February 26, 2015 New Orleans:
Sometimes you get to play with the big boys. Sometimes you become the old wise roofer and you get to be looked up to. The International roofing expo was a great chance to get a birds eye view of your peers and for me an opportunity to share and perhaps mentor. Like other industries that are traditional small business industries the roofing industry can be a great place where you can support a family if you put in enough effort. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has shown a concern for the image of the industry. Worried that the image of what a roofer “is” could be in jeopardy, they have begun to create a campaign to inform more potential roofers of a profile that fits.
Earlier today when speaking with Bill Good President and Chairman of The NRCA we discussed how roofers tend to be either athletes or outdoors people. Here is an example of some new people that are in the New roofing industry.
I randomly had the opportunity to meet Juan and Phil partners in
a roofing business. Two former College Basketball Stars who become good friends that they can trust on the court and that they can count on in the Board Room. Here is what they had to say. Needless to say I believe in their future. I believe in their teamwork.
“Juan Merino at 6’9, is from Medellin, Colombia and after playing for the Colombian National basketball team came to the USA in 1995 to play high school basketball in Wilmington, Delaware.
Phil Graham at 7’1, is from Manchester, England and after playing for the English National team and came to the USA in 1996 to play high school basketball in Hazard, Kentucky.
We met at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN in 1998 where we both played the center position, playing for the same position was something that could easily had caused tension between us if we had looked at it from a selfish viewpoint. However, we challenged each other day after day on the basketball court, strengthening our friendship and improving our basketball skills. We learned to trust and hold each other accountable for our actions.
We both completed our bachelor degrees in Business Administration in 2001 (Juan) and 2002 (Phil)
After leaving college our friendship continued to flourish and Phil asked me to be the best man at his wedding in 2002.
Our career paths took us in different directions; Phil moved to Dalton, GA with his wife and shortly after started a family. He worked in the property investment industry for years and after 2008 started to work as a general contractor and then specialized in roofing in 2011.
Juan moved to Indianapolis and worked as an operations manager for a distribution company and then moved to multiple cities around the world (Seattle, WA/ Fresno, CA/ Shimonosaki, Japan/ Durham, England/ Medellin, Colombia) before Phil asked him to join his business in 2013.
Phil was looking for a business partner who would not only matched his hard work ethics and enthusiasm, but also someone that he could trust.
Utilizing our past experience in the basketball court we can now use these set of skills to develop a strong business. Our goal is to strengthen our presence in our local region and continue to grow our business. We are a young business and our focus is to have good procedures in place so we can provide a great service to our customers.”
I have a feeling that these two men will be the leaders of the roofing industry or much more