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Will Lorenz & Barry McConway - WRE is Coming Up! - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Will Lorenz & Barry McConway - WRE is Coming Up! - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION
September 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Barry McConway from Everroof and Will Lorenz from General Coatings. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Intro/Outro: 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.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Hello, welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from RoofersCoffeeShop. This is Heidi Ellsworth and we're talking coatings. Yep, we are talking coatings. And the next show that's coming up that everyone is talking about, Western Roofing Expo. So we wanted to have our expert from Everroof, Barry McConway, come and visit with us about what's happening in coatings overall and also the plans for Western states. Barry, welcome to the show.

Barry McConway: Heidi. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here and chat with you a little bit about Coatings and WRE or the Western Roofing Show we got coming up.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, this is a great show and I always love seeing all our friends from the West Coast who are there and from the country overall. But before we get started, why don't you go ahead, I would love for you to introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about your history and then let's talk about Everroof.

Barry McConway: Absolutely. So yes, Barry McConway, president of Everroof. Everroof, been on board for about five months, so not a long time. So short with Everroof, but long-term with coating. So about a 20-year coating experience. And it's been really a real fresh change for me to get to an organization and a new substrate, a new coating opportunity, so to speak. Everroof is a fantastic brand, really looking at the organization. My opportunity is to expand its brand awareness, expand its customer base. We've got a long history of about 10 years of producing products and delivering them. It's just not as national as it should be. So we're here to get the word out.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We like that. We like to help get the word out. Tell us just a little bit about Everroof. What types of coatings are you offering and just what you're seeing out there in the market.

Barry McConway: Absolutely. So we are a traditional liquid membrane restoration products, so urethanes, acrylics, silicones are our wheelhouse. Again, we've been doing that for over 10 years, predominantly in the West Coast, but now we've established some great representation across the country to help us expand it. The products are fantastic in terms of silicone and acrylics, have been used on top of our foam division for a lot of years. We looked at it and said Everroof should be a standalone restoration product. So we started looking at the silicones and acrylics, were topcoats for one of our foam divisions and clearly Everroof had these products and they should be made available to distribution and contractors directly for the commercial flat roof restoration. We've had great success with it, but we just need to maximize our reach and our awareness. Happy to get out there and get to the trade shows and show people what we can do.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know. We get to work with you all the time. We see the case studies. What a great product and great organization you have. Talk a little bit about what you're seeing out there for business. How is business? What are you seeing in the market for coatings?

Barry McConway: Gosh, the business is strong. Coming from what we manufacture in California and also in the central part of the country in Texas, so those are where our bases are. And coming from the West Coast side perspective, the wet winter, the great snows, and coming across it has created a lot of pressure to get a lot of roofs done quickly. So it's been a pretty good year for us. Coming in from the central part of the country in Texas, we're looking at again great steady market. That's where one of our manufacturing bases are, so we've got some great partners down there. The market is steady. When you look at, we've all come through the supply chain issues of the last few years, which I think hurt some of the silicones and stuff, but they're all back now and the product is booming and we're ready to go.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's great. So you'll be showing all your products at Western Roofing Expo. Tell us a little bit about what you're going to have in the booth and what you're going to be sharing with contractors.

Barry McConway: We'll have some free film samples of the silicone and acrylics because as I see the contractors or distribution go by, they want to get their hands on it, feel the flexibility of it. But, then obviously we'll have some system builds built on the actual decking or plywood, so to speak, so they can see the build and then they can get a feel for how that looks compared to, we'll say, competition and where they might be applying it. It's nice. We've gotten some new supply sample manufacturers to boost our ability to give our supplies at the booth and also for our contractors and distribution points that come online later for us so that we can actually help them sell our products across the country.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's great. That's great. And then we are doing a program together, a giveaway at the RoofersCoffeeShop booth, which will also have the sound stage going. We're really excited about that. Why don't you talk a little bit about, we're giving away our CMA training program promo codes.

Barry McConway: Yeah, so our CMA, for those of you who are not familiar, it's the Roof Coating Manufacturers Association. A couple of years ago they did create a wonderful online training curriculum and it's something that we assisted with in creating the curriculum and giving some intellectual property to. We're big believers, at least I'm a big believer, in getting education out to the contractors and the actual people doing the work. The distribution points about the value of roof coating. So yes, we did partner up with our CMA. We've got 10 training modules that we've purchased that we're going to use in conjunction with RoofersCoffeeShop. And I think you guys are going to help us give those away at WRE, correct?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes. It's going to be so easy. So all people need to do is come to on the RoofersCoffeeShop booth and you'll see it. We have the big sound stage going. Drop off your business card and then we're going to do a drawing with you all and we'll also have signage in your booth and in general coatings booth so that people know to just drop off their business cards. And we're going to pick 10 lucky winners to get some of this free training. I just love that you're doing this, Barry. I think it's such a great giveaway and it's something that really helps the business, the contracting business.

Barry McConway: I was going to say, as I said in my intro, I'm five months into with the roofing specific. I've been in building products and coatings for a long time. And I am actually going through all of the educational pieces from our CMA. It's been helping me quite a bit. As we're in trade shows and as we're meeting people, I see a lot of roofing companies and contractors that are coming up that still haven't done coating work. This is the base they need. When you realize that the coatings work is a large portion of the opportunity for these roofing contractors, here's your chance, get to learn it, get their questions answered, buy some great products, hopefully from us. And it's a good partnership.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It is, it is. I'm very excited. If people are looking for information on Everroof, there is such great information on RoofersCoffeeShop in the Everroof directory profiles, case studies, you name it. And now everything that we're going to be doing at Western Roofing. Okay, the contractors, I know that they can get you through the directory, but talk a little bit about how your team, how you work with contractors, how they can get involved with Everroof.

Barry McConway: Clearly, our website is pretty decent and we get a lot of traffic from there. On the website, you're welcome to go. You can see all of the events that we're signed up for. WRE is listed. There's an opportunity there for you to create an appointment if you specifically want to meet us at the trade show. So you can go right on our website, link in, create an appointment, and visit us at the trade show. Beyond that, we're doing even more local shows at every level where our sales representatives are. Beyond that, if you just pick up the phone and just dial the phone number on our website, I got six or seven salespeople that would love to chat or answer questions or bring out a technical trainer if we need to. I think we're trying to make ourselves as available as possible. We're having a lot of fun out there in the marketplace, launching more awareness of our great products.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, I love it. Barry, we are going to, this is a really cool Roofing Road Trips because we're doing, everybody's going to get two for one on this podcast because you and I get a visit and then we're going to take, I'm going to say a break, but actually it'll go right into it. All will be on one podcast. We're going to visit with Will Lorenz, with General Coatings. Your sister companies, the company overall is just amazing. One last thing before we go in that with your five months in, working with this family business working, how is it, just share a little bit of the culture of your businesses?

Barry McConway: It is a great question because General Coatings is our sister company. Their expertise really was in foam and they had these ancillary products of silicones, acrylics that they used to topcoat their foams. Really when we looked at this great business, we said these coatings by themselves have a business and that's really where Everroof came from. Will is fantastically knowledgeable and knows the associations. But, he just didn't have the time and energy to focus on just the coatings division. So part of the reason I'm here and part of the goal is that we need attention and focus on just the coating portion. Between us and General Coatings, we probably have every roofing solution in terms of coatings covered for you guys. The partnership is great. The family of greater products in terms of caulks, sealants, mastics, urethanes, there's a lot of power behind that, a lot of manufacturing behind it. The theory here is we know that once the people actually get their hands on our products, we really don't lose customers from that point. They just like our products very much.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's awesome. I love it. I'm really excited. You and I have not met in person, so we're going to get to spend some time at Western Roofing Expo. I'll get to see you. I'll come by the booth and we're going to be doing the sound stage. At Western Roofing Expo is also being sponsored by General Coatings and Everroof. So thank you and we'll have some really great conversations in there and have you live on our sound stage, too.

Barry McConway: Thanks Heidi. I appreciate this very much and looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay, we'll see you in a couple of weeks. Thank you. Have a great day. And everyone stay tuned. We're going to have Will Lorenz up next.

Hello. Welcome back. We are on this two for one Roofing Road trips where we're talking to the professionals at Everroof and General Coatings. I have to tell you, when you really want to know what's going on in spray foam and coatings, these are the gentlemen to talk to. We just talked with Barry McConway, and now my dear friend Will Lorenz is here to talk to us about General Coatings and what's coming up with Western Roofing Expo. Hi Will.

Will Lorenz: Hello Heidi. How are you? We're so excited about Las Vegas coming up and getting there for Western States. It's always a great show. We think it's another great opportunity to talk to people about their roofs and how to stay dry and have a performing roof system.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, it's one of my favorite shows. Definitely right up there at the top. It's just fun to have all of our West Coast friends. Even though this is national, people come from everywhere for this show. It is fun to see all our West Coast contractors.

Will Lorenz: I agree. We're located primarily out of California and we have operations in Texas. But, we're western in nature. Going to Las Vegas and being a part of Western States is just top of the list for us.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, I love it. Will, for those few people out there who don't know you, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about General Coatings?

Will Lorenz: Thank you. Indeed. So my name is Will Lorenz. I'm president of General Coatings. We are a manufacturer of spray foam and roof coatings. You've got a nice flat roof and you need to keep it waterproof and add some insulation, spray foam is an excellent alternative. You can do it as new construction or a recover system. And we make our products out of Fresno, California and Arlington, Texas. And we make the latest HFO technology that's environmentally friendly, top it off with nice acrylic or silicone or urethane roof coatings.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: The performance level of your roofs is amazing. With the profiles, the case studies that we have on RoofersCoffeeShop and just watching all of it, contractors have really been able to differentiate and grow their business using your systems.

Will Lorenz: Indeed. What we find is that you have several ways to waterproof and weatherproof a roof. You can put down a membrane that's a few inches with a system down. Or you can put down a coating system. Or you can put down a couple inches of foam, which then is super insulating as well as waterproofing. We're a big fan of hold the roof together, make it weathertight and seal up around all those penetrations, so it's going to perform and last.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And there's a lot of building codes and regulations right now that are requiring higher levels of insulation, which spray foam just hits the mark perfect. And so we're seeing a lot of that around the country, but especially California.

Will Lorenz: Yeah, California has a requirement for R10 for recover systems, so that's about an inch and a half of spray foam, which is a typical system for us and our contractor base. And so it fits in real well. It helps make the building so that it uses less energy, it reduces its carbon footprint as far as its overall performance. Spray foam does a great job of really lowering energy bills because what stays in there, your air conditioning stays in.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, yeah. Let's talk about some huge highlights in projects. You had, recently, a major entertainment facility out of the Vegas area where we'll be for Western Roofing Expo that has this beautiful system on it. That's pretty exciting to be able to have such an amazing structure right there in the same town as the show.

Will Lorenz: It is indeed. And we're so blessed to have worked with commercial roofers out of Las Vegas. Great bunch of people there. And there've been dedicated professionals for such a long time and just do super high quality work. They needed another system that could go on during this challenging COVID time, something that had the performance capabilities they were looking for and materials that were available and a good partner. We believe we helped them achieve that with the success there on this, whether iconic entertainments that are there.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, iconic is right. Everybody will be seeing it when they're there. We're going to be doing some walking around Vegas and talking about some of your projects while we're there, too, along with you are sponsoring the Sound Stage General Coatings and Everroof at the Western Roofing for RoofersCoffeeShop. So I'm excited about that. And you'll be on Coffee Conversations with us, Will.

Will Lorenz: It's always great together with you and some of the other folks that are in the roofing industry, the really knowledgeable people who can help bring greater value to our contractor base and help them be a success. It takes many facets to have a roof successful. Not only excellent contractors, but suppliers of material as well as consultants and experts, whether they're in legal or in design. We're just glad to be a part of that conversation and help people become more successful in their work.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. Speaking of that, you have been a leader and have worked with me hand-in-hand on bringing contractor panels to help visit, to talk, have those conversations with manufacturers. And you sponsored the contractor panel at this year's, our CMA, Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association summer meeting. First of all, thank you. Second of all, what did you think?

Will Lorenz: I thought it was a fabulous event and we're glad that everybody came to Cleveland and saw this excellent group of experts who could tell people really the truth of what's going on in roofing, what they plan to do with coatings, what they require, what they expect of their suppliers, what they expect of their products, and really just got to the brass tacks of things. Sometimes as manufacturers, we think we know what's going on, hearing it directly from a contractor, how they do things and what they expect is really eye-opening but also invigorating because we know our industry is doing things well. And they're satisfied and it's a potential to grow the market great.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, I think when I saw the interaction with the conversations, I mean from roof consultants to manufacturers to vendors of chemicals, all talking with these contractors, I was thrilled. It was very fun. And we're going to keep that going, like we talked about, with the sound stage. Obviously, we have those great conversations there. General Coatings and Everroof are putting together a very cool giveaway. Barry and I just talked about it. But, I just wanted you to really the importance of this giveaway is giving away training for the RCMA training classes. So talk a little bit about that, this really great training program that they have and then the giveaway.

Will Lorenz: As a part of RCMA, we've felt that the organization needs to raise the bar both in understanding by contractors, but as also understanding by design professionals and building owners, if they choose, to know what are the offerings of roof coatings. And then how do you use them best practices, how to use them with regard to various substrates or various types of roofs. We've got a diversified bundle out there of roof decks and some need a better solution than others. Some need the right solution for the Northeast and the cold. And some people need the right solution for hot and dry in Arizona.

And the Roof Coating Manufacturers Association has put together an excellent training program with three modules. The first modules talks about basically evaluating the property and the substrates. What do you have that you need to extend the life of and restore? And then the second module goes into roof coating and their technology so that you understand what are the options there. There's not always a single fit that works best. There's many options. And then the third is best practices. So as a contractor or as someone observing the roof, you want to see what people need to do the right way so it's a success. And the value gets to the building owner with a performing roof system.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. Those are really important classes and everybody I've talked to who has taken them is just like, "They're great." In fact, we're bringing them into our organization. We're going to be taking some of them because it's just so important for us to learn this from the ground up. And RCMA has just done a great job in doing this. So that's why, and this is your idea Will, this is your brainchild of giving away these classes. It's with a promo code so you can go on there in your business and start taking them within your own business and it's going to be a giveaway. Just bring your business card to RoofersCoffeeShop. We'll have signage in both General Coatings and Everroof on where to go. And then we're going to draw 10 winners.

Will Lorenz: That is fabulous. We want to see people see what they can learn about roof coatings, and then what they can see is the value to them. And then hopefully, if they choose to, they can take additional modules and expand their businesses to be more successful, if they're contractors. And if they're building professionals, they can see the value of, instead of saying, "We're going to tear off and put another roof system on," they may be able to evaluate that roof and say, "Hmm, this is a great candidate for a roof restoration. And boy that RCMA has given us an education so we can make the right selection here and install products that are going to work."

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, it makes, and it lifts the entire industry. That's the part I love.

Will Lorenz: We agree. I think so much of making the right call is learning first. You have to know what is the opportunity and then what is the options to fulfill that opportunity. What we've seen is that the contractors want more from the suppliers. And as an organization, we've rallied our expertise and the technical capabilities of many people inside of our 75 member organization to put together a helpful module for people that is easy and digestible and something that they can build upon in their own work training of their employees.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I have this conversation all the time. It also helps with employee retention, it helps in training new employees, recruitment. It, across the board, makes everything come together. One of the things that I wanted to also just talk about was how can, and Barry just mentioned this, that contractors can go on the Everroof website and sign up to meet with you at Western Roofing Expo. To meet up with Barry. And then same thing on the General Coatings sight. I want to make sure. How can contractors connect with you both at the show, but overall, who want to get more involved with what you're doing?

Will Lorenz: Sure. Obviously there's two ways forward. We have excellent field individuals out there selling and tech servicing things. And so we're going to be bringing our team to the show and we're looking forward to meeting people face-to-face at the booth and events afterwards and before. The other thing is we've got the ability for people to sign up on our website and say that they'd like to get a slot to meet with us specifically and go over what their concerns are or what their opportunities are. And we're happy to do that. So it's at generalcoatings.net. It should be pretty easily available on the website there.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's great. That is great. And I will say you can find all this information also on RoofersCoffeeShop and Coatings Coffee Shop and the General Coatings directory or the Everroof directory. So be sure to check it out. What are you most excited about for the Western Roofing Show, Will?

Will Lorenz: I think what we've seen in the west is a little bit of rain, and so we've got a little rain. So there should be bright opportunities for folks in the contracting world to continue to do work. We're hoping to hear that despite all the challenges in the economy, that roofings continue to be a success. And so we want to be a part of helping them with that. And then I think we want to continue to educate them on different products or systems that they can employ for the solutions that they're looking for.

So if they're on a roof that's got a steep pitch, we've got a product that can work for that. It happens to be on one of those iconic entertainment centers. Or if they have a school system or a metal building and they need to save some energy and weatherproof it, we've got systems that can do that, too. So it's part of getting that dialogue going, how we can help them help. We're there to provide answers to their questions and see what we can do to bring about the success of the contractors in the marketplace. We know that they're the lead and we're the people that are going to help them be successful by adding to their repertoire.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I love it. I love it. So true. It's the best part. It's being able to be with everyone, but also being able to help everyone grow their businesses, help everybody win in this great industry. Will, I'm really excited to see you in Vegas in a couple of weeks.

Will Lorenz: Well indeed. Thank you, Heidi. And then obviously there's also some great entertainment activities going on there. There's fundraisers that they have got going with WRE and I encourage people to be a part of that and give back and help the Western States organization move forward and be more successful because they're helping, as a leader in the west. It's very important for roofing contractors to participate and to give back. We're glad to be a part of that, too.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We'll be at the auction together, I know, Saturday night and it's going to be so much fun. And I know you also donated to the auction, so thank you so much as a trustee. There's so many great things that happen that weekend and you are such a big part of it, Will. So thank you so much for everything you do

Will Lorenz: Well, thank you Heidi, and we'll look forward to having a fun time in Vegas and seeing the lights bright.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, we will. It'll be a lot of screen time. Thank you very much. And we'll be seeing you in Vegas and we'll be seeing all of you. Be sure, hopefully you are already signed up and ready to go to the Western Roofing Expo. If not, you can still get into our podcast contest that we have going right now with General Coatings and Everroof where if you listen to their podcast, fill out the form, you can also get some of those trainings. So don't be sad if you're not going to be at Western Roofing, although you probably are sad because it's a great show. But you can also, there's a lot of different ways. So check out the directories, check out our contests and events. We look forward to having you get some of this training. Thanks to General Coatings and Everroof. One last time, Will, thank you and we'll see you soon.

Will Lorenz: Thank you, Heidi. We'll see you in Vegas.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: See you in Vegas. And we'll see all of you soon. Be sure to check out the Everroof and the General Coatings directories. And be sure to check out all of our Roofing Road Trip podcasts under the RLW navigation under podcasts. Be sure to subscribe and set those notifications on your favorite podcast channel. And we'll be seeing you, not only in Vegas, but we'll see you next time on Roofing Road trips.

Intro/Outro: 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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