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Deborah Mazol - Roofing Day 2023 Making a Difference - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Deborah Mazol - Roofing Day 2023 Making a Difference
March 15, 2023 at 2:04 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Deborah Mazol from the National Roofing Contractors Association. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Speaker 1: Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi Ellsworth: Hello, and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from RoofersCoffeeShop. This is Heidi Ellsworth, and I am here today talking with some very, very amazing people who do something that a lot of folks can't do, and that is love politics. So we are here to talk today about Roofing Day and how important it is for all of us to be involved with the advocacy that is needed to help the roofing industry continue to expand and improve. I am thrilled to welcome Deborah Mazol with the NRCA. Deb, I'm so happy to have you here today. Thank you so much for coming on to Roofing Road Trips.

Deborah Mazol: Thanks, Heidi, and thanks for all you guys do to promote everything NRCA does, especially Roofing Day in DC, which, although NRCA is very involved, it's a roofing industry-wide event. So thank you again for having me. I'm Deb Mazol, as you said, I have been with NRCA since, gosh, July of 2020. I'm one of the few people that had a baby and got a new job during the pandemic, which is a lot of change in one month. But-

Heidi Ellsworth: Wow.

Deborah Mazol: ... before that, I spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill as a staffer, the chief of staff, a policy advisor. I also had the privilege of working for then Congressman Reid Ribble, and McKay Daniels was my chief of staff. So it still feels new for me because a lot of the NRCA staffers have been there 30 plus years, but it was a bit of a homecoming for me so it's been great. One of my main focuses here on the DC team with NRCA is to plan and execute our Roofing day in DC advocacy event.

Heidi Ellsworth: That's great. That's great. We're going to get to that because I think it's one of the best days of the year, as far as I'm concerned, in roofing. It makes you feel so great. But I'm also really excited to welcome a guest with Deb, and that is James Ellsworth, who some of you may know, he works with RoofersCoffeeShop, and this is, I think, your first Roofing Road Trip, right, James?

James Ellsworth: Second. The other one was-

Heidi Ellsworth: Second.

James Ellsworth: ... about Roofing Day a couple years ago.

Heidi Ellsworth: Okay. See? I'm predictable. There we go. Well, James, real quick, could you introduce yourself and just share with everybody a little bit of your interest in the politics?

James Ellsworth: Sure. I'm the chief of staff for RoofersCoffeeShop. My history is I used to work in the Oregon State Legislature as a staffer and a chief of staff. A little different than Capitol Hill, but still very interesting. I have a background in environmental politics in Oregon, so very excited to be involved with NRCA and going to Roofing Day and talking with congressional leaders.

Heidi Ellsworth: You're currently sitting on committees because RoofersCoffeeShop is a one voice member. So James, you're on the political action, ROOFPAC, and a couple other. Tell us what committees you're on with NRCA.

James Ellsworth: I'm on the Government Affairs Committee and also the PAC Committee. A lot of fun working with Deb and Duane and the team. So love to be involved and see what's happening with roofing in Washington and how we can continue to advance the priorities of the industry to our congressional leaders.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, I have to say, I have enjoyed so much, Deb, watching you and Terry and Duane work with James. When we were there in the fall, it happened to be Election Day. So James just could hardly stay away from all of you wanting to say, "Well, what do you think? What's happening? What's going on?" That was so cool.

James Ellsworth: Well, and Deb spoiled me. She gave me a little packet that was just wonderful of all her insights and her thoughts about what was happening. It was great.

Deborah Mazol: Yes, I gave you my stolen packet that I cribbed from somebody else, and I had the nerdy spreadsheet at the bar, and unfortunately I was overly confident in the Republican gains, and so James was delightfully coming to find me in the morning and ribbing me. So that was very fun. Depressing, but fun.

Heidi Ellsworth: Oh yeah, I think that was one of James' favorites day of the year, so there you go. Let's talk a little bit about Roofing Day. Deb, I say this, and I know probably a lot of people listening are like, "Heidi, you're always excited about a lot of different things," but I love Roofing Day. I almost got teary, we feel so proud to be in roofing speaking with all of our congressmen and women. But can you give a little bit of the history of Roofing Day and how it came about, and maybe just for everyone listening, what it is?

Deborah Mazol: Yeah, definitely. Thanks. Roofing Day was started in 2018 when Reid Ribble, then CEO, had a bright idea and said, "Okay guys, let's do a fly-in." A lot of associations do what are called fly-ins. What that means is folks come to Washington, DC, meet face-to-face with their members of Congress, attend briefings on different aspects of the industry, and also have a chance to meet with all different professionals industry-wide, whether it's manufacturers, contractors, communications professionals like yourself. You just all get together and it's a great one and a half day commitment. It's really valuable, I think, going in person to see your legislators and let them know about the issues facing you day in and day out. They're always happy to hear from us.

I know our group in particular, coming from my experience on the other side of [inaudible 00:05:21], we are one of the largest, the most professional and the most well-prepared. And that's the DC team, NRCA, that's our Roofing Day Advisory Committee. They make sure that the newest person to politics feels equipped to really tell the message, and it's a great message to tell. If we're not there telling it, somebody else is there telling their story, and unfortunately, these poor staffers have a million issues to worry about. So if you're not right in front of them at that time, they're just not going to know.

That's how it started in 2018. We had about 400 participants, which is very, very large. The average advocacy fly-in, according to some of our consultants, is about 150.

Heidi Ellsworth: Wow.

Deborah Mazol: So we blew that out of the water.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah.

Deborah Mazol: Yep. We've been running ever since. In 2019, we again had about 400 participants. Before 2020 happened, the pandemic had completely shut down the Capitol. If you guys remember, back at that point, when everything shut down was March 15th-ish, and that was almost a week or two before Roofing Day. So unfortunately we had to cancel that year. We picked up in 2020, we really pivoted, or 2021, to a virtual format, which allowed a lot more people to participate without having all the travel costs. We missed that in-person connection, but that's the best we could do that year.

Then last year we returned to in-person, where the Capital was a little bit restricted, but I'm happy to report that the Capital grounds are completely open. So you can grab coffee at the Dunkin' Donuts and spot legislators, you can track them down on the train and the Senate. It's completely open, which will lend itself to more offices being willing to meet in person. Last year we had about 34% of offices that wanted to meet virtually still because the Capital was still partially closed. This year our consultants are telling us it's been less than 5% are meeting virtually. So that's-

James Ellsworth: That's great.

Deborah Mazol: Chances are you're going to get an in-person meeting, which I'm happy about. I think it's very important.

Heidi Ellsworth: James, over the last couple years, you've done both virtual and in person, and that in person is a lot more impactful, don't you think?

James Ellsworth: I have to agree. It's just wonderful because being in person with the staffers, you have that connection. You have that time to really share your emotion. You can get a lot across on a virtual setup, but there's nothing like sitting down with them in person sliding issues across the table to them, they look at, they take their notes. It really makes a difference when you're able to be with them. Also, just you feel, I think, almost more prepared when you're there in person, you're walking through those halls, you feel that sense of importance when you're there. It really heightens the experience for you. It's not just another Zoom meeting that you're on, it's you're talking with the leaders of our country.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. Yeah. I found the same thing. It was great. One of the things that I truly love about the NRCA and what they do with the governmental affairs and with everything, is it's truly bipartisan. I can say that, coming from Oregon, that I love it because it's bipartisan and we talk about issues that are truly about roofing, and it is what helps the roofing industry. I think that's so important because, let's just be honest, there's a lot of bad press out there right now about the government. So to have the type of organization, like you said, Deb, I love that, that we're well known for being prepared and professional, that's what I've found the whole time. So tell us what the plan is, because it takes a lot of planning to make everyone look that professional. What is the plan for Roofing Day? Walk us through the schedule.

Deborah Mazol: Yeah, awesome. Thanks. Well, this year we've been really lucky to have even more involvement from our sponsors and our association and our one voice members. So it's going to feel, I think, a lot more this year, you're going to feel it as an industry-wide event, not just an NRCA directed industry event. So that I've been really happy about. Everything from more discussion on speakers, our Roofing Day Advisory Committee, of course, is involved in that heavily, but we also take recommendations from our Government Relations Committee, as well as really saying, "Hey, what do you think about this person and that person?" Really getting down in the specifics to make sure we have the best, well-rounded program that speaks to manufacturers, contractors, and everyone alike, not just to contractors or just to manufacturers.

So what we're going to do, the format's going to be very similar to last year. We're going to start around 4:00 PM on Tuesday, April 18th, and what we're going to do is we're going to do a brief technical training. All of our schedules, briefing materials, an automated thank you note you could send via email. All of that information is going to be on the same platform we used last year. It's really, really great. This year we have an app you can use on your phone if you prefer. So we'll just go through briefly how to work that. If you have any problems with getting your schedule or getting your link, or maybe you see a problem in your schedule, we'll have folks on hand just to help people answer those questions and make sure you have everything you need.

Then we'll move into advocacy training. What to say, how to say it, get to know them before you need them. Just very basic stuff that, honestly, we don't need to tell the roofing industry. They're always super professional and super polite and really good salesmen for the industry. We'll touch on that briefly and then go into our issues briefing, where Duane will lead discussion about the issues we've picked, which we'll go over, I think, a little bit later. Then we're going to do a mock congressional interview. We actually locked in Ellen Thorpe with NWiR to be the question pepper, to make Duane nervous and make sure that-

Heidi Ellsworth: Awesome.

Deborah Mazol: ... you're ready for those hard questions, whether it's, "Why don't you pay your workers more? Or, "Why should you get this tax incentive?" To really push back just in case you get a feisty staffer, and you'll be fully prepared to answer those questions. But I don't say that to scare anyone, but just to highlight that you will be prepared for all those questions.

We had a really great suggestion from our folks at GAF and ARMA to bring in former Assistant Administrator at EPA, Bill Wehrum. He was in the Bush Senior administration as well as the Trump administration, and so he's going to talk about his view of what the environmental regulatory, energy efficiency, sustainability side of things that he sees coming through the pike in the next year to help prepare our members for that. He still is highly involved in environmental law, and comes highly recommended. So we're excited to be able to get him.

Then we'll move to a cocktail reception, probably everyone's favorite part. We'll have good drinks and bites, and we'll be able to connect with our group that we're going to be going with the next day, maybe prepare little talking points, "Okay, you're going to lead this. I'm going to talk about this," to make sure everyone's prepared in that sense in their smaller groups.

Then we're going to kick off the morning with a breakfast and a keynote congressional speaker. We're hoping to get someone that will be able to discuss specifically one of our topics, whether it's a senator or member of Congress. We have those invites out now, so we'll see how it shakes out, but they will be able to specifically talk to career and technical education, workforce development, small business tax issues, or our third issue of Building Technologies Office at the DOE.

Then we're bringing back Bruce Mehlman again this year. He gives a good policy, political overview of what he sees coming, what national trends you have to be prepared for, and a really macro look at what's happening in intersection of politics and the economy. He is a consultant for Fortune 500 companies, political groups, things like that. So he's going to be really good.

Then we're bringing back the highly ranked chief of staff panel, and we have some great members locked in for that on the Democrat and Republican side, so that'll be great. Then we're going to head to Capitol Hill. You don't have to worry. You're going to get on a bus and we'll take you there, dropping you off at the Capitol for a really nice group picture. And then you'll do your congressional meetings. Then after your congressional meetings, you'll head back to the hotel and we will do another reception, just debrief and talk about what we saw, what worked, what didn't, and just have fellowship at the end of the day.

Heidi Ellsworth: That's great. It's a great schedule. I want to go back to what you said about people not being nervous. Everyone's nervous, Deb, I'm just going to tell you that right now. Everyone's nervous. Everyone's scared because you're going to go in and you're going to talk to either the staffers or the actual legislators. Really the training that you do and watching it from the stage, it really helped.

James, what were some of your perspectives from that, helping to train everybody and to how to speak? You already knew being on the other side of having people come to you all the time, but last year, how did that work for you?

James Ellsworth: It was really well done. When I was an organizer in environmental politics we did lobby days for the state level, and the professionalism, the depth of research that NRCA brings to the table to get people prepped and ready for it is just unparalleled. It was really great. Knowing what we're talking about, why we want to get there, and what it's going to do for the industry really helps fill that contextual barrier that some people, they just don't get with other organizations or other lobby groups. So it was really fulfilling to be able to feel that prepared. I'm really excited about this year's topics too, because, Deb, this is the first time we're actually talking about tax issues for a while, isn't it? And that's real exciting to me.

Deborah Mazol: Yeah. Yeah, me too. I think that says more about us than some of the actual topics, but...

Heidi Ellsworth: Tell us about these issues. Let's let everybody know, what are we going to be fighting for up on Capitol Hill?

Deborah Mazol: Awesome. Thanks, Heidi. Yeah, and thanks James for that good segue there. We're going to do tax issues for the first time since Roofing Day began. As I mentioned, we started in 2018, which was just after the major 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed. So at the time, there wasn't much appetite to do another big tax overhaul. We just did a lot of tax provisions. One of the first major tax overhauls, I think, since the '80s.

But what happened in the 2017 law to make it fit through a budget reconciliation process, which is a fancy way to say, you only need a simple majority in the Senate, but a lot of those provisions are expiring in December of 2025. So we want to make sure that the provisions that affect our members, specifically one that affects our pass-through entities, which is the 199A business deduction, what that provision did, when they lowered the corporate rate, which is going to be permanent, we wanted to make sure that pass-through businesses, which is about 75% of NRCA members, it's a lot of family businesses. It's LLCs, it's S corps, it's sole proprietorships' trust. What that said is they could deduct 20% of their qualified business income. There were guardrails put in place that said, "If you don't have employees, you can't take advantage of this." So it was very much directed at being able to invest further in your employees and further in your business, like capital expenditures. But this is going to expire even though the C corp rate that was lowered will stay the same.

Now, [inaudible 00:17:07] C corps, they're just not the majority of our members. So there is a bill out there, the Main Street Tax Certainty Act, and we're going to ask members of Congress to co-sponsor this piece of legislation. It's a bipartisan piece of legislation. Last Congress, it was widely supported, but it didn't quite get there. We want to set the groundwork now to make sure we can make this permanent in 2025. One of the benefits we have going in is the new chairman of the Ways and Means Committee was the lead sponsor of this bill in the last Congress. So we're hopeful that if we can make a little noise about it, hopefully we can at least have a hearing about the topic and get people informed this year.

James Ellsworth: Deb, I'm so excited about this one, because it is a strictly bipartisan issue here. To me, I see this as an equity issue. We have these family run businesses who are going to be treated differently than the big corporations. To me, I think that is a really strong argument we can make, and I'm really excited to bring it up.

Deborah Mazol: Awesome. Thanks, James. Yeah, me too. I know it's a little bit wonky of an issue, but if you talk about the parody issue and you talk about the breadth within the conference of people who support it, it's a really good message, and what that means for our members, you can invest more in your community, you can invest more in charity, you can invest more in your employees. Any little bit that you're allowed to save and not give back to the government can definitely be beneficial.

The other two topics we're going to touch on is the funding for the Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office. What this office does is it makes sure that different provisions within the Inflation Reduction Act, the energy efficiency provisions, the sustainability provisions, all of the green energy and climate provisions that were in the infrastructure, let's see, ICJ, Infrastructure Jobs and Investment Act, a lot of acronyms in DC, and make sure that that office has enough money to implement those programs in a smart way. As you know, in a budget constrained environment, saving money on energy bills, having resilient structure so that it can stand storm damage, which we've seen a lot of lately it seems, and helping demonstrate, and then bringing to market advanced technologies that's going to help our homes and buildings be more efficient. That's pretty noteworthy. That's our second issue.

Our third issue is going to be three-pronged solution to our workforce shortage problem. I know the employers we talk to, I don't think I could find one that would say, "Well, you have this employee that's really qualified. Oh, I don't have room for them in my business." Everyone needs more workers. Just pure demographics show that the United States is going to need a lot more workers just through retirements and simple demographics. So what we are looking at is immigration reform, whether that's a new Visa Program, a permanent solution for temporary protected workers, which are folks that came over here from places like Haiti, as well as the DACA Program, so kids that came over here, and allow them to permanently stay.

The other component would be the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. That's a major priority for Chairman Foxx in the House Education and Workforce Committee. We've had members such as Tammany Hall take direct benefit of this program, which connects employers to willing employees and provides money for training for these individuals. For example, if you were going to hire someone and train them at $15 an hour, or maybe their training, they wouldn't make any money. This allows you to bump up their salary or pay them for training, even if you're not necessarily putting them to work full-time right away because you have to train them first.

The other prong is funding for career and technical education, Perkins State Grants. Again, this goes towards training our workforce, it's woefully underfunded in my opinion, it's about anywhere from 1.3 to 1.5 billion a year. If you compare that to federal funding for traditional four year universities, they get about 150 billion. So we have a ways to go, but we're going to start ticking away. In the past few years, we have seen increases between 40 and 50 million each fiscal year. We're hopeful that that trend continues, particularly at a faster pace, considering our workforce challenges continue to strike us.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. Those are critical issues across the board. James, you sit in on the meetings where you're talking about these issues and you see all the Tammany Hall, all the amazing professionals in there. Give everybody a little bit of a flavor being on the other side from Deb, as these issues come up, of how they're selected and the conversation that goes around which ones should be promoted.

James Ellsworth: Well, luckily, we have just so many amazing people from the industry in these meetings and great advice from Deb and the team to help really sleuth out these issues, talk about different pros and cons, and really have that way to come to find what is best for the industry. It's really amazing to watch. You have people leave their politics at the door and they just come in and they say, "What's best for the industry and how do we need to get that? And what can the government actually do to help make these things happen?" Or, "What do we need to get the government out of to make these things happen?" So it's a really great conversation that happens behind those doors where people just want to work to find what's best.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. Talk a little bit, and Deb, maybe just how important... This didn't really happen. I know it was happening because I remember before Reid Ribble, we would go to the NRCA fall meetings and they'd be in Washington, DC, and a few people would go up to the Hill and they would talk a little bit. But now this is a topic that people are talking about all the time. How important is this to the industry? What have you seen change wise? How has this really Roofing Day made some changes?

Deborah Mazol: Thank you, and thank you for asking. Well, as I mentioned, we have seen since Roofing Day's began, steady increases in the career and technical education Perkin State Grants. That's a huge win. We also passed provisions of the the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill. It was to be a Roofing Day issue in 2020, but we did still send up all of our briefing papers and had smaller meetings. So that was a huge win for us.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that I mentioned previously that we're doing again this year, it passed the House last year. It had increased funding. There were a few things that NRCA would've liked to see change, and we're working directly with the committee on that. That gave us an opportunity. Because we talked about it last year, the committee, at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, proactively reached out to us and said, "We're going to start crafting this bill. What do your members want to see? What's changed, what hasn't?"

Just being in the room for some of these discussions, not only do we get to learn a lot about the cool things, other industries that are related to us, whether it's AGC or the builders or the electrical contractors, we get to learn from them and also make sure, well, that actually wouldn't be good for our roofing industry. Sometimes staffers just don't know. So that's been really incredible for us. Not necessarily a Roofing day issue, but just overall, when people start being more comfortable talking about legislative issues and after their meetings, they'll continue that relationship. So they might go and visit in a district office and say, "I know this wasn't a Roofing Day issue, but these taxes are important. Please don't take them away." Or, "We'd love to have you out on a roof or to meet our employees." We've done some of that. So not only the solid legislative achievements, but also those relationships that will continue on and bear fruit in the future.

Heidi Ellsworth: One of the things that I've loved seeing too, is now you have your state associations. Not only are they helping with Roofing Day, like you said, this is across the board. This is associations, PIMA's there, you name it. There are so many. The tile folks, the Tile Institute is there too. But we are now hearing about Roofing Days in the States. We were in Montana and they just had a Roofing Day in Helena. They brought all their contractors, and so it's not only created this national, but what you have all done is trickling down and making such a difference in all the associations.

Deborah Mazol: Oh, that's awesome. I can't tell you how much, when you see, as a staffer, you see a group of 200, 300 people all wearing red shirts or all moving as a group, or, "Oh, what does your agenda look like today?" You're just talking amongst staffers. "Oh, I'm meeting with the roofers." "Oh, I'm meeting with the roofers too." And you start to feel like, wow, this big group is really big and powerful. I'll share a spoiler that I haven't even gotten to tell anyone yet. But this year we are providing socks. Roofing Day custom socks to participants, which-

Heidi Ellsworth: Fun.

Deborah Mazol: ... are actually quite sharp, if I do say so myself. But yeah, we were able to get a private sponsor to donate socks. So that'll just be another little cute thing. We're bringing back the lapel pins. So if you don't want to wear red, there are lots of opportunities to stand out and identify yourself with the group.

Heidi Ellsworth: With the [inaudible 00:26:45]-

James Ellsworth: Sounds great.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. It sounds so much fun. Yes. Let's talk a little bit about, I'm sure there's people out there who are thinking, to take a couple days off to fly into Washington, DC, spend this time, fly home. Isn't it just as easy for me to send an email or just do a call or something like that? But James, I would love for you just to talk about that a little bit. Like what a difference it makes to staffers. Both of you have been staffers in your careers. What's the difference between that phone call, email, compared to this in-person visit? James, start with you.

James Ellsworth: It's unparalleled. When you can sit down with someone who is doing the job, working on the roof, you sit across the table with them and hear their stories in person. A phone call's good, email's fine, but actually spending 15, 20, 30 minutes with someone hearing their story, seeing the emotion, it really makes a difference. It also, it sets up the ability to be able to send that email or make that phone call, like Deb was saying, because you have the relationship built, and you can build upon that more and more. So it's an investment that you're making into a relationship with people who can work with you, understand what you're doing, and represent you better when they know you.

I know my own boss, we would meet with constituents and then something would come up that was completely different, but she had heard from this constituent that they were involved in this. We'd call them up and say, "What are your thoughts on this? We need to know more about this. Who should we talk to?" It is not uncommon that these meetings turn into far bigger relationships because you're able to make that personal connection.

Heidi Ellsworth: That's so good. Deb, with that said, because I see... No one can see this, but she's nodding. She's like, "Yes, yes, yes." So we want to get everyone to fly in. We want everybody to come into Washington, DC for Roofing Day. So how do they do it? How does this work?

Deborah Mazol: Yep. I will just echo what James said. As a former chief of staff, you get a lot of emails. You might get 1,000 emails. Quite frankly, you're not going to read them all, especially if you don't know the person necessarily. If it's just a cold call, email. Calls, maybe you'll reach someone, but when you're face-to-face with that person, you have a captive audience. That is so important. You are a part of a smaller group that took the time to show, this is so important to me that I traveled to Washington, DC, took two days out of my incredibly busy career, brought some field workers off the roof that day, and really told you and took the time to educate you on our issues. So I couldn't echo what James said more.

How do you sign up? Really easy. You can go to nrca.net/roofingday. Everything you need is there. We update it sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, with our position papers, which are just being finalized now. You can see pictures from last year. Other than registering, of course, you can read about our issue areas. You can see a sample itinerary with all the speakers that I talked about. If you have any trouble registering, you can feel free to email me. It's just D, as in dad, Mazol, M-A-Z-O-L @nrca.net, and I will get you squared away.

Heidi Ellsworth: I love it. This is all on RoofersCoffeeShop too. It's on the NRCA page. It's on the ROOFPAC page, which I know are different entities, but we just wanted to put it everywhere. It's easy to get the information. It's easy to get to Deb, and we just got to, I know we said this at the beginning, but I'm just going to tell you, everyone listening, you will not do anything more impactful than going to this and doing Roofing Day. The pride that you feel, and I think it's really important, you do not need to be an NRCA member. You do not need to belong to an association. All you need to do is care enough about this wonderful roofing industry to take the time out and to go meet with your legislators. It will mean the world to you and to the industry and to the legislators. I think we do make a huge difference.

James Ellsworth: Agreed.

Deborah Mazol: And don't be shy. I think we have 140 people registered right now, and of those about 35 are brand new. First time attending Roofing Day. So it's not just people who attend every year. We get a lot of new folks every single year, and the feedback has been great. Yep.

James Ellsworth: Is there a deadline to sign up?

Deborah Mazol: There is a deadline to sign up. Thank you, James. It's April 5th. What that does is ensure that we can get congressional meetings. We can get everything uploaded in our computer system. April 5th is the soft deadline, so please sign up. The sooner you sign up though, the sooner we can tailor the program towards you and provide invaluable background information on the meetings that you will attend. So sign up early, sign up a lot of coworkers, but please sign up before April 5th.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yep. You really are encouraging people to bring installers from the field to tell their story and how important it is. So for example, RoofersCoffeeShop, there'll be three of us there, James, myself, and Karen Edwards, our COO, and we'll be reporting live from there. But I think companies need to think that it shouldn't just be the owner, right?

Deborah Mazol: Yeah. A lot of times the personal stories from field installers and field workers go a lot further than the CEO or president of the company, unfortunately. You want to hear about the firsthand experience of, "Okay, why is career and technical education important?" "Well, I took the training program that was created through funds from the federal government, and let me tell you, I wouldn't have been able to get this training without it," or, "This tax break has allowed me to give my employers a $20 an hour increase," or something like that. It's so important because people don't remember bill numbers or legislative names, but they do remember that person and their story that they told. So thinking about whatever position you hold in the company, having a personal story is going to be key to getting that staffer to remember you and remember why that policy is important.

Heidi Ellsworth: I would say just on the other thing too, for everyone out there, think about even... James, you are of the younger generation, that this is not for a bunch of old people. I'm just saying. We need to be bringing everybody.

James Ellsworth: Everyone. Decisions are made by those who show up.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, well said. I love it. So with all that information, like I said, this can all be found online on RoofersCoffeeShop at nrca.net/roofingday.

Deb, James, thank you. This is so fun. Great podcast.

Deborah Mazol: Thanks, Heidi. Thanks, James.

James Ellsworth: Thanks, Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth: I want to thank all of you. Thank you for listening. Please sign up and join us at Roofing Day. Look for us there. As I said, we will be doing live YouTube from Roofing Day, talking about everything that's happening too. So if you can't make it, we'll have a lot of information, but we really hope you can sign up by April 5th.

Thank you so much. One last time, Deb, thank you for joining us. We really appreciate having you.

James Ellsworth: Thanks, Deb.

Deborah Mazol: Thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you all for listening. Be sure to listen to all the podcasts. You can find them under the read, listen, watch navigation at rooferscoffeeshop.com, or on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe and get those notifications so you don't miss a single podcast. We'll be seeing you next time on Roofing Road Trips.

Speaker 1: Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.

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