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Innovative Roofing Group - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Innovative Roofing Group - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION
October 4, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Michael Laird from Innovative Roofing Group. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Megan Ellsworth: Hello, everyone, my name is Megan Ellsworth here at rooferscoffeeshop.com, and I am honored to be here with Michael Laird, the October roofer of the month. Hi, Michael.

Michael Laird: Hey, Megan, how are you?

Megan Ellsworth: I'm doing good. I'm excited to hear all about your story and your company. So why don't you start off by just telling us a little bit about yourself and your company?

Michael Laird: Sure. A little about myself. I've been in roofing for about 16, 17 years. Innovative is my third roofing company that I've been with, all here in Georgia. I did spend a little time down in South Florida with Peach State Roofing but been in Georgia since. Was recently promoted to president of Innovative Roofing so that's exciting, and scary, and all that.

Megan Ellsworth: Congratulations.

Michael Laird: I appreciate it. We'll see how it goes. About the company. The company was founded in 2003 by Greg Lewis. He ran a great business for about 15 years. In 2018 he sold to Randy Korach. Greg went and joined the family business back at Selig. Randy ran it until 2021 when he sold to a private equity group, Soundcore. Soundcore and the other businesses that they purchased became Roofing Corp of America which is what we're now, that's our parent company. We have nine businesses. I think we have 15 locations across the country, and then our corporate office here in Sandy Spring. We've been doing it for a couple of years now and it's been great.

Megan Ellsworth: That's awesome. Great. Again, congrats on the promotion that's really exciting.

Michael Laird: Thank you, I appreciate that.

Megan Ellsworth: So what services does Innovative provide? Would you say you have a specialty?

Michael Laird: We're 98% flat roof. We do a lot of retail, hospitals, schoolwork so anything flat. We do malls. We're set up with all of the major manufacturers: Carlisle, Johns Manville, Garland, Sarsfield, FiberTite, GAF, just all of them. We can do any of it. We're one of the few roofers that still do hot work so that hot asphalt.

Megan Ellsworth: Oh, wow.

Michael Laird: Get the kettle out there. It's great. We offer that. We do modified, built-up, TPO, EPDM, flat roof. Basically anything flat roof, that's us. We do very little shingle roof, very little residential. We'll do it on occasion for the right customer or as a favor. We do have a sister company, Bone Dry, out in Athens that has a large residential division that we will refer people to if it's something that we don't think we can take on responsibly. Basically flat roofs.

Megan Ellsworth: Okay, great. Yes. And shout out to Bone Dry, I believe they're an R-Club member as well.

Michael Laird: They are. Yes, ma'am.

Megan Ellsworth: What is something special that Innovative celebrates? It could be actual holidays or birthdays, company culture. What do you all celebrate over there?

Michael Laird: A lot of that stuff. Birthdays we do. Somebody picks whether they want a breakfast brought in or lunch brought in or what's their favorite cake and then we'll all do a little birthday party for them in the kitchen. We got a lot of guys that work really hard in this field and sometimes that goes overlooked or unseen so we try to recognize their hard work. We do a lot of luncheons, gifts, gift cards, special events, bring in food trucks or do cookouts on the warehouse, or something like that. I think that's probably important just to let those guys know how much they mean to us and how we don't exist without them. We try to always focus on that.

Megan Ellsworth: That's awesome. Who doesn't love a free lunch?

Michael Laird: Right.

Megan Ellsworth: How do you define superior customer service?

Michael Laird: We always try to exceed our customer's expectations no matter what that is. We have some customers that are great, perfectly reasonable, and some customers have some pretty high expectations. Whatever they are we want to exceed it. We want to treat every project as if that's our building. What would we do? What's going to make the most sense from an efficiency, a quality, a cost standpoint, and then treat the project that way. That's my roof what am I going to do with it? That's it. We try to keep it real basic and real, just practical. I mean, that's how I treat most things is practicality and logic.

Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. And that's what every one ... Every customer wants is for whoever they're hiring to treat their property like it's their own. Well said.

Michael Laird: For sure. I think so.

Megan Ellsworth: Going off of that, why should homeowners, or in your case building owners work with your company?

Michael Laird: I've been around a while and seen a lot. The one thing I can say about Innovative, without a doubt, is everybody here honestly cares about the product we're putting out and the reputation that we're earning. Nobody here looks at it like it's a contract or it's a job, or let's knock this one out and move on the next one, everybody really, really cares about the customer. It sounds cliche and like lip service but it's true here for sure.

Megan Ellsworth: I love that. So we only have two questions left. First off is, why are you an R-Club member? What are some of your favorite things about RoofersCoffeeShop?

Michael Laird: I've personally been on RoofersCoffeeShop for several years. I probably have a login that dates back 10, 12 years something like that.

Megan Ellsworth: Oh, wow.

Michael Laird: And I've always used it mainly for the Roofers forum, the Roofers Talk forum. Get in there and just see what's happening around the industry. Several of our other businesses in Roofing Corp have used it and are R-Club members, and we decided as a whole in the Southeast that we're all going to become R-Club members. So far so good. We love it. I mean, the training that we have access to, the consultants, the other roofing professionals, technical stuff you can find on there. It's also easy to access, and easy to follow, and there's so much of it. Me personally, I made a note of a couple things. Just the project of the month and that kind of stuff. I love reading about other projects, learning what other companies are doing, and there's so much of that on the website, it's just so useful.

Megan Ellsworth: That's great to hear. I'm glad that the Roofers Talk forum is where you land. We love the forum here.

Michael Laird: That's where I started years ago and I still access it regularly.

Megan Ellsworth: That's great, that's great to hear. Lastly, what would your walk-up song be? Which is when you're coming out on a field and someone asks to play a song.

Michael Laird: So I played a lot of baseball in my younger years and Enter Sandman from Metallica was always my walkout song. I got told by a couple of people here that I'm too old for that now. Probably Don't Stop Believin' by Journey just because it's a feel-good song, everybody's going to start singing it, it's a ... It just creates a good vibe. Everybody loves that song. So I'd probably go with that one at this point.

Megan Ellsworth: Nice, nice. Well, thank you so much, Michael for sharing your story and sharing a little bit about Innovative. We are super honored here at RoofersCoffeeShop to give you guys the Roofer of the Month title for October 2023. Hope to see you around the R-Club more.

Michael Laird: Megan, I appreciate it. We're very proud to be a part of it and appreciate the opportunity and the honor.

Megan Ellsworth: Awesome. Well, thank you for chatting with me today. And for all of those out there listening, you can go find Innovative's directory on rooferscoffeeshop.com and on the Project Map IT contractor map on askaroofer.com. Go look at all of Roofing Corp's branches and locations in the Southeast and wherever else they are. Everyone go check it out. And we will see you next time on the R-Club Roofer of the Month.



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