September 2017 Newsletter
A Letter From The Chair
Heidi J. Ellsworth, President, HJE Consulting Group & Current NWIR Chair
At NWIR events, we have had many discussions about balance. In life and business, it is really about balance. One of the problems our society has had is the lack of balance amongst the sexes. Business is missing the balance that is part of nature, male and female perspectives. With NWIR, we are working to get that back but it will take time as women and men truly figure out where they fit.
For me, I have a marriage that has been built on the sharing of responsibilities. We have been blessed to have careers that have allowed us to put our children first and take turns being the “bread winners”. In honesty, it is the team that matters and not who makes the money. It is about financing a good life and even more so, taking care of our children and helping them find their own successful futures.
But it takes a balance, and in business it must be about all employees working together to find success and profitability. Too often it is about “what do I get” and not enough about how can we all win. When the company is working together for everyone’s success it shows. And balance is part of that. In today’s world, social justice, cause marketing and diversity are all a part of the winning combination of business success.
I challenge all women to not just look for equal rights but to be a part of the business, an integral part of the culture. It can no longer be him or her, it needs to be us. I know many roofing companies, distributors and manufacturers that are extremely successful at the balance. The industry needs to follow that lead, not just with women but also with minorities and millennials. We must strive for leadership in the labor discussion. I believe we can do it and we will do it.
For the men out there, diversify! Look for different ages, ethnicities and genders. If you build your workforce around diversity, you will win. For the women out there, do not be quiet. Force the topic, make the argument and stay committed to diversity in the roofing industry. You are not just doing this for yourself, you are doing it for the next generation.
Best of Success 2017
NWIR had a great gathering for NWIR at 13th annual Best of Success in Tucson, AZ, September 18-19, 2017: Men and women, some of the men are founding members (Shell Roofing in Chico, CA, Bravo Roofing, KPost Roofing and Waterproofing) plus members from manufacturing and distribution…all in all 15-20 people casually outside on a Sunday afternoon.
Cynthia Lang, Councils Committee Chair
NWIR – NORTHERN TEXAS
Roofing professionals from the DFW area met on Monday, 9/25 to make plans for a local NWIR Chapter. There was a great turn out with collaborative conversations about creating this chapter and moving forward. Stay tuned for more details.
Councils are being formed in two new areas! To get involved with the Connecticut/New York Council, please contact Heather Nugent (please link to her email which is firstname.lastname@example.org). To get involved with the Louisiana Council, please contact Caryn Baudean (email@example.com).
Hurricanes and Price Gouging
Trent Cotney, PA
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have brought a myriad of legal issues to the forefront for roofers. One of the most important things for any roofing contractor or supplier to remember during hurricane repairs are price gouging laws. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws against price gouging.**
For example, Florida Statute 501.610, commonly referred to as the Price Gouging Statute, states that during a declared state of emergency the rental or sale of essential commodities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency is unlawful. The statute defines a “commodity” as any goods, services, materials, merchandise, supplies, equipment, lumber, and other products necessary for consumption or use as a direct result of the emergency. Inflated prices on the rental or sale of the commodities is unlawful unless the increase in the amount charged is attributable to additional costs incurred in connection with the sale of the commodity.
Texas’ price gouging statute is located in §17.46(b) of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) and provides that businesses may be held civilly liable for taking advantage of a disaster declared by the Governor by “(1) Selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or (2) demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine or another necessity.” The Texas statutes do not define “necessity” so there is no certainty that roofing repairs would not be included under the statute. However, § 17.44(a) of DTPA states “this subchapter shall be liberally construed” to protect consumers which should be taken as an indicator to tread carefully.
Most other state’s price gouging statutes contain similar language and prohibitions. The penalties for violating these statutes range from $1,000 per violation to over $250,000, depending upon the state and circumstances involved.
With regard to the roofing industry, the price gouging statutes would likely apply to a roof that was damaged as a result of a hurricane during a declared state of emergency. Decking, underlayment, shingles, and other materials used when repairing the roof would be subject to the price gouging statutes, and it would be unlawful to increase the price of the materials by an amount that grossly exceeds the average price of the commodity during the 30 days prior to the declared state of emergency.
States have varying definitions and restrictions on what items, materials, and services are included under their price gouging statutes. Despite these restrictions on increasing prices, the price gouging statutes seem to understand that increased prices can affect more than just consumers. Roofers can use things like increased mobilization costs to justify increased prices during a state of emergency. Therefore, so long as roofers are able to show that increased prices reflected the increase in costs, they can avoid hefty civil and criminal penalties.
Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.
Trent Cotney is Florida Bar Certified in Construction Law, General Counsel and a director of the Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA), Treasurer of the West Coast Roofing Contractors Association (WCRCA), a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and several other roofing associations. For more information, contact the author at 813-579-3278 or go to www.trentcotney.com.
**Michael Giberson, Thirty-four States and the District of Columbia Have Anti-Price Gouging Laws, Knowledge Problem (Nov. 3, 2012), https://knowledgeproblem.com/2012/11/03/list-of-price-gouging-laws/.
NWIR Member Profile: Michelle Boykin
Our communications committee recently had the pleasure of getting to know NWIR member Michelle Boykin of Rackley Roofing. Michelle’s current role with Rackley Roofing is the Vice President of Service for the company’s locations throughout the state of Tennessee. She has come a long way since starting out as a receptionist and office manager at Holland Roofing in their Tennessee office.
It was there that she met Curtis Sutton. He was managing the Holland Roofing branch and Michelle says she loved his values, what he stood for and the way he ran the business. When he left in 2010 to purchase an interest in and become president of Rackley Roofing, Michelle said, “I knew he was a successful person that I wanted to follow.”
And follow him she did, but it took some persistence from Michelle. “I knew I wanted to work for him, so I bugged the heck out of him saying you need me there,” explained Michelle. It worked. He hired her to work in the service division and she has since grown it from a single truck to 16, now serving as Vice President.
How she got into roofing. She got into the roofing industry by chance, as many of our members do. She was working in property management and her husband was a real estate agent. When the real estate market tanked, she began looking for jobs in the paper for her husband but spotted the Holland Roofing office manager/receptionist position. Not being happy with her current job, she decided she had nothing to lose and applied for the job. She’s glad she did because it was the start of her successful career in the industry.
Rackley Roofing President Curtis Sutton believes strongly in supporting women in the industry and putting people in roles that are non-traditional. In fact, Rackley Roofing is a Founding Sponsor for NWIR and we are very appreciative of their support. The company also places an emphasis on recruiting women and millennials to come into the business.
What’s the best piece of advice she ever received? Michelle said the best piece of advice she has gotten is to just go for it. She says she is an introvert by nature and Curtis has pushed her to go outside of her comfort zone and see what success comes from it. She followed that advice and in addition to NWIR is a part of Women in Commercial Real Estate, where she serves as VP of communications and she has joined BOMA. The company also recently became the official roofing contractor of the Tennessee Titans so she has plenty of opportunities to network while tailgating and entertaining clients in their suite. Her success from being involved and building relationships is obvious when you look at how she has grown the service division at Rackley Roofing.
Her advice to women getting into this industry? “I would say find another woman that you can lean on and learn from,” she said. “I think it’s also important that we, as women, empower one another. Sometimes we not only undermine ourselves, but we undermine each other, and we need to be supportive instead.”
On managing work/life balance: When asked how she manages to balance work and home life she answered with a laugh, “Sometimes I don’t know that I balance work and life.” Michelle has been married for 13 years and has two sons, 10 and 3 years old. She says her husband is very supportive of her and they work together as a team to balance work and family. She said they have a great support team that helps out when needed. Her biggest challenge is trying to find down time to relax.
Roofing Contractor Announces the 2017 Residential, Commercial Contractors of the Year
Each year, Roofing Contractor magazine honors the residential and commercial contractors that employ industry best practices, take care of their employees, and excel at quality workmanship and customer satisfaction.
The coveted industry awards for 2017 went to Power Home Remodeling, of Chester, Pa., in the residential category, and KPost Roofing & Waterproofing of Dallas on the commercial side.
RC Editorial Director Rick Damato and Editor Art Aisner delivered the awards before hundreds of roofing contractors and industry professionals on the first day of RC’s 13th annual Best of Success conference Sept. 18 in Tucson, Ariz. Watch the announcements recorded live here.
“Were deeply honored to receive this reward and humbled, said KPost President Steve Little upon accepting the award and commemorative trophy from RC Publisher Jill Bloom. “In every aspect we try to give back and (this) … shows that when you give back to the industry it will come back tenfold.”
“It’s a particularly poignant moment for us to receive this award,” said Power Co-CEO Asher Raphael via a video message shared from the Best of Success stage. “Although we’ve been around 25 years it’s been a much shorter stint in roofing. And to think just six years later we’ll be installing 8,000 individual roofs is mind boggling.”
Look for more coverage of the contractors of the year and the Best of Success conference on our website and in our November print edition.
From the entire RC team, thank you to all the contractors, distributors, manufacturers and readers that submitted nominations. We look forward to hearing from you again when nominations for the 2018 award open in January.
Largest North Texas Women-Owned Businesses
Texas Roof Management Inc. of Richardson, TX owned was named #31 of 100 on the Dallas Business Journal’s “Largest North Texas Women-Owned Businesses”, ranked by 2016 local revenue. Congratulations to President and Owner Catherine Awtrey and the Texas Roof Management Team!
The member renewal process has started. Notices were recently sent to members inviting them to renew their membership at any time, and reminders will be sent to members around the time of their original join date.
We sincerely appreciate your support and would welcome your continued support for 2018 as we move into the membership renewal season. By renewing your membership, you will stay connected with some of the best and brightest women in the industry and receive:
- Mentoring from seasoned roofing professionals and industry leaders who will help guide you in important career decisions, and help you solve workplace challenges.
- On-line training sessions to help you hone your skills and stay up-to-date with industry thought-leaders.
- Networking sessions at industry events, with an emphasis on programs that will advance women’s career paths in roofing at every level.
- Recruitment channels that will give you access to rising stars in the roofing industry.
- Employment opportunities nationwide from leading roofing companies and related industries.
Empowered women empower women, and a very wise woman once said, “No matter where you are in life, inspire and empower the women around you. Success is never reached alone. And, wisdom and wealth are sweeter shared.” These simple yet powerful words ring true of NWIR’s mission to educate, empower, recruit, mentor and provide opportunities to interact with women and create strong, long-lasting and supportive networks.
Save the Date
NWIR Day on February 4, 2018 in New Orleans. Optional sessions start at 9am, education sessions and keynote start at 12 noon. More info coming soon, but make your travel plans now to be in New Orleans on February 4th.
Mentoring: How to Be Successful Once You’ve Gotten Your Foot in the Door!
Don’t Miss Out!
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