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Coffee Conversations - IRE, What to expect in 2022 - TRANSCRIPTION

IRE - Coffee Conversations - What to Expect at IRE - Watch
January 13, 2022 at 8:01 a.m.

 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live Coffee Conversations with Reid Ribble, William Stoudt, Brandi McElhaney and Bill Bellico. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
Hi, my name is Heidi Elsworth and this is Coffee Conversations from RoofersCoffeeShop. Today, we are going to answer some questions that you all have. In fact, I'm really excited about our panelists today. We are going to be talking about the upcoming International Roofing Expo in New Orleans, February 1st to the third. And yes, let's just get this right out there. It's happening. It's going to happen. And it's going to be great.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So today you're going to learn about some of the best of the best of what's going to be happening during the IRE. But before I introduce this awesome panel and get started, I do want to remind everybody, this is being recorded and you can share this with everybody you know. So all of your company, other professionals, as they're asking you, "Hey, what's happening with IRE?" You can just say, "Go watch that Coffee Conversations because we're going to answer all those questions today. And it will be On Demand later on today.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So you can find it at rooferscoffeeshop.com anytime you want it. Plus all of the Coffee Conversations that we've done. So let's get started. We've got a great group here today. So first I'm going to slowly introduce everybody, but I'm really going to have them introduce themselves. And somebody, as you all know who really doesn't need... Oh wait, sorry. I had one thing I had to talk about before we do the introductions. And that's a very special, thank you to Informa. Informa is the show management of International Roofing Expo. I don't know if that or not. But you're going to meet two of the amazing folks who work for Informa today.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And they're also the sponsor of this today. So RoofersCoffeeShop works with the IRE year round. They are an amazing, amazing group. And so if you haven't had a chance to meet them, or when you're at the IRE, please say thank you for everything that they do. You'll to find all of the folks there working the show. So, now let's get to introductions. Okay. Really, we don't need an introduction because if you don't know Reid Ribble, I just don't know where you've been. But Reid, can you tell us just a little bit about yourself and about the NRCA?

Reid Ribble:
Sure. Thanks Heidi, and good morning everybody. My name is Reid Ribble, I'm the NRCA's chief executive officer. I'm now in my fifth year in that position. But the real story is that I joined NRCA back in the 1970s when I was a roofing contractor. And I served on their board of directors, became at that time, they call it the NRCA president, today they call it the chairman of the board back in 2005, 2006. In 2010, I ran for Congress, won a sit in the U.S. House of Representatives. Served there for three terms and then came back to the industry to take on this new role.

Reid Ribble:
And so my main job at NRCA is kind of the lead communicator for all things roofing and what's going on in the entire roofing industry. And so it's great to be with RoofersCoffeeShop this morning, Heidi. And I'm looking forward to the conversation.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Me too. Thank you, Reid. We always love having you on Coffee Conversations. Thank you so much. I'd also like to introduce Brandi McElhaney [inaudible 00:03:27] just this morning. Sorry, Brandi. I'm going to have Brandi introduce herself. But just before you do Brandi, I just want to say I've worked with Brandi for many years on. She does all of the classes, all the great educational tracks, everything you're seeing. And today she's talking about Community Service. So Brandi, welcome to show and introduce yourself a little bit.

Brandi McElhaney:
Good morning. I'm Brandi McElhaney and I am the senior conference manager for the Roofing Expo. So in addition to putting together the conference program, my favorite part of the show is the Community Service Day. So I'm excited to share the news with you guys on our 13th Annual Community Service Day.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow. That is so cool. And speaking of Community Service, I would like to introduce William Stout, who is the executive director with Rebuilding Together. William, can you share a little bit about yourself and your awesome organization?

William Stoudt:
Absolutely. Thanks for having me on. We are really looking forward to having the IRE back and thanks to Informa for being amazing partners. Not only have we worked with this conference when it's in New Orleans every four years. But the National Rebuilding Together, we have affiliates across the country, whether in Vegas or in Florida, you all are making a huge impact. And so not to go into too much about our work, but I'm a New Orleanian. And so this means so much to be able to support our neighbors, friends and family with the work that we're doing. So we're really grateful.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow. Thank you for all you do. Amazing. And speaking of all you do, I'd like to introduce next, Bill Bellico with Sika. Bill, you and Sika have done so much. Thank you. Can you introduce yourself and a little bit about your company?

Bill Bellico:
Yeah, absolutely. Heidi excited to be here. So I'm Bill Bellico, I'm the vice president of marketing and inside sales for Sika. We do the Sarnafil roof membrane as I'm sure folks are familiar. And we've been acting as the primary sponsor of this event for a lot of years. So we're excited to be here today to talk about it and promote this great event.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is great. Thank you so much. And I have one more introduction, but before I do, I do want to say, please make your comments in the chat. I'm already seeing some flow in, so exciting. Great comments. So, I'll be reading those as we go. And we do not have a slide for our next guest. And that's because we asked Meggan Spehar to come in and visit with us. Megan's been on before, she's been on our podcast with Informa has done just as amazing on the marketing and putting together this show. But we thought, you know what? Everybody's asking, what's happening, what's going on? How's it going to work? So Megan, let's just go right to the heart of it. What's happening with IRE and what should people expect?

Meggan Spehar:
So like you said, IRE it is taking place and we are looking forward to it. The show's coming up February 1st to the 3rd, at the Convention Center there in New Orleans. And obviously the biggest news right now that people are asking about are the updated mandates that are taking place. We did send out some news yesterday. Effective January 12th, which was yesterday morning, the City of New Orleans has imposed an indoor mask mandate. So masks will be required in all indoor spaces for individuals, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, so as a result of this mandate masks will now be required at the International Roofing Expo.

Meggan Spehar:
And then we also do want to remind everybody that currently there's no proof of vaccination or negative COVID test requirement for attending the IRE at the Convention Center. However, the City of New Orleans does require that proof of full vaccination or negative of COVID test within 72 hours to access places like indoor dining, indoor fitness, indoor entertainment spaces or performance spaces. So, this City of New Orleans mandate will apply to some of the outside activities at the IRE, like the First-Time Attendees Reception, the Welcome Party and other events like the SRS Concert, the NRCA Awards Ceremony & Cocktail Reception. So obviously we want to make it as easy as possible for everybody to attend the event in New Orleans.

Meggan Spehar:
So to try to help make it easier for everybody to come to the city, we do want to let everybody know that we are going to be providing COVID 19 testing on-site at the Convention Center. So starting Sunday at 12:00 PM, we will have licensed nurses on-site there to administer a COVID 19 rapid antigen test. If you're needing that, that we'll be $50 each. And PCR testing is available for international guests upon request. So that testing will be open through Wednesday at 7:00 PM. So we'll have the testing open late on Tuesday and Wednesday for those evening events that are outside in case anybody needs it. And then we'll also have masks on-site for anybody who needs them as well.

Reid Ribble:
Hey, Megan.

Meggan Spehar:
Yes.

Reid Ribble:
I've been asked a couple times if the City of New Orleans will be accepting digital COVID vaccine cards, like on CLEAR app, your health company, health insurance app, things like that. Are those acceptable?

Meggan Spehar:
Yes. The way we can verify, or the city will be able to verify your proof of vaccination status is proof view of an app like the Excelsior, CLEAR, CommonPass, California Department of Health digital records. So yes, we do accept the apps. We'll also accept a hard copy of your vaccination records. We'll also accept a clear photo copy of your vaccination record. It will need to be the front and the back. As well as a digital copy as well.

Meggan Spehar:
So we will accept a picture digital copy of your vaccination record front and back. And one of the other notes about the vaccine mandate that we want to make sure everyone's aware of it is fully vaccinated. So the fully vaccinated, what that is, is people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose, in a two dose series such as the Pfizer, Moderna vaccines. Or two weeks after a single dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And just, sometimes it's nice just to get out there because Reid, I think you really talk about this a lot. But we just need to get on, right? We just need to get on with our lives. And so what I'm seeing and [inaudible 00:10:12] is whether you're vaccinated or you're not and you do a negative COVID test. We can do business, this is great. And we can get there and we can get into New Orleans and we can see each other and that's just kind of a thing. Reid, what are you hearing from folks out there on this?

Reid Ribble:
Well on this topic, our members are anxious to get back to work and get back to normal. And they want to be treated like adults by government. We all know the risks, we know what we can do for mitigation purposes, whether we're vaccinated or not vaccinated. And I agree, we need to go back to work and we need to start enjoying each other's company again. And I'm looking forward to seeing everybody in New Orleans in a few weeks.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. And I have to tell you today or these last couple days, I'm in Montana, at the Montana Roofing Contractors Association show and it's been great. And everybody, great attendance, the contractors here are awesome. And they're all talking about IRE too, Megan. So I think we're going to... And registration numbers like you said, they're growing, people are registering. So it's a go.

Meggan Spehar:
Yeah. I mean, our community is like Reid said, we are eager to get back together. We're having people register every day. We're even having new exhibitors come in. So we're super exited about getting back together in New Orleans.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is great. I mean, when I talk to all the exhibitors out there, they're all like busy, busy, busy trying to get ready. Everybody's on running to be prepared for this. So, we're good, then we know it's a go, we know what we need to do. Let's get on the fun stuff. And that is the Community Service. So Brandi, start us out, I'd love to hear, just tell us all about what this has gone through. We're going to have our 13th Community Service Day. Give us a little history.

Brandi McElhaney:
Okay. So New Orleans was our first Community Service Day and it happened about three years following Hurricane Katrina. And we together, we had, I believe it was like five houses that we worked on. And we were able to get those folks back into their homes after the hurricane. So I'm from New Orleans, so it meant so much to me to begin this service in New Orleans. And we continued it now for 13 years. But it is by far my favorite day of the year. We're able to literally change people's lives. And it's unbelievable the transformation of these homes. I mean, some of them you can literally see the sky from inside of their home because their roof is so damaged.

Brandi McElhaney:
And each year I reach out to a contractor and we get materials donated, we get labor donated to literally put on a roof for free for one or more of our homeowners. And to me, that's life changing for these people. And that says a lot about our roofing community. They give back, they roll up their sleeves. They come in a day early. Every single rebuilding together for 13 years now has told me, you guys don't just come here for photo ups. You're truly putting in the work and making a huge difference. It's so amazing. And then we have Sika, Sarnafil that has supported us from the beginning and has been with us for every year, along with other exhibitors, helping out as well.

Brandi McElhaney:
This year, GAF contacted us and they're like, "We want to do more, we want to help." After the more recent hurricane in New Orleans. So they're helping as well to put on some roofs on some homes. So I'm super excited. I can't wait. So again, I see some people that are in the chat saying, we can't wait for Community Service Day. If you've never been, it's just such an overwhelming experience. It's amazing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It is amazing. And I have to tell you, I got to read some of these comments that are coming in. First from Heather, "Hi Brandi, I'm attending IRE on behalf of National Roofing Partners. I can't wait for Community Service Day." I mean, I love you Heather, hello. It's so great to have you on here. And then Tara, "Good morning all." Robert, "Extra looking forward to the Community Service Day Project since we couldn't have one last year."

Heidi Ellsworth:
So I think that means a lot to everybody to be able to get out there. And we did have one question I just wanted before we get on from Josy asking about our major exhibitors. So far, we're good. That's what we're hearing. Everything is good. So keep asking those questions because everybody's ready to answer them-

Brandi McElhaney:
And Heidi, another note is this year, we have Reid Ribble as our keynote speaker and he graciously waived a speaking fee for us to be able to contribute directly to Rebuilding Together. And I know that truly is going to help the City of New Orleans, especially since the hurricane. I still have family members that are affected in the lower lying areas that are still recovering. So it means so much. And like I said, Sika, GAF, we have OMG. There's so many, I can't list them all. There's so many people that come and whether it's sponsoring our lunches, sponsoring the shuttle bus, what have you. It's a truly amazing group effort. And we're also doing donations for Rebuilding Together during our keynote. So the attendees will have a chance to give back as well.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I think that's really key, is that not everybody can be there. And we'll talk a little bit more about that, on the actual day doing the community service. But everybody can help donate and help all of the residents of New Orleans. And Reid, I've been rooting for you to be a keynote speaker for a couple years, because we love to hear you speak. And the fact that, that speaking fee is going to be able to go to help says so much. What are your plans for that speech?You want to give us a little bit of a preview?

Reid Ribble:
Yeah, I can talk a little bit about it. I've been hard at work, putting it together. And it's not as easy as what people think to try to come up with something new and different than what I typically would talk about when I'm out on the road. And many people have had a chance to hear me speak at some state affiliate, or regional or even at other NRCA events. And so what I thought I would do is I would put together a 40 minute or so, 45 minute or so life lessons message. I've had an interesting life. I grew up with five older brothers that frequently beat me up and a very competitive environment as a kid. My dad was a chaplain for one of the Wisconsin counties jail system. And so he was a minister.

Reid Ribble:
And there were just a lot of lessons I learned as a child. And then when I got into the roofing business, there are just some interesting business lessons that I learned along the way. And then my time in Congress and now back at NRCA, there's just been a whole lot of things that I want to take this time to kind of share some of these things so that everybody that will leave or will live feeling pretty good about who they are and what they do. But also hopefully they'll pick up one or two nuggets that they can take home that will stick with them. I'll spend some time talking about generosity and giving because that's kind of a core principle and value of my wife and I.

Reid Ribble:
And so I'm looking forward to that because it is a beautiful tie in for the community service event. And this particular event, because Katrina happened when I was NRCA's president or chairman of the board, going back to New Orleans, and talking about it and being involved in Community Service Day, it really resonates with me because my own experience going through Katrina and the impact on roofing contractors. I mean listen, that was a major, major storm, unlike anything that we had seen in my lifetime, in the United States. And the sheer devastation of it all was quite shocking. And so I've got a lot of things to talk about and I'm looking forward to sharing them.

Reid Ribble:
I'm very much hoping that I'll be able to take my mask off, at least for that speech. Because communication is something that I think is really important for people to be able to see your face. Like Heidi, I can see your smiling back at me. And even though you're not saying anything you're communicating with me. And there's just something about facial expression that really matters when you're communicating. Very, very difficult to give a speech and actually get to the connection. Because I don't want to just give someone an intellectual lesson, I want to connect with their emotion. And if you can do that, you can actually begin to change things.

Reid Ribble:
And so I'm very much looking forward to this and I appreciate the opportunity to do it. I do want to be clear, I never lobbied for this spot, and also for the people. I appreciated Brandi talking about the fact that I waived the speaker's fee because I didn't want anybody just saying, "Oh, he's just trying to profit here off of it." I didn't want that either. But I'm very much looking forward to talking about something different than what I usually will talk about.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Reid along that lines, just the importance of community service. I mean, you're talking about generosity and I love that. Can you just share just a little as we move into talking about this more on the Community Service Day, the importance of the roofing industry being involved in community service.

Reid Ribble:
And I'm going to expand it beyond just Community Service Day to what I observe as I travel about the country. One of the things that when I came back to NRCA after being in Congress, I was asked by my board to get out and meet with a lot of the affiliates early on. And as I listened to the affiliates talk about, it in every state that I went and every region in the country that I went, they talked about what they were doing in this space about the generosity of roofing contractors. And of course, NRCA has its own foundation, the Roofing Alliance. So the work that we do with Ronald McDonald House. And it is such an ingrained element into the life of roofing contractors nationwide, that it resonates with virtually everybody. Because everybody needs a roof.

Reid Ribble:
And that core base of shelter is so significant to how we live our lives. Virtually everything we possess is in our homes, the things that really matter to us are in our homes. And so roofing contractors realize this about their customers and they realize that the most important thing for their customer in that moment is that roof. And so it's been really fun to engage with Informa of this particular event. NRCA has been a sponsor of this event from the very beginning and with Rebuilding Together. These types of things really matter in creating a reputation for the roofing industry of generosity. And I really like it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
A reputation of generosity, I love that. Well, let's talk about that a little bit because William, you have been in involved with NRCA, I know Roofing Alliance, with Informa, with the IRE. Can you share with everybody a little bit again, about your organization and this particular, what we're going to be doing in New Orleans?

William Stoudt:
Definitely. Yeah. So I'd like to just share a little bit about Rebuilding Together. So we are Rebuilding Together New Orleans, we're an affiliate of a national movement. And essentially what we all believe is that everyone has a right to live in a safe and healthy house. And so all affiliates, whether you're in small towns or big cities share the same mission, which is to repair homes, revitalize communities and rebuild lives. And we saw this in the pandemic and we continue to see this, that nothing is more important than a safe place to live. And having a roof over your head is literally symbolic, but also is figurative and literal to having a safe place to go to bed at night.

William Stoudt:
And last time you guys were in town we were able to put a roof on Miss Betty's house. And Brandi mentioned it earlier. You could literally see daylight from her bed. And so you're talking about homeowners that go to sleep every night, worrying if there's going to be water, or rats or all kinds of things crawling around in their attics. So the service day is a great opportunity to get out, see New Orleans outside of just the Convention Center and make a true life changing impact for homeowners. And we've got projects that are all outdoors, we'll be doing some painting, we'll do some carpentry and repairing some Ida damage.

William Stoudt:
And some just normal wear and tear on houses because essentially our homeowners are all elderly, disabled, veterans or single heads of household with young children. And they all make less than $30,000 a year typically. And so you're talking about a household income of generally a $1,000, $1,200. We all know how expensive a new roof can be for a house with 30 squares or 25 squares. So you're talking about half of somebody or a third of somebody's income for the year to replace a roof. And by the way Heidi, did you see Hurricane Ida just came through four months ago?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah.

William Stoudt:
And I'm looking out my window, blue tarps, you drive anywhere in New Orleans blue tarps. And it's going to be like that for a long time. And so FEMA never does what they should, home deductibles are getting larger and larger. And so we have so many homeowners that unless we help them that blue tar stays on for a decade. And unless we have partners like the International Roofing Expo, Informa, Sika we don't have the resources to do it ourselves either because homeowners pay nothing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So when I think about that, the roofing industry is so critical with the blue tarps. I mean, just think about how important that is. Bill, you've been involved with this too. And talk a little bit about Sika and maybe share some of your experiences, because I think that's the story we want to tell here today is, like Miss Betty and all these people that are getting helped.

Bill Bellico:
Yeah, absolutely. So we mentioned earlier, we've been involved since the beginning. This will be the 12th year because obviously last year it was more of a virtual event. So this will be the 12th year we've done it. For me personally, this is my fifth year getting to go and do it in-person at the event. And I just have to say it's an awesome event. It's literally probably the best day of the year I have. You have people from across the industry, I mean, competitors working together to give back to the local community. And it speaks volumes when I think about the roofing community. And you get to meet the people who you're helping and talk to them and just see the expressions on their face.

Bill Bellico:
William was mentioning Miss Betty. I remember the last time we were in New Orleans. I mean, she was just overcome with how happy she was and how grateful she was for what we were doing. And you really can't put a price tag on that. It's really an amazing event. Really Sika globally, has made giving back kind of a pillar of what we want do as a company. This is just one example of us doing it. But based on the experience and working with Rebuilding Together over the years, Sika identified Rebuilding Together as one of their primary partner companies to work with because there's chapters all around the country and we're in talks with them with some of those other locations.

Bill Bellico:
So it's just a great event. I encourage anybody who's going, who is able to participate to do it. You will not regret it. It'll be probably one of the best experiences you ever have. So it's really great.

Brandi McElhaney:
There's lots of happy tears.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Brandi, shares some of those stories? Just share some of the stories from, I mean, 12 years of doing this.

Brandi McElhaney:
Every year I get overwhelmed, oh my God. It's indescribable and you have to be there to witness it. I wanted to just step back just a little bit and just reiterate how life changing a roof is. For 13 years now I've only had to make a one phone call or one email to a company. And they're like in the roofing industry and they're like, "Yeah, Brandi, I'll give it to you." So it speaks volumes of what kind of community we have here. And like Bill said, it doesn't matter if you're the president of the company, or CEO of this huge manufacturer or a secretary. You're next to each other, working on a project together and collaborating. It's so amazing.

Brandi McElhaney:
I guess stories, there's so many of them. I guess one that really steps up in my brain is we built this... I guess one of our harder projects was like a play set that we put in the back of this home in San Antonio. And we had all these roofers, and it took so many of them and so many probably curse words, and just struggles to get this place set together. However, we were able to put together prior to the kids that live there coming home from school. And we surprised them with it. It was, oh my gosh, I couldn't stop crying. Because when we first got there, we were cleaning up the yard, there were broken bottles, there were needles in their backyard. It was horrifying to see what kind of condition their backyard was in. They couldn't go out and play.

Brandi McElhaney:
So we literally just transformed that whole place, put a play set in there. And just to see the smiles on their faces was just unbelievable. I mean, we do anything from handicap ramps to one lady had a hole in her floor and rats were getting in. So, we closed that up. The same lady with the play set in San Antonio, she had had to put her sofa against her front door because it wouldn't lock properly. So just to keep intruders out, she put her sofa by the door. So we're able to secure her door. Again, it's all life changing things that we're doing. It's so cool.

Heidi Ellsworth:
William, Rebuilding Together is all over the country, right?

William Stoudt:
Absolutely.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And Bill, I know you Sika is working with that. Will, talk about how people can get involved beyond Community Service Day.

William Stoudt:
Definitely. So I think, if you don't have a Rebuilding Together in your community, they're starting them left and right, because there's as we all know a need for safe places to live. But the easiest way is to go to the website of Rebuilding Together and just punch it in and say, where do you live and what's the closest affiliate. There's three in Louisiana, there's a ton in California, but it really depends on... Some affiliates are all volunteers. You can be a group of friends. We have a group in Baton Rouge called the Silver Hammers. They're all retirees. They swing hammers and build ramps and they build a ramp a week.

William Stoudt:
I mean, these guys get down and do a lot of good in Baton Rouge. Because each affiliate does things a little bit differently, but that whole element of social determinants of health. And what we're trying to raise awareness of like those rats that come through that homeowner's house, that's a huge house hazard. We're going to be working on some lead remediation work. So our team is going to do the lead encapsulation, you all are going to help put the paint on one of our houses for Ms. Barbara. She has grandkids that spend every summer with her. And so they're running around at a yard with peeling paint. That's a huge home health risk.

William Stoudt:
And I have to ones at home it's really easy for kids to test with elevated blood levels, if you have peeling paint in your house. And so not only are we going to be working on making these homes look better, but making them safe, and healthy and a place that they can properly weatherize a home. It's impossible to heat a home or cool a home when you have no roof, or holes in the ceiling or the walls. And so we're talking about termites in the south, there everywhere. And so if you have a water intrusion, you have termites. And so all the different things that we as an organization and are our volunteers help with, painting, rebuilding fences.

William Stoudt:
We've got all kinds of different tasks, a kind of a little bit for everyone. But we are focusing on exterior only repairs this time around just because we want to make sure everyone is able to socially distance and have a safe environment, not just for our homeowners, but also for our volunteers that are participating in the event.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's really important. So let's talk a little bit about that Brandi. What should people expect of the day? How does it work? Start in the morning and take them through the day.

Brandi McElhaney:
So this year we have two homes. We will leave the Convention Center about 7:30 AM, go to the two homes and start working. And again, like he said, it's all exterior work. We will have PPE there and keep it as safe as we can. And then we do have a third location where we're building a fence. So basically we'll start out. We do have a breakfast sponsor, ICP Building Products. We have so many sponsors, I can't list them all right now, but thank you, thank you, thank you, because we couldn't do the day without donations. It means so much to us.

Brandi McElhaney:
But anyway, we'll start out with like coffee and like little snacks and we literally just roll up our sleeves. We do a little safety meeting and then roll up our sleeves and get going. And we'll have lunch and everything. And the day will end about 2:00, 2:30 and we'll head over back to the Convention Center. But it's nonstop, like it's just if they're not eating lunch, they're working. So it's really great to see. And I love the before and after pictures because literally you transform a house and that amount of time it's pretty amazing to see.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Can people still sign up? There's still room just for Community Service Day?

Brandi McElhaney:
Yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. So how do they do that?

Brandi McElhaney:
After registration, there is a link through registration and if you can't attend, you can donate during the registration process as well as during our keynote, we'll have an opportunity.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And the keynote is the next day, Tuesday?

Brandi McElhaney:
Tuesday, correct.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. And everybody should be signing up for that also.

Brandi McElhaney:
Yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. Okay. I want to make sure everybody gets this because we're getting some questions over here and they're also having some questions about wanting to share links for the mandate. So thank you Megan, to getting that out for everybody so, they know. I do want to pop back Reid. The contractors who are coming to IRE, there's so many different events along with Community Service, that night after the Community Service is ROOFPAC and Roofing Alliance. So maybe just talk about the importance of this week to roofing contractors into the ROI for their company. You've been involved for a long time.

Reid Ribble:
Yeah. I can't even tell you. I think I went to my first, at the time it was the NRCA convention. But it's probably been three decades and it's an event you just don't want to miss because there's so much going on. And NRCA in partnership with Informa, agreed to hold our convention because our bylaws require our members to convene annually. And so last year we had to do it virtually, but this year we'll be doing it again at the IRE. And so we do have a host of NRCA events for our contractor members. Or if anybody's just interested in seeing or learning more about NRCA we're not going to kick you out.

Reid Ribble:
We'd love to have you come and see it. And we'll be participating in a lot of things. So you mentioned the ROOFPAC, the roofing industry has its own political action committee where we get engaged in trying to help elect members of Congress that are small business savvy and will be putting policies in place that would be beneficial for the typical small business owner around the country, that members of Congress understand how much they mean to our economy and things like that. The Roofing Alliance has a reception, which is our foundation. They have a reception.

Reid Ribble:
We also have our award ceremony where we hand out the Piper Award, which is a lifetime achievement award for whoever the recipient is. And that's always a fun night to get together. But for the roofing contractor that is coming to IRE, there's a whole host of things that helps in learning. One thing is just walking through the exhibit floor. And if you've never been to it, I really want to encourage you to come because you get a whole different perspective on your industry, and what the roofing industry is and how professional it is simply by walking through the exhibit floor. Because all the newest, latest and greatest things, whether they're roofing systems are on display, roofing equipment and tools, cranes, trucks. I mean, everything you want to see is there.

Reid Ribble:
And you can see it all in one place and you can talk with manufacturers and their distributors about these products. And so it's an incredible learning environment that you can go to. And then every single day, I mean, when the show is on, we want everybody in the exhibit. When the exhibit is not open, we want everybody in the educational conferences. And there's a whole host of educational conferences that contractors can go to that span the breadth and width of what you do as a roofing company owner. Whether you're a residential company or with commercial industrial company, there's something there. Matter of fact, there's many things there for you.

Reid Ribble:
And we recover the technical aspect of roofing, the safety aspect of roofing, the legal aspect of roofing, the business management aspect of roofing. Just about everything you need as a roofing contractors is one of those educational or in several of those educational conferences. And so really I would encourage everybody to attend just because of that. You will not lose any money by going to this event. You can only make money by going to this event. That's the only alternative that's there.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It's so true. And when you think about all the things, obviously I'm sorry, starting with National Women in Roofing Day on Sunday and then Community Service on Monday and then going into all of these great education and exhibit floor. It's truly one of my favorite and most exhausting, but favorite weeks of the year. Bill, Sika does so much across the board. I mean, obviously exhibiting, but then being the sponsor of Community Service Day. How would you encourage other manufacturers, distributors, folks who maybe you're thinking, I'm not sure that I need to be involved with that. But what would you say to that in encouragement?

Bill Bellico:
Yeah. I mean, I think this is the ultimate event of the roofing industry. You have everybody from across the industry. You have both residential and commercial, you have both suppliers and their customers. And it really is an amazing show as kind of Reid was pointing out, if you walk out on that show floor, you're going to see the latest and greatest, and you're going to get to just interact and talk with folks. And the educational sessions and the presentations are really the best of the best. So really for any company that's a supplier or a contractor, this is the ultimate event for roofing. And so I can't think of a better event to go to than this one.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So true. And I was just going to say, please ask any questions you have, this is the group. If you have questions about IRE, about Community Service Day, about the things that are happening, this is it. And we do have one question and it came from Jessica. And Megan, this might go to you or Brandi, how does IRE believe the mandate will impact attendance based on 2020 and the newest mandates?

Meggan Spehar:
Hi, I can take that. So in terms of attendance, obviously 2020 was the biggest year that we had for the show in Dallas. And we know that we are not going to quite be back to those numbers for this event, with the mandates in place. And some people have the company policies that they're not able to be able to make it to the event, but registration's doing well. We're tracking a little bit behind the last time we were in New Orleans, which was in 2018 and we're getting new registrations every day. So we're expecting a good turnout for this year's event.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I think everybody wants to be back together bottom line, right? Everybody wants to be back together. William, do you have other industries who come in conventions and such that are doing these kind of things? How does it compare to what the roofing industry brings to your organization?

William Stoudt:
Great question. We are a convention town, but we don't look forward to any other conference like we do with IRE. [crosstalk 00:41:23].

Brandi McElhaney:
Answer.

William Stoudt:
For a lot of reasons. One, the volunteers you all are highly skilled. We have companies that we can't wait til they get offsite. And when we're with you all, we generally have to force you to leave because people don't want finish, they want to get the next thing done and the next thing done. So we love our IRE volunteers. They're cut above for sure. And consistency, and the fact that Brandi and her team, Bill and his team, they make everything so easy. So it's like, just tell us what the need is, who needs a roof, who needs house painted? You tell me what homeowners? There's no, we want to be in this neighborhood, or we want to work on this type of project.

William Stoudt:
It's changes the perspective as a nonprofit. We are often asked to jump through hoops for conferences, or grants or reporting. It's we trust you, we've been working with you for 13 years. Who do you want to help and why? And then, oh, by the way, we're writing a check and we're paying for the roofs. So it makes it such a difference. So definitely we're looking forward to it, we look forward to it every three years. We wish that you all would have a conference in New Orleans every year, but we understand you got to see some cities. But I would like to say that we're going to do four roofs in January with this group. And although, you all aren't going to be doing the roofs as volunteers. For liability reasons, we've got a contractor lined up to do the roofs.

William Stoudt:
But our goal was to do a hundred Ida impacted houses in 2022 and 50 of those will be roof projects. And roofers are busy right now in New Orleans, but they're still making time for us. And they're still trying to give us the prices that they can. And just to New Orleans, the people that are talking about like whether or not to come the city has definitely turned back on. There was definitely a period where the quarter was quiet, the conferences were small, the hotels weren't booked. But even locals kind of occasionally enjoy the quarter. We like having it in our backyard, we don't go down to Bourbon Street as often as you probably think.

William Stoudt:
But it's great to see the quarter back alive, the restaurants are back open. I'm sure there's mass mandates and requirements, but that's just looking out for your neighbor, just like we do as an organization to make sure that everyone can do things safely, because there is something different about being in-person. I went to the IRE in 2018, it was my year doing it with Rebuilding Together. And we got to kind of go on that floor. It's like a kid in the candy store, even a nonprofit rebuilding organization. We learned a lot just seeing what's new, the trucks, the trailers, things that you don't even know exist are out there on that floor.

William Stoudt:
That made us more efficient. And we're a nonprofit that has zero budget for tools and new innovations, but the different type of shingles that are coming out, the different methods. So it's a great event. We learn a lot and we also are able to give back with you all's help.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's cool that you come to the trade show and check it out and see all the new things that are out. There that will make a lot of exhibitors happy too. We did have a question come up in our chat, just wanting to know how it's looking for manufacturers and exhibitors in the booth. And so it's from Laurie. Laurie, you may not have heard earlier, but as far as everybody knows, everything's a go, people are going and they actually have people who are still signing up, right Megan for booths?

Meggan Spehar:
Yes, that's correct. I mean, we have had just a few exhibitors have to cancel for various reasons. But we still have all of our large suppliers and manufactures are committed to being at the event. We have over 400 exhibitors going to be on the show floor and we're still getting inquiries and people signing up for booth space. So we're going to have a very robust, exciting expo hall for everybody.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is so cool. And I do want to say too, we have Anthony on, in here with Roofing Exteriors, which is your guys' great site. It has so much information and there's some articles on community service, as there's articles on RoofersCoffeeShop. So check the chat, everybody he's listening, because you're going to see there's a lot of different links in here that you can get more information. So, go ahead.

Brandi McElhaney:
Heidi, speaking of the links, Megan actually put our sponsors, a link to the sponsors for the Community Service Day. But I wanted to just take a moment to recognize everyone. Of course, Sika, overall sponsor every year. We couldn't do it without them. As I mentioned, GAF is going to help us with at least four roof replacements. So that again, that's life changing. We couldn't do this without them as well. ICP Building Products, Damato Enterprises, Carlisle, CentiMark sponsoring whether it's our safety equipment, our breakfast, our lunch, you name it. Again, we couldn't do it without you. And we're so thankful for you guys.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It really shows everyone gives back in this industry. It's so amazing. I love it. So as we're kind of looking at the IRE coming up, what do you see as a way that people... I guess what I want to kind of get to is I think roofing companies should bring more than just their ownership. They should be bringing... And Reid, you can talk to this. We're going to have a lot going on with ProCertification, being involved with community. It's just such a great cultural build for a company to be involved.

Reid Ribble:
Yeah, actually at the exhibit, on exhibit floor, we're going to be doing certifications there and we continue to launch new certifications. For those of you who are not familiar with it, NRCA has a program specifically for roofing workers to become certified as a professional in specific disciplines within roofing. So you can be certified as a procertified thermoplastic applicator, procertified asphalt shingle applicator, procertified clay and concrete tile, or procertified EPDM and so on. And we're going to be doing those certifications there in New Orleans. Like we've done in Vegas and in Dallas.

Reid Ribble:
Now this is the third time we've been doing them. And roofing contractors can learn how they can create a crew of professionally certified workers and then go out and promote that inside their community. And you talk about having a competitive edge over the competition. Consumers are fearful of buying a new roof because they don't know who to trust, but they'll trust that applicator if they know that that applicator's had third party verification of their skills. It's a powerful tool for making more money as a roofing contractor.

Reid Ribble:
And I will tell you what else, young people have told us that certifications matter to them, that they really want to feel like they're professional. And so even though it may not be as important to the roofing company owner, it's important to the men and women who work for you. And it's a really valuable tool for building retention within your company.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And I think also just if you have this opportunity to bring some of the people. I mean, RoofersCoffeeShop, we're bringing about seven or eight people that we're going to have there. They're going to be attending all these different events. But it's great for the culture of your company and to get them involved in Community Service. Brandi, how do you see, and like you said earlier, you see everybody, right? It doesn't matter. All parts of the professional world of roofing.

Brandi McElhaney:
Yes. Women, men, older, younger, like it's just presidents of companies to receptionist. Like it doesn't matter at all actually. It's truly amazing to see.

Reid Ribble:
Hey Brandi, somebody's listening to this. And they're thinking, man, I really would like to participate. Do I need to lag all my own tools down to New Orleans? What do people do about that?

Brandi McElhaney:
No, actually we have a tool sponsor that sent over some tools. So William got some nice power tools. But no, they don't have to lag their tool equipment on the plane or what have you. We have everything there. We have safety equipment, we're even giving them a volunteer t-shirt. So we have all the tools and materials they need. So just bring yourself.

William Stoudt:
Yeah. And you don't have to be a professional roofer, you can be the CEOs, maybe a little rusty or the secretary new to a company. Because we have our staff, our AmeriCorps members will be on-site. We'll do an orientation, a safety briefing. We'll introduce our homeowners and show you how to paint. I know it sounds silly to say, but we'll teach you how to do everything that we're doing to make sure that we're doing it correctly because we want to make sure it stays there. And so it's all at one-stop shop. All you have to do is show up with a good attitude and hopefully not that hungover and we'll be good to go.

Heidi Ellsworth:
But definitely jeans and tennis shoes, and all of that. Yes.

Brandi McElhaney:
Yes. I'm super thorough with my communication to them. Like, hey, bring some clothes that you don't mind getting ruined basically. And I have zero skills as far as construction skills, however I help out. You don't even need skills. So I mean, we've done everything from landscaping to fence building. Like you find something to do.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Okay. Bill, what did you do at the last Community Service Day that you were on?

Bill Bellico:
So at the last Community Service Day, we actually ended up having a side project that was at a school. I believe was an elementary school. So we not only helped repair some homes, but there was also an elementary school in a section of town that was in need. So we did a bunch of projects there. They built an outdoor classroom space for them. We had actually built a chicken coop for them. So the kids could kind of learn some experience with animals, with a chicken coop. That was really neat.

Bill Bellico:
And the kids came out and actually did a little parade for all the Rebuilding Together volunteers. So we've done work at individual homes, like we'll probably be doing this year in New Orleans, but we've also done some other kind of cool things like that in local communities. Again, it's really one of the best days of the year and I can't wait for it. I'm really looking forward to it.

Brandi McElhaney:
The little parade at the school, it was so cute. Of course, I cried. It was Hispanic school, so they spoke in Spanish. And were they singing Bill or at least telling us, thank you in Spanish? Gracias, and what have you. It was so cute. They were so excited.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It sounds like Robert was there too because I was going to say everybody whose listening. If you have any questions, be sure to get him in now because you only have a little bit of time left. But also if you have any fun to share. And Robert said building the chicken coop was fun. So that definitely has some good memories for everybody.

Brandi McElhaney:
Yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, any last thoughts, Brandi. Any last thoughts on what people should be doing right now? What should they be doing right now to get ready for Community Service Day, besides going through registration? And maybe you and Megan can talk a little bit about that. How do they do it?

Brandi McElhaney:
Just register. And like I said, for Community Service Day in general, I'm there to help with any questions. They'll have my cell phone number, I'll give them all the information they need. Just come and have a good time.

William Stoudt:
And usually we fill out slots. Like it books out, at least it has with us. And so if you are on the fence about it, or if you haven't locked it in yet, we have less slots this year because we're limiting the number people per site and number of sites. So I would say if you're planning on coming sign up now, before you can't because we probably won't be able to add any slots.

Brandi McElhaney:
Correct.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Theroofingexpo.com. Go to theroofingexpo.com. William, one of the things I know you talked about at the beginning a little bit, but I just again, the website, how can people get involved? Not just in New Orleans, but across the country with Rebuilding Together because there's so many roofing contractors out there who are everywhere and they all want to do something. They all want to help. How can they do that?

William Stoudt:
Yeah. Like figure out if there's someone nearby, if there isn't reach out to me. You can email info@rtno.org, that's going to come directly to me. I'd love to put you in touch with somebody that is doing rebuilding work in your community. Roofing is such a core element of what our affiliate believes and what we do nationally. And you might as a contractor be able to donate labor, but you don't have the ability to donate those materials. We'll source that for you. We'll figure out a way, we'll put you together with the local affiliate so that you can make an impact, whatever that impact you're looking to have.

William Stoudt:
Because at the end of the day, we need people that are caring about having people, having safe places to live. So reach out to me. I'll be on-site for the build if you're coming, otherwise shoot us an email, look us up. And we'd love to... We have a lot of roofing to do down here in Louisiana, across the state. We've added so many storms, but there's roofing needs across the country. And it doesn't just have to be roofing. We believe there's so many elements of making a home safer.

William Stoudt:
It can just be putting in grab bars. It can be fixing a door, repairing a window. So whether it's a small gift that you want to make financially, or you want to get involved in your community, reach out, we'd love to be able to partner. We call our volunteers rebuilders. And we need as many people as we can. We need as many rebuilders as possible.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And the thing is, is that if any of you are out there and you're getting involved and you do need help from manufacturers or distributors talk to Brandi because, one call, everybody wants to help. Everybody wants to be a part of that. Reid, any last thoughts for everyone?

Reid Ribble:
My main thought here is we want to see everybody there. And so if you haven't registered get that done today and we're looking forward to connecting with the entire industry down in New Orleans. And I'm anxious to see everybody.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah, me too. Bill, any last thoughts from Sika and you?

Bill Bellico:
Yeah, just excited to be back in New Orleans. I think anyone who's ever been there can attest to what an amazing city it is. And just being at the IRE again and being together with people couldn't be more excited. So looking forward to it.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's awesome. Brandi, bring us home.

Brandi McElhaney:
Thank you for having us, because not too many people know about the Community Service area, it could get lost at some point. So I truly appreciate this opportunity to tell everyone and get the word out. And we will see you guys in New Orleans.

Heidi Ellsworth:
See in New Orleans. Megan.

Meggan Spehar:
[inaudible 00:57:30] like Reid and Brandi has said, thank you guys for having us. And everybody hop on over and get registered for the show if you haven't. And the only other thing I do want to mention is if you have registered already and you want to add on the Community Service Day, you can. Just log into your registration portal and edit your registration and you can add on the Community Service Day. Or even just give our customer service a call and they can help you get that added.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Sounds great. It sounds great. Thank you all. Thank you for all you do for the industry. The great week that we're going to have in New Orleans. RoofersCoffeeShop is going to be there. We're going to be live sound stage, we're going to be interviewing people. We're going to be at all of these events. We're going to be there and we want all of you to join us. So thank you so much. And thank you to our great panel. Before we get to IRE, we do have another Coffee Conversations. And going to be in two weeks and it's going to be the Gen Z Takeover.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So Megan, who I forgot to introduce at the beginning, but everyone knows we have Megan Ellsworth, our amazing producer in the back. She's actually going to be taking over in two weeks because we want to hear from that next generation of young people and what they think about all this. And I know community service is very high on all of their priority lists and what they want to see. So please join us on the 27th, it's going to be sponsored by EVERROOF. And so we're very thankful for them and very excited. Two of the young Gen Z's are from Clemson, who also will be at the student competition during the IRE.

Heidi Ellsworth:
There's just so much, it's hard to keep track of everything. But we will do it. We keep track. We keep bringing you all this great Information. You can find all the Coffee Conversations on underneath the Read Listen and Watch on rooferscoffeeshop.com. Keep coming back, invite your friends and share out this On Demand. Thank you so much for being here today and have a great day, everybody. [crosstalk 00:59:28].



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