Editor's note: The following is a conversation between RoofersCoffeeShop® President Heidi Ellsworth, and Roof Hugger representatives DJ Highnote, Robert Baker and Dale Nelson. You can watch the video or read the transcript below.
Heidi Ellsworth: This is Heidi Ellsworth and we are back at METALCON day three live on the sound stage. And I went out to find some people that I really wanted to get in here for this interview. And I'm telling you what, this is going to be great. These are our friends at Roof Hugger and Logan Stamping. As you all know, we have DJ, Dale and Robert and we're going to have him introduce themselves. And then there's some fun news. A lot of great things are happening over there. So DJ, let's start with you. Can you just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about Roof Hugger?
DJ Highnote: Sure. DJ Highnote, Vice President at Roof Hugger. We are your go-to for metal over metal retrofit. We fabricate the structural members that would secure your brand new roof.
Dale Nelson: I'm Dale Nelson. I'm one of the founding partners of Roof Hugger and like DJ says, we're in the business of providing framing systems for metal over metal roofing systems and been doing this since 1991. So we've got a lot of history in it.
Heidi Ellsworth: Long time. Dale, you also do a lot in the industry too.
Dale Nelson: I do, yeah. With MBMA, MCA, MBCEA and IIBEC, stuff like that.
Heidi Ellsworth: I'll just say, probably one of my earliest memories is Dale in the roofing industry.
DJ Highnote: It's a good thing he's been retired for four years.
Dale Nelson: Right.
Heidi Ellsworth: And Robert, please introduce yourself.
Robert Baker: Yes. So my name is Robert Baker. I'm the owner of Logan Stampings and Roof Hugger and BPD and LSI Metal Fab. And I work for these gentlemen is what I do. But we're the manufacturer, manufacturing group behind all this. So we manufacture all the product for Roof Hugger and all the clips for BPD and all the clips and accessories for other customers and OEMs. And then we have a fabrication department or facility and we do a lot of fabrication as well.
Heidi Ellsworth: That is so cool.
Robert Baker: Yes.
Heidi Ellsworth: So okay, let's talk about this because I don't know if everybody kind of knows this great synergy and what's going on. I know there was some press releases and everything like that.
Robert Baker: Sure, sure.
Heidi Ellsworth: So Dale, let's start with you. When did all this happen and kind of tell us a little bit about working together with Logan?
Dale Nelson: So, we had been working with Logan since, I don't know, 2010 or something like that.
Robert Baker: Oh yes, at least. Yeah.
Dale Nelson: Easily, maybe beyond that even. But truly a top-notch fabricator. Kept their schedules, kept their promises no matter what.
Heidi Ellsworth: And that says a lot in the last couple years.
Dale Nelson: We really got to be very good friends and worked closely together and found ourselves really aligned in a lot of ways. And so in 2015 or so, Jan and I got to talking about, how do I retire? How do we move on? And Robert said, "Well, if you guys are interested in moving on, we'd be interested in acquiring you." So we made a deal and in 2016 we sold our interest to Logan Stampings, or I guess it's LSI group, technically.
Robert Baker: Correct. Correct. Yeah.
Dale Nelson: And they had me an employment agreement for two years and then I was supposed to retire.
Robert Baker: And that's not going to happen.
Dale Nelson: Apparently not.
Heidi Ellsworth: We see how that's working out, right?
Robert Baker: Yeah. It's working out well for me. It's been a perfect marriage and as these companies evolved, Logan Stampings, LSI Meta Fab, BPD or Building Products Development and then Roof Hugger. Then we basically said, "Well how do we promote this?" And basically, so when you make a phone call, it's like, "Well this is Robert from LSI or from Logan Stampings, Roof Hugger." Well now we've created this LSI group. So it's easier to say we're part of the LSI group. So we can bring a lot of amazing products and services to the table or to this industry.
Heidi Ellsworth: Right. So I mean, you are really bringing an all star team together it sounds like, with everything that you have going with LSI. How has this been going? I mean, it just seems really exciting.
Robert Baker: It is. And it's so busy. Sometimes you don't see the success and how things are evolving, but it's been very successful and we have a great team and a lot of depth of knowledge that we can pull from, either from a retrofit side of things or metal roof clips and performance and testing to manufacturing, custom clips, fabricating things. So we have a lot of resources from depth of management and knowledge and experience to capabilities from fabricating, stamping. And so yeah, we can bring a lot to the table. Almost a one stop shop.
DJ Highnote: And I think each of our products all fit together. And it shows at these shows when somebody comes up and "Oh, Logan... Yeah. Oh, yeah, I get Roof Huggers too." And so it's a great fit for all of us, anyway.
Heidi Ellsworth: I was going to ask you about that DJ, because you have a booth together and this is the first time, right, that you've had Logan Stamping and, no? And Roof Hugger?
Dale Nelson: We have been doing this for four years maybe.
Heidi Ellsworth: All together?
Robert Baker: Oh, at least four or five years.
Heidi Ellsworth: Okay, sorry. I'm way behind.
Dale Nelson: You got to get out more, Heidi.
Heidi Ellsworth: I got to get out more.
DJ Highnote: On the bigger shows. Yeah.
Heidi Ellsworth: But here at METALCON, how has the show been for you so far?
Robert Baker: Fantastic. Indianapolis, you know what to expect. But I think the two days have been great. And I wouldn't say it's a lot of traffic, traffic, but it's been a focused group. Everybody here is looking for something and talking and a lot of potential. So I think it's been a huge success at this point.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's excellent.
Robert Baker: No doubt.
Heidi Ellsworth: What are some of the hot items or topics in the booth that you guys have been talking about in the last few days.
Dale Nelson: Interestingly, we just, were introducing a new patented product that allows us to add strength to the existing metal building purlins. That patent was issued yesterday or the day before.
Heidi Ellsworth: We're breaking news right here. Breaking news a new patent.
Dale Nelson: Five o'clock news tonight. Don't miss it.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, don't miss it. This right here.
Dale Nelson: So that's just new.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. Congratulations.
Dale Nelson: And we're working through the manufacturing implications of changing things a little bit. And we have a patented thermal break now that go on Logan Stamping clips that is applicable to some things, but it's a full thermal break in the existing roof. We're always trying to innovate, trying to make products better. And that's what's been the great bond between us is that we're all thinking down the road. Where's the industry going and how do we make sure we are a resource for them going forward so they know who to look for?
DJ Highnote: And these patents are exciting because I think as you know, we've been working on this purlin strengthening for a long time.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yes, you have.
DJ Highnote: This thermal break that was a long, long hard road and a lot of testing and a lot of effort goes into it. So, it's exciting.
Heidi Ellsworth: And I know you all. You don't put stuff out unless it's right and it's going to do what it has to happen.
Robert Baker: And that's important. When we came together and things evolved, it was important to keep Roof Hugger name because everybody knows Roof Hugger. I didn't want to say, "Well that's call Logan Stamping, Stamping's Huggers."
So we keep the brands and names because that's what the customer knows. But we do want to get the story out and the message that we're under one umbrella. We all work together, we talk every week.
Heidi Ellsworth: I love it.
Robert Baker: And we share the same vision and mission and that's to take care of the customer and it's important. So we align pretty well.
Robert Baker: We align pretty well.
Heidi Ellsworth: I really like that we're right here on the metal coffee shop sound stage, getting this message out because I do think it's important when there's so much opportunity there and so much there. Yeah. So if you're watching this and you're on the show, be sure to go to booth 1511.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, that was a big problem. So good. At least you guys know your booth, 1511 and check this out. But also watch for LSI group, all the companies coming up in shows in 2023 too.
Robert Baker: That's correct.
Heidi Ellsworth: You're going to have a lot going on. I know DJ and I've talked about that.
DJ Highnote: Yep. Absolutely.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. So gentlemen, thank you.
Robert Baker: Well, Heidi, thank you for this opportunity.
Dale Nelson: Thank you.
Robert Baker: Thank you very much.
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