I hope you had the opportunity to attend the Midwest Roofing Contractor’s Association (MRCA) National Conference Nov. 12-14 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center near Dallas. Not only was the venue the most beautiful resort you will ever be in; the hospitality offered by the MRCA staff was near flawless.

I hope you had the opportunity to attend the Midwest Roofing Contractor’s Association (MRCA) National Conference Nov. 12-14 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center near Dallas. Not only was the venue the most beautiful resort you will ever be in; the hospitality offered by the MRCA staff was near flawless.

I love the MRCA’s motto: A Commitment to Education is a Commitment to Your Company’s Future.” It fits this group perfectly.

There were an estimated 1,000 people attending the convention, most of which attended a bevy of educational programs and witnessed a trade floor full of new products, notwithstanding the continued push of  “green” products.

I like the idea that the show was held in the mornings from 9 a.m. to noon. The show was small enough where you could see and talk with everyone over the two days. And there were 110 exhibiting companies spanning 200 booths at this year’s convention. As the associate editor at Roofing Contractor, I was pleased to talk with so many in the business, whether it was a residential or commercial contractor, consultant, architect, engineer, building owner or facility manager.

The early bang for me before the show even started was the TPO Factory Tour, which allowed attendees to tour an 186,000-square-foot production facility. And the MRCA Foundation Golf Tournament held at Bear Creek Golf Club where I golfed with Mike Long of Frazier Roofing & Guttering Co. of Arlington, Texas.

Of course, when the show did start I was pleased by the many educational opportunities and contractor roundtables that discussed everything from fall protection to software to back-office solutions. One of the best forums of the week was with Rene Dupuis, Dick Baxter and Steve Patterson, who discussed wind uplift design, SBS rash blistering, cover boards, alternative roof systems, and BUR performance.

Other great events at the MRCA Convention included the MRCA Legislative Lunch with Craig Brightup, Hiring Practices and Immigration with Gary Auman, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the Roofing Industry with Matthew Dupuis, and Integrating Photovoltaics with Dr. William Miller. The MRCA also awarded the 2008 James Q. McCawley Award to Robert Swanda, Jr., of Independent Roofing Co. in Omaha, Neb., which is the highest honor given by the MRCA and recognizes outstanding service in the roofing industry. 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. And I can’t wait for the encore.

Why not? The MRCA has been serving the roofing industry for nearly 60 years, and I can’t thank this group enough for putting on one of the best shows of the year.

Did you attend the MRCA Convention? What were your impressions? If you’re like me, then you had a fabulous time making new connections, talking with old friends, and learning why the roofing industry is the most unique construction segment in the U.S. today.