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S2:E8 Coffee Conversations - Giving Back in the Roofing Industry Sponsored by Cotney Construction Law - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Cotney - S2:E8 Coffee Conversation - Giving Back in the Roofing Industry Sponsored by Cotney Construction Law
December 14, 2020 at 8:15 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an interview with Trent Cotney of Cotney Construction Law and roofing foundation representatives including Kyle Thomas, President of the Roofing Alliance; Chuck Chapman, Chairman of Davis Memorial Foundation; Mike Silvers with the FRSA Educational & Research Foundation and Rod Petrick of the Chicago CRCA Foundation. You can read the interview below or listen to the conversation here.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Good morning and welcome to Coffee Conversations. My name is Heidi Ellsworth, and I'm an RCS partner with rooferscoffeeshop.com, and I want to welcome all of you here this morning. Today's Coffee Conversation is near and dear to my heart, and these are the people who make such wonderful things happen in our roofing industry. So today, we are going to be talking about roofing foundations, the foundations that are out there, they're doing research, granting scholarships, helping our community and the community outside roofing to succeed and to do better. So today, we have asked Trent Cotney, who is the sponsor of today's Coffee Conversations, Cotney Construction Law, to be here with us and talk about the importance of giving back. 
And Trent, in return invited four representatives from the four foundations, the Roofing Alliance, the Chicago CRCA Foundation, the FRSA Foundation, and the Roofing Alliance to visit with all of us today, to tell us about what is going on with these foundations and how all of you can be involved. So before we get started, a few housekeeping. 
In your on control panel as part of the GoToMeeting, you will see a place for chat and questions. Please, please put your questions in their, comments, success stories, how much you love these foundations. We will share that as we go throughout this morning's Coffee Conversation. And Megan Ellsworth, is in the background and she'll be chatting with you, asking you questions, and if you want to come on and ask any of these gentlemen questions throughout the morning, they will be here for you to visit. So before we turn this over to everyone, I do want to introduce our guests. As I said, today we have Trent Cotney, with Cotney Construction Law. Thank you for being here, Trent. 

Trent Cotney:
Hey, it's great being here. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. And thank you so much for being a sponsor of Coffee Conversations. This giving back, I know you and I talked about it a lot. This is really important. I also want to introduce Chuck Chapman, who is the chairman of the Davis Memorial Foundation. Good morning, Chuck.

Chuck Chapman:
Morning.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And Mike Silvers, who's with the FRSA, and also was one of the founding members of their FRSA Foundation. Good morning, Mike. 

Mike Silvers:
Good morning, Heidi, and the rest of y'all. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
And, Rod Petrick. Rod, has been instrumental in launching the CRCA Foundation, and is a long time CRCA member, I can't even go through the whole resume. But he is also the NRCA chairman. So Rod, thank you so much for being here. 

Rod Petrick:
Thank you Heidi, good morning everyone. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
Good morning. And last but definitely not least, Kyle Thomas, who is the president of the Roofing Alliance, [inaudible 00:03:07] NRCA Chairman. And I'm sorry, but I just got to say this, Kyle, one of the coolest people because he has been doing the student competition, which is one of my favorite events, through the Roofing Alliance for years. So we've worked together a lot on promoting that. So Kyle, thank you so much for being here today.

Kyle Thomas:
Thank you Heidi, good morning everybody.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So we are going to get started. And our first stop this morning is to talk about the Cotney Construction Law Giving Back campaign. So Trent, tell us a little bit about this brainstorm, what you're doing, and on how this is all working.

Trent Cotney:
Sure. So I got to thinking it's at the end of the year, right? And everybody starts thinking about donations that they're going to do to charitable organizations. And for me, I feel very blessed to be a part of the roofing industry. It's put food on my table, my employees tables, my family's table for generations. And I was kind of taught you give back your time, your talent, and your treasure. And to me, I'm very involved in a lot of associations throughout the US and Canada. And one of the things that I've noted is that the foundation's that are set up, they do great work, right? They provide scholarships, they provide training, they provide an avenue to get new people into the industry, which I think is critical especially now with a lack of skilled labor. In addition to that, there's a lot of great research projects that come up. 
So what I wanted to do is I wanted to incentivize people to give. It's important because I know what great work each of these associations do, I contribute to all of them, but I wanted to incentivize people to give. So what we are doing is we are matching up to $2500 at the end of December for anybody that contributes to one of these associations. And I have a very special announcement that I will say at the end of this presentation, so stay tuned to the end because I am going to sweeten the pot even more full. So how about that?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Awesome. That's great. I love it. I love these little surprises. So, okay. We really want everyone out there to be involved. We want you to understand all the great things that are going on. And Trent and I we talk about this all the time. How can we get more people involved, how can we really promote the great things these foundations are doing? So this morning, you're going to get to hear about what these foundations are doing, and just how incredible they are. And so first off, I would like to introduce Chuck Chapman, with the Davis Memorial Foundation. And I am a little prejudice because I'm also a trustee of Davis Memorial Foundation, which is just such a great honor. So, Chuck, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about Davis.

Chuck Chapman:
Well, thank you Heidi, and Trent, thank you once again, you never disappoint. And I really appreciate your support of the Davis Foundation as well as all of these other organizations, and making this possible today with your sponsorship. We really appreciate it. The Davis Memorial Foundation was started in 1996 by the Western States Roofing Contractors Association. We became incorporated in 1997, and it was started by seed money donated by United Building Products.

Chuck Chapman:
We support students in the Western United States who are associated with the roofing industry. And since our inception, we had over 142 scholarships to the tune of over $600,000. It's really, really wonderful to be able to support the families and the students involved with our industry by way of these scholarships, so we are very fortunate that the foundation has trustees. I am fortunate and blessed to be the chairman of the foundation. Heidi Ellsworth, is one of our wonderful trustees, Mr. Dennis Ryan with Waterproofing Associates is another one, Greg Bloom from Beacon Roofing Products, Bill Baley from C.I. Services, and last but not least, our administrator and trustee Mr. Joel Viera, who is also the Western State executive director. And those are the six people that we have for administering the foundation, awarding the scholarship, and really spearheading all of our fundraising.
All of the money is obtained through three primary fundraising vehicles. One is the Golf [inaudible 00:07:54] Shooting Clays Tournament. Happens every year until unfortunately what happened around with COVID. We were unable [inaudible 00:08:03] those events, but we were able to have our auction this year, an online version. And we were somewhat able to raise a fair amount of money for the foundation. And that is now going to be live pretty much year round. And if you want to donate, you can access that through our Davis Memorial Foundation website, which is up there on the screen right now. And if you want to donate, you can click on that and go right to our auction. And if you personally want to buy a scholarship and have it named, either in your name or your company's name, you can do that as well. It's a $5,000 scholarship award. We had five of them last year. Trent, was one of [inaudible 00:08:49]. Thank you Trent. It is really, really a wonderful way to support the foundation. So that's a primary way we can raise money for the scholarships and we really appreciate everybody contributing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Chuck, thank you. Thank you so much. And there's all kinds of comments going on up here about how great this is bringing it together. Megan, has the link in the chat to donate. And I do just want to real quick say the kids we're seeing coming out of the Davis Scholars program, are being supported in so many ways and many of them are coming back into roofing, which is what it's all about, trying to grow the professionalism. And I have to say, I'm Megan Ellsworth, who is part of the roofing industry working for RoofersCoffeeShop, was a proud recipient of a Davis Memorial Scholarship. So from our family, thank you. Yes.

Chuck Chapman:
There are a lot of sons and daughters of roofing contractors, or people in the manufacturing, or distribution network that weren't originally in the industry, but have circled back around and come back, and come back into the fold. So that's really wonderful and absolutely amazing to see. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
It is. It really is. It is so great. Okay. So we are now... Thank you Chuck, so much, and we're going to come back. We're going to be asking some questions and talking a little bit more, but this is just the introduction. So I would like to introduce Kyle Thomas, with the roofing Alliance, again, another association I work with, very near and dear. Kyle, tell us about the Roofing Alliance. 

Kyle Thomas:
Thank you, Heidi, and thanks, Chuck. I could talk forever on Roofing Alliance, so you guys I'll try to keep it brief so we can all have time to share. The Alliance is the foundation of the NRCA. The Alliance promotes the advancement of roofing through research, education, technology, and charitable programs. So back in the mid 90s, the NRCA leadership got together and felt there was already a National Roofing Foundation but it wasn't doing much. So really forward thinking leaders back in the early to mid 90s get together and put a plan together to create the Alliance. And I don't think anyone back then expected the success it was going to have, but they started in 1996, so we're coming up on our 25th anniversary next year. So we'll be celebrating 25 years next year.

Kyle Thomas:
They started with going to contractors and getting commitments of $50,000 apiece, spread over a five year payment term. And they jumped out of the gate basically with about $8 million worth of commitments right off the bat to create the endowment. So they started the endowment basically in 1996. In 2007, some of the same forward thinking leaders created a second endowment for scholarships called the Melvin Kruger Endowment Fund. So we've got actually two funds right now. The two endowment funds that operate are general services or general fund, and a scholarship fund.
At this point, we've handed out almost $900,000 in scholarships to over 130 students to the Melvin Kruger Endowment Scholarship Fund. We've allocated almost $6 million overall in projects that support our mission. Our fund is grown. Membership continues to grow every year. So we started with $8 million in commitment. Like I said, we've allocated almost six million and our fund is sitting at over 11 million right now. Of course, the stock market's doing what it's doing. In fact, it always vary depending on the volatility of the market. But in other words, point being, we have allocated a lot of the funds that have been raised, but we continue to raise funds, and we continue to gain membership every year.

Kyle Thomas:
The four pillars of the association of the foundation is technology and research, education and training, philanthropy, and sustainability. And here again, I could talk forever. But just a few brief points about what we're doing in those pillars, education and training. We partnered with Clemson University and they have created full credit, three hour credit courses at Clemson University, so a student can go to Clemson and take the... We're working on the second three hour class, and there'll be a third. So there'll be actually nine credit hours of roofing specific education at Clemson. But we're also making that program portable where we can pass it out to other schools. Just one of the things we're doing, the Alliance helped fund the beginnings of the ProCert initiative that the NRCA is moving down right now. So we put some seed money in on that and help the NRCA get that kicked off. The student competition that Heidi, mentioned, has been a really fun endeavor that we've engaged with.
On the philanthropy side, I can't take credit for this. Mr. Petrick, who's on the panel today really pushed this one. But the Alliance partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities and we challenged, or Rod, challenge our membership to adopt the standalone Ronald McDonald Houses so that if they had a roofing need, the Alliance would take care of it, or Alliance members and NRCA members would take care of it. And I'm proud to say that all 165 standalone homes have been adopted through that program.
Other things that we do as far as philanthropy and recognition, the Alliance sponsors the most valuable player awards for the NRCA or for membership. So members can nominate employees in their companies that deserve recognition, and we have recognized them with the awards banquet at the trade show gallery. Same thing with the Gold Circle Awards as far as quality projects, safety projects, and stuff like that. So the Alliance sponsors the MVP and the Gold Circle Awards. We have a program called Helping Our Own, where if someone has a specific need or an unfortunate situation, they can reach out to the Alliance and we can help them with that.
Research. We've done a lot of research where we partnered in and with a lot of the other associations for research. We recently completed a... Arizona State University completed an overall nationwide study of the roofing industry. Basically, a demographic study, kind of gives us some data to lobby with as we go to DC and talk to the lawmakers and legislators about the impacts of the roofing industry on the economy as a whole. We've partnered in the moisture and concrete studies, which have been going on for quite a while now, but has been a serious issue for the roofing industry for a while now. Help fund some of the silica studies that NRCA is working on, so that our members can understand and know what the silica rules are and the impacts of those on them. Excuse me there.
We're currently working on an interesting virtual reality study to see how we can use virtual reality in training and educating employees, specifically starting with safety training, but who knows where that could lead to as far as what the VR future might lead. And so, I think that's pretty much the quick speech about the Alliance. Like I say, Heidi, I could talk forever, so give me the hook when it's time to hush. So I think that that's my quick speech on the Alliance. It's an amazing endeavor and it's been very successful.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, the good news Kyle, is on January 14th, Coffee Conversations, you're going to be back. We're celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Roofing Alliance. And so we'll be able to really talk about, get really into all of those. Everything you have listing I'm like, "Oh, yeah, that's so cool. Oh, that's great. People need to know about that." So there's a lot. And I do need too, the Roofing Alliance was the first on kickoff for national women in roofing. They were the first ones to step up. So that was pretty amazing. So thank you so much. Again, Megan, has that link for the Roofing Alliance up in or she will in the chat box, and every... go check it out, there's just so much. But we're going to keep going. And we are actually going to go to Rod, now. And Rod, feel free to mention the Ronald McDonald Houses too because you're involved in everything just like everybody on this. But tell us about on CRCA and what's happening there. 

Rod Petrick:
Good morning everyone. I'm proud to be a CRCA member along with an NRCA and an NRCA Alliance member. CRCA the oldest roofing organization in the country. We have a lot of history. And I can remember going with my dad back in the 80s to the scholarship night. And I always thought it was so cool to go to the scholarship night. And every year CRCA along with the CRC, which is the controlling roofing council, the signatory contractors would partner and give scholarships.
Our CRC past president George Patterson, had put together a past presidents dinner that we would meet twice a year. And his feeling was, "As you know we have so much knowledge here, we should share this and get guys together just to have a bottle of wine, some dinner, and share ideas." And a group of us were cornered by a couple other guys that started the scholarships, Joe Adler and Jerry Hoffman. And they basically embarrassed us by saying, "The scholarships have stayed at the same value and you're giving out the same number of scholarships when this first started." And he basically, he had us in the corner and says "It's time for you guys to step up." And George, in his infinite wisdom decided, you know what, there's a group of guys here we're going to start this foundation. 
And it's going very well. With my past experience with the Alliance, I felt that was the best way to get this thing started and basically you have to get money in the foundation to be able to continue to afford doing the scholarships, because every year we have at least $20,000 worth of scholarships that are awarded. And I don't know if it's unique to CRCA, but ours are a four year renewable scholarship. So as long as you keep your GPA up to our criteria, that scholarship will renew for four years, which is a lot different from what we hear from our students. 
One thing that's exciting is when you sit there and review scholarship applications is a lot of people... You hear that all the young people they really don't have any interest, while you read scholarships and what these young people want to go do. We have people that... biomedical engineering, which I'm sure they've been involved in the development of these COVID vaccines. A young lady was going to school of architecture and she came back to speak to us, and she was one of the lead designers of the interior of the 787 Dreamliner. So when you hear what some of these scholarship has afforded somebody to go to school, it's been very interesting. And we've got now chemists, doctors, architects, engineers. You're giving somebody an opportunity that wasn't there.
But also at CRC, we've always had the philanthropic side of it. And before the foundation, calls would come in the CRCA. I would then generally get the call and we would kind of do a distribution, through the go by logistically, what contractor was close and make a call, and yeah, kind of plead with them to "Hey, could you could you volunteer to maybe do this as a donation." And true to the industry, most people pick it up and run with it immediately. I have to say, I'm proud and always talk about the roofing industry, but it seems when people are in need, the entire industry is willing to come together and move forward. And as Kyle, it happened with the Ronald McDonald Houses, that was great.
And then we've always done whatever type of research or helping. And I remember I was strategically involved when the City of Chicago put their roof reflectivity ordinance. CRCA joined with what we loosely called, was the Roofing Alliance. It was just a short group of manufacturers, engineers, architects, [inaudible 00:21:54], and it took eight years of negotiations with the city to get to the current ordinance that we work under for roof reflectivity, which now a lot of people are seeing developing those into their codes and it mirrors what was done in Chicago. But I'm sure with the proximity that we've got to NRCA, we've helped with silica study that's kind of ongoing, as for fume research, both the CRCA and CRC were major contributors for the moisture and concrete survey. 
So over the years, we've been very involved and I think the big push by a couple of our more older and wiser contractors gave us the push to start the foundation. And our members are growing. I was giving Trent, a hard time as... He had been involved... You become involved in trying to promote the foundation, you kind of forget to write your own cheque. And I talked to my son this morning, we're going to make our five year commitment and start actually with our cheque today. So we will be moving in to be one of the bigger sponsors with the CRCA Foundation. But it's a great group of guys, not just here, as Kyle said, throughout the country, and with the other speakers that are here. Our industry, I really believe understands the word giving back. And, Heidi, I think you remember I said that at that one meeting, that [inaudible 00:23:18] said, "You need to give back in the industry where can you make your living." And I think we all do that pretty much every day.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes, I think so too. And, Rod, there's been a lot of times, and as you have talked about the next generation, you've really inspired me. And how are we [inaudible 00:23:36] that next generation in, and that's exactly what you're doing. And I have to tell you, we're seeing comments come through so I just wanted to let you all know. So first of all, many if not all the executive directors of these foundations are watching in the background. But Bill McHugh, who is executive director of the CRCA just wants to point out to everybody that it is great to see this panel together and thanking Trent, for what he's doing. As part of the CRCA I want to point that out. And then also Jennifer [Jo Paine 00:24:07], who is involved with CRCA is talking about how much she loves the scholarship night too Rod, so that sounds like an awesome event.

Rod Petrick:
It is. What's great for the young men and women that are being honored is that's our biggest event of the year. We get a lot of participation and I'm always amazed at how young people are willing to get up and talk in front of a room of 150 to 200 grumpy looking roofing contractors.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is so true. We've seen it a lot. That is awesome. Well, thank you, Rod. Thank you. We're going to come back. I want to get to Mike Silvers, who is with FRSA. The FRSA Foundation has been doing amazing things for a long time, Mike. Tell us about that.

Mike Silvers:
Thank you for having us Heidi, and thank you very much for putting this together. It's a great thing for our industry. Also with me as Lisa Pate, FRSA is executive director is here with us, and John Hellein, who's the Director of our foundation is here too. Camera shy bit here. So you'll have to look at me instead. Our foundation was started in 1982, and really has gotten its feet underneath of it in the last 20 years, and they're doing a lot of different things. Like the other foundations here, we're focused on roofing industry, related education, and research, in particular contractor continuing education through seminars, both live and online. 

Mike Silvers:
As you all know, building codes are real big in Florida. They're enforced and very important, and so we have a large job in keeping that information in our members hands and giving them the information they need to follow the building code and stay out of trouble. Besides contractors, we also do architects, engineers, and building officials, and do CE courses for them keep them up on the latest roofing changes in Florida. And so that we get a hopefully a level playing field which is what we're trying to create for our contractor members. 
We do worker training through seminars, courses. And right now ABC and FRSA has an apprenticeship program we're working on. Right next door in our training facility as we speak, we have a group of apprentices there. I'll be heading over there right after this webinar to help with the instruction. That's been a great success. We've got three different courses going around the state of Florida, with a fourth one looks like coming online, and we're real, real happy about the way that that's been working on.
Career outreach. We have been doing what they call the summit, which is a weekend with young folks who are interested in the construction industry. And we've started that, we hope to do another one in April of this year. And we spend two days there introducing the roofing industry and some hands on roofing stuff over the course of two days. It's a great program, we've seen a lot of interest from the young people involved, had no idea that they might have an interest in the roofing industry, but we lay out a nice program for them and help them understand some of the benefits of being involved in our industry not just as roofers, but the overall industry and the career opportunities that are out there.
We also do roofing industry focused scholarships. This year we did 15 totaling $30,000, and we've done $288,000 in scholarships over the period that we've been doing roofing them. Roofing related research. Again, with the building codes, we have a lot of things that we want to look at in order to present code changes and back that up with research. Years ago we'd started the Earl Blank Endowment with the University of Florida. University of Florida is very involved with Florida building commission so we're able to help fund studies that often make changes in the building code, and that's been very helpful and we are constantly looking at roofing related research. 
We have seven different levels of membership. You can also do lifetime memberships at three different levels starting as low as $500. We've been very fortunate, we've got a great group of trustees headed by George Ebersold, who is with Tanenbaum Roofing, and is this year's president of our group. George, made a $250 contribution at our meeting last couple days ago, I matched that so we're appreciate Trent, being able to match those as well. So we're doing a lot here with our foundation and hope that we'll see some donations, very fortunate to have great support from our contractors in the state of Florida. Thank God.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow. Thank you, Mike. And I've just been so fortunate to work with all of you on so many things, and I've worked with Lisa Pate and you Mike on FRSA, and have been to a number of your events, and the roofing professionals in Florida are just amazing. And we are seeing Brad Setters, on here right now, we've got some other folks coming on. So we've got all kinds of comments. Awesome. People are just loving this. So I'm going to get to the comments in a minute. But before we do that, what we want to do is we want to have Trent, talk just a little bit before we're going to go into kind of some questions and different things. But we want to talk just a little bit about logistics. 
So just so everybody knows as we're talking, we have some questions here and we have a whole bunch coming up on the screen. But Trent, you might be on mute so you might want to unmute, and let us know just if people are interested in donating, which I hope everyone is, or it's going to share the word out to the industry, to any of these foundations or there's a number of other foundations out there too, how does that work? 

Trent Cotney:
Sure. So in order to take advantage of the match, what we need to have is receipts between... It can be even, a little bit before this is fine, all the way up to the end of December, and they can send it to us, they can probably send it to Anita, it'd to be the best way. Heidi, will give them that information in the chat box and we'll match it directly. But Heidi, I want to tell you I was listening to... We did a prep course yesterday. So for the attendees that are listening to this, Heidi, is smart enough to make sure we all get on the line and we talk about things ahead of time. 
And I had the opportunity to listen to everybody and I look around at the people that are up now, and Mike, Rod, Chuck, and Kyle, I've been in the trenches with these guys. I've spent hours with these guys and have really grown strong friendships with them, and it got me thinking yesterday. So I picked up the phone to you and I said, "Hey, what if I increase the amount for today only." Okay. And the thought was, I know we're all busy, right? I've got five or six Zoom calls today. It's very easy to get distracted. What I want people to do is I want them to pay today. Okay? And I know I told you one thing yesterday Heidi, but I've been so moved by listening to what they have had to say. If you contribute today and get us a receipt that's dated today, we will match up to $10,000.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's more than you said yesterday, Trent. Holy cow!

Trent Cotney:
That's right. And the reason I want people to do this is because I know to me it's one of the best things I do all year long. It really is. It is the ability to see the scholarship winners faces when they get a scholarship. The ability to go do charity roofs. Those types of things are what make a lasting impression on me. So just listening to what everybody had to say, I want to motivate people to pay today. Pay today and we will match up to $10,000.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is great. Well, get ready Trent, because I'm going to be going on.

Trent Cotney:
Yeah, please. Please.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I think a lot of people are. [crosstalk 00:33:08] That news, that is awesome. Oh, my gosh. Well, we have so many comments here. So first of all, Megan, is... Oh, I want to make sure. Hold on I'm going to... This sometimes happens and we get a little bit of an echo. So we're going to fix that. Okay, hopefully that echo is gone. What we're going to do is Megan, is putting how to donate, and whether you go straight to the association or you go to the RoofersCoffeeShop, to get there we're just trying to make it easy, and just print out your receipts, and then Megan, will also put Anita's email into the chat box also. But if for some reason you don't get Anita's, it's simple, heidi@rooferscoffeeshop.com and we will forward those to Trent, too. So however, whatever works for everybody. You can't believe the amount of comments that are coming through my friends. This is awesome. But we do have somebody, Megan. I believe we have somebody in waiting to come on to make a comment or ask a question. Is that right? 

Megan:
Yes, we have, Charles Antis.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Charles, welcome. You have a question or a comment I'm sure. 

Megan:
Yes. Charles, you're good to unmute and join via video if you would like.

Charles Antis:
Oh, I have to go on here. I'm going to figure this out. Share my webcam. Yes. Hello all. So [inaudible 00:34:42]. Heidi, thank you and I love this panel. I know most of you really well. But I got to say, Heidi, you and I met five years ago on a bus. We were going to rebuild Orlando together because you and I both knew that's where the real people show up, and that's not a knock on everybody else, but people that really know that they can be involved and have better balance, and chemistry, and likely better culture. And you and I bumped into each other, and you told me about what? You told me about this group. 

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes, I did.

Charles Antis:
And you said that I to come to this meeting. Do you remember that?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes. Join the Roofing Alliance, get involved within NRCA. You got to do these things. Yes.

Charles Antis:
And so you brought me and then I met Rod. Rod's there intimidating. He's like, "Who is this young California guy?" He didn't say that but that's his look. But Rod, was like, "Well, things go this way, this way." And then Kyle, Kyle, was young like me and he had a small roofing size company like me, and it seemed acceptable, but then I heard it was going to cost me $50,000. And you know what I said? I said, "Bill Good," who is so nice at asking things. I said, "Bill, I can't do that. I can't commit to that. I've never made a commitment that big." And to Trent, what Trent just did, Trent, not only do I think that that's beautiful. And I do. and I can use that word. I'm from California I can say that. It's a beautiful gesture because it stops people from that routine thinking and it makes them think like, "How can that be? What if they max it out?" You know what, Trent, if things gets maxed out this morning, it'll be the best thing. And you know that. That could ever happen not only to the community of roofing and those that we're affecting, but also to your business. 
And that's what we discovered because I said yes to Bill Good. And then Bill Good, came to me and I committed the $50,000. I was going to pay it over five years. And it was more than ever committed. And then Bill Good, got me, and the Alliance got me to see way bigger than we could ever see what some of your questions early on... Because I was involved, I got to be involved as were you Heidi, and all of us. Most of us here that I know of, probably all of us, we were very involved in the Ronald McDonald initiative. And it was beautiful the way it came through. And it truly is a pause moment for our entire industry. I'm on the board of local Ronald McDonald House here in Orange County. In fact, I still wear these socks every day purposely because I'm trying to raise $12 million so we can double twice the house.
But this whole initiative has allowed my company and my community to see... my own company within and externally to see us as way bigger, to see us as actually a social steward that actually protects everything that people loves in Southern California. And I think that same image of roofing is coming on us, and so I just want to encourage everybody to get involved with all of these wonderful organizations. I'm just more intimate with Roofing Alliance. And I'll say real quick. I want stop really soon but Trent, Trent, is a great guy. Remember the movie Godfather? Now, we're not a mob. We're a mob was good. We're a mob was good. But remember the Godfather's... One of the most likable characters was, Robert Duvall. He was the consigliere, whatever you call it. You sir are that for the roofing industry and I thank you. You're a good man. 
Rod, you just won this amazing recognition in Chicago, this excellence and entrepreneurship award, something, the spirit of something, because I don't remember the title. But you won it partially because not only did you socially steward this initiative, but Ronald McDonald House is housed in Chicago. And this gift that we gave Ronald McDonald Houses, do you know how hard it is for them to go to each of the 165 houses and say, "Hey, I'm sorry you got to roof leak. Good luck." Now they get to say, "Here we're a community and we're better together." So I just think... Everyone on this call, I thank you for everything you do for the roofing industry. I today see way bigger because of these people right here in this room that led me and helped me to see way bigger. And now, I believe that we can change the world. And you guys know I think that way, and I believe you do too. So thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you, Charles. Charles, you always bring such passion and energy. I love it. Rod, just real quick. Contractors across the country can get involved with Ronald McDonald House. And Kyle, you're both so involved with that. This is one of those things that I think I'm from a giving back standpoint is just so incredible. Rod, can you just real quick, how did they get involved with Ronald McDonald House? I know they want, people want to.

Rod Petrick:
If you want just basically get hold of Bennett and NRCA officers and she'll get the information back to Kyle and I, because we have... With 165 houses, it's interesting now that it's kind of known in the marketplace. Plenty of people stop me, "Hey, how do I get involved?" And it's nice that way. We're not always leaning on the same contractor. Myself we've partnered with Bennett [inaudible 00:39:56] company that George Patterson, runs. And they [inaudible 00:40:00] Hines Hospital complex. So we've got room where contractors can partner and that way we're not leaning on one guy, but there's availability, and we want to get as many people involved as we can. And it's just not doing the roofs. People can go in and volunteer to serve lunch, served dinner, go read a book to some children that their parents are going through a rough time because one of their siblings may be in the hospital. 
And there's a lot of other opportunity besides just being a roofer. We can do a lot more to help and it's just not Ronald McDonald Houses. Any anything in the industry that kind of comes to these foundations. Being part of the Alliance and part of CRCA. I've never seen us say no. If it's something that's difficult, we step back and try to figure it out. Because, as Charles said, when he brought up this Ronald McDonald House, and I know they're based in Chicago, I said at the back of the room, "God, how are we going to get our arms around this?" But true to form, the industry stepped up and we were able to handle it all.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is so cool. And Megan, please put... Bennett, I hope this is okay. But let's put Bennett's email address up there in case contractors want to get involved. Bennett Judson, is absolutely the most amazing lady. I just can't say enough about what she does as an executive director with the Roofing Alliance. And she just had a comment here because she's always on it. She's a taskmaster to get Kyle, and everybody in going, but she's just [crosstalk 00:41:39]. Yeah. She just said there's two new Ronald McDonald Houses coming. So we're going to talk more about that in January, Kyle, when you come back, we'll really have a lot of that whole new stuff. But it's really good to know, make sure you get there. And also donation wise, if you're donating today to help with that $10,000 match, if you want to make it the easiest, go to Bennett, just send it to Bennett, or to Joel Viera, or to Lisa Pate, or to Bill McHugh. I'm telling you, they're all out there and can work. 
But I want to kind of go back. I have a question for all of you and I want to start with Chuck. Because one of the things at every single meeting we sit in, no matter which foundation or which association, we're talking about the professionalism of roofing and also the next generation. So Chuck, why is it so important for people to support the foundations to really help grow professionalism in roofing respect, and attract all these new young people into roofing?

Chuck Chapman:
Well, I think Reid, talks about this a lot. And every meeting, I've heard, Reid, talk at whether it's national, regional or local, he always talks about the professionalism of the industry, and how it's so important for us to all embrace the industry that we're in and talk about the fact that, "Hey, we are roofers. We are professional, we are a necessary trade, we are very good at what we do." And there's so many people unfortunately that kind of look down because they really are lacking the education and knowledge of knowing exactly what roofing is all about and what all of us are actually like. And so I think all of these foundations put that forward, and Reid, really respecting him for spearheading that, that we are a very wonderful industry. 
I came into the industry by accident, but it's almost 40 years later and I'm still here. And it's an absolutely wonderful industry to be involved in. And I think all of these foundations, really push that information forward and bring in a lot of the young people. You and I just talked a little bit earlier, we've got so many of our scholarship recipients and other young people, and kids of long term contractors, or distributors, or manufacturers that have kind of circled back. They graduated college, went into their field of expertise that they graduated from and a number of years down the road came back into the family business. And that's really heartwarming and absolutely wonderful. So I think you're absolutely right that all of us are continuing to push that, need to continue to push it, and really expand the knowledge and understanding of what this industry is really all about.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I agree so much. And I want to read a comment here, direct this towards Kyle, but it's says, "I was on the roof with the college students participating in the Roofing Alliance scholarship at the IRE in Nashville. And it was amazing hearing the questions from young people and their eagerness to learn. They were shocked to see a woman in roofing, so I am thankful to have been able to support those students and especially the female students in the program. This is a great panel and discussion. Thanks RCS." And that's from Lindsay Walsh, out of Nashville. She's with Firestone, an amazing lady. But Kyle, you've walked those roofs and we have seen some of these students from the student competition that's funded by the Alliance and everything, they want to come back to roofing and be a part of it now, or at least understand it. 

Kyle Thomas:
Yeah, the student competitions been a fantastic experience for me. You give me credit for working on the competition, I flip it the other way around. I've gotten so much out of the competition, that it's been more valuable to me than what I put into it by far. A couple of things, take away from that, and I think it's been mentioned a couple times already this morning, but we hear about this next generation and they're lazy, they expect things to be handed to them, they don't have work ethic, they don't have drive, they don't have... Like I said, the work ethic that a lot of us grew up with, and I found that to be exactly the opposite. Every time I engage with these young people, these students, they're interested, they're intelligent. These are very sharp young people. I think the trick is once they get exposed to the roofing industry, it's like Chuck said, they realize what a fun group of people we are. And so just the exposure is fantastic because they learn that the industry really is a profession, it really is a career. It's a career opportunity. 

Kyle Thomas:
But the students are fantastic, they do ask... The first meeting I meet with the team, and I think these guys, these kids don't have a clue about roofing. They'll never get it. They're going to crash and burn this competition. And then in just a few short months, where they go from zero to their knowledge of the roofing industry. By the time they present at oral presentation at the IRE, it's amazing to see how they've grown. So yeah, it's been fantastic. Like I say, it's been fantastic for me and a lot of fun.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah, I love it. My husband Tim, loves it. Every time he's like, "We're going to the student competition. This is it." And then he goes and looks for them afterwards, and wants to talk to every single kid because that's what Tim does. But they're so impressive. But one of the things too, and this is another comment, I want to put Rod, towards you. And I love this. And this is from Bill McHugh. 
So everyone who's involved on these committees as chairman, they are volunteers. Rod, everything you're doing you're volunteering your time. There's so much time that Chuck, to Kyle, Mike, everybody, Trent, and all of us, whether it's part of our jobs, we're also putting all the volunteer time in because we believe in this. If there's people out there who are like, "I can't really donate at this point," but they can be involved. They can help. The time, treasures, talent. Can you talk about that a little bit Rod?

Rod Petrick:
Well, yes. I understand that always when they come [inaudible 00:48:12] Charles, kind of [inaudible 00:48:13] earlier, when he got the first ask he couldn't handle that $50,000 request. And the Alliance works with you over a multiple year and they'll... I know CRCA does. But there's other ways, participate. When you know there's a philanthropic ask, maybe you can bring some of your guys or bring some of your equipment just to be there. And I can tell you, as you say, we're all volunteers. Some of my best friends are now people that I've met through the roofing industry. And I've got friends now throughout the country, guys like Charles, Kyle, Trent. And I really got to know Trent and his wife one day, we were sitting at an Alliance dinner. Sitting next to one... We sat next to one for two days in a row and we've become pretty good friends now. Problem is I don't get to see him except via Zoom these days [inaudible 00:49:08]. 
There's a lot of opportunities, and all that it's going to take is just want to be involved and kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier, is the giving back. And my dad said it and [inaudible 00:49:24] resonates to my son and everybody that works for us is we make our living here, we have to give back to those that are less fortunate. And it's so important. And I think it's the right thing to do. And like I said... I mentioned earlier, our industry I'm very proud to be in it because it seems like we are a pretty giving bunch.

Heidi Ellsworth:
We are. I love that so much. Mike, we have one other question here that I wanted to make sure we kind of touch on and FRSA has been so involved with this, besides the scholarships and also research, and really training and everything that you talked about, why is that important to find? Again, I want to take this to how are we attracting more people to roofing, how are we attracting talent, labor, the next generation, and how do you see that with FRSA and all foundations. 

Mike Silvers:
Well, I've been very fortunate I got involved with FRSA fairly young and I had a lot of really great mentors, who gave me the opportunity to learn a lot and feel that I'm just a conduit to continue what they've done. So to get in front of folks and explain our industry and give them a broader picture of it than they ever thought was possible, is really a great opportunity. Getting our contractors, keeping them aware of what's going on is incredible. We do seminars. 
Our seminars for our contractor members are as low as $50, for a three hour CE seminar. We want to make sure that that's out there and available to members because it is complex. Roofing as you all know is getting more complex every day by a lot, and trying to keep that out in front of our members and keeping them on top of things. But the most fun thing is bringing young people and exposing them to our industry that they really don't know anything about. The FBA the Future Builders of America is just a great program. And to have that chance to give people their first picture of our industry and what it's about, is about as fun as anything I do.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is so cool. That is awesome. I want to read just a couple things. And first of all, I want to thank somebody I just saw on here, Melissa Chapman, a very, very dear friend and also a friend of someone on this panel, probably more than a friend, obviously. "Trent, you're awesome. We really do work in an amazing industry with incredible people who have big hearts. You all are such powerful leaders and are truly making a difference in so many people's lives. Kudos to all of you." And that's from, Melissa. And I also see here that Trent, Melissa made a donation. So you'll be seeing something coming your way from Melissa and I'm guessing Chuck. Sorry, Melissa, I won't give Chuck credit. This is all you.
So we have all kinds of people, Michelle Boykin, is on here. She with Rackley Roofing out of Nashville. She is so excited. And Anita Lum, who is with Trent, just came on and she also put her email address out there and she is commenting. So I know I've missed some folks on here. Gabrielle Panella, thank you again. So proud to work alongside Trent, inspired by his passion of giving. That's really what we see across the board with everyone who's at Cotney. 
So maybe Trent, as we kind of come towards the end of our hour, talk to us a little bit more about your culture, your philosophy of giving. And really, I don't know if everybody understands how much you do with all of your general counsel services. I know when I came to you for National Women in Roofing, Cotney was the first group. You were there. It was this time probably about seven years ago, it was right at Christmas and I called you, "Can you help?" So talk a little bit about what you do as general counsel's with these groups, and also just that whole culture. 

Trent Cotney:
Sure. Well, I've got the pleasure to serve as general counsel for a variety of associations out there, actually, all the associations that are mentioned here as well as others. And to me, it's kind of like what I mentioned at the beginning. I love this industry. I truly love this industry. I have met lifelong friends. I know many of you better than I know some of my relatives. And you spend a lot of time with people. I think roofing unlike any other industry out there, there's that familial environment. Not only are there generational roofing contractors, but they welcome you.
It's funny John Kenney, who's our COO here at Law and works in our consulting group, he was one of the first people I met in the industry down here in Tampa. And we always tell the story, I went to the local association, it was an affiliate of FRSA. And I was a kid right out of school, and this was 20 plus years ago, and walked into a room full of roofers and I thought they were just going to beat me up and throw me out. Here's this lawyer what is he doing. John, is one of the first people I met and he welcomed me with open arms, and that's the same feeling that I've gotten everywhere I've been is that it is a family, they welcome you. 
I've always been inspired by what I see from the industry. And to me, this whole process it's gotten to a point in my career where what's important to me is being able to lead the industry better than when I got in there. I want to be able to look back and say, "I made a difference." And that's what I challenge everybody else out there to do is use this as an opportunity. The foundations are the focal point to give back to the industry, okay? And not just the ones that are mentioned here. There are other associations, foundations that are out there, but to me giving back is the way to create that lasting mark. And that's what I encourage everybody to do. Again, donate today. Don't say, "I'll put it off till the 31st," because you won't do it. Do it now, I'm happy to match, and I hope this is something that we can continue to do.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah, I am so thankful for all of you. And I do want to put out there, Jessica Roque, wants to send her best to you too Rod, and thanking you for everything you're doing with CRCA. So I just want to... If I miss anybody on here who's commented, I'm sorry, but I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your comments and everybody that's come through. And I want to challenge everyone who's listening today to spread the word, right? Don't think about it just as yourself, which is great, and we want everybody to be involved and everybody to do that, but spread the word. Tell other people about these associations. Invite that whole inclusiveness of... Sometimes people just need to be invited. They just need to be welcomed into being part of that association or part of that foundation, invited to give, invited to be involved, invited to just understand how important it is for our industry and where we're going. 
So Trent, I want to thank you especially for putting this together, the idea. This is something that we need to keep doing and keep putting out there, because obviously, people are kind of loving it. And I think we're going to get the exposure we need for all this research, scholarships, and all the philanthropy that these foundations are doing out there.

Trent Cotney:
Yeah, let's make it a yearly thing. How about that?

Heidi Ellsworth:
I like it. Does that sound good? Well, we'll get everybody knowing this is the day for the year end. And okay. Now, Trent, all right, logistics real quick. You were going to mention about how much this can help your taxes. Sorry, we got to get a little bit of that too.

Trent Cotney:
Yeah. So if you weren't moved by what people had to say, if that didn't really resonate in your heart, right? At the end of the year, if you're like me, you're trying to figure out what your tax liability is, and you're looking at it, and it's December 31 and you're making donations here or there. Don't forget about the ability to use this for tax purposes. Each and every single one of these foundations is a 501(c)(3), you do get the tax deduction, so there's that added benefit on top of it. Don't forget that. It's always a sort of a side benefit in addition to being able to contribute to such great groups.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Excellent. Excellent. This recording along with all of our Coffee Conversations can be found on RoofersCoffeeShop underneath our read listen watch section. It's easy on the homepage to you right at the top corner, you can find this, the Coffee Conversation. So if you want to share this with people, if they're like, "Well, I don't know why I want to give." Share this with them. Have them watch and listen to these incredible gentlemen, and what they're doing, and all these foundations. I would also invite all of you to come back January 14th, we are going to have Kyle Thomas, back on Coffee Conversations, and we are going to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Roofing Alliance. We're getting past presidents involved. Kyle, the 25th is just a huge deal.

Kyle Thomas:
And it's going to be awesome. Agreed.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. So please join us. We'll get that out there, everybody you will be amazed at the research programs, the things that have happened in the Roofing Alliance over the last 25 years. And so gentlemen, as we come to the end, I want to say thank you very much to all of you for being here today.

Kyle Thomas:
Thank you, Heidi, thank you, Trent.

Trent Cotney:
Thanks.

Chuck Chapman:
Thank you for having us.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Thank you. And everyone out there please visit these associations, give what you can, be a part of it, attend their events. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to trade shows, and people don't attend the very awesome events that are put on by these foundations. Be a part of it on, and most of all, from RoofersCoffeeShop, to all of you and to everyone listening, and to the industry as a whole, Happy Holidays. Happy 2020 over, and we are going to have a wonderful new year in 2021. So Thank you all, have a great day.



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