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IRE 2022 Kicks Off With Keynote Address

Oscar & Associates Reid Ribble addresses the crowd during the IRE 2022 Keynote
Reid Ribble, a former three-term member of Congress and the current CEO of the National Roofing Contractors Association, addressed a room of attendees before the doors to the IRE expo hall swung open Tuesday morning.

The 2022 International Roofing Expo kicked off with Reid Ribble, a former three-term member of Congress and the current CEO of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), addressing a room of attendees before the doors to the expo hall swung open Tuesday morning.

He encouraged roofers across America to take pride in their work. Ribble, a former roofer himself, said he knows firsthand how important the work is.

“We have to, as an industry, stop thinking we don’t count or that we’re too small to matter,” he said.

He said roofing must have a better appreciation for the work they do to keep the economy running if the industry is going to attract new blood.

“If we want to have that 17-, 18-, 19-, 20-year-old young person come and work in our company, let’s give them a reason to come and work in our companies,” he said. “Let’s tell them the stories of your existence and the very things that you’ve done in your company that can change the lives of people.”

Ribble said a story that has inspired him is when an elderly man called him in the middle of the night because water was pouring through his roof and cascading into his living room.

“The last thing I wanted to do was go out in the rain, in the middle of the night, to go and fix this guy’s roof in the dark,” he said. “But you know what I did? I did exactly what every one of you did.”

Ribble said he got dressed, got in his truck, and went to fix the man’s roof, which had been struck by lightning during a storm.

The man, who Ribble said must have been in his 90s, was thankful for his help.

“He said, ‘I called five roofing companies that night in the rain, and you were the only one who would come,’” Ribble said.

Ribble said the experience immediately began to change the way he thought about the work that roofers do.

“Because what was in that person’s house was every single thing left in this 90-year-old man’s life that actually mattered to him,” he said. “It was all there and all he knew is that the water is pouring in his house and he had to have it finished.”

Ribble also said the industry should focus on giving back whenever it can.

While working with the NRCA, Ribble said he has watched colleagues give their heart and soul to the roofing industry. He said the NRCA has lifted the entire industry to a new place with its spirit of giving.

“As I travel around the country, I have now gone to I think 45 or 50 of our affiliates,” he said. “And I listened to them and almost every single one of them talk about the scholarships that they bought, the kids that they’ve sent to college.”

He said the NRCA’s Roofing Alliance has helped support 160 Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Ribble said he is a huge believer that the idea of giving, sharing, and giving back, is at the core of what the roofing industry is all about.

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