METALCON 2018, the metal construction industry’s largest international event for metal construction products, technologies and solutions, is featuring a panel presentation by expert women roofing professionals on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 4:00 p.m., at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Presenting “Building a Strong and Sustainable Business with Diversity,” women representing National Women in Roofing (NWIR) will discuss the importance of gender and generational diversity in the business, how to create a better balance in the industry, and the values of emotional intelligence, strong communication and collaboration needed to grow a sustainable and robust business.

Heidi Ellsworth, co-founder of NWIR and partner at Rooferscoffeeshop, will moderate the all-women panel―a mix of manufacturers and contractors―including Abigail Stone, Metalforming; Renae Bales, KPOST Roofing and Waterproofing; Magan Jenkins, StealthBond; and Chelsea Welsh, Gutter Helmet.

Each presenter will tell her story, offer insights on profitability and corporate culture, explain how to recruit more women into the industry and describe how women in the industry can help mentor each other vs. being competitive with each other.  The audience is invited to participate in this highly interactive Q & A format.  For those with additional questions, MetalForming, Inc., is sponsoring a networking social at their booth immediately after the panel presentation.

NWIR is a volunteer-based organization with 1,000 members and 30 local counsels nationwide, and it is built upon four pillars―networking, mentoring, education and recruitment.  

“NWIR sees a huge need for networking, and METALCON provides an excellent opportunity to bring women in roofing together and help them build their businesses,” said Ellsworth.  “We have a how-to toolkit we send to counsels on creating mentoring circles, and we offer education through panel discussions, classes at shows, webinars, calls for papers and presentations at other national association gatherings.”

“Our recruitment committee offers a how-to toolkit to counsels on recruitment, and we go into local communities to find women at trades schools, women in crisis situations and those in non-traditional trades,” said Ellsworth.   “Our focus is to connect and empower women so their training and leadership skills can help drive the overall betterment and professionalism of the roofing industry.”

“With more women in the business, we have found the result is stronger communication and a better company culture,” said Ellsworth.   “Both lead to better business and greater profitability.”

Ellsworth knows all about networking as her company Rooferscoffeeshop, a fully women-owned business, is known as the place where roofing professionals meet for technology, information and everyday business, with more than 10,000 website visitors each month.

“We are excited to have NWIR join us this year and be part of the movement to help support and advance the careers of women in construction,” said METALCON Show Director, Claire Kilcoyne.  “NWIR strives to bring the industry to a new level of excellence by supporting and promoting the contributions of women as an essential component to the future of roofing.”

METALCON takes place from Oct. 10 - 12 at the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St, Charlotte, NC 28202.  For more information or to register, visit