropic side, which we're talking about today.

And that really is not just for alliance members, but it's kind of the broader roofing community. So it's the families of the people that work at the roofing companies, it's families of the people that work with the manufacturers and distributors. And just helping to get the message out about the professionalism of our industry. That we are actually a charitable group. Our scholarship program that we have, the Melvin Kruger Scholarship Program is currently for undergraduate students. So we sponsor scholarships for undergraduates who have some kind of connection to the roofing industry. Maybe they're employees or they have immediate family members in the industry, or they may be a family of a supplier or a manufacturer. So we've had a number of key projects that we've done over the years research into heat stress on workers, moisture and concrete decks. So that's kind of the research that we do.

And the philanthropic side also includes our work with the Ronald McDonald house. We have 165 of our members that work with Ronald McDonald houses all over the Western hemisphere to help repair their roofs and to replace their roofs when the time comes because Ronald McDonald, they need to spend their donations on helping the children and their families. They don't need to worry about their building. So our contractors step in and provide what they need to keep their shelter safe and dry. Those are some of our key projects. We've been working with a lot of universities as well. Clemson, Arizona State, Florida, Gulf Coast University to really get younger folks interested in the industry and to get that younger generation interested in the construction management schools. So that's what I have to update you on. Please give to us and come to our meetings. We would love to meet you and we would love for you to get involved in our organization.

Heidi:

The Roofing Alliance does so many things, I'm always blown away from what you said. Ronald McDonald House, the giving back to the industry, the student competition and construction management. I mean Kelly. I'm honored to always be able to help out with that. It's so cool. Okay, let's talk about Chicago. So Bill, please share with us about the CRCA Foundation.

Bill:

Thanks Heidi. Appreciate that. One thing I didn't mention earlier is they don't know the name of the association of Chicago. We kind of impact a larger region of the Midwest, believe it or not, our trade show draws people from Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa. We've got quite a big reach considering we're a Chicago based association participating in the International Code Councils, code development hearings, NFPA, fire protection things when it comes to roofing. Our CRCA is a little bit everywhere and our foundation comes from everywhere. Certainly our trustees include people like George Patterson who's active at NRCA, Tony Roque, who's a sixth generation M. W. Powell owner. Pretty cool to see. I mean that company started 1840-ish and are still in business. And Tony Roque, one of our trustees, he was the first donor five years ago in 2017 when the foundation started. Dave Lisson, Jennifer Holsinger from Hunter Panels who graciously donated for a fundraiser we had in October, a truckload of ISO.

Heidi:

Wow.

Bill:

It was quite cool. We raised a good bit of money from that. Troy Wormley and of course Rod Petrick who's [inaudible 00:25:52] past president. Not president anymore, chairman of the board over at the National Roofing Contractors Association. So as you can hear, certainly our foundation's local and takes care local, but our reach is pretty national. Even international we hang out with our Canadian friends quite a bit when we go to the NRCA Affiliate Executives meetings. We really appreciate that opportunity. Our foundation, the CRCA foundation, although it's only five years old, the philanthropic nature of the CRCA goes way, way back. Its original formation, was to bring resources together to rebuild the city of Chicago after the 1871 fire. In addition, it was to bring ethics to the roofing industry because after the fire, the opportunists showed up and decided to take money and not provide services.

So the CRCA got together to try to change the image of the roofing industry and my compliments to every one of our colleagues on the line here, Kelly, John, Chuck, you guys, because each of you are doing the same thing. To raise the awareness of how good our industry is and how much it gives back, each one of the organizations. I'm always amazed at the passion for our business. I mean all of our roofing contractors are very competitive day in and day out against each other on projects. But at the end of the day, the relationships that are built really come through. They may compete like crazy on project bids, but afterwards, "How's your kids? How's your family? What's going on in your life? Everything good?" It's really amazing to see competitors be friends and have great relationships to come together to build things.

Our scholarship for instance, and I mentioned 470,000, believe it or not, it's almost 700 when you go way back into 22, 23 years. A city of Chicago scholarship certainly is part of that as well as a scholarship per anybody that applies. We don't limit it just to the roofing industry. A couple of our scholarships are limited to employees of contractors and also of the workforce that works with the contractors. But it's open to anyone. So what we do is communicate with the counselors in the high schools so our industry's getting all kinds of good press. In the local high schools, hopefully bringing people to our roofing industry from the workforce, project managers, et cetera, et cetera. From a research perspective, Kelly mentioned the moisture and concrete. CRCA donated quite a bit of money. I'm thinking close to a hundred grand over the last several years to help with that effort.

How does it affect the roof and what happens? We've also done research over the years on reflectivity. For instance, city of Chicago in 2001 decided we ought to have a very high reflectivity that almost no one from the manufacturing side can meet. So we did some basic research and funded research with leading material scientists like Rene Dupuis, rest his soul, cool guy, and his company to try to come up with what really makes sense for reflexivity in a climate like ours. And wound up with a Chicago energy code getting changed in 2009, but it was a philanthropic, get back to the industry, find out which makes good common sense for the building owner and manager and also the environment long term invested heavily in that. Invested heavily in the building code development in the city of Chicago and also the state of Illinois.

And of course the International Energy Conservation Code, International Building Code. Those hearings took place in September for the 2024 version of the building codes. But believe it or not, you want to get involved in building code stuff you're starting to talk about the 2027 version, like really 2027? You got to be kidding me. So the CRCA when it comes to scholarships, and philanthropic, for instance, many of the members in Chicago participate with the NRCA. Sorry about the light across me here, but I face east. And in Chicago, facing east means you get sunshine and I love it. So anyway, many of our members participate, George Patterson, Rod Petrick and others in that Ronald McDonald House program that [inaudible 00:30:37] and others put together several years ago. It's really a cool thing, frankly.

Take care of the Ronald McDonald houses around the country. But we've also done things like the Chicago Fire Museum. We've worked with veterans who needed roofs on houses. Many of the members also participate with us taking care of some of the other roofs in the area that are needed charitable wise. But I can tell you the CRCA, I'm always amazed at the relationships and how those relationships amongst the contractors, manufacturers, and associates combined result in this philanthropic give back to the industry and also to the community that provides the opportunity on an income that you heard from Kelly and others as well. I mean, it's just so cool how all of that works. Honored to be working with these leaders as we have been for the last... oh goodness, 18, 20 and then go back to 81, so 41 years.

Heidi:

Wow.

Bill:

Been a blast. Been a blast. I was only five when I got in, so I'm okay.

Heidi:

Well, thank you. And we can see, I mean it's so cool when we look at what you've done from the Chicago Association on such, like you said, international and there's so much opportunity and the people constantly are giving back. So you guys have a great show. I know it's coming up in January. Anybody check out The Chicago and everything that they're doing. And speaking of which, bring us home, John with FRSA, again, a state association. We got everybody covered here.

John:

Thanks Megan. I wanted to start, we were talking earlier and I want to start talking about the research that the foundation has been a part of. We were in a meeting, a codes meeting yesterday for FRSA for the foundation. And we're getting ready to get to the end of a three year process for forming the code that will go into effect at the end of next year. And so as things change every three years, we've got to build seminars. So the research ties into the seminars and so it all kind of ties in. I think we had about 18 people yesterday in a subcommittee for codes and all giving their time to talk about how we can continue to work to improve the code. And what happened is about a couple years ago, the codes committee with the foundation came to the trustees and they needed some research done.

They had some concerns about some roofing systems in Florida. And so they said, Hey, we need some help. And so the foundation, the trustees said, "Hey, we'll fund $10,000 worth of research for these systems." And that allowed the foundation, the codes people within the foundation, again, all volunteers allowed that codes committee to proceed with the research. And that research has been very important, a very important part of helping FRSA navigate these past three years of, what code modifications are we requesting? How do we respond to other code modifications that other players in the industry in Florida are requesting? And so again, that foundation, that research has been really helpful. And so that came out of funds from the foundation, and thank you for the trustees for just saying yes to that request. And that's what they're there for. There are funds set aside within the foundation for research.

And so when that needs to happen, not only within FRSA, but working with the Florida Building Commission, there's the opportunity to do research with them. And so Mike Silvers, who is our technical director, he is in the middle of all of that. He's in the middle of understanding because he's been a Florida roofing contractor for 40 years, been in the industry longer than that. And so the great thing is that everything that he learns from being involved with the code and his familiarity with the code he brings to the seminars that FRSA, the foundation produces. And so we're right in the middle, we're looking forward to next year. When the code changed in 2020, we just ran seminars. We do them every year at the convention. But then we also ran a bunch of series of seminars talking about roofing related code changes, the tile manual that FRSA produces with the TRI.

And that's a code document and so we train on that. And then any area really that has any kind of substantial change in the code, we produce classes so that the contractors, but not only the contractors because the architects, the designers who are charged with building buildings, they need to know how to design a roof and they need to know it before the code goes into effect. And so we get a great response from the design community and they typically attend seminars at convention so that they have an awareness, again related to roofing. And so appreciate Mike and he's sent me stuff working on those very seminars. And so we're working on those and looking forward to presenting those at convention, which is going to be in July this year. One of the things that we do every year at convention is we have our auction. We actually do two things at convention.

We have our auction. And so in 2020, when Covid hit, that was the first year, that's when I started with the foundation. But it's also the first year that we were able to do that. It was online that first year and now it's been kind of a hybrid event since then where we have a display at convention, but then all the bidding and all the purchasing of the items that are bid on happens online. And we had a great year. It was our hundredth anniversary as I mentioned. And so we had a great year for the auction, and looking forward to another great year in July for that.

Heidi:

We actually bought a race track, just so you know.

John:

Oh yeah, that's right-

Heidi:

Florida. That is now set up in our house.

John:

Oh, ok. That's great. And that racetrack was used for the affiliate competition. Every year we have an affiliate competition. So that racetrack was set up at the FRSA booth, and the affiliates who purchase that, let me turn the lights back on here. The affiliates who purchased that donated it to the auction. So thank you for bidding on that. And that was a great-

Heidi:

Thank Tim.

John:

... heavily, heavily bid on item. Several people wanted that. So that auction, and then we also do a $5,000 raffle every year that helps to raise funds. And so the research, the seminars are all things that the foundation... and then the scholarships. So since 1982, we've done about $340,000 worth of scholarships. And so every year, I'll just use last year as an example, we were able to award $33,500 in scholarships to 19 recipients. And that's just a great crosscut of the Florida community. I was looking at some of the recipients in the past. Cole Springer was a recipient for three years. He got a scholarship from FRSA and then when he graduated from school, he went right into the industry in central Florida, the construction industry. And now he's a part of Springer Construction company. He serves as vice president of that company. So we were able to assist him with school and then he jumped right back into the industry and been a great supporter also of the foundation.

Heidi:

I think that's such a great place to kind of say... because I wanted to talk about that a lot. And John, as you're saying it, as you're looking at the students who have received scholarships, what is some of the feedback that you see, I mean like Cole coming back into the industry, what has it done to help raise the professionalism and the reputation of the roofing industry, all these scholarship programs? And John, maybe you just start off.

John:

I mean it's wonderful to see. The scholarship program is open to anybody within FRSA membership. So you don't have to be going into the industry. But we do see the people who are going to architects, we had a welder who received a scholarship in the past couple years. And then people who are focused on maybe the lobbying side. A person within the past couple years who's received scholarship, is interested in being a construction lobbyist or a roofing lobbyist so that it really hits all aspects of the industry and maybe you wouldn't necessarily think of.

And so the young men and women who get the scholarships are able to get into the industry. And it is wonderful when we see those people like Cole and then the lady going into the... the word's not coming to me, but the lobby, the political side-

Heidi:

The lobby, and the political.

John:

So as an industry, we have a lobbyist who represents the roofing contractors in front of the legislature, in front of the executive government here. And so that's very much a part of what we do. And so it's wonderful to see somebody young who's in school, who's expressed an interest, to be concerned about the roofing concerns of the contractors.

Heidi:

It's so true. And Chuck, I know we've seen it with the scholarship so much have. I mean, I'd love for you to share a couple examples.

Chuck:

Well, as a whole, I think all of these foundations are doing such a great job in promoting and raising the collective consciousness and the reputation of the roofing industry. I know Reid Ribble spent a lot of years talking about everyone being proud of this industry and being proud to be a roofer. And I know I certainly am. And by being able to award these types of scholarships and do this kind of research by raising charitable funds is just absolutely outstanding. I mean, I am so happy and I know you are too, that we're able to be able to provide a $5,000 scholarship because that's a big deal.

Heidi:

It's a huge deal.

Chuck:

And to see people going, wow, that's a bunch of roofers giving out that kind of money? It's really pretty [inaudible 00:42:42] impressive. As far as some of the previous scholarship awards, Brent Robinson, who his father owns roofing company right there in Oregon where you are-

Heidi:

Stan.

Chuck:

Stan Robinson, who is one of the only directors at Western States. But Brent graduated, he finished his education with the scholarship that he was awarded, I think it was back in 2012 or 2013. But without that scholarship, he wouldn't have been able to finish his education. He went to work with Boeing, had a very nice job with Boeing, but then ended up coming back into the family business. Recently just left again, we're hoping that Brent comes back into the roofing industry. But there's just an example of someone that came in, got this scholarship, wasn't necessarily going to the roofing industry, but ended up coming back to it. I know you've got a very well known person to you that works for Roofers Coffee Shop, Megan, who is also a scholarship recipient back in 2019, I believe. And she's giving back every day by working for Roofers Coffee Shop and contributing back to the industry. I'm going to kick it to you a little bit to talk about the young lady who was a welder. Following off of the previous story, we also have a welder that was awarded a scholarship.

Heidi:

So first of all, Megan, as you all know, Megan's our podcast producer, so she's on here. So yes, I mean, coming from a parent's side, I can tell you how important these scholarships are. And then the young lady who was here from Oregon was basically, she lived with her grandpa, they had no money, she wanted to go into welding, she was granted a Davis award and went in and has had an amazing career in welding. I don't have her name right on top of my mind, but we were also impressed with her. And so it's really to that point across the board. And I think Kelly, we have to talk a little bit about what these scholarships are doing with the universities, with the construction management. I mean obviously Clemson.

Kelly:

Yes. Let me talk about that for a second. This is so fun what The Alliance has been doing, we actually really have two vehicles to support the younger generation. And one of course is the scholarship program that I mentioned earlier, the Melvin Kruger Scholarship Fund. But we also have a student competition that is held during the IRE, and we have about eight or nine construction management schools from all across the country. And they send students, usually teams of five students, men and women, to come and participate in a competition. They're given a project, which this year is the Globe Life Field, one of our alliance members KPost had that project, it's the actual stadium of the Rangers. So it's a little bit of a complicated project. So they'll learn how to bid a complicated set of drawings and make an estimate, make a presentation to our contractors and learn what it's like to go through that bidding process and being awarded a job.

So that I think is the second vehicle. And the reason I bring it up is that gets so much interest from the younger generation as much as the scholarships, even more. It gets them excited about working on in our industry. And maybe instead of choosing to go with a general contractor, they'll choose to go with a sub trade like a roofing contractor or work for a roofing manufacturer. So it really gets them interested in our specific line of construction.

So it's been very, very successful for the Roofing Alliance. Clemson has been outstanding in their work with the Alliance. Dr. Dhaval Gajjar from Clemson actually has three courses now. It's the first of its kind in the United States to have a university offer three courses that are specifically about roofing. Most sub trades do not have three courses in the construction management school. So we are so lucky. This has been a really labor of love and he has worked so hard. So I just do want to give a shout out to all of the wonderful construction management schools that we work with that really work to get roofing in the forefront, instead of electrical and plumbing being in the forefront now roofing's in the forefront of people's minds.

Heidi:

That is popular. And it's the funding that comes into the Roofing Alliance, not just for scholarships, but also all that funding that comes in there that is building these courses. They're now being given to other universities to start their own programs-

Kelly:

Other universities can use the [inaudible 00:47:27] coursework in the curriculum. And we're lucky with the Alliance, we have generous people giving their money, but they also give their time. All of our volunteers are both heavily invested with time and money. So making it happen for our industry.

Heidi:

Yeah, one of those universities that has picked up the courses and is going to start offering them is Arizona. And Chuck, you've been really involved with that.

Chuck:

The first course is actually going to be starting in January and hopefully we're going to be able to continue to grow on top of that. As Kelly mentioned, it's a three class course now. So you can get nine credits, you get a roofing certificate. The goal down the line in talking with Dhaval is that he's looking to get some additional funding to build two more three credit classes to get it up to a total of 15 credits. And once you get it to 15 credits, then it can become a minor. So you can actually get your degree in construction management with a minor in roofing, which at the end of the day that'd be huge. So yeah, things are starting here at ASU and hopefully going to be able to continue to push that out to other universities across the country.

Heidi:

When I think about the professionalism and the reputation, the image that all these foundations are doing for roofing in the greater scheme of general contractor universities, the next generation, which is what we need to be coming into roofing, it makes such a huge difference. Bill, I think we lost you on camera.

Bill:

Yeah, sorry about that Heidi. For some reason my internet got a little unstable.

Heidi:

That's all right-

Bill:

Can't tell you which provider it is, but hey, I'll be calling them pretty quickly. Sorry about that.

Heidi:

Well good. One of the things that I just wanted to touch on, I know this hour always goes so fast, but one of the things I did want to touch on was how the research part of it, and I know that John, you already talked about it a little bit, but how the research that The Alliance, that Chicago, the NRCA and Florida, the research you are all doing as part of your foundations is also changing the reputation of the industry, like you said, across the board, I mean with the consulting, with the architects. And so Kelly, let's just start with you just real quick on the research, especially the concrete moisture that you did with CRCA, I love that working together.

Kelly:

And that's so important to your point. These associations have to work together. Charitable groups can work together. We don't have to be fighting against each other. Let's all get together. Because the more we get together, the impact that we have. Some of the more modern research that we've been doing in recent years with Florida Gulf Coast University is research on heat stress awareness. And yes, of course everyone knows heat is bad for the workers, but this study is actually very, very specific and teaching us a lot about factors to look for.

Tremendously successful project. We've also had a few research projects having to do with technology lately. So technology that can be used to better our protocols and operations in our industry. So as we get ideas, we continue to start new projects. But I also encourage you all in the audience, anyone that has ideas for research projects that our charitable foundations can be doing, please give us your ideas. If you think you have an idea for something that would really, really benefit the industry, we all have open ears. All of the panelists I'm sure would love to hear these thoughts.

Heidi:

That's such a great point Kelly. I mean these are the kind of fundings that come out. The call for funding for the alliance is going on right now where people can go online and they can submit their ideas for funding. It's a great process. Amazing people. All of this came out of that one person coming up and saying, "Hey, I have an idea." Right? John. And on the research part of it too, I just want to recap back that you are taking the research and it's going towards actually changing code and legislation in Florida. So you're putting those two very strongly together.

John:

Absolutely. Testing is a whole nother area in which the manufacturers and distributors, but manufacturers are involved in testing and that's a big part of the code here. There's a whole system in place for getting, can my roof system be installed in Florida? And so that part of it is happening among the members of the association here. Anytime there's a question, even though with all the research and all the testing that's done, things are evolving within the industry and new materials are coming out. And maybe a look at older materials, whether they're going to be able to meet the wind requirements because of the storms that hit Florida. So there are still gaps in research. And really this is driven in the foundation by the codes group, the volunteers who work and give so much time but that they bring their expertise in and they say, look, this is what we're experiencing in the field.

But that's all anecdotal, right? You say, gosh, I'm seeing a lot of failures in this, but then that doesn't tell you why a system failed. And so then that's where the actual research comes in and the place where the codes people and the foundation, the trustees, and thank you to the trustees for their support. But that's where that comes in and we're able to say, well what is the answer to that? Because you can't just say, I think. You have to be able to back up with actual research or at least that's how it should be.

Heidi:

Wow. Wow. So Bill, just real quick and we're all coming down to it, any new projects coming? Any new research coming out of Chicago right now that folks should be aware of?

Bill:

No, nothing new other than what I'll tell you is that the state of Illinois is working on a stretch energy code to go further than the current energy codes. And one thing the CRCA is doing is working with older research that talks about the return on investment on certain energy saving devices cetera, et cetera, to try to make sure the building owner gets the value that they pay for. Sometimes, although our industry would love to sell something, it doesn't always make sense for the building owners. So what we've done is tried to talk to the building owner about common sense things. And what's crazy is the Building Owners and Managers Association says back to us, wait a minute, you guys make money doing this and you're telling us not to do it? What are you guys nuts? No, we're just ethical and we want to make sure that you get what you pay for.

And if you look at all the other associations, The Alliance, the NRCA, technical and other departments, really cool to have that resource at NRCA to be able to collaborate on important industry discussions that need to take place. Certainly the funding comes from the membership, their dues. As soon as they pay dues that helps start everything in motion for every piece you see. And they have all the associations. Whether it's the technical side, the education side, the philanthropic side, it starts with members. I can't tell you how thankful we are for the passionate members we have both at CRCA and certainly I'm sure the rest of the group can probably reflect the same thing. So what we've been doing is using the research we've built over the last many years, cumulatively kind of like a math problem and working with industry to make sure that we provide the best roof we can and the funding from these foundations helps.

It also helps us give back to the industries and give back to the community through the high schools, through the scholarships, through the philanthropic work that these groups do. I mean our Chicagoland Women In Roofing for instance, goes to Feed My Starving Children a lot. And that's probably one of the most active philanthropic crowds we have at CRCA. The emerging leaders does stuff. And I just can't thank the members enough for all they do and for the dues they pay to be able to enable us as the executive director of the association to do what we do.

Heidi:

And so Bill, perfect to think. So I want to say thank you, thank you to all of you for what you do with your associations and the foundations that you give back. And I want to encourage everybody out there, go to the Giving Back page, go directly to it. This is your chance to help. You've heard all the great stuff that these foundations are doing through scholarships, through research, working with the universities. There's so much out there.

And of course Trent's going to match all that. Well up to $2,500 today. So I know what I'm doing after this. I'm going on and I'm going to go out there because this is so important that we all play a part of this. Now, if a donation is not in the cards and you want to get active and get involved, you also heard how to do that, right? You can go to the auctions, you can go to the events, you can talk about research projects. You can just reach out to all the folks who are here on this panel, reach out to us at Roofers Coffee Shop, we'll get you engaged and connected because time and treasures, it all goes together and volunteers are so important. So to all of you, thank my awesome panel. Thank you so much for being here today.

Bill:

Thank you.

Heidi:

Thank you.

And I want to say a very special thank you to Hunter Panels. I mean, I loved Bill your story about the truckload of ISO, they are committed to this. They are our sponsor today for giving back and we are so appreciative. What a great company. Please be sure to check them out. They have a full directory on Roofers Coffee Shop. I can't say enough great things. Finally, I do want to invite all of you. December 15th, same time, we are going to have our last coffee conversation of the year. And wow, is it going to be a big one. This is going to be all about the new initiative from National Women in Roofing called REAL Roofing. And this is all about continuing education and really bringing the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion into every single roofing company. It gives me chills just to say it.

It is going to be a huge, huge initiative. It is being sponsored by certainty. We can't thank everybody enough and we want you all to be there on December 15th. So from all of us at Roofers Coffee Shop, thank you. Thank you to the panel and thank you all for being there. We do have one last question. How do we donate? Okay, one last thing. Megan has it in the chat. Go to the Giving back page and you'll see the links there to donate to every one of these foundations that are on here today. George, thank you so much. This is great. We'll see you all.

John:

Thank you, Heidi.

Heidi:

Thank you everybody.

Kelly:

Thank you for having us.

Heidi:

Have a great day.



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