DALLAS — Astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain, Mark Kelly, will present the Keynote Address, “Endeavor to Succeed,” during the 2013 International Roofing Expo (IRE), Feb. 5-7, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Held immediately prior to the opening of the show, the Keynote Address will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. in the Lila Cockrell Theater.  

Kelly, who recently retired from the U.S. Navy and NASA, is an experienced naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War and has been decorated with the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He flew the first of his four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same shuttle he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. He also led the mission team aboard the shuttle Discovery and is only one of two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions.

“Captain Mark Kelly is an American hero who exemplifies leadership, the importance of teamwork and courage under pressure – characteristics that are applicable to successful roofing professionals,” said Lindsay Roberts, group director of the International Roofing Expo. “A role model for all who have aspirations and dreams, our attendees and exhibitors will love hearing his inspirational and motivating presentation.” 

Already a celebrated American, Kelly was thrust into the international spotlight after the January 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. 

With over 6,000 flight hours in more than 50 different aircraft, 375 aircraft carrier landings, 39 combat missions and more than 50 days in space, Kelly is one of America’s more experienced pilots.

Kelly received his B.S. degree in marine engineering and nautical science from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1986 and in 1994 he was awarded his M.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He retired from the U.S. Navy and NASA in October 2011.

“With Captain Mark Kelly providing the Keynote, it should be a fascinating session,” said Bill Good, executive vice president of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “With his incredible career, he will leave attendees and exhibitors inspired, surprised, motivated, entertained and transformed.”

Kelly’s identical twin brother, Scott, is also an astronaut who served as commander of both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. They share the distinction of being the only siblings who have traveled in space.

Kelly also just wrote a children’s book, “Mousetronaut,” a heartwarming picture book tale of a small mouse that wants nothing more than to travel to outer space.

The Keynote is included free of charge in all registration packages, but advance registration is required. Registration can be made at www.TheRoofingExpo.com/attendee, where information is accessible 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information, visit www.TheRoofingExpo.com/attendee.