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Leah Lemmons & Eileen Dutton - Innovations that Can Save the Planet - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Malarkey pod
July 6, 2021 at 10:43 a.m.

Speaker 1:
Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a longterm professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today. Welcome to episode one of a three-part Roofing Road Trips. Today, we have Leah and Eileen from Malarkey. And on this first episode, we'll be talking about product, performance, and innovation.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Hello, and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips with Roofers Coffee Shop. My name is Heidi Ellsworth, and I am, I have to tell you, this is like a blast from the past for me today to be with the ladies of Malarkey Roofing products. Near and dear to my heart, the first job in roofing that I ever had was with Malarkey. And I have to tell you, this company has been a leader in innovation in so many ways. And we're going to talk about that today. It's really exciting. So I would like to introduce our two guests today. Eileen Dutton, vice president of product at Malarkey Roofing. Hello, Eileen.

Eileen Dutton:
Hello, Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And Leah Lemmons, the R and D lab manager. Very impressive woman in roofing at Malarky Roofing. So welcome both of you. Thank you for being here today.

Leah Lemmons:
Thank you for having us Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, I'm going to ask a favor. I would love for both of you to introduce yourself. Just tell us a little bit about yourselves and about what you do with Malarkey. So Eileen, why don't we start with you?

Eileen Dutton:
Okay. I have been with Malarkey now for 10 years. Seems like yesterday that I started with Malarkey, but my background is basically 40 years in asphalt and roofing industry. So I've had a few companies I've worked for, but I've got to say, Malarkey is probably one of the most fun companies to work for.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I would agree with that very much so. Leah, how about you?

Leah Lemmons:
So I am Leah Lemmons. I am the R and D lab manager here at Malarkey. I'm also the proud co-chair of the national women in roofing Oregon council, right here in Portland, Oregon. I've been at Malarkey for about four years now. And I started out as an R and D engineer here, so one of the innovators themselves, and then became the manager and now I'm making sure it all happens.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow, impressive. I see both of you at different shows and we see each other through national women in roofing and it always just does my heart so good to see the powerful women at Malarkey and what you're doing. So let's share this with the rest of the world. Okay?

Eileen Dutton:
Okay.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Okay. So I know a lot of this, but Leah, can you share some of the history of Malarkey and their innovative products?

Leah Lemmons:
Absolutely. So Malarkey roofing began in 1956, right here in Portland, Oregon. We then expanded to a facility in South Gate, California, and also one in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We are all about innovation here. Malarkey really prides itself on its commitment to innovation and sustainability. I can say not only as a manager, but also as a researcher in my own right, malarkey strives to empower its employees, to be creative and think beyond what is and into what could be.
And when you empower your people and you support their innovation, do you'd be amazed at the creative and remarkable things that can come out of a research department.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Hail and UV what's happening with all that?

Eileen Dutton:
Well, like I said, these Alaskan shingles, like you've got on your roof were made for the harsh climate of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. And Alaska has got lots of a very short but intense sun summer. And it's got a lot of high winds and snow in the winters and spring and fall. And I think one of the most interesting things was I was talking to a consultant recently, and he was telling me about a project he looked at in, I believe it was, 2016.
And at that time there were 35 year old shingles, Alaskan shingles, on a roofing project, a 200 plus house development in Alaska. And that was in 1986 or 2016. And they started to... They determined that some of the roofs were starting to fail. So they were going to start replacing them. But last year they still had not replaced them. So they're going on 40 years old now.
So they've withstood the winds and the snows and the heat from the summer, and has lasted really well. And then back in, as you mentioned, Hurricane Andrew in 1993, the Alaskan was the only shingle allowed in that market for a time period because they were the only ones that were tested to 110 mile per hour wind. And we go back through our database and we find that still we've got Alaskans in place in the Miami Dade area. So it's pretty impressive to see them stand up to that.

Heidi Ellsworth:
The other thing too, Eileen, and this actually happened right when I was there also, which was almost going on it's like 25 years ago, but the class for hail, you were the first one. Malarkey was the first ones to have class for hail resistance. And so now look where you're at.

Eileen Dutton:
Yeah, and in the early nineties, Greg Malarkey was working with IBHF and UL, and they were coming up with a test to look at impact for the class for shingles, and Alaskan was the first class four rated shingle. And when the legacy was introduced in 1997, so our premium architectural grade, that was also receiving a class four rating. So polymer modified shingles really seems to make a big difference to hail and wind.

Heidi Ellsworth:
They really do. And it's been proven over and over and over, over the years. And that's what's so great. You have such a strong foundation in those products, and now you have continued to bring out such great new items. When I go down through the list, in fact, when I was prepping and putting some things together for this, I was like, okay, you have the Scotchgard, the bright white granules, now with the smog.
And I'm probably going to say this wrong, but I always say smog-eating granules because I think that's just so cool-sounding. And it all has to do with your partnership with 3M and just really being on the forefront of that. Can you tell us about all those?

Eileen Dutton:
Yeah. We love to work with 3M. Leah can attest to that. We have good times working with them and they're a very innovative company. So 3M and Malarkey go well together because of their innovation. We began to look at how we could help, not just from the cool roofing or from some of the Scotchgard shingles, but how could we help the environment a little bit more?
So we went to 3M, we knew they had some technologies that we thought would work for smog-eating granules. So they actually ran a research program based around that. So while it was 3M's technology, we pushed it. So we feel really good about that. So it is a smog-reducing granular is the correct terminology because it doesn't eat it, it reduces it.
And it was really great. Time named it one of the best innovations in 50 best innovations in 2018, which is pretty impressive. We were shocked by that. 3M was a ecstatic, I think.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah, that's so cool.

Eileen Dutton:
So, I know that we did share a blog with you, Roofer's Coffee Shop about Primo roofing, and they received a quality air quality leadership award from the Monterey Bay air resources district for applying the product in their district. So basically with the amount of Malarkey roofs that Primo installs, it's the equivalent of having 260 active trees helping clean the air in the community and the Monterey bay area. And that's just one roofing company.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's so impressive. That is such a strong solution for our future. It just, it blows me away.

Eileen Dutton:
Yeah. To think about where it could go from here. If it continues to grow, it is not a proprietary. We didn't keep it to ourselves. 3M is allowed to sell it to other people. So it's interesting about seeing how much of this granule could actually get out and help clean the air.

Leah Lemmons:
That really is so true. And it just shows Malarkey's commitment to sustainability and bettering the planet for everyone, that we wouldn't seek to try to keep something like that, that's so incredible, to ourselves. And Heidi, it's funny, back to your terminology, smog-eating, smog-reducing.
Little peek behind the curtain and research is that when all of these projects come about, researchers, they create their own pet names for a project before they actually get out in the world. And smog reducer was originally called smog eater colloquially by us researchers. And I wanted that name so bad and Eileen was like, "It's not eating smog, Leah." And I was like, "I know, but the thought there is so fun."

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it. Well, it's like the same thing when you think about it, with the algae. Right? When I was there, they had this big algae, which was a big cartoon guy. You remember, Eileen, it would walk around the [inaudible 00:10:07] floor. And so it was always like, is he eating the algae on the roof or the shingles? What are they doing? And now you take him to a whole new level.
I want to say for everybody out there listening, of course, Malarkey is on Roofers Coffee Shop. They have a full directory, you can get all of their information on there. You can see the articles that we talked about, the case studies, and more than anything, I really recommend that all of you reach out. Because by taking this great information and using it in your sales and marketing presentations to homeowners and building owners, it's going to make such a difference because the world is looking for solutions, and Malarkey is providing them, and helping you get them into the hands of the right people, or on the roofs of the right people.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So thank you both, ladies, for being here today, and we'll have you back again because it sounds like there's going to be a lot more innovation that we can talk about.

Eileen Dutton:
Well, thank you, Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. Have a great day. And for everybody out there listening, please be sure to visit us at rooferscoffeeshop.com. Underneath read, listen, watch section, you'll find all of our podcasts, plus webinars and videos, any way you want to learn any time. And as I said before, be sure to visit our directory section and find Malarkey and find out about all that great information and innovation that they're doing. Have a great day. Thank you so much for listening.

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.

Speaker 4:
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.

Speaker 4:
Welcome to episode two of Roofing Road Trips with Leah and Eileen from Malarkey. In this episode, we learn about the future of roofing materials through the eyes of Malarkey.

Heidi Ellsworth:
When you think of the acres of roofing that are out there and the potential to really clean our air, especially with all the wildfires and everything, Leah, I just, when I look at this and I think about what you're doing from research and development, what are some of the potential... I mean, but I've got to go into the whole next generation, right? Gen Z, millennials, this is what they care about. This, the environment, and you are in the front end of research and development on this. What do you see? What do you see coming up in the environmental and how roofing can have even more effect?

Leah Lemmons:
Well it's just that. Just what we were just talking about. We don't keep all of these things a huge secret. Anybody can go to our website and see that we are committed to upcycling materials and polymers and such. I mean, it's easy to look at our shingles and say, "How are they positively impacting the environment?" When you think about two million tires diverted from landfills, you think about 217 million plastic bottles diverted from landfills. Those are huge numbers.
It's easy to think of it like, "Wow, they're really doing something," but you have to look beyond that right? Look at the kinds of shingle that we're making. These SBS polymer modified systems with our next gen formulation and technology inside of them are designed to last longer, to be stronger, to provide performance when it matters, not when it's just first installed, but after those big weather events, after the hail events, after those wind storms. That really prevents product from prematurely getting into a landfill when you have a strong product to begin with.
And even going further into that and looking at the smog-reducing granules. Well, Eileen mentioned that Primo roofing installed two more [inaudible 00:02:18] per week and that just explodes into this huge number of trees. I mean, think about it, at this point, with our smog-reducing granules, we've planted the equivalent of 885,000 trees. Think of what that means for urban communities. Places like Southern California where the smog is high, but there's just not the space for the greenery that we have here in the Pacific Northwest, right?
So all of that, every bit helps, and getting a little bit even further into it and our commitment to sustainability, we are green certified as a manufacturer. That means that over 90% of the waste from our manufacturing facilities is diverted from landfills. We are committed as a company to have a very positive impact on our environment and try as hard as we can to really live that, breathe that, and be that.
It's not just creating a shingle that has post-consumers in it, or it's got these upcycled polymers in it. It's not just about that. It's about when the shingles hit the roof, we mean sustainable and we are sustainable.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Well, and there's so much talk out there right now about redundancy and about sustainability and that it's not... If we're tearing off roofs every seven to 10 years, that's not sustainable. It's just not going to work. So just talk a little bit about what you're seeing on the build-up roofing side of things too because I mean... And we talked a lot about the Alaskan shingle and the legacy, which favorites, but I think there's so much to be said for what you're doing and able to do with build-up roofs when it comes to the smog-reducing granules, the bright white granules, and the redundancy, the hail, everything about that that's going on. Can you just, again, a little bit of peak in the future on that commercial side?

Leah Lemmons:
Eileen, you want to take that?

Eileen Dutton:
A little bit of a peak in the future. You trying to tell us what we're coming out with next Heidi? Have you been talking to our marketing team?

Heidi Ellsworth:
[inaudible 00:04:40] that's great.

Eileen Dutton:
Polymer modified roofing, even BUR, has been shown to work well in hail climates, in high wind climates. It's always got to be properly installed, but the polymer modified, most of our roofing materials. All of our SBS roofing cap sheets are class four impact rated from factory mutual or UL, one or the other. So we are looking at that. I can tell you that, yes, we have some things coming down the pike that will feature some of these new technologies. The next technology, the smog-reducing. Like I said, they're in not just Malarkey, but as I said, we aren't keeping the smog-reducing technology to ourselves. There are other people who are starting to use these in low slope roofing.
So, we are excited about that and they're, they're SBS modified also. So yes, we have our own things in planning and I'm sure I know that there is another company that's looking at the smog-reducing granule as well. And so we hope that between the SBS on low slope, between the hail and the wind and the smog-reducing that we're going to have a lot more trees planted on the low slope side as well.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. I love that. Time better watch out. They're going to have some more things coming out. And I didn't even know. I was just always curious, so that is pretty cool. I didn't mean to put you on the spot.

Leah Lemmons:
It has to be the mark of a good researcher, so we are all very curious ourselves.

Heidi Ellsworth:
There's so much that roofing can do.

Eileen Dutton:
Yeah. And I think that it's really interesting... You know, we talk about the sustainability this way, but some of the other things that Malarkey has done has added to the sustainability of the shingle of this low slope of just roofing in general. Back in 2001, Malarkey started with a wider zone area and that came about listening to the roofer. What was the roofer's issue on the roof? So, I think Malarkey has got a big history of listening to the roofer as well. You know, we talk to our customers all the time and we are proud of the zone. In 2006, Western states gave us an award for creation of the zone nailing area. It's a true double coverage nailing area. And we're very proud of that.
And back in '84 to '85 timeframe, Michael Malarkey worked with the city of Portland to take the methane and bring it into our plant. So we worked with the city of Portland to... They had a wastewater plant just across the canal from us, or whatever these things are called here, across the flu from us. We have a pipe that goes underground and it started supplying Malarkey with methane gas from the wastewater facility back in 1985. So Malarkey is looking at things... This is not just something we started doing. This is something that we've been doing for years. So it's exciting how we can find something new all the time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And it's just such a part of the culture. It's something that continues and continues. I love that. Ladies, I am so inspired. This has absolutely been tremendous. Thank you so much. And I want to say for everybody out there listening, of course Malarkey is on Roofer's Coffee Shop. They have a full directory. You can get all of their information on there. You can see the articles that we talked about, the case studies, and more than anything, I really recommend that all of you reach out because by taking this great information and using it in your sales and marketing presentations to homeowners and building owners, it's going to make such a difference because the world is looking for solutions and Malarkey is providing them and helping you get them into the hands of the right people, or on the roofs of the right people.
So thank you both ladies for being here today and we'll have you back again because it sounds like there's going to be a lot more innovation that we can talk about.

Eileen Dutton:
Well, thank you Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. Have a great day. And for everybody out there listening, please be sure to visit us at rooferscoffeeshop.com. Underneath the read, listen, watch section, you'll find all of our podcasts, plus webinars and videos, any way you want to learn, any time. And as I said before, be sure to visit our directory section and find Malarkey and find out about all that great information and innovation that they're doing.
Have a great day. Thank you so much for listening.

Speaker 4:
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.

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.
On this episode with Leah and Eileen from Malarkey, we learn about how Malarkey works directly with contractors. Listen for more great information.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love seeing the passion from both of you and just it's ongoing. And I see that same passion in contractors who use Malarkey products. At trade shows, they're so proud. I have so many friends who are contractors who are just committed, but I'm really curious too, for all of the contractors who are listening out there, whether they're using Malarkey or not, Leah, what are some of the things that you would recommend contractors use about these innovations? So about the smog reducing granules, it's about the SBS, it's about all the great things, wind and hail. How do they use that in their sales and marketing initiatives? How do they kind of take all your great innovation and apply it so it can help them sell more of these shingles and rolled goods?

Leah Lemmons:
Well, the best thing that I would recommend that they do is you can go to our website, malarkeyroofing.com. And on that website we have so much information. And what I encourage them to do is look at what resonates with them and their region. There's just regional differences in roofing. For example, the rivers down in California are going to have a completely different viewpoint than maybe the roofers in the Northwest do and the roofers in Alaska. So I would go and find what resonates with your region. I once was talking to our VP of sales, which is Rich Robbins and we're going to IRE and it was my first IRE at the time and I was all nervous. "What are we going to talk about? What do we want to talk about? What do we want to say? What do I want to highlight for people?" And he just looked at me and he goes, "What do you want to talk about?"
"Whatever you want to talk about. Whatever's important to them we have something for them. I guarantee it." So the information is all there. The other thing that I can recommend is contacting a local sales rep. The Malarkey sales reps are absolutely fantastic and they can provide all types of information, samples, anything that every firm might need to help sell our products are really the best thing that Malarkey offers. This is our secret sauce. Well, I don't know if it's really a secret, but we actually, when it's not these unprecedented times, we usually offer plant tours who our contractors and people that want to know more information about Malarkey. And what's so amazing about these plant tours and so incredible is that we actually invite the customers to come to our facility for a plant tour and the best part, and I'm so biased, but the best part of the plant tour is the actual tour of the research lab that we do offer our contractors.
That's an opportunity to interface with those of us who are getting the innovations out there and giving you an opportunity to ask a researcher questions, real life questions you might have that maybe impact your region. And we get customers from all over. Believe me. I once had customers from India who came in and they are roofers in India and they had a completely different set of expectations and things that concern them, right, or questions they might have that really having that one-on-one time with a researcher to say, "Hey. If I wanted to use your shingles in this way, what would the impact of that be?" Or, "How do you test with this?" Or, "What really is AST M D 34 62?" Or "What is a rub loss test? You guys talk about grail adhesion, but how do you even test that?"
And getting to interact with us. I think that that's really amazing and it really helps drive home our products and our technology.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. That is excellent advice because too often it's just you don't take the time to really be able to meet or you don't have the access to meet the people who are making it happen. And I have to tell you, I did many plant tours and oh my gosh, there's nothing better. It is so much fun to do a Malarkey plant tour. And so yeah. Once this COVID stuff's over, if you're listening out there, you need to get ahold of your reps and see if you can do that because it is phenomenal. And the fact of all the tools that you provide to your contractors makes such a huge difference because it's not going to do much if we don't get it out on roofs. So those contractors are the ones who have to take it to that next step. Oh my gosh. This has been so great. So Eileen, before we go, any other thoughts or anything you'd like to share about product development and all the great stuff that's happening at Malarkey?

Eileen Dutton:
So I would just say we are always looking at things. And as I said before, we're always looking for our roofing contractors to talk with us and let us know what they're seeing out there. Because a lot of times we can find things out that we wouldn't normally hear by talking with the roofing contractors. One of the big things that I'm working on right now is working on asphalt, shingle recycling, and that's an industry issue. But there again, we think polymer modified shingles can help with that problem as well. Keep it on the roof for longer. Keep it where it belongs and don't put it in the landfill so often. There's always going to be a polymer modified shingle that after 12 years, 15 years will fail and it might fail with hail.

Eileen Dutton:
But also it's really interesting sometimes because we'll sometimes get letters from homeowners who've lived in hail regions and they're like, "I've had your shingles on for 25 years and they're still holding up."

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is so awesome.

Eileen Dutton:
Yeah. That's really cool. So it's really nice to see that. And now that we have a plant in Oklahoma city and we have employees who have their own roofs, we have so many weathering decks out there now. But we do have our own weathering decks and we are still working with IBHS and other folks on how to lengthen the life of the shingle and keep it out there and on the roof.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I love it. [crosstalk 00:06:42].

Eileen Dutton:
Leah's working on some stuff.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Leah, any last thoughts?

Leah Lemmons:
Honestly, we've covered so much of it, but yeah. Just Malarkey really does stand by what we make and we always say that we're built by family, installed by experts, right? So the roofing contractor, they're the experts, but we really are a family here and we always are looking to do the right thing and be sustainable and just protect our environment for the next generation coming in. So whatever we can do to be more sustainable, whether it's diverting energy from a wastewater treatment facility, whether it's putting on a smog reducing granule that's going to help simulate trees and clean our air, or it's creating a product that's going to last as long as humanly possible to keep it out of the landfill and on that roof, we're committed to doing it. They say that by putting these on our roof, you're kind of making your roof a tree, right. You're making your-

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah.

Leah Lemmons:
House a plant, right. You're helping the environment and we're committed to making our plant a plant. Right. So we're trying to kind of drive that home on our end as well. And like I said, it's a family company, we all believe in the same thing, and our culture drives us forward.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. It's going to make such a difference because the world is looking for solutions and Malarkey is providing them and helping you get them into the hands of the right people or on the roofs of the right people. So thank you both ladies for being here today and we'll have you back again because it sounds like there's going to be a lot more innovation than we can talk about.

Eileen Dutton:
Well, thank you, Heidi.

Leah Lemmons:
Thanks Heidi.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. Have a great day. And for everybody out there listening, please be sure to visit us at rooferscoffeeshop.com. Underneath read, listen, watch section, you'll find all of our podcasts, plus webinars and videos, any way you want to learn, any time. And as I said before, be sure to visit our directory section and find Malarkey and find out about all that great information and innovation that they're doing. Have a great day. Thank you so much for listening.

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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