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Coffee Conversations LIVE from IRE 2023 - Day 2 - TRANSCRIPTION

Coffee Conversations LIVE from IRE 2023 - Day 2!
March 16, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.

 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with industry leaders and experts from across the country at IRE 2023. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast here.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thank you so much. We've brought these amazing contractors together and we're going to hear what they think, what's happening in the industry, what's trending, and then we're going to compare it to what they talked about yesterday with the manufacturers and distributors, so it should be pretty... Intros.

Kristina Hill: Hello, everyone. I am Kristina Hill, out of Lincoln, Nebraska, and I own HomeShield Roofing and Exteriors. I'm also the founder of Harness & Heels - Women in Roofing.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I'm so glad you said that because I was going to [inaudible 00:00:28] if you didn't. Wendy?

Wendy Marvin: I'm Wendy Marvin. I'm with Matrix Roofing and Home Solutions out of Vancouver, Washington.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Steve?

Steve Little: And I have the privilege of being with these lovely ladies in roofing. My name is Steve Little, I'm the president of KPost Roofing & Waterproofing here in Dallas, Texas, and also the CEO of National Roofing Partners.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Awesome. I am humbled and flattered and so much for all of you to be here. I love you all and this is going to be a great conversation. So let's start with the show. How has the show been for you all? And Steve, I'm going to start with you, how's it been?

Steve Little: The best IRE I've been involved in 20 years.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Wow.

Steve Little: Yeah, it's spectacular. The folks that put the show on have such a difficult time of coordinating everything all year long. And finally it's here, and there were lines to get in. All the aisles are busy. Usually you see by the second day, one part of the show being slow. Whether you went left or right, the aisles are busy, people are hungry, they want to talk to you. We're fortunate it's here in town, so KPost took a booth. And we've had suppliers come to us at one place. We've had people that interested come to work for us. It's great. It's been a great show.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: How smart to have your own booth?

Steve Little: Well, it's in our town. I don't know that we would do it if it was in Denver or Atlanta or someplace, but here in our own town, it's great.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, it's great. So how's the show been for you, Wendy?

Wendy Marvin: I feel like it's Disneyland. I know we're waiting in lines a little bit, which is fine, but it's like you just look at [inaudible 00:01:55].

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That is like Disneyland.

Wendy Marvin: Right. But I know that people are everywhere and like to Steve's point, I'm so excited about... we've been around when they've been a little slower in these past couple years and we won't talk about why. But it's just so refreshing that we're all here. We're gathering around I'm listening to conversations of people sitting at tables that I don't even know and I'm like, "That sounds really cool. That's kind of exciting."

Steve Little: You're engaged.

Wendy Marvin: Yeah. Yeah. That's the fun part of being here too, is just all that.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And it really started for us on Sunday.

Wendy Marvin: Oh, totally. Yeah. National Women in Roofing.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: So much going on. So Kristina, how's it been for you?

Kristina Hill: So this is actually my very first IRE that-

Wendy Marvin: Oh my gosh.

Steve Little: The bar is set.

Kristina Hill: I know.

Steve Little: The bar is set.

Kristina Hill: You're saying it's the best, and I'm like, "Oh my goodness." No. So it's been amazing. So I don't think I've made it through even half of the expo hall to be honest with you.

Wendy Marvin: So many things.

Kristina Hill: There's so many people and so many things. And I think the reoccurring theme that for me is I'm so excited to actually meet you in person. All of these online relationships with everybody, and you could have put a face to a name.

Wendy Marvin: But you've done such an amazing job cultivating all of those relationships. You did such a great job. I love it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: You-

Steve Little: Just say yes because it's true. Good job.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: You've created the online space for us all to meet.

Wendy Marvin: Very much so.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: There is also Roofers Coffee Shop, but we [inaudible 00:03:08].

Wendy Marvin: That's right. Another online space, yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's what's so great. When we do, we all use it and we go through the... So Lee, besides the beautiful hat that you got, how's the show been for you?

Lee Lipniskis: It's good. So this is my 10th show, and I totally agree with you guys, it is amazing. I was thinking like Sunday...

Steve Little: England, it was just France, Canada. It was amazing, they were there. And what they were telling us, what's happening to them in their countries, the same thing happened to us in our country. And they are hungry to be here. They're excited to be at IRE.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's great. Yeah.

Lee Lipniskis: I took an Uber, I wanted to go to a country Western store in town, Cavender's, and so I took an Uber with another female in the roofing industry and we're like, "Let's go to the Western store." We were trying on boots and this woman from New Zealand-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, Jenny.

Lee Lipniskis: Was different. [inaudible 00:04:02].

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We have more than one.

Lee Lipniskis: Yeah, there's 12 of them here.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Oh my gosh.

Wendy Marvin: Oh my gosh.

Lee Lipniskis: We started talking in the middle of the aisle at a random store in Dallas about the roofing show, International Roofing Expo, and I thought it was hilarious. We were just doing the same thing, trying to get boots-

Wendy Marvin: Just to say how cool it was we had the New Zealand person at NWIR. It's so crazy.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And that was Jenny. And Jenny owns her own company in New Zealand, her and her husband. She's the president of the New Zealand NRCA, and she's also the president of the New Zealand Women in Roofing. And she got National Women in Roofing, so yeah, that's why [inaudible 00:04:37].

Wendy Marvin: No, it wasn't Jenny, it was another woman.

Steve Little: So you realize that you had a part of this because Roofers Coffee Shop-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Please say that again.

Steve Little: Roofers Coffee Shop has gotten out-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: For the people in the back.

Steve Little: ... into the entire industry. And what you've done with the Roofers Coffee Shop and you're our voice that's out here, and starting National Women in Roofing, there are 500 women at the event on Sunday,

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's crazy.

Steve Little: But more importantly, I was with, and I'm not name-dropping here, but I was with McKay Daniels, who told me he believes his next article is going to be about all the fathers and daughters that are walking the show. And I have to agree with him, we have seen them-

Kristina Hill: Yeah, there's a lot.

Steve Little: ... and this is the succession that's happening in our industry. It's not just happening grandpa to grandfather to grandson, it's to granddaughter, it's to daughters that are happening. So it excites the hell out of me to see what's happening in our industry.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yesterday, Chicago Metal was on here and Alina is the new president of Chicago, and her dad is Brogan Huel who started it. So we're seeing this not-

Wendy Marvin: Generational.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... just in contractors, but also across manufacturing, distribution [inaudible 00:05:46].

Steve Little: You're so kind.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. Great entry to our next question, which is what do you see trending? So Lee, you were saying brand new business. I'm so proud of you. So core of your business. What do you see trending that you want to bring into your business here, but overall it doesn't have to be just here?

Lee Lipniskis: I think for me I'm an owner operator, I don't have any other employees, so I'm doing everything on my own. And as I grow and come into that, I'm all about efficiency right now. And so technology is huge. We were talking about earlier how there's a lot of tech companies that have now infiltrated the roofing industry, which I love. They're bringing us up to speed in this amazing world-

Wendy Marvin: Taking and screening

Lee Lipniskis: ... of possibilities. Whether we like it or not, it's here. And so I'm really focused on what kind of technology can I bring into my business to make me as efficient as possible to keep my profits going and growing and growing? So technology all the way.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And that's the trend, you're right, with all contractors.

Lee Lipniskis: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. What do you see, Kristina?

Kristina Hill: Kind of that same thing I want to say, but I went by a booth and you can fly a drone and it will help you use AI to spot damage on there. So if it's too steep or too high, you don't have to get on the roof, you can use AI technology to really do the work for you. But it's so neat to see the progression of that and how advanced technology has become. But I will say in my market, in the Nebraska market, we're seeing more and more of the Class 4 shingles, the Class 3 shingles really coming to the forefront, and just learning from the different manufacturers about these now Class 3 shingles that weren't really a thing. I think Malarkey was the only one for a while that had a Class 3, and now everybody has one. So it's cool to see that evolving and that just the changing of these shingle worlds actually seeing some new products come out.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: They're meeting the needs.

Kristina Hill: Yes, absolutely.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Because the weather's crazy and we are seeing so much out there [inaudible 00:07:47].

Wendy Marvin: We just got snow again today.

Lee Lipniskis: I know [inaudible 00:07:49].

Kristina Hill: I think it's snowing back home for me too.

Wendy Marvin: Well, you're in Nebraska.

Kristina Hill: It's 80 degrees here.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know.

Wendy Marvin: It's like you're Nebraska College, don't you guys complain about snow [inaudible 00:08:00]. We just shut down.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: You shouldn't complain then since you get it all the time.

Kristina Hill: I can complain. I have the right to complain.

Wendy Marvin: You have a right to say whatever you want. [inaudible 00:08:10]. Did you put us strategically? Do you laugh at this? Because I'm like, we as owners would be run over by this type. But I love this because we've talked so much about technology over the years and our involvement with RT3. And I just think about, like Steve said, they found us. Technology has found and they are everywhere, and it's not always a good thing. And I'm excited that we have all this new innovation and everything, but it's also so much, it's so overwhelming. And I'm really excited just not to pop RT3, but RT3 is really working hard on trying to put together some questions to ask what stage you are at your company and how to understand what API is versus EPS or ESP or whatever.

Lee Lipniskis: Yeah [inaudible 00:08:55].

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Every other acronym.

Wendy Marvin: Yeah. Well, there's so much here but so much to be excited for. We are a growing, changing, amazing industry that is just... We have such a bright future.

Lee Lipniskis: I know.

Wendy Marvin: I'm not trying to be cliche, but we really do.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's really true. It's really true. We've been watching it. Steve?

Steve Little: So you can tell that with PEs getting involved in our industry now and there's trendy, there's a lot of private equity money coming into our industry, it's a lot of money sitting on the sidelines that our industry, they found us, is what I said before. RT3 started years ago. We found Pontivo at an RT3 event in Atlanta, that was droning the solar industry and the technology industry, the telecom industry. And we've brought them into the roofing space. And now they're National Roofing partners, we're doing AI drone technology with assessments. And it goes right back to cutting time on the roof for the contractor. And we have a labor problem in our industry, so technology is helping us in labor-

Kristina Hill: And safety, it's helping us [inaudible 00:10:04].

Steve Little: Bingo. There are companies that are actually here, sell you the drone, sell you the technology, it downloads into your software, it produces a report for you for not just the commercial side but also the residential side. And that ties into the estimating programs, and so it's like... and you're done.

Wendy Marvin: And you're such a disruptor in our industry. I love it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's great.

Wendy Marvin: You're such a forefront and mover.

Steve Little: And so money chases opportunity. So private equity is chasing opportunity.

Wendy Marvin: The fact that they're here means something.

Steve Little: Right. So that's what I see trending. I see big business getting involved in our business. They should. We're part of food, water, shelter. It's what we do. Roofing protects. They should be involved in what we're doing. So it's technology tie. There's some new safety stuff's coming out too with lanyards and-

Wendy Marvin: AI and the safety vests to be able to pinpoint where they are, and to beep at them if they get close to an open surface.

Steve Little: And it also is taking their sweat and breaking it down, it's analyzing it and reporting back to the company if somebody's dehydrated [inaudible 00:11:07] which is a safety issue. It's really some cool stuff.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And the Roofing Alliance, you're wearing that pin, is on the forefront of doing a lot of this research-

Steve Little: They really are. I mean-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... and putting stuff out there.

Steve Little: And just like the women in roofing, you came to the Roofing Alliance and said, "Hey, I've got a good idea. We have a labor issue. We have this huge opportunity of a workforce that's out there, let's go tap it." They invested in it and they continue to invest. And that is an idea that started 20 years ago, and now it's-

Wendy Marvin: Probably over a cocktail.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And look what's happening.

Steve Little: Probably did it over a cocktail napkin, I'm sure it was.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know.

Wendy Marvin: I love it. And now it's all coming to fruition, so exciting.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know. And I want to go back on your mergers too and just mention it's not just roofing companies that we're starting to see [inaudible 00:11:50]. We are seeing... To me it goes back to the '90s with the amount of acquisitions and mergers that are going on in manufacturing and distribution.

Steve Little: So I'm old enough to be in the industry in the '90s, but I didn't join until 2000. Let me tell you what I know. What I know is that in the '90s, it was roofing companies trying to get together to better position themselves. And then they [inaudible 00:12:11] decide to go public so that they could all get a big cash windfall. It's not what's happening now.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Mm-mm. It's different.

Steve Little: The subcontracting industry that is either servicing healthcare, industrial reoccurring income with assessment programs that are happening, this is an established business. It's a generational business. And so they're wanting to put their money in a business that's a generational business that's modernizing the technology.

Lee Lipniskis: Yes.

Wendy Marvin: They know where we're headed. They know where we're headed.

Steve Little: I get goosebumps talking about this because our industry is so cool.

Wendy Marvin: But they wouldn't have done that 10, 15 years ago, and that's fantastic too.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And a lot of that has come through the progressiveness of people in the roofing industry saying, "We've got to lift," and all that.

Steve Little: Well and we've brought younger people in. So as younger people have come into our industry, they're forcing us baby boomers, they're forcing us up to participate, and it's very cool the ones that are listening. I promise you there's a lot of my friends out there that are not participating in this because they haven't gotten out of the old guard. Go talk to your daughters and your sons and listen to what's going on. You need to participate. [inaudible 00:13:14]

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's why we're here.

Wendy Marvin: Because she's going to run us over if you don't get [inaudible 00:13:18].

Steve Little: I like being on their train though.

Wendy Marvin: I know.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I do too.

Steve Little: I think Kristina did a great job with best of success and she really woke the audience up, there was 400 people there. She had them. So she had them right there the whole time. You did a great job.

Kristina Hill: Thank you. Thank you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. Along these lines, we're going the same thing, but I want to talk about highlights, and some of them we've hit on already, but some of the big highlights that you're seeing here at IRE, but also in the industry that is starting to make changes maybe more... when I'm saying highlights, like more progressive. Where are we going in the future? What's really important? So Lee, maybe start with you.

Lee Lipniskis: Yeah. I think the thing that I... I was shaking my head yes because in our world as contractors we want efficiency, and I talked about that earlier with the technology, but now it's more so tech stacking and tech integration and what integrates with what. And so that's something that's coming down the pipe from manufacturers, how can I order through my CRM? Get an aerial image, order it through my CRM, get it to the manufacturer, and then have it delivered and invoiced and all of that? So what kind of technology can I stack in to be more efficient is what I see coming down the pipe, and that's huge right now.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: When you see the big distributors, that's all they're showing right now. They're Roof Hub [inaudible 00:14:40]. Yeah, I know. Is that-

Kristina Hill: That's what I'm saying too. And I kind of piggyback on that. So we are branching and doing residential and commercial. There's not a lot of technology that you can do both very efficiently in. And I think Roofing Think Tank, that's something that they've taken on. And so I'm excited to see what the future is for the integration of both of them to have a good CRM and ordering system and just the cross back and forth because being a smaller company, I don't have separate departments. We are the department. So we have to be able to be efficient in that, and it has to be able to communicate to each other, otherwise you're losing valuable time and hours and leads.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And I think the highlight that I have to put on with both of you is 10 years ago people, if they had a problem like that like, "Our commercial and residential are not speaking," 10 years ago they wouldn't even thought to say, "Well, what's the tech stack?" That wasn't even a word. But now as you have both started your own companies, you go to technology every time for the solutions. That is a huge progression.

Lee Lipniskis: But we're also finding that we have a voice. And so if we have a problem and maybe have an idea, the tech companies now are listening to us. They're taking our advice and saying, "Oh, this would be better for the contractor, let's figure out how to do that," is what I'm finding is that they're listening to the small business owners and really changing and customizing their program to reach more people.

Kristina Hill: They want that feedback so that they can adapt and change.

Wendy Marvin: Some of them.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Lee Lipniskis: The good ones.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: The ones that are going to stick around are doing that.

Lee Lipniskis: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes. Yes.

Wendy Marvin: Well, and total segue into what I was going to make a point of is just that I think we're in this new phase where we're sexy again, and-

Steve Little: I've wanted to make roofing sexy for years, and now people are... I've been in three different conversation, you're the fourth [inaudible 00:16:31]. It's like, we have to make roofing sexy. We have to attract people to our market. We have to attract companies to want to pay attention to us. So you were saying that you were segueing into a...

Wendy Marvin: Oh, I just talking about, so we're getting noticed, which is good. But when you're in early adoption of being noticed, what happens is you get flooded. And I think we're in a flood phase of tech and I feel like what happens in that world is that they come in and they want to get so fast to market with a product that they don't put the time and energy into all of them, and I'm using this loosely. They don't put the time and energy into making sure they worked correctly. So they may have an API where they talk to each other, but they're dumping garbage into both systems, or they don't have an API at all.

We still have people that are like, "No, my system is my system." And it's like when you get to Steve's level and you've got three different systems [inaudible 00:17:22].

Steve Little: Oh, please.

Kristina Hill: You can only imagine.

Wendy Marvin: No, but listen, that was one of my most profound first RT3 meetings was we went to KPost and I was just like... he was all shiny and I was like, "I want to be Steve when I grow up," and all these things and we got there.

Steve Little: I'm going to have to leave this. This is terrible.

Wendy Marvin: And we got there though.

Steve Little: I'm flattered. Thank you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's a highlight.

Wendy Marvin: And he was so amazing, but also experiencing the exact same problem I was having, which is tech doesn't talk to each other and he's got extra people to bring all of those data from all three of those things into the parent company to try to figure out financials as an owner.

Steve Little: Well, to listen to you talk about starting your company and your first thought is efficiency. So we were plugging people, you're right, into this. So I'm going-

Wendy Marvin: For production.

Steve Little: A little history lesson. But I'm thinking, do you remember Richard Rusk? He held the pole up for GPS, and he had the... I think it was a Blackberry.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, I do remember that.

Steve Little: He was doing assessments on the roof and he sold at it. And roofers bought it like the cows were coming in, it was great. Daryl Maronic had a roofing company, he started Dataforma, he was really one of the first trailblazers that went out here to try to become more efficient because his roofers or his staff were spending so much time doing things.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Because he had the pain and he needed to fix it. Yeah, he had the pain point.

Steve Little: And then it just keeps going. Well, today there are two really cool things happening. Brad Belden created a partnership with Salesforce, one of the leading CRMs in the world, and they built Osby, which is incorporating all sorts of project management, it has all sorts of connectivity to Sage and to the edge and a lot of different things that are out there. Greg Walling, he created FollowUp and he incorporated a project management tool in there. These are roofers, but to have somebody like a Belden to get Salesforce involved. Or Ken Kelly, he went and got Microsoft, and Microsoft Dynamics we went out there for RT3.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's what I'm doing with mine, yeah.

Steve Little: And they built the program for the roofing industry.

Lee Lipniskis: Jesse Wells.

Steve Little: Oh, Jesse Wells with that...

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know.

Steve Little: So when you see that kind of integration coming into our industry, you know we're a hot market, you know we're somewhere there. And to see the contractors reach out to Microsoft, to Salesforce, those type of things and create partnerships it's... I want to be 40.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. I want to live this again.

Steve Little: I do, I want to do it again with all this knowledge.

Kristina Hill: In a couple of years you'll be 40. You'll get there.

Steve Little: You're way too sweet.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. Okay. So-

Steve Little: Let's get back to where we're...

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We're going to go a little bit on the other side, which I think is really important. So Steve, I want to start with you. What are the biggest pain points right now for contractors in the industry?

Steve Little: You hear a lot and it's good because we need to have those checks and balances because we all have contracts we signed. As you start to go into the commercial business, you're going to find the contracts for commercial are a lot different. The regulatory on commercial, it's a lot different, and the pressure is a lot different. So they say labor, but labor's starting to get a little organized. We're going to talk a little bit later about education programs and apprenticeship programs and things like that that are coming to the market, so I'll wait to talk about then. This is kind of funny, but I forgot the question.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Oh, pain points.

Wendy Marvin: Pain points for the industry.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: No, you were going, you were good.

Steve Little: So pain points. Regulatory. [inaudible 00:20:40]. Regulatory. Okay.

Lee Lipniskis: Changes in that.

Steve Little: OSHA three years ago, and I learned this at the National Roofing Partners leadership event we had on Monday that United Rentals spoke, and you think, "Oh, here comes United Rentals. Dennis is going to get up here and start talking about all the equipment and they're going to sell you better and service you better." Not at all. Three years ago, OSHA put things in to affect equipment that we own, that are mandates, that now the OSHA inspectors are going out, and not just getting you for the things that are important by getting our men and women back home, so there are fall protections in place, ladders are tied off.

But they're not looking at equipment. And so that's like, "Oh, wait a second. That's a part of regulatory I didn't expect to be in place." Under the new administration, they've hired 87,000 IRS agents. So I don't know if you remember, but during the Obama administration-

Wendy Marvin: It makes my head hurt.

Steve Little: ... there were 600 construction companies that got audited for I-9. Now we're going to have the IRS coming in and doing audits, and none of this has to do anything with roofing, it has to do with running a day-to-day business.

Wendy Marvin: It's more challenges for us as owners as well.

Steve Little: So I could spout out the common things we're hearing, the material shortage, raw materials, all those kind of things. I'm telling you, regulatory is a big deal. It's a big deal.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Wow. That's it then. No one had brought that up yet.

Wendy Marvin: No. And this is why we sit in these circles, I'm just like, I love this stuff.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Pain points.

Wendy Marvin: I am really... It's all the same stuff, it's labor, it's material... and it's been interesting to meet some of the people in here that the people, excuse me, of the communications that are going on out there and that people are like, "I don't even know what tech is." Excuse me. "I don't know how to hire people. I don't know. I always have a job description that looks like this. I don't even know how to think about something different

Steve Little: The way you did business yesterday is not how you're going to be doing business five years from now. Listen to me when I tell you dinosaurs, they will pass you up.

Wendy Marvin: Dinosaurs run you over.

Steve Little: And your competition.... We have a couple of competitors in this marketplace, and we're pretty strong in this marketplace. We have a couple of competitors that are younger than Keith and Jane and I, and they're doing some really great things and they're innovative. So I'm telling you, I'm scared of you all. I'm glad on one side of it that I'm in the fourth quarter of my career. But on the other side of it, I'm excited because we're becoming more efficient, we have to pay attention to our business world.

Wendy Marvin: There's the part.

Steve Little: It is, we have to pay attention to every aspect of our business now.

Wendy Marvin: And I worry. I worry as we... So we're running, we're taking off on the run, which is great. We're growing, we're changing, we've got tech, we've got all these things. I'm worried we're going to lose quality. I'm worried we're losing the craftsmanship of the people who came up through the world as... Because people are opening roofing businesses that have never been a roofer before. And they do that with me all the time, "Oh yeah, babe, have you been on the roof?"

"Well, yeah, actually I have."

But the attention to quality, the attention to detail, I just want to help keep that all in place while we continue running.

Lee Lipniskis: But that is also a differentiator, the companies that do have the quality.

Wendy Marvin: Quality [inaudible 00:23:53].

Steve Little: So let me just add one more thing. The Frankenstein that happened during the material shortage where you're putting Carlisle's ISO with JM's material on top of it.

Wendy Marvin: The Frankenstein roofs.

Steve Little: The Frankenstein roofs. Mark Graham at the NRCA has warned us.

Wendy Marvin: Yep. We're in trouble.

Steve Little: And Trent Courtney has warned us, our industry attorney, he's made it very clear that five, maybe 10 years from now, the people be knocking on your door. There're going to be ambulance chasing lawyers. They're going to know that these systems are in place and they're going to come after you. Hell, they do it. Now in the school systems, there are lawyers that starting in San Antonio, Texas, it has gotten all the way up to Dallas and they've brought consultants on the roof so that they can cut out and do court cuts in the roof to see if the assemblies are right or things like that. It's like they're looking for something.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: They are.

Steve Little: We've created a Frankenstein situation because we all wanted to stay in business and the manufacturers approved it. So whoever the top five manufacturers are-

Wendy Marvin: But they didn't always approve it in writing.

Steve Little: Thank you.

Wendy Marvin: That's the other side of it.

Steve Little: Our employees don't work for us if they didn't get their submittals approved in writing from the manufacturer, and that's part of the stuff that you get in the commercial business, it's a lot of paper trail.

Wendy Marvin: They told me it was okay.

Steve Little: It can be digital. It's okay for it to be digital, but they just need to have it. So I think, sorry to be so talkative, but I think Frankenstein's going to be a problem.

Wendy Marvin: Oh, go ahead.

Kristina Hill: Sorry. So with something like that where if you're a larger company and you do have some lawsuits that come after you or whatever, if you're a larger company, you can take, maybe a couple-

Wendy Marvin: You can navigate a couple of those.

Kristina Hill: But when you're a brand new company, that will put you out of business. So that's scary to me too.

Steve Little: So work with your surety company first if it's a bonded job. And also work with your insurance group. And maybe get some catastrophic put in place, it's very affordable.

Wendy Marvin: Almost.

Steve Little: Yeah, it's almost like DNA to our clients. But get some insurance put together for something catastrophic, something that is a force majeure, something that's not... nothing that you could possibly expect to happen.

Wendy Marvin: Do you mean kind of like COVID?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, right.

Steve Little: Well we actually had, in our captive, we had business interruption, and we are just getting paid for the claim in the business interruption.

Kristina Hill: And that's why when you come to places like this and you learn about that, it will pay for itself-

Wendy Marvin: Now it's on your radar

Kristina Hill: ... time and time again. But if you're sitting at home trying to run your company, you don't learn about this. You don't know about it, so-

Wendy Marvin: It's when you get kicked in the teeth when you get the service letter.

Kristina Hill: But it's important to connect and to learn this stuff because as business owners, you don't know everything. And there's no way that you can until you're learning from others with experience.

Wendy Marvin: I will throw one more word of caution out is the board of directors. So we just had an instance where we have a condo association. I have condo coverage, I have specific for... my insurance agents are amazing. And the board got inspected. The attorney group came in and said, "We've been hired by a owner to come in and inspect your properties." So they inspected the properties, they didn't find issue, but the board refused to hire them to finish the full inspection, and they sued the board. They sued the board of a director for not doing their fiduciary duty because they're at that six-year window.

So the legalities, they're out there, they're the raptors. So we've got all that great attention. We're also getting this other attention, so we've got to be careful.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, people coming in. Okay. No, you're good but I want to keep... because there's different pain points, which we're kind of talking about. So what are you seeing?

Kristina Hill: I would kind of say what I mentioned a little bit before is the ability to weed through the information to find the correct information. Because we are so digital and so online, everybody has a voice and you don't necessarily always know that it's the correct information that you're getting or where to go to find the right information or just along those lines is being new and not having the background in this industry. I'm relying on other people to learn from them, and I'm not always given the best information or the correct information, so that's a major paid point for me.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's really good to know because that's one of the things we try to do. We try to bring the information, we try to bring these voices and all these things because you need people who are, it's not about a competitor or about getting your business, you just want...

Kristina Hill: The industry as a whole.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Whole. Right.

Wendy Marvin: Best practices. Best practices.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Lee, how about you?

Lee Lipniskis: I'm going to be honest, I don't have any pain points right now because I have 16 years of experience in this industry, it's my 10th IRE, I've met wonderful people like you and Steve, and I have a-

Steve Little: Wendy.

Wendy Marvin: Yeah, don't worry about me.

Lee Lipniskis: I looked at both of you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: He was [inaudible 00:28:25].

Lee Lipniskis: I have these arrows in my quiver of people who I can call if I have an issue phone when I-

Steve Little: You phone a friend.

Lee Lipniskis: When I phone a friend all of the time. So with where I am in my business and the growth, I don't have a pain point. I have great people in my back pocket to help me through those. So I don't have the same struggles yet. I hope one day I will be a Steve Little and have those struggles, but maybe in like two years. You did it very quickly.

Steve Little: That's right.

Lee Lipniskis: So right now it's just I'm very, very fortunate to be in the industry for a while and get to know people like yourselves, all three of you, and have you in my pocket. And then Kristina. Kristina and I met a year ago? No. Oh my gosh, we just met in person in December for the first time.

Kristina Hill: Yeah, in person.

Lee Lipniskis: Online, right? And we have now a group of women business owners around the country, and we text almost every single day about-

Wendy Marvin: We have chats. I love it.

Lee Lipniskis: ... what's going on and...

Kristina Hill: Sometimes at 5:30 in the morning when we should not be.

Wendy Marvin: I turned off my notifications for that group. We're all up too early.

Lee Lipniskis: I had 53 missed text messages at 6:00 AM from other women business owners, and we were talking [inaudible 00:29:44] business, we were talking commissions-

Wendy Marvin: Contracts.

Lee Lipniskis: ... and insurance and subcontracts, and all of this. And so I'm definitely in the honeymoon phase, which I hope continues for a long time, but I cannot say that I don't really have pain points right now.

Kristina Hill: And don't discredit yourself because you put in that work exactly prior to starting your business and you filled those seats at your table to help you be successful. You did that.

Lee Lipniskis: That's true.

Steve Little: They're smarter than us.

Wendy Marvin: I know. I'm like I just love it. [inaudible 00:30:14].

Lee Lipniskis: I did. I took a lot of time before this.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. You do a lot beyond the roof. You're doing a lot the exteriors and everything. And Kristina, I think you do too. But I'm curious, and material shortage. I know everybody's tired of it, but I want... because we're going to compare this to yesterday, I want to know what are you seeing on material? What are you having a hard time getting and what do you see on material shortage?

Lee Lipniskis: Yeah. So for me, I do residential, exterior, a lot of asphalt shingles, and I also have an OC plant in my town, and I use OC for the most part, I don't really have a roofing material shortage, but I also do siding and I do windows, and that is still... if you want upgraded windows, you're looking at like 22 to 32 weeks out. Siding. I'm doing a steel siding house and I had to order it from Canada because they don't have it anywhere in the US, so it's being freed in from Canada and that's not going to get here until middle of May. And so there's shortage.

But I'm finding that people will wait, they are not... we, as the younger generation, we're very much now, we want it instant. Amazon has made us that way, I think. And so we're finding that if you set the proper expectation, people will wait. They'll wait for you, they trust in you, and they want a good product. So even with that shortage, it has not affected my business at all. But it's out there. It's still there.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, it is there. How are you seeing

Kristina Hill: Very similar that it's more the delays than really the shortage issues. And we have right great relationships with every supplier that's in our town of... and have accounts at each of them and have been very fortunate that if we can't get something at one place, I can get it at the next one. We did have some time period where we were selling the colors of shingles instead of the actual brand because it was hard [inaudible 00:32:07]. "Which one do you want here? Which one do you want?"

And I will give major shout out to the suppliers. We had the ISO issue, but got on the phone with our suppliers and instead of them just saying, "Sorry, we don't have it," hang up, they took it upon themselves to make many, many, many phone calls to other branches and other people and really get it sorted out for us. And we got material from Kansas that was already available. It was already booked, but they didn't need it. Just really moving mountains because the suppliers understood that this is our livelihood as well. And we're a smaller company, like I said, but it's so cool to see that recognition from the other people.

Wendy Marvin: But you did that by the relationship [inaudible 00:32:47].

Kristina Hill: Yes, the relationships that you have, for sure. But really recently, same thing, as long as you are communicating to the homeowners, and don't just wait till week 17 of an 18-week delay to say, "Hey, we're ready to go," follow up every four weeks. "Hey, nothing's changed. We're still on track." That's what they want. They just want to be kept [inaudible 00:33:05].

Wendy Marvin: Communication, yeah.

Lee Lipniskis: And I've got to say really quick, I don't know how it was in your states, but Colorado during that time where we couldn't find material for anything, we banded together as owners and bartered and traded. And I don't know if you guys did that in Texas and Washington, but it was so cool to see you talking to your competitor and saying, "Hey, I have this, I have that," to not have the Frankenstein roof. And I feel like-

Wendy Marvin: To support each other.

Steve Little: And that's how we got the Frankenstein roofs.

Lee Lipniskis: Oh, god.

Steve Little: Because this person had Firestone and this person had JM and somebody else had this, and so that's how we... because we had to build the roofs.

Lee Lipniskis: It was really cool to see those egos checked at the door and just all of us owners helping everyone else out and trying to stay. Because we were essential, but our material was so backed up. So I just wanted to mention [inaudible 00:33:53] how wonderful this industry is in that regard.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Material shortages for you. You do a lot, the whole exteriors too.

Wendy Marvin: A ton of resi, yeah. Windows are [inaudible 00:34:03] right now. It's really hard. I liked what we did initially was we really narrowed our color selection offerings. We haven't come back from that, I'm not going to lie. So you really don't get offered a green roof and we're not doing the whole color portfolio. And I just think we got gun shy because then once they pick an abnormal color, then you've got to make 20 phone calls and then they might have 10 square. And so we just kind of moved away from that [inaudible 00:34:27].

Steve Little: Different color batches and...

Wendy Marvin: Yeah. And I think what's going to be interesting is to watch what the manufacturers do with that because maybe we don't need 25 color choices. Maybe we really do need to cut back that, which they would love. And then yeah, we're still smaller things every now and then, fasteners have been a little bit of an issue, but we're still... I've been around 15 years, so I've got the buying power a little bit to buy a pallet of something or two pallets or something. So yeah, that's helpful. To get things delivered on the roof at times is a bit of a challenge, but it's so much better, so much better.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: What are you seeing?

Steve Little: Well, what I have not heard this show was unprecedented. If I heard that word one more time-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thank god.

Steve Little: "Unprecedented in the entire history of our company." And then you go look at all of the public companies 10-Qs and see how much money they made through this whole process. Not that I'm angry, I'm not going to hold anybody accountable, but-

Wendy Marvin: Yeah, prices aren't coming back down either, so that's true.

Steve Little: So the industry waited for this for a long time. In the 20 years that I've been in it, there were people who would do price increases once a year and it would be like Southwest Airlines and Delta. And somebody said, "I'm going up $5 to see." The other person said, "I'm going up $5." But Americans said, "I'm going down $2," and everybody would drop back down, just to give an example. No antitrust, no recessions going on.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I was going to say you'll get a little careful talking about pricing.

Steve Little: We're not doing any antitrust. But in reference to supply, we brought in over $4 million worth of inventory over the time period by Frankensteining and doing whatever. If somebody had a truck, a distributor truck, a manufacturing truck, somebody canceled, we took it on. And it changed the way we looked at the business. We narrowed our selection. We offered six roofing systems, three of them with lightweight, three of them with rigid insulation, two of them in single ply, two of them in modified. And that's all we sold.

And it has been amazing. The specifiers agreed to the changes, architects, consultants, et cetera because we were able to lock in the pricing during a quarter of a period. "So if you want to wait 22 weeks and get your product, go ahead and do it. I can't guarantee the price can and I can't guarantee it's actually going to come in. But if you'll switch to one of these six systems..." So what it's done for us, Heidi, and for a lot of my friends in the industry, we now are carrying inventory. So we're going to carry $2 million in inventory as a company, that's about a one-month supply of our billings for that, and for that one purpose because it's uncertain, not unprecedented, but uncertain where the industry's going.

Wendy Marvin: Yeah. Still a little rock...

Heidi J. Ellsworth: When you think about it, when you do a comparison... When I first started, everybody had their own warehouse. Everybody was bringing in and warehousing and [inaudible 00:37:05].

Steve Little: Controlling their destiny, buying the product down.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And then over the years, everybody just in time delivery, just in time [inaudible 00:37:09].

Steve Little: Toyota, just in time... They did.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And they got rid of their warehouses and now everybody's bringing them back because they're like, "We're not going to get caught that way again." So I'm glad you brought that up. It's really interesting to see.

Steve Little: There's been so many paradigm shifts in our industry over the last 18 months. Now you've got to train contractors to think about, "Well, wait a second, you can flip," I don't mean it disrespectfully, "but you can navigate the system," number one. And because of the change in the warranties, there's now a program that people... catastrophic insurance policies are on warranties. They're covered by Citibank, Zurich, Lloyd's of London.

Wendy Marvin: Same.

Steve Little: So you have a situation that contractors are trying to take control of their destiny because they lived through COVID, they lived through supply chain. Why not live through that same situation with warranties? And I know I've talked to a couple of manufacturers, and I know my phone's going to ring after this because all of them watch your program.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I hope so. They better be.

Steve Little: But you're asking about trends, and you're asking about-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, and that's what I was going to say, that's a trend-

Steve Little: ... supply chain.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... that's what's going to happen.

Steve Little: I'll bet you, yesterday when you had the suppliers here, they didn't talk about contractors controlling their destiny.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: No, they did not. No, they did not.

Wendy Marvin: Because that terrifies them.

Kristina Hill: Did you back off of offering only those six roof systems or simplifying your business, or are you kind of expanding that now?

Steve Little: Okay. Great question. We're probably up to 10 because distribution is getting full again. In fact, during the show, when you ask the manufacturers how things go, and they're going, "Well, I'm not sure, we're at full capacity,," and the distributors now are full capacity, and so the spring orders that they normally were shipping, they're not shipping right now. And so there's kind of a wait and see. We believe the market's going to be strong second, third, and fourth quarter. But they're saying it's because in different areas of the country, it's not coming back as strong. California, they're having rain, they're not roofing right now. There's snow.

Wendy Marvin: We've got weird weather things going on. Tell me. [inaudible 00:39:00].

Heidi J. Ellsworth: This is to say that really the weather was Q1.

Steve Little: It's affecting it. Q1 is kind of affecting it. Then now Q2, while all these distributors have inventory, so I'm suggesting to the manufacturers, "Maybe you need to take on some inventory like the contractors did, and you build some warehouses and you put some stuff into it because if we're going to be as busy in three and four as they say we're going to be, then we don't need you running out of ship." Oops. Excuse me. FTC, is there a 7-second delay? Oh, sorry. [inaudible 00:39:29]. We're passionate about our business, so.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's okay. Let's talk about, I want to make sure too that we get to that next topic because I know we kind of talked about at the beginning that the labor shortage and what we're doing on the labor front, and really interesting when you were talking about crews. We're seeing crews being used more and more and more, and where, seriously, 20 years ago it was all employer W-2s, but-

Steve Little: Well, this is one of those unprecedented situations that are transpiring, that has the NRCA and other associations really worried because we fought against this. If you weren't brick and mortar, you didn't have trucks, you didn't put your own stuff down, you didn't control your safety, then you weren't really a roofer. Really, that was that. There was a number of organizations that came out, Roof Connect came out, NRP came out, those companies, and they were all deemed brokers, but they really aren't because if you look at the business, we're paying by the square instead of paying by the hour. If you have them provide the same insurance, if you take them through your safety program, if you put your own personnel on site while they're doing the work, you're paying by the square instead by the hour.

Jason Stanley at IB has a company called Labor Central, and he is trying to professionalize that side of the business. And I love what he's doing. I told him, and I'll tell him to his face and publicly, "I hate what you're doing because you're putting people in business that we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on safety. We spend millions of dollars on trucks and equipment all the time, and you're allowing people to get in business that you can say are as good as," because he's promoting pro certification. So he is professionalizing that industry, and is going to affect our business one way or another.

Now we use subs, we use them on non-occupied buildings or we use them on projects that we're doing at night. We don't use them on live buildings.

Wendy Marvin: Lower risk.

Steve Little: But two of the three subs that we use, were superintendents of ours who created business, so they're like KPost companies. But that isn't an ongoing-

Wendy Marvin: But that's a trusted provider.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's a total change in the industry.

Wendy Marvin: And it scares me. It scares me because you as an owner, you are still liable. And that's the thing that they don't realize, it's like, "Oh yeah, you can use all these subs and they did the, 'Well, I didn't do the ref, you did.' You are the contract. If they don't pay their taxes, you pay it. If they don't do L&I right, they don't do safety right, you could be fined." And that's what we're seeing, OSHA's going after that.

Steve Little: OSHA now has said, because the industry's going to subs, OSHA's now changing some of their association and it's guilt by association, the fine goes to them and to you.

Lee Lipniskis: Oh absolutely, yeah. Colorado's that way.

Steve Little: And the fines just moved to $15,000 a pop.

Wendy Marvin: Our fines in Washington are exponential, six years, look back.

Steve Little: Oh my goodness.

Wendy Marvin: So if you've had a safety glasses violation in the last six years and you've had two of those, and then you do get a real fine, you're in deep doodle. And I worry about that because again, we're in that production, we're doing it, we're hurrying, we want to get going. And this is a great way to do it, and it's great, except we need to be the voices of reasons that kind of slow things down a little bit and say, "Okay, if you're going to use subs, that's great, but here are the things you need to talk to... Number one, first and foremost, talk to Trent. Just get a hold of a good legal and get your paperwork figured out."

Steve Little: So, Heidi?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes.

Steve Little: I hate to do this to you, but we started late and I'm speaking at two o'clock.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. So hold on. Hold on.

Steve Little: So I just wanted to give you a two-minute warning.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. We're going to get a wrap-up, I knew this. So real quick, labor, because I was [inaudible 00:42:56].

Wendy Marvin: And you've got to walk there too.

Steve Little: It's just right there.

Kristina Hill: Yes, we use subs, but kind of like you were saying, they have to be trusted subs if they're going to be on your jobs because it's my name on that project. It's my company's name, and because we are newer, if I have a job fail or something happened, my company will suffer greatly from that. Yes. So we did go through a period where we had to interview subs and look at their work and really talk to our suppliers too, to get the information from them, "Who's certified? Who do you recommend?" And go that route instead of just taking somebody's card who comes up to me at the Casey's gas station and says, "Hey, I'm a crew. Can I work for you?"

Wendy Marvin: "Hey, lady, do you need a roofer?"

Kristina Hill: Yeah. It happens all the time. All the time.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: So are you having a hard time or do you have your crews in line?

Kristina Hill: We have our crews in line, which we're very, very grateful for. I am having an issue with gutter crews at the moment. It is so hard to come by a good gutter crew. That's where I'm seeing the [inaudible 00:43:54] right now.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. So if you're out there, you're looking-

Kristina Hill: We need gutter crews.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Gutter crews. Gutter crews. And you have a good gutter crew, I heard.

Lee Lipniskis: I have a great gutter crew.

Wendy Marvin: She's amazing.

Lee Lipniskis: The thing about being in the industry for so long and then starting your company, I've had that availability to subcontractors already who I've known my roofers, I've watched their kids grow up, so I have that relationship with them already. My gutter crew, the same thing. My painting crew, it was a cousin of the guy that I knew 10 years ago, and so that's amazing. And I'm very fortunate in that to have that relationship with them. But I have a really great siding crew now, and I met them at a supplier's training.

So I went to a siding training and that's where I met my subcontractor. And I had talked to him prior and just happened to see this person and thinking, I feel like you're my sub, because I hadn't used them yet. And I met him and I was like, "This is amazing. If you are taking the time to learn about a product more and I'm doing the same thing-"

Wendy Marvin: That's a good place. Training.

Lee Lipniskis: "... I want to work with you because you care about how it's installed."

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And this is probably pretty obvious, but I'm going to know this is a new way that's happening right here [inaudible 00:45:07] the barrier to entry into roofing because this is making it possible for all these brilliant young entrepreneurs to come in and do things different than we are.

Steve Little: And they're out marketing us old dogs and the buyers are becoming younger, and so they relate to you. And so there's a transition. The consulting business is the same thing. The consultants that started years ago, 20, 25 years ago are now retiring and the next group that's coming through is younger, but the hold that they have on accounts is going away, and you guys are doing a great job of coming into market.

Kristina Hill: Thank you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And it's really as it should be, right? It is as it should be.

Steve Little: There's supposed to be a generational change, some of us stay in this too long.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: This is what is happening.

Wendy Marvin: But I just want to be the baby. I just don't want to go back to where I was the baby sitting with these guys.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We have to get Steve to his next speaking engagement.

Steve Little: Yeah, I'm really sorry about that, but we started a little behind.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know. And so what I'm going to just do final around is just 2023. What are you most excited about this year? What's happening? What are you looking forward to? And I am going to say one thing, I saw you, Steve, seeing this. This is what I'm excited about. I'm excited about the Para Latinos and everything that's on there.

Steve Little: Oh, yeah. Just great.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And so I'm putting that one out there.

Wendy Marvin: And that lounge is just packed, it's so fun.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: The inclusiveness and diversity to me... Sorry, I probably just took your thunder, I didn't mean to, but I'm so excited about it.

Wendy Marvin: In a world we need it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Steve, we'll start with you in case you try to escape.

Steve Little: Good. And then I could leave.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes.

Steve Little: Okay. Thank you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: What are you most excited about?

Steve Little: I think in 2023 that I see solar becoming more integrated into our business commercially as well as through the residential side of the business. But I'm really concerned that solars are renegade, you've got a selling group that's selling it and they pass it off to somebody else to go install it, and you're tied to electricians and city permits and all sorts of things. We've got to be careful that we don't put a blemish on the roofing industry because we have a bunch of renegades out here selling solar. So that's what I see going forward on that end of it.

I think we're going to have a blip on the interest rates. I think the interest rates are going to stay up. So for some of us that have credit lines and things like that, it's going to affect our pricing. For people that don't have the same type of debt or have the same breadth of company that we might have, they're going to be a competitive advantage. So we have to watch our margins along those lines.

And I also think we have to be careful of not just the blue collar labor that we have, but we've got to be careful of losing our white collar labor because our interior companies are aging and they're leaving the industry, they're retiring. And if we don't continue to make our business sexy, we're going to not be able to recruit people.

Wendy Marvin: Reatin talent, yeah.

Steve Little: And listening to Chris yesterday in our keynote address, I'm going to plug in for the NRCA IRE, you need to come to the next one, our keynote addresses are awesome, and you always take away a nugget. Every one of them we've had a nugget to take away. Even when Charlotte Jones was here from the Cowboys and she gave some great information.

Lee Lipniskis: That was wonderful.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That was awesome.

Steve Little: It was inspiring.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It was good.

Steve Little: So thank you for letting me be part of your panel [inaudible 00:48:16] I'm sorry I've got to go run.

Wendy Marvin: It was so fun.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: But thank you. And thank you for presenting and thank you for everything you do. Thank you for being an influencer.

Wendy Marvin: It's awesome.

Steve Little: Love you, man.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thank you.

Steve Little: Bye, ladies.

Lee Lipniskis: Bye.

Kristina Hill: Bye, Steve. [inaudible 00:48:27].

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay, Wendy?

Steve Little: Okay, fine.

Wendy Marvin: I am just feeling like 2023 is just going to be filled. We're going to blow right through it. I don't feel like I'm worried about recession or those kinds of things. I think our industry is strong and needed and all those things. I'm worried about, again, back to that there's so much money to be made, and I think that companies that are good companies like these two ladies sitting here and myself, we just need to be sure we're being protected as we go, and looking out for each other and sharing contract language.

And that's part of what I'm so excited about some of these things that are innovative that are coming out is you used to have to email and phone a friend and try to set up a meeting and all these things. And now it's just like, "Hey, I have a contract, let me send it to you, and let's figure this out." And I just want us to continue to be respectful and respected. And as we continue on this breakneck pace, I don't think we're really going to slow down until mid 2024, I really feel... and listening, I listen so much with those groups, I just don't see us slowing down.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Do you feel that for both residential and commercial?

Wendy Marvin: Yeah. I think residential is probably going to be big, but it's just scary because again, I've been the one that had the papers served and I was like, "Oh my god, I didn't even know this was an issue." And I'm so thankful we have that protection now, but now there's new threats out there. I just feel like there's a lot of lions in the field here and we just got to figure out how to protect each other and keep the good companies going. Because the fast track... the guys that sit in our meetings and say, "I don't care how I install a roof because I charge so much, I can put three roofs on," I hope they go away and that the rest of us that are left at the end of it are going to be good.

Lee Lipniskis: I swallowed wrong.

Wendy Marvin: That's all right.

Kristina Hill: You're fine.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Kristina, let's talk about yours.

Kristina Hill: Yeah, so I think similar to what Heidi was saying, I am so excited to be a part of the roofing industry right now and we're seeing some phenomenal change. I've heard time and time again, I've seen so many women here, there's so many faces here. How cool is it that this is my first experience, my first IRE, to see that? 500 women at NWIR day is phenomenal. That's so great. And what have they said? There's 0.5% of women make up the construction industry?

Wendy Marvin: 3%.

Kristina Hill: And I think-

Wendy Marvin: 3% of women and then 0.5 are owner or something [inaudible 00:50:47].

Kristina Hill: I feel like all of them are here right now, honestly.

Wendy Marvin: And then how empowering is that, and how amazing? Yeah.

Kristina Hill: Because we've all laughed. So many of us said, "I'd never thought I would be a contractor." But how many little girls now and daughters are seeing this change and really what's going to happen down the road? And so the growth is so exciting for me just to see what that looks like for the next year as we can really pour into and develop this next generation. That's what I'm most excited about.

Obviously as a business owner, I'm excited for the growth that we're seeing in the residential markets and the new construction that's happening and the growth on that side of things. And really just growing my business and getting into the commercial world. Commercial scares me a little bit because all the regulations and everything that's happening, but I think I have enough people, enough seats at my table to fill with the correct people that we do it the right way.

Wendy Marvin: You're so smart. You'll ask the right questions.

Kristina Hill: But the opportunity is there for people like me who are wanting that opportunity and wanting to do it the right way. That's what's exciting.

Lee Lipniskis: And it hasn't always been that way. There were times, believe it or not, where companies in a town would actually-

Kristina Hill: A brand that is quality focused is huge because not everybody does that.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. That's so true. Lee, take us home.

Lee Lipniskis: Yeah, I will take you home. (singing). [inaudible 00:52:15].

Wendy Marvin: We sang that last night, I'm just going to say.

Lee Lipniskis: I'm excited. Very similar, right? I love how many women were at the event on Sunday. Steve was talking about, I think it was Brad Belden is maybe going to do something for the fathers and daughters. I can't wait to see the mothers and daughters. I feel like we are so close to that right now to where it's like, "Oh, you're taking over the company for your dad?"

"No, I'm taking over my mom's company."

Wendy Marvin: Right, exactly.

Lee Lipniskis: So I'm really excited to see how that changes in our industry going forward. Personally, I'm excited for growth and evolution, and 2023 is going to be amazing. I've told you guys before that I manifested something on New Year's Eve and it's really coming to fruition. But I'm excited to see growth, women in the industry, diversity just in and of itself. And I feel like last year was really heavy on new construction started, but we couldn't get materials to do that and now we have them. And so I feel like 2023 is going to be a big build year for that because now we have the materials coming in and so things are going to be-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: [inaudible 00:53:25]. This has been so much fun. And Steve, thank you. He's not here anymore. Fun. Thank you all. Coffee Conversations. I'm telling you what, this is so great. So the next Coffee Conversations is going to be back at our regular format and it's going to be on Roofing Day, which we didn't even talk about here [inaudible 00:53:41].

Lee Lipniskis: And today's International Women's Day. Did you know that? [inaudible 00:53:45].

Heidi J. Ellsworth: There's so much going on. So we will be back in two weeks with Coffee Conversations. We're going to be here the rest of the show, we have more interviews. Megan Ellsworth is playing at three o'clock in the [inaudible 00:54:00]. And we also have interviews all day tomorrow. So stay with us. We are live from Dallas, Texas, and we'll keep bringing you the International Roofing Expo and all the great stuff. So we'll see you next time.

Wendy Marvin: Love it.

Lee Lipniskis: Bye.



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