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Coffee Conversations - A Season of Roofing Giving - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

ABC - Coffee Conversations - A Season of Roofing Giving - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION
December 2, 2021 at 11:25 a.m.

 

 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Heidi Ellsworth, Trent Cotney, Chuck Chapman, Dave Lawlor, George Patterson and John Hellein. You can read the interview below, listen to the podcast here or watch the webinar. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
Good morning everybody as you're joining. We're going to just be a few minutes while everybody gets on this exciting episode of Coffee Conversations and we'll be starting just momentarily.

Heidi Ellsworth:
All right. Let's get started. Welcome everybody to Coffee Conversations. My name is Heidi Ellsworth and I am with RoofersCoffeeShop and Coffee Conversations today is somewhat of a repeat from last year because it was so amazing. In our second to the last Coffee Conversations of this year, we always want to go into the holidays, celebrating what the roofing industry is really all about and what the roofing industry is all about are how many people are constantly giving back through the foundations, through all the charities, through the all caught doing good initiatives that you see out there. And we are so excited today to really take a Coffee Conversations and focus on that. It is going to be great.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So before we get started, just remember, this is all about you, the engagement. We want all of you to let us know what's happening. I already see things coming through the chat. So thank you Bill McHugh for already chatting and being engaged. Everybody, we want to have your comments, your questions. We may even bring a few of you on to visit with these gentlemen. So we will be looking for engagement. We're going to do some introductions and it's all being recorded. So what we're really going to ask is you share this out with the industry overall. And here's the exciting part about today. This is going to be looking at not just learning more about the foundations, but Trent Cotney, who is the spearhead behind this who has been so active, is also going to be matching funds up to $2,500 per foundation. So all today. It has to happen today. So we are going to be talking about that this whole time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Before we get started, again, remember this is going to be recorded. It will be out within a couple hours so you'll be able to share it out, share it with everybody else. And also, I would be remiss if I didn't thank our sponsor today, ABC Supply is sponsoring this Coffee Conversation and talk about giving. When you look at what they've done with Make-A-Wish, with the Home For Our Troops and all of their support of all of the foundations out there in the roofing industry, it is incredible. So I would really recommend going to the ABC Supply website, checking out what they're doing, get involved and from RoofersCoffeeShop and all of the foundations in the industry, a special thank you out to ABC supply.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So Trent, this is so exciting to be doing this for a second year in a row. You are just so amazing. Let's kind of talk a little bit about this giving back initiative that actually lives on RooferCoffeeShop year round and you sponsor that, you're a part of constantly pushing the industry, but on this one day, you really help the industry focus in on some of the foundations that are doing such amazing work in the roofing industry. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Trent Cotney:
Sure, absolutely Heidi and first, thank you for having us. It's always a pleasure to be on RoofersCoffeeShop and I think you and I kind of share a similar mentality where I feel very blessed and fortunate that my livelihood is based off the roofing industry, my employees livelihood, it puts food on my family's table for and has for generations. And for me, some of the best stuff that I'm able to do is giving back. It's what keeps me passionate about what I do. And being involved with each of these organizations intimately, I work with their associations, but I also work with their foundations and support them. It is a great opportunity for me to focus on what's truly important. We have all got to make a living, we've all got to make money, we all have to deal with the day to day, but for me, it's about being able to affect positive change. And I think the foundations are the perfect way to do that in our industry. So again, thank you for having us today. I've been excited about this for a while so I'm glad we're able to do it again.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I am too. So let's just talk a little bit about these are the four foundations that were picked for today for us to highlight and to really talk about and I'm going to introduce all of the leadership gentlemen who are here today from those foundations in just a minute, but Trent, kind of talk a little bit about your involvement with these different foundations.

Trent Cotney:
Sure, absolutely. So starting at the top, the Chicago Association Foundation, CRCA Foundation, I am a trustee and I've worked very closely with them. Obviously we provide pro bono legal and things of that nature, but it's a great organization. They're dedicated to not only providing scholarships, but also looking at other avenues like research and other things that they're doing. Just a great group of people and a really organic group that got together to help the industry. So love being a part of it. I knew that George is here today, I know Bill's on the line, we've got others as well. I see Mitch and Mark, some of the other people that have participated in the past. So it's great that they're here and love being part of that organization.

Trent Cotney:
The alliance, I'm a member of that as well. I got involved probably five years ago at this point. And they do tremendous work. Not only do they have a great scholarship program, but they support Ronald McDonald House and I'm sure Dave will be able to talk a little bit more detail about kind of what they do, but great group of people. Just had a meeting here recently and very happy to be a part of that. That's NRCA's foundation and obviously we provide pro bono work to the extent that it's needed. Western states, Davis Memorial, again Chuck has done a tremendous job as well as staff just making sure that everything is on point. Great scholarships. At the expo that was here recently, they raised a ton of money, did a fantastic job, great event. And again, it's just a fantastic organization that services Western states and that region, so.

Trent Cotney:
And then FRSA, the educational and research foundation, I've been a part of it for probably going on 20 years now, supported it in a variety of different ways. I've supported through a scholarship. I don't know what the exact level is called, but I'm an equivalent of like a governor level member. And I continue to support it because they not only provide scholarships, but are also actively involved in doing research in the state of Florida, which as most of us know has got significant building code, hurricane requirements, everything else. So just a great organization. And we've got John and think Mike Silver may pop on as well.

Trent Cotney:
So great group of people and like I said, everyone that's on the line here, these guys are my friends and girls. These are the people that I work with on a daily basis. And it, to me, this is what keeps me going, right? I've gotten to a point in my career where I want to be passionate about doing something and I think helping and giving back, there's no better feeling than that, right? Obviously, it's being philanthropic, it's giving, but it makes you feel good too. So I encourage anybody that's listening to this, now's the time to give, where at the end of the year all of these are 501(c)(3)s and they all have the ability for per charitable write offs. So it makes sense even from a tax perspective and I encourage you to give now. Like I said, we're matching $2,500 per foundation so it's just a great time to do it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow. Thank you Trent. I work on so many of these foundations with you or involved with them, doing different things and RoofersCoffeeShop supports every one of them. So I'm with you. That passion and that ability to really give back and be a part of this, you get so much more back than you ever give. It's incredible. And that is, I have to tell you all there, you're going to see this as the leadership of these foundations, all the gentlemen who are here today, visit about that. So we're going to go through each one of the foundations because we want you to be aware of what they're doing. It's so instrumental for our industry right now. And so we're going to start with that and remember, you can donate at any time during this whole thing. I sound like an NPR, but you can donate at any time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And Megan is going to be putting all of the... Oh, and I forgot to mention, of course, Megan Ellsworth, our award-winning producer is in the background taking care of us, but she will be putting all the links for all the foundations. So as we're going through these, you'll see the links to the foundations. You can also find this on the giving back page on RoofersCoffeeShop where it's easy to find the links to donate and find out more about these foundations. So don't forget as we're going through. So the first foundation that we're going to talk about today is one that is very near and dear to my heart because I happen to be a trustee on this, on the Davis Memorial. Chuck Chapman, who is the chairman of Davis Foundation. Chuck, I'm so happy you're here today and I'm so happy we get talk about Davis. This is awesome.

Chuck Chapman:
Oh, thank you, Heidi and thank you Trent. Really, really appreciated your support Trent. Since you've become a very, very gracious supporter of Davis Foundation, we've really been able to take things to a new level. And of course, to my fellow trustee, Heidi Ellsworth and RoofersCoffeeShop, thank you so much for putting this on again this year. We really appreciate it. Any opportunity to raise money for the foundation is greatly appreciated. So having a forum like this today is really awesome. And again, thank you ABC for sponsoring the event. Really happy to be here. I am honored and it's a pleasure, like Trent and Heidi have already talked about, to be able to give back to the industry and be the chairman of the Davis Foundation. It is really, truly dear and near to my heart as well because I've been in this industry for a little longer than I would like to admit, but it has afforded a good lifestyle, it afforded my family a way to exist if you will. So it's only fair and I really truly believe that it's a great way to give back.

Chuck Chapman:
The Davis Foundation operates under the auspices of the Western States Roofing Contractors Association. It was formulated back in 1996 and actually got off the ground in 1997, when it became incorporated. It started with some seed money that was donated by Pacific Coast Building Products. And since that time, we have awarded over 150 scholarships, totalling in an excess of $650,000. And it would not be possible to have done that without the support of people like you that are out there watching today. RoofersCoffeeShop, Trent Cotney and I could name so many more, but the support from the donators of everybody that contribute every year has just been absolutely outstanding. So we're happy you're here. And as I like to say give early, give often.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, you know what? Chuck, one of the things I wanted to definitely point out is we have watched and I mean, the fact that you and I every year get to go through and read all of these submittals from students who are the looking for scholarships. And it just gives you such hope for the future because you see such amazing kids and not just kids, it's all ages who apply for scholarships with the Davis Foundation. And so I just got to put one thing out here as a thank you, Megan Ellsworth, who is, as I said a minute ago, our producer works for RoofersCoffeeShop, got her degree from University of Colorado, Denver with the help of a scholarship, applying for it and getting a scholarship. And there's a lot of kids out there in the roofing industry who have been through this program. Talk to us a little bit about the quality of the applicants and also of the scholarship winners, Chuck.

Chuck Chapman:
Well, the sad part is that we're only giving out 10 scholarships a year.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I know.

Chuck Chapman:
That may sound kind of odd to say that, but when we get in excess of 80 or 90 applications every year, I'd like to be able to give out that many scholarships, but unfortunately it's just not possible. But you're absolutely right, Heidi, reviewing and seeing the quality of these young people that are hopefully going to pay for my social security, it's amazing and it's very heartwarming and it goes way beyond on just the academic portion of it. The vast majority of these young folks that are applying every year are volunteering themselves already in various different types of foundations and medical professions, at retirement homes. Their extracurricular activities are absolutely amazing and they're off the charts. And so reading those stories about what they're doing to support their communities already, most of them are still teenagers, so it's absolutely fantastic and heartwarming to see them being able to do that.

Chuck Chapman:
Megan, absolutely. It was our pleasure to have awarded her a scholarship. I think we've got at least a couple more scholarship winners that are on board with us today. So we're really, really glad to have them. And that's one of the nice things that we do every year at the convention is that we usually bring back some former scholarship winners to share of their story with the group and tell everybody how it was for them and how the money was used for them and every one of them, their story is just a little bit different, but yet nonetheless amazing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. You know what? In fact, Megan, if we can do it, I think we have somebody who here who is another scholarship award winner from Davis who's just real quick going to talk about the effect it's had on his career and his life. Brent Robinson, are you there? There he is. Good morning Brent. Maybe. You might be on mute.

Megan Ellsworth:
I think you should be. Ah, there we go.

Brent Robinson:
Hey.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Hey.

Brent Robinson:
Hello guys.

Chuck Chapman:
Hey Brett. How're you doing buddy?

Brent Robinson:
Doing good.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you for joining.

Brent Robinson:
Yeah, I really appreciate you guys reaching out to me this week. Yeah, Davis, and I was thinking back to when I, I think it was 2011 or 2012, when I was just finishing my last couple terms of college at Oregon State and the Davis, I knew nothing about it, but my dad Stan Robinson owns Pacific West Roofing here in the Portland area. At the time, I was going to school at Oregon State, didn't really know what I wanted to do, but this opportunity came along and it... I'd never won a scholarship. I never had an opportunity. And this was one of the most impactful things to me. And they flew me down to Vegas, I got to meet. It was the first time I'd been around anyone in Western states.

Brent Robinson:
And just everyone just supported you. Their arms just came up to you, just felt so loved. It's just an amazing group of people who run this, who are truly doing it from their hearts. I got to sit in a couple board meetings a couple years later, really see how much work it takes on the inside of just hey, we got to fix this application and the details within it. And it's just you guys have put in so much work to this and given back. During that time, it was huge. I was finishing, I was taking 20 credits. I was finishing my last term of school. I was paying for it and this scholarship helped ease so many just stressful situations just finishing out your last couple terms of college.

Brent Robinson:
I didn't know what I quite wanted it do and I was doing some internships. I ended up going to Boeing for about six years, but it really, the scholarship really sprung me up into my career. But as I spent those next four or five years at Boeing, I kept coming back to the show. I kept coming back down to Vegas. I was like man, these guys are so much fun. I'm not really in the roofing industry, but I want to come down and hang out. I think they brought me down in 2015 and I got to speak at the gala at the show, the fundraiser. And just ever since that scholarship, it's like, man, I feel like I'm a part of this family. I'm able to hang out with these guys every year. It's been tough the last couple with COVID and everything. But through that, I got to see into the industry on another level. And six, seven years later, I'm back. I'm working for Stan. I run the production for our company. I'm fully ingrained into the industry now.

Brent Robinson:
I think that Davis is obviously outreaching past just people that are doing just roofing, but it is really a big reason because of the scholarship through Davis that I was more interested in the bigger picture and the relationships and the business side of the roofing world because I'm a business student and that's kind of the world I was going down. And it definitely has had a huge piece in terms of me being in the industry now, which is awesome and I love what I do. So I'm so thankful for all of you guys that have given all these kids opportunities. And my sister ended up getting the scholarship a couple years back as well. I mean, it's been huge and you see all these kids, you see... I still have my, I was trying to bring it, I still have my plaque, all the details of it, but yeah. It's an amazing thing and I'm so excited this is continuing to go on, recommend what Larry and Mary did.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Thank you so much. This just warms my heart because we go to all these meetings, we're going to talk about this next with the alliance. I know we talk about this all the time. How do we get this next generation? How do we get the professionalism of roofing? How do we take it to this next level? And you, and I'm going to sorry, but proud mama mama and Megan are both in roofing and involved and as part of this. So thank you. Thank you Brent so much and thank you, Chuck. This is Davis, very close to our heart, so. But I want to make sure we have time for everybody else so we're going to keep going. So Brent, stay tuned, keep watching.

Brent Robinson:
Thanks.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So the next foundation is so similar and Dave, I know there's so many of the same stories with scholarship recipients and so much more. So Dave Lawlor, who is the chair of the Roofing Alliance, which is the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association. Dave, thank you for being here today and let's talk about Roofing Alliance.

Dave Lawlor:
Yeah, it's great to be here, Heidi, to support this conversation, support you and Trent and everybody here. It's all an uplifting experience and I'm very, very proud to be here and to help the conversation. But my name's Dave Lawlor, I manage roof sales at the rock installation company, Rock Wall. I'm current president of the Roofing Alliance and it's always my pleasure to be involved in this type of thing. The alliance specifically, as we celebrate our 25th year. The Roofing Alliance is the, as Heidi mentioned, a foundation of NRCA and we have members who are, in my opinion, who's who list of the roofing industry, suppliers, contractors and others. We're also always looking for new members so operators may be standing by, I'm not sure. But everyone's joined to offer their time and expertise and dollars to make the entire industry better and stronger. Since 1996, the Roofing Alliance has committed and allocated a large sum of money, $5.8 million to different research, education, technical programs, et cetera. All that to say the alliance makes a very significant impact on the roofing industry as we look toward our next 25 years.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I want to also just point out too, Dave, and then just again, another personal experience, but when we were getting ready to start National Women in Roofing, the first group we went to was the Roofing Alliance. And through the Roofing Alliance, they funded the start of National Women in Roofing. And I'm not sure if everyone knows that, but those are the kind of projects along with scholarships and research, but also innovative things that initiatives within the roofing industry.

Dave Lawlor:
Well, there's no question about that. And it's a good point. National Women in Roofing, we think about the roofing industry of old is sort of male dominated certainly, but to me, the face of the Roofing Alliance is there's no specific color, no specific gender. Everybody's welcome at the Alliance to be able to lift their entire industry. But that was an important piece, in my opinion, was supporting women in roofing. Obviously again, in a male dominated sort of business inviting everybody in to lift an entire industry is what we want to do, no matter the ethnicity, gender or whatever. So that's a really good point, Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Well, and one other thing I just want to point out. This is the part that always kind of makes me smile because you go from the Melvin Kruger scholarships to supporting newest organizations like National Women in Roofing and other groups too on funding research. In fact, George probably will have a little bit to say about this too, but funding research on the moisture and concrete. And you kind of think huh, moisture and concrete? But that gets the most attention at the Roofing Alliance meetings. Everybody's interested in it. So tell a little bit about some of the research.

Dave Lawlor:
Yeah. Lots of effort, lots of money has been put toward research, again, with that basic position of lifting the entire industry. I think the moisture in concrete was a big research funded project, for sure. And really it's about understanding what can make our roofing industry better. So if we know there's an issue with moisture in concrete, alliance puts money toward understanding that better. Now we can make better decisions on how we develop our roofing systems over top of concrete, as an example. But the list is very long for the support that the alliance has provided the roofing industry with. Study of silica in roofing to satisfy OSHA requirements, a study of owner decision making. Bill Good would say hey, spoiler alert, it's not all about money.

Dave Lawlor:
Ergonomics for roofers and mitigating workplace injuries. So we can teach people how to lift and how to be on the roof and do the work without hurting themselves so they can have longer, less physically impactful careers. Wall of wind. Understanding wind effects on roofing systems. So again, we can make the industry better, make these roofs last longer. And that's what it's really all about as a short list, Heidi, of some of the things the alliance has supported.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So I would say to everybody out there, as you're looking at this, Megan's going to put the link to the Roofing Alliance. Definitely the funds go to... Funds can go towards scholarships with the Melvin Kruger Scholarship, but you also have all these other initiatives that are going on plus a whole group of helping your own, which goes to help people within the roofing industry. So as you kind of look at this, look at that big picture of the Roofing Alliance. We'll talk a little bit more about that, but I do want to mention, Dave, you have a couple of people right now, Michelle Boykin and Jennifer Stone, who both say, I may be biased, but National Women in Roofing is the best. We appreciate the support. So they're saying thank you and ladies, I'm so happy you're on.

Dave Lawlor:
Okay.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Okay, let's go so we can hit our next foundation. And this is the CRCA Foundation out of Chicago. George Patterson is the chair president. I may not always have the title, right George? But we are so happy you're here today. Tell us a little bit about CRCA Foundation.

George Patterson:
All right. First of all, thank you. Thank you Trent. Thank you Heidi. I appreciate it. Thank you ABC Supply. I was told about this about a week and a half ago. It's near and dear to my heart. In 2015, I had a past president's meeting and a couple of the gentlemen cornered the chairman of the NRCA, Rod Petrick and myself and said hey, give more money to help out people. And I said okay. Rod and I, we kind of felt guilty. We've always given, but we felt like okay, what can we do to help out? So I asked all of these past presidents what can we do? What can we do to make things better? We've been given money since 1996, we've given over $700,000 in scholarship money, but we didn't have a foundation. So I was like okay, what can we do to help out?

George Patterson:
And one of the gentlemen said you need to do philanthropic installations. Okay. We need to give more money to foundations. So we looked at our financials and said yeah, well, let's see what we can do. So in 2017, we started the CRCA Foundation. And we give out annually about per year $25,000 in scholarships and it's recurring for four years so that we give out $100,000 a year in scholarships. We also have, as you mentioned a little bit earlier, the research projects. We helped in the original amount of money through the CRC and the CRCA giving Matt Dupuis and the late Rene Dupuis money for the concrete moisture installation.

George Patterson:
And then we've given more money that just recently to Matt at SRI to do some more research. So that's part of our thing is we do research. We end up doing technical stuff. We also have the scholarship and then we do the philanthropic. Unfortunately over the last two years with COVID and with the industry wide issues with the material, we haven't been able to do as much philanthropic stuff, but hopefully next year or the year after, we'll be able to do more.

Heidi Ellsworth:
George, I love that. So as you kind of... I just find it so fascinating when you and Rod and the team just kind of came together and said we just need to do this. I know when I was involved with starting National Women in Roofing, I had no idea how much work it would take. How did that work and now to have such success in bringing so much back to the industry?

George Patterson:
Well, it helps with the McHugh Company by working with the CRCA. Bill and Linda McHugh do so much work and Jessica worked there. We just basically asked them to say hey, we want to start a foundation. What's it going to take to do it? And they came through, did everything we needed to do, gave us the bylaws, told us what we needed to do. And then we contacted Trent and Trent's been a tremendous help with getting everything together so that we're doing everything the right way. And we have a lot of people helping out that are willing to give time and that's the one thing that my mentor, Rod Petrick's been my mentor for a lot of things, and he said that his father told him you got to give back to the industry. And if there's nothing else that I, I mean, I do listen to Rod a little bit, but if there's nothing else that I've heard from him over the course of time, it is give back to the industry and that's something that both him and I do and there's many people in CRCA that do the same thing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. You guys just have an amazing organization and are doing such great things. So Megan's going to put that link into the chat. When you really think about this, what the Chicago CRCA Foundation does, not with the scholarships, but also I love that giving back, doing philanthropic initiatives, that really brings everybody together too. I mean, it takes it one step further.

George Patterson:
Yeah. What's really nice is even this coming Saturday, we're having our annual dinner. We're auctioning off some items and Trent gave us a nice World War II, or no, from 9/11, a data from 9/11 that was made special for us. So we really appreciate that Trent. Thank you.

Trent Cotney:
Yeah, absolutely.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow. Well, anybody in Chicago, be sure you go to this and do it and also click the link and please look at donating towards this. If you're in that Chicago land area, I know there's a great pride and amazing people. So, okay. Let's go to John Hellein with Florida FRSA. John, tell us about what FRSA is doing.

John Hellein:
Yeah. Thank you Heidi. It's good to be here. Good to see the other people, the other foundations and hear what they're doing across the country. It's challenging as a director of the FRSA Educational and Research Foundation. There's so much going on and Florida has such a... We're in a special year this year, this is our 100th anniversary for the foundation. And so the foundation started in 1922. And so we'll be in Daytona beach, which is the location of the first convention. So in July next year, we'll be in Daytona Beach again to celebrate the 100th anniversary. The foundation has been around for 40 years now so they started in 1982. And so it's got some history too and it's just really, as the director, it's challenging to just know how much is going on.

John Hellein:
It's such a robust community, a roofing community in Florida and there's so many generous, just generous contractors throughout the state. So they assess the grassroots. And then the manufacturers, I think of people like Tanya Steele, just in the 2019 convention, she won our $5,000 raffle, which is one of our fundraisers. And she, if you were there on the show floor, she immediately turned around and donated the $5,000 to the foundation. And so Tanya is a perennial supporter of the foundation. And she's not the only one, just an example of the kind of support we get from manufacturers. People like ABC Supply are supporters of the foundation as well. And then of course, Trent. With the service providers, Trent is a stellar provider or supporter of the foundation. And Trent, we really appreciate your support, not just today, because this is just a really small part of what you do for the foundation.

John Hellein:
There is just as... Scholarships is one of the things we do. And so there's a name scholarship for Trent. And so every year that name scholarship is given out in Trent's name. And that's because he supports that, provides for that. And so really appreciate the support. And then also just the affiliates throughout Florida. We've got affiliates and I know South Florida, for instance, I think they raised some ungodly amount of money for Make-A-Wish Foundation. And so there's so much and it's hard to keep track of all the stuff that's going on, but as the foundation, we produce seminars for and they're roofing specific seminars because contractors can go just about anywhere, go online and get continuing education credits, which they need. They can get that from anywhere.

John Hellein:
But what we do is produce roofing specific seminars and provide the information that really matters to the contractors. And then we keep track of that for them so that they know that they're meeting the requirements every two years. We do research and I think Mike Silver will come in in a little bit and talk about some of the research we do. But just as a for instance, last year, the codes committee had an issue and they wanted to do some research. And so they came to the foundation and the foundation was in a position again because of the generosity of all these groups of the contractors, manufacturers, all the groups. Because of their generosity, we were able to provide $10,000 for research on an issue that really affects the citizens of Florida.

John Hellein:
And Michael hopefully talks, I won't get into that too much, but let Mike talk about that. And so that the seminars, the research and then the scholarships in 2021, we were able to give out 21 scholarships and that comes from the different fundraisers we do, the members of the foundation, the endowment. And so it's really, again, just challenging to keep track of everything and the generosity that's going on, so.

Heidi Ellsworth:
My very first show in the roofing industry a long time ago was Florida show. And I have been part of that family for so long and have seen all the great things every year that come across through the foundation and through the fundraisers and everything that's doing. And there is Mike Silver. Good morning Mike. How are you? You might have to come unmute Mike.

Mike Silver:
Okay.

Heidi Ellsworth:
There you go.

Mike Silver:
Thank you. Really.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So glad to have you both.

Mike Silver:
Good morning [crosstalk 00:38:43].

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. So John's got us y'all teed up, share a little bit about what you're doing for research for the industry.

Mike Silver:
Heidi, as you know, I've been involved in our foundation and pretty much since the inception. I'm the old guy on the trustees, have been doing this for a long time and really enjoy the educational side of our business. As far as research and our foundation is concerned, there are different things that we're able to do. The Florida Building Commission does research projects as well. Most of those go through the University of Florida. We happen to have a endowment with the University of Florida called the Earl Blank Endowment that helps fund all kinds of research having to do with roofing. But often we join together with the Florida Building commission, the University of Florida and FRSA to look at different issues that are affecting the roofing industry.

Mike Silver:
A couple examples as a few years ago, we did a major research project into the corrosion resistance of roofing fasteners. Was very interesting, went out and gathered roofing fasteners from supply houses around the state of Florida and tested them and were quite surprised with some of the results and we're able to get some code changes made to help with that. Another real big one for us, there was in the existing roofing sections of the Florida building code and it's also in the international building code, there was a section that required a roof diaphragm analysis during re-roofing. It was big problem. A lot of people don't even realize it's there but as you know, we have pretty strong enforcement in Florida through the building officials and it was causing a lot of problems for our industry.

Mike Silver:
We did research on the cost of complying with that requirement and through that, we were able to make some fairly significant code changes as well. We are currently looking at tile underlayment. When tile underlayment transformed a little bit from hot mop systems into self adhering systems, there were some issues that came up and we wanted to do some testing to see what the differences were. It was very interesting, kind of had started a conversation throughout the industry, realizing that there's a significant difference between self adhered membranes and hot mop membranes and how they react to the fasteners. Again, we will be looking at code changes in our code cycle. So it's very helpful and I can't say enough about the support we get from Trent and also from you Heidi. This is a great opportunity and so hopefully we'll get some nice donations in and get Trent to match those and thank you so much for the opportunity.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you Mike, thank you John and thank you Florida for everything you do. I see it at every convention. This is such a commitment to it as there is with every single one of these foundations. It is across the board. So I wanted to encourage everybody out there. Please consider these donations today to these foundations as you... I know I'm going to say it again, but Trent is matching up to $2,500 per foundation today only. So don't procrastinate. Today's the day. I kind of wanted to bring and, sorry, and I also want to encourage everyone questions. You've heard everything about these foundations now, all these amazing professionals who are giving so much back to lead these foundations. If you have any questions, please bring them up. I have a question. We talk a lot at times about the importance of building the reputation and professionalism of roofing and how important that is.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I mean, pretty much every single committee meeting you go to, association meeting you go to, everybody's like how do we continue to make the professionalism of the roofing industry not only known throughout the construction, the trades, but through our communities and across the board? And I think one of the ways that I've seen that had or has had an incredible impact. So I want to start with Dave. I want to talk a little bit, because you didn't mention it, the Ronald McDonald House and that initiative and what the Roofing Alliance has done. I think that's so important. So maybe share a little bit about that and then I'd like to go to each of our gentlemen today and ask them. And you're on mute, Dave.

Dave Lawlor:
Sorry about that. Yeah, thanks. Thanks. I made that mistake. So the alliance supports on a yearly basis the Ronald McDonald House Charities. That's one thing, with an amount of money every year, but then the Alliance has taken on and had through members and even non-member adopted all 165 roofs of the free standing RMHC buildings. So this is happening with contractors giving their time, materials manufacturers offering product to keep these buildings warm and dry and without any issues for leaks or anything. It's a fantastic position that the Alliance has spearheaded and everybody's gotten on board. Imagine 165 buildings, each one being adopted by a local roofing contractor and then being supported by materials manufacturers. It's mind boggling to me. I think it's absolutely incredible. And at a recent meeting in Chicago, we celebrated that. On the Thursday evening thing, we had a dinner to honor that position with everybody who's taken part in that and I think it's fantastic. So I can't say enough about that, Heidi, and thanks for bringing that up. I appreciate it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Well, I think it's so important because through these funds and through these donations, the alliance is able to do that. And the alliance was the first and I'm sure Ronald McDonald House is now working with other trades, but was the first trade to step up and do something like this. And Rod Petrick is on today and Rod, you did so much to make that happen, both with the alliance and everything you do with Chicago. So I just want to give you a shout out and as our chair of the NRCA. Thank you for being here and everything you'd do. And it just, that's the professionalism that we're talking about that really is making a difference in our greater community and I would say greater world, really.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Chuck, we just had a note in here. When you talk about professionalism and what's going on, but Chris Schmotz, hello Chris, he said, "Appreciate all that these foundations do." He's a Davis Scholarship recipient. "The funds that helped me stave off alone my senior year of college and gave me the wiggle room on shoestring budget." Sorry, I can't talk very well. But obviously, it made a huge difference in his life, but it also, I think, introduces roofing to these young folks. So maybe talk just a little bit more about what you've seen the scholarships being able to rise the awareness of roofing.

Chuck Chapman:
Well, I think the big thing is that each and every one of these scholarship award winners are very much like Chris or Brent or Megan and I've been able to visit with a lot of them over the years. And it's really like having 150 ambassadors out there promoting the roofing industry. Each and every one of them are so positive about having been awarded that scholarship and they can't say enough about our industry. I think most of us have heard Rudy Rebel talk about the image of roofing and be proud to say I am a roofer. And these 150 ambassadors out there preaching that every day has really been able to promote that and continue to show other people the value of the roofing industry, because that is a big hurdle that we've had to overcome over the years. And it's really nice to know that at least just from the Davis Foundation, we've got 150 ambassadors. And with, you include all the winners from all of these other foundations and we've got a lot of people out there preaching the virtues of the roofing industry.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah, I think so too. I think when you're looking at all of this out there and George, you talked about that you did so many scholarships and before you started your foundation. So what are you hearing from some of the recipients of those scholarships before and now with the foundation?

George Patterson:
And one of the greatest things, and I think Brad said this in the past is when we have our scholarship dinner where we bring back some of the people that have won the scholarship and then we honor the people that are winning the scholarship, it is by far the best dinner meeting that I go to throughout the year. Being able to sit at a table with the parents of these, let's say, young adults getting ready to go to school and then having them come back and discuss what they went through and how the money has helped them through whatever they had, books. I'm sure some of them used it for beer money, but whatever the case is, it's satisfying. It's fulfilling just listening and you feel pride because you've helped them out in a little way to get them to what they need to do for their future and their successes in life.

George Patterson:
And we've had people come back and get up there and talk and discuss how it's helped them out, how they paid for their books and how they didn't have to have that worry, how they could sleep a little bit better at night, how it helped their parents who have other children that they have to raise. And just taking little bit of the stress off of a person's life. It's tremendous feeling.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And I would definitely push out there to everyone listening and everybody who's going to listen to this later on today that that's what this is all about. The foundations are really our ambassadors. We talk about the kids being the ambassadors, but these foundations are the ones who are out there really showing what it's happening. And John, maybe you can kind of bring us home on this topic of raising the level of our roofing industry image and professionalism and what you see, how that has worked in Florida.

John Hellein:
Yeah, there's, again, there's so much, but a couple of things that occur to me is the two things that the foundation is involved in. One is an apprenticeship program. And so in August, we had a group of graduates from that apprenticeship program here at the FSRA headquarters building. And that was a three year program. And so they had, during that time, there's on the job training, but then there's also instruction of people like Mike Silvers, giving... So a professional who's been a part been a professional roofing contractor in Florida for decades and able to communicate what he's learned during that time to these workers and help them to develop not only skills, but then the professional perspective and how they can move up through education and applying themselves. And so there's an opportunity to move up within the roofing industry.

John Hellein:
And so that apprenticeship program, there's basically three locations throughout, for south Florida, central Florida and over on the West Coast where that apprenticeship program is going on. And so that's one thing. And another thing that we're involved in is the Future Builders of America Leadership Summit. And that's a gathering every year of high school students. And so we have an opportunity to present roofing as a viable trade to these students who are, they're at the point where they're going to either choose to go to school or enter into a profession. And so where they're able to present a presentation, but then also hands on activity. And there's a great response from the young men and women in that summit.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow.

John Hellein:
Again, it raises the awareness and because of the people involved like Mike, just by his involvement and the involvement of the other people, it raises the professional awareness that this is, hey, this is a real thing. This is a real profession. And look at the seriousness and the quality and all the things that are a part of this profession.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. It is. It's amazing. And we talk about this all the time about how we're going to get that next generation and you all are doing it right now. I mean, you aren't talking about it, you're doing it. Trent. As you look at this, you work with all four of these foundations on a regular basis, what are you seeing on the professionalism and the image of roofing because of the hard work of the foundations?

Trent Cotney:
So that's a great question, Heidi, and I think everyone answered it in a way that, that I think shows that the foundations are dedicated to sort of raising the conversation and making roofing more professional. To me, it's the action of giving back the investment in our future through scholarships, doing these research projects, everything else. I think what that does is it shows that we as an industry, not only do we care about what we do, but that we are concerned about what our future is. We are giving back. And I think externally, that shows that we're, hopefully, we are changing perceptions that are out there. I can tell you firsthand working with each of these foundations and their associations, it is nothing but professionalism. It is at the highest level, the contractors, the manufacturers, players, everyone that's a part of it, everyone is there to give back to the industry and to kind of elevate it.

Trent Cotney:
That's what I think this is about is at the end of the day, as we approach the end of the year, it's important. I'm very humbled and I feel just very fortunate to be a part of this. I love this industry. I love it. And for me, it is I feel a duty to give back. It's something to me where regardless of what success that each of our businesses have, at the end of the day, I want to be able to look back and know that I made a difference, that I made some positive change. And I encourage everybody that's listening to this, whether you're live or hearing it on replay, give back. These are the focal points. These foundations are the ones that get the money together, that give out the scholarships, that do all these great projects and what better time than at the end of the year. I mean, like I said, 501(c)(3)s, it's tax deductible and your support in the industry that supports you. I think that about sums it up.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It does. Well, Trent, before we go, I would love... We are doing a push today to, and I mean, everybody should think about this by what we're doing today. We have four possibly, who know how many, but I know with the Davis, this is a scholarship. This is a scholarship today that is going to come together. And so think about those kind of things. But Trent, I would love for you to talk and encourage everybody on how can they be involved year round, not just today, but year round.

Trent Cotney:
So the one thing I'll say about each of these foundations is they're incredibly welcoming, as are the associations. It gives you a chance to really get around people that are all focused on the same thing. So get involved, become a member, volunteer. There's tons of stuff that doesn't involve even giving money. It could be giving time. But obviously from a donation standpoint, because we're matching the day up the 2,500, it's a perfect time to do that. Next time you're at an association meeting, ask about it. Ask about what they do, get involved, figure out what you're passionate about. And I guarantee you that there's people that are part of these foundations that will embrace you, just like they embrace me. Being a lawyer, I'm always like oh God [crosstalk 00:55:56]. Everyone couldn't have been nicer and we're all there for the right reasons. And that's the key thing is we want to give back, we want to do good.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it. So real quick, I want to go quick round table because I know everybody has fundraisers throughout the year. So I want everyone to donate today, but I also want you to get involved throughout the whole year because it is so amazing. So I'm going to start with Chuck. Chuck, what's the fundraiser they should attend in 2022?

Chuck Chapman:
Well, everything happens at the convention in Las Vegas. There's three events. We're thinking about a fourth, but it's a work in progress. Thanks to Heidi's idea. We'll see if we can pull it off. But we'll be shooting clays tournament, we have a golf tournament and we have our silent and live auction, which is part of the welcoming event, the night that the convention starts. And the nice thing about COVID, if there is a nice thing about COVID, is that it forced us to take our auction online, which has been extremely successful. So all of the silent items are online, that usually starts about a month before the convention and closes the day that the convention closes. So keep an eye out for that. The link I believe is going to be up and Megan can put you too to our Bidpal site. We encourage you to go to that. And if you can come to Vegas and participate in either the shooting clays or the golf tournament, we'd love to have you.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it. So you can donate, you can attend. There's so much to do. Dave, for the alliance.

Dave Lawlor:
Yeah, the alliance, I'd say... I can't say it better than Trent said it earlier, but join or come to a meeting. We have a meeting in Sarasota, as most of us know on the call here in April and we invite prospective members to see what that's all about. I'll give you a fair warning though, once you see the inside of a meeting and you're in this business, it's going to be hard not to become a member. We also have the Melvin Kruger Scholarship that can be donated toward and all that information is on our website. So I just encourage everybody to get involved and if you want to see what it's all about, come to a meeting.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. Pete Schnotz, thank you for being on. He just said that he donated $1,000 to Davis. Thank you. Oh my gosh. Okay. George, your party this Saturday, the fundraiser, tell us about it real quick.

George Patterson:
Yeah. We have our annual dinner this Saturday, downtown Chicago. We have some silent auction items. Please, I guess bid on it. Let's see what we can get. We have a golf founding in July. Please come to a meeting. We have six or seven of them throughout the year. We are always looking for volunteers to help out with the committees and to help out and hopefully with COVID hopefully ending soon, we can get some more philanthropic installs on out there, help some people out and do what we can. So please volunteer, please donate, help out. And thank you Trent, thank you Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you George. Okay, John, bring us home. The big Daytona Beach.

John Hellein:
Yeah. So we'll be in Daytona Beach again for the 100th anniversary. And so the big fundraiser for us, and it happens at the convention, but we also brought it online in 2020. And so the auction, it will be a live event there at Daytona. And so we, every year, we raise about $30,000 through the auction. And so it's a major supporter for us, for scholarships, for all the different things. And so I did send a link and people can donate now and then in July, that auction will be live. And that, again, that is a big fundraiser for us and it has been very successful even as we moved online.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it. I love it. Gentlemen. Thank you. What a great success. Trent, thank you so much. I think you're in trouble, my friend. Things are looking good.

Trent Cotney:
Good. Well done.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. Thank you so much. And thank you all for being on today. This to me, it feels, I don't know. I just love this with the holidays. This is the way to be looking at it. Please, please consider donating to these foundations today or get involved, whatever works for you. Be involved because you will never regret it. You get way more in return than you ever give. So thank you again for being with us gentlemen. Chuck, Trent, Dave, George, John, everyone else, thank you.

Dave Lawlor:
My pleasure. Thank you.

John Hellein:
Thank you very much.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. And thank you all for being on. This is recorded. This is going to be going all day long. So be sure to donate today for that matching gift and then join us on December 16th when we're going to have the experts from roofing technology, Think Tank, on the last Coffee Conversations of the year. I can't believe we're already going into 2022. So January 16th, we're going to have Anna Anderson, John Kiso, Scott Reilly. We are going to have them all here talking about technology for 2022. Please continue to be a part of everything we're doing and we will see you in a couple weeks. Have a great day and thank you for being on Coffee Conversations.

John Hellein:
Happy holidays.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Happy holidays everybody.

Trent Cotney:
Thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thanks.



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