Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
S-5! - S-5! University
NFBA - Sidebar Ad - Accredited Builder
MRCA - Sidebar Ad - Fall Conference 2023
IKO - Sidebar - Summit Grey
Fortified by IBHS - Next Level Training - Sidebar
MetalForming - Sidebar Ad - Teaser
RoofersCoffeeShop - Where The Industry Meets!
METALCON Coffee Conversations!

LIVE From IRE 2023 With The RidgePro!

ridgepro - ire 2023 - transcript - interview
April 17, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Heidi J. Ellsworth meets with Brandon Strawder at IRE 2023 to discuss the latest updates from RIDGEPRO products. 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview with Brandon Strawder from RidgePro. You can read the interview below or watch the video on YouTube.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We are back live from the IRE in Dallas, Texas, the Coffee Shop Conversation sound stage. I am here with Brandon from RIDGEPRO. Check this out. So, Brandon, introduce yourself please. Tell us a little bit about your company and everything.

Brandon Strawder: Of course. It's certainly a pleasure to be here. My name is Brandon Strawder. I am the CEO of Strawder Family Innovations. We are the parent company to the RIDGEPRO steep slope roofing safety anchor. I've got to start by saying the excitement here is like out of control.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It's wild.

Brandon Strawder: Trying to get into this place was a little bit like the Black Friday at Walmart, the big crowd coming in the doors as soon as it opened. I got a chance to walk around five or six aisles before I stopped here, and I just kept getting stopped by people who recognize you from past shows, and I called my dad, I said, "With the roofing industry you start off as a colleague, then you become a friend, and you end up as family."

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. That's so true.

Brandon Strawder: The last time we were in Dallas was 2020, right before the pandemic started, so it's great to be back. The energy is great, and I'm so happy to be here talking about our product that we just love from the bottom of our hearts.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I am hearing so much buzz about this product. Everyone is talking about it. We were just talking earlier... Our friend, Donovan Morgan, is talking about this all the time. We just interviewed him a little while ago about it. So, please, I would love for you to tell everybody what this is, how it works, and why it's really revolutionizing safety.

Brandon Strawder: That's a series of excellent questions.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know. See, I told you I ask a lot of questions.

Brandon Strawder: So let me tell you just a little bit of the back story. We were in the roofing industry in my family for back in the 1980s. We were just doing three tab shingles for a relative's house. It grew and grew to the point where we had a pretty substantial roofing business in my family back in Ohio.

So we made the transition into the insurance claims industry, where we were going up and down on the roofs, mainly my father. He did many, many roofs. A hailstorm would come through, he would go up, assess the damage, pass along the information to the homeowner and the insurance company. Well, he had a very, very close call with a slip and fall.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: You hear this so often.

Brandon Strawder: So often. I hear it every week, "We had a near miss." He came home and he said, "Look, you guys, I am not ready for this. I haven't save enough for retirement. I have to keep working. It's dangerous. My eyes are getting a little weaker. My knees are getting a little weaker. Is there anything we can do?"

Fortunately I have a brother who's practically some kind of genius engineer. I went to a business and marketing school, my dad significant experience on steep roofs, and we put our heads together and we said, "Maybe there's something we can create for dad." This started off as a project to bring dad home.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Oh, I love that.

Brandon Strawder: So dad started bringing this out to his jobs. He was doing seven, eight roofs a day, going and assessing damage. The insurance people started saying, "Where did you get that?" Then one thing sort of snowballed to another and we were taking over the insurance industry, which led to roofing, which led to pest control, windows and you name it. We're getting surprised every month by someone else who's interested in the RIDGEPRO and what it does.

Part two of your question is let me show you exactly what it does. Can I stand up?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes. Please.

Brandon Strawder: Okay. So the RIDGEPRO is a steep slope roofing safety anchor. What we mean by that is we've taken a specific section of pitches, from a six pitch to a 12 pitch, and what you do is you pull this metal safety pin and the RIDGEPRO will adjust its angle to fit on either side of the roof.

Now if you're working on a 12 pitch roof, for example, you would have a mark that would line up on the RIDGEPRO, and then we secure this steel pin on the... I'll try and clip it here. I can't.. I'll stand up. There we go. Now the way you get it to the roof is with this set of wheels.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Nice. That's smart.

Brandon Strawder: Yeah. So while I'm on the ground what I'm going to do is I'm going to connect my lifeline and harness, so I'm all suited up on the ground. I got 25 or 50 feet of rope available. I'll connect an extension pole to this back part, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to get to the top of my ladder, with my extension pole I'm going to extend the RIDGEPRO up until it reaches the peak.

Since we have already pre-selected the pitch of the roof, when we flip it over it really clamps down onto the roof. Now here's where it's really cool. When I step off of the ladder I'm already connected to the resistance at the peak because I connected on the ground.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It makes sense.

Brandon Strawder: This way of... I wouldn't say it's over simplification, but as I was walking just a few aisles over a few minutes ago right before we started somebody yells out to me, "There's the RIDGEPRO." They said, "That is the product that sells itself."

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's just a fact.

Brandon Strawder: We love our users so much. They give us testimonials with such impact, and you know you can tell when somebody is saying something that they truly mean. And when we're at shows like this it is a love fest for RIDGEPRO. It's so wonderful.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Well, the thing is is that this, like you said, brings family members home every night. I mean there's nothing more important, and you've made it easy.

Brandon Strawder: Absolutely.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Which I think is the hardest part for a lot of the crews out there, is by the time they do everything they're, "Oh, I'll just go up on the roof," but we don't want that.

Brandon Strawder: Right. We want to make it as absolutely simple as possible, really focus on the specific subset of roofing types and surfaces. We even put pads on it. That way you didn't damage existing roofs if you needed to go up and check your own.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right.

Brandon Strawder: We have users all over the country, in all 50 states, Canada, Europe, Australia. What started as a project for dad has snowballed into just almost a surreal experience, that we're making an impact in such a legacy industry, where my dad did it this way, and his dad did it this way, and his dad did it... Being able to change the upcoming way that fall safety and roofing safety is proud about in the roofing industry is really rewarding.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. I'm excited. I love it. I love it. This is the kind of stuff... And I know it's not simple, there's a huge amount of engineering that's gone in here, but you make it look simple, and you make it look so safe. I love that. Where can people buy this?

Brandon Strawder: Well, there's a couple places. I want to just say that over 200 sets of hands touch the RIDGEPRO along the process before it gets to the customer.

Heidi J. Ellsworth Wow.

Brandon Strawder: Yeah. Isn't that amazing?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That is amazing.

Brandon Strawder: So we're not only providing a valuable product in the roofing industry, we're trying to keep people employed as much as we possibly can.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's pretty amazing.

Brandon Strawder: Where can we buy it?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes.

Brandon Strawder: Currently we have an online website, www.theridgepro.com. That's simple enough, right? But also we have about 60 retail locations and distributor locations throughout the United States, many of whom are here actually. I think in 2023 you're going to see a significant spread of our growth and distribution.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Congratulations.

Brandon Strawder: Yeah. I think it's going to be really exciting. We're even looking into like a legit international expansion.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Oh, my gosh, that's excellent.

Brandon Strawder: So a lot to look forward to. So buy it now before we have to invest in those projects.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Well, I was just talking to a roofer from New Zealand, so there you go. They're here.

Brandon Strawder: Sure. Hey, if they have a pitched roof I want to talk to them. How about that?

Heidi J. Ellsworth Yeah. They do. They do. That's so cool. You know where else you can find this? You can find this on Roofers Coffee Shop.

Brandon Strawder: That's right.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We have a full directory and some great videos, excellent imagery, and some great articles that are coming out every month, a couple of articles that come out every month. So you can find all of that information on Roofers Coffee Shop, and thank you. This is so cool.

Brandon Strawder: My pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity, letting us talk about our mission, which is to dramatically reduce the likelihood of injury or death from roofs.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: There's no better thing. That's it.

Brandon Strawder: Enjoy the show.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I'm just so happy to meet you in person, and I'm really excited to continue working on this, so thank you so much.

Brandon Strawder: The sentiment is the same on our side, so thank you very much.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thanks.

Brandon Strawder: Have a great day and enjoy the show.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, we will.

Brandon Strawder: And thank you back at home.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I didn't even ask you to do a song or anything.

Brandon Strawder: A song and dance?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That'll be for the next time we get together.

Brandon Strawder: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: There we go.

Brandon Strawder: Exactly.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thank you all for being on here. Look for the RIDGEPRO on RoofersCoffeeShop.

Learn more about The RIDGEPRO® in their Coffee Shop Directory or visit www.theridgepro.com.

Recommended For You


There are currently no comments here.

Leave a Reply

Commenting is only accessible to RCS users.

Have an account? Login to leave a comment!

Sign In
NRCA - Healthcare - Banner Ad

Sign Up for Our E-News!

Join over 18,000 other roofers who get the Week in Roofing for a recap of this week's best industry posts!

Sign Up
METALCON - Sidebar Ad - Expo
Beacon - Sidebar Ad - Beacon Pro+ and LP Building Solutions Promo
RCS  - Sidebar Ad - 2023 Trends Survey Sponsored by Beacon
NRCA - Become a Member - Sidebar Ad
IRE - Sidebar Ad - Learn More02
Leap - Sidebar - Be The Professional