The MRCA’s motto is: A Commitment to Education is a Commitment to Your Company’s Future.” So it was no surprise that the estimated 1,000 people in attendance were treated to an array of educational programs and a trade floor full of the newest products in the roofing industry, including the continued push of advertising for “green” products.

Mary Jolly, the National Sales and Marketing Manager for GenFlex of Indianapolis, Ind., showed off his new and improved Web site at the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association National Convention in Grapevine, Texas. (Photo by Tom Watts)


The Midwest Roofing Contractor’s Association (MRCA) National Conference was held Nov. 12-14 at the beautiful Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

The MRCA’s motto is: A Commitment to Education is a Commitment to Your Company’s Future.” So it was no surprise that the estimated 1,000 people in attendance were treated to an array of educational programs and a trade floor full of the newest products in the roofing industry, including the continued push of advertising for “green” products. There were 110 exhibiting companies spanning 200 booths at this year’s show, which former MRCA President Rod Petrick said was dedicated to helping contractors “build their business, save money, and improve the roofing industry.”

Whether those attending were a residential or commercial contractor, consultant, architect, engineer, building owner, facility manager or code official, the MRCA Convention near Dallas was the place to be last month.

Neil Robinson, marketing manager of TAMKO, was all smiles at the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association National Convention in Grapevine, Texas. (Photo by Tom Watts)

Among the activities that were available for attendees at the MRCA Convention included:
  • TPO Factory Tour sponsored by GAF Materials Corporation, which allowed attendees to tour an 186,000-square-foot production facility on 25 acres of Texas land.
  • MRCA Foundation Golf Tournament held at Bear Creek Golf Club near the Dallas/Fort Worth-International Airport.
  • Educational opportunities, roofing forums, and contractor roundtables discussed everything from fall protection to software to back-office solutions.
  • MRCA Board of Directors Meeting, which John Daly of Kaw Roofing & Sheet Metal in Kansas City, Kan., was named the new MRCA President replacing Rod Petrick.
Among the other top attended events at the MRCA Convention included a forum with Rene Dupuis, Dick Baxter and Steve Patterson discussing wind uplift design, SBS rash blistering, cover boards, alternative roof systems, and BUR performance.

Other highlighted events were:
  • MRCA Legislative Lunch with Craig Brightup
  • Hiring Practices and Immigration with Gary Auman
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the Roofing Industry with Matthew Dupuis
  • Integrating Photovoltaics with Dr. William Miller
  • Vented and Unvented Roof Assemblies with Joseph Lstiburek
  • Foreman and Supervisor Programs (English and Spanish) with Edis Oliver
Also, the MRCA announced the 2008 James Q. McCawley Award to Robert Swanda, Jr., of Independent Roofing Co. in Omaha, Neb. The award is the highest honor bestowed by MRCA and presented each year in recognition for outstanding service in the roofing industry.

Many attendees, meanwhile, toured various tourist sites in Dallas, including a tour of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which chronicles the life, accomplishments, assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and the tour offered a history of the events leading up to and after the assassination.

Next year, the MRCA Convention will hold its 60th Conference in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 28-30, 2009, at the Bartle Hall Convention Center. Downtown Kansas City features the new “Kansas City Power & Light District,” an 8-block neighborhood featuring entertainment, retail and restaurants.

MRCA has been serving the roofing industry for nearly 60 years. For more information on last month’s MRCA Convention or next year’s event in Kansas City, visit www.mrca.org.