By Lauren White, RCS Reporter.
Bill Good has been active throughout his years as the CEO of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and now in his retirement. He helped develop the Roofing Alliance, which is the foundation of NRCA, in addition to establishing partnerships with construction management programs, and starting the student competition at the International Roofers Expo (IRE). In part two of his podcast, Bill speaks with Heidi Ellsworth, RoofersCoffeeShop® partner, about the amazing partnership between the Alliance and the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMH).
Bill and Charles Antis, founder and CEO of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, were instrumental in the creation of this partnership. According to Bill, “Charles has built a really interesting company modeled on philanthropy.” One day, Charles called Bill saying, “I’ve got this great relationship with the Ronald McDonald House in Orange County and...NRCA should develop a relationship with every Ronald McDonald House around the country.”
And so the journey began. Both RMH and the Alliance are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, so a meeting was easily set up to discuss this idea. The partnership didn’t begin overnight, but once both parties were comfortable with each other, and details were solidified, the Alliance joined companies such as Coca-Cola and La-Z-Boy Furniture and other nationally well-known brand names as RMH partners.
While this is an Alliance project, NRCA is also involved. The major goal of this partnership was to take care of the roofs of all Ronald McDonald houses in the United States. The Alliance helps RMH save money and connect them with good contractors and manufacturers. Bill shares, “We didn’t, and don’t promise that every roof will be free, but we do promise that every roof will be taken care of.”
Ronald McDonald houses help families stay together when their children are sick. These houses are all near pediatric hospitals and can range in size from five or ten rooms to 200 or 300 rooms, depending on the hospital and the needs of the local community. Anyone with a child in the hospital is eligible to stay at the RMH. If they are unable to afford it, the room is free. However, if they are able to help pay for the room, the cost is just $25 a night. The rooms are comfortable, and meals and Coca-Cola products are provided to the families. These well-designed houses also have a family space, green space, and a meditation space.
The first roofing project that was completed for RMH was a $50 million expansion with a significant roof in Philadelphia. Through the collaboration of U.S. Roofing in Philadelphia, Firestone, and Carlisle, they were able to save RMH hundreds of thousands of dollars. Union Roofers Local 30 in Philadelphia worked for free on Saturdays to help complete the project. This was a significant job because it established that the partnership was viable, gave the Alliance credibility with RMH, and proved to everyone that this would work.
Bill shares, “We wound up being a true industry partnership initiative where you had contractor, manufacturer, union, all kind of chipping in and making it work and doing a good deed and saving the house a lot of money that they could use for other things.”
There are 184 Ronald McDonald Houses in the United States. According to Bill, “19 of them are housed within hospitals. So, that leaves 165 that have roofs that need to be taken care of.” There is a lot of variability in the size and roof style of the homes. Some are small, residential style homes with traditional shingle roofs, while others are multi-story commercial buildings with hundreds of rooms and mid-size commercial roofs.
Each of the 165 houses are aligned with a local roofing contractor. According to Bill, “Alliance members got first opportunity and NRCA members got second opportunity. And then if we failed with both, then we went out to the local community…” It may have taken a while, but all 165 houses are accounted for.
When contractors agree to adopt the roof of a house, they agree to three things. Bill reveals, “They agree to do an initial inspection, they agree to do an annual maintenance, and they agree to take care of problems, legal problems, and they agree to do all those things at their own expense.” When the relationship is established, the people managing the house know the roof is safe, going to be taken care of, and they have someone to call if they have a problem.
“The Alliance is more than just roofing contractors, the Alliance is the entire industry. And it’s really been great to see the way the entire industry has embraced it [the partnership],” shares Bill. Once people are introduced to working with RMH, they don’t view it as an obligation, it’s an opportunity to give back and people want to do more.
The funding, the projects, the research, the Ronald McDonald House, the construction school management program, all of this helps improve the roofing industry and its image to the public. Additionally, these efforts help bring on new talent and young people to roofing. Bill has been key to these initiatives and the betterment of the roofing industry, even in his retirement.