Hall of Fame: Class of 2015

Alfred Dunlop & Robert Scichili: Top Leaders In The Industry.

By Sharon Glorioso

WEB-MR-HOF-logo-final-copy-2It’s that time of year again—Metal Roofing Magazine’s Hall of Fame issue! Metal Roofing Magazine announced the inaugural class of the Metal Roofing Hall of Fame in 2007 by inducting four industry pioneers. Since then, 11 more prominent members of the industry have been inducted into the Hall.

This year two more very successful leaders add to that list. Requirements for nominations included: they should be an innovator, a pioneer within the industry and currently active within the metal roofing industry. The industry has grown significantly due to the developments and innovations these members have contributed. Presented here are the two 2015 inductees—Al Dunlop and Bob Scichili. They were recently both kind enough to participate in a Q&A interview where they discussed their past and current contributions to the industry.


Al Dunlop

Q: What is your current position?

A: I recently retired for the second time. I just retired from the National Coil Coating Association (NCCA) in June. I retired from Valspar in 2010, but did some consulting work for them for several years after I retired.

Q: How did you become involved in the metal roofing industry?

A: I worked for Valspar and started there as a general manager and eventually ended up being their vice president for their coil and extrusion coatings group. And after I retired I did some consulting work for them.

After I retired from Valspar, the NCCA contacted me and asked me to fill their position as technical director. I was 68 when I retired from Valspar so I didn’t intend to do it for very long. I was with the NCCA for three years and then a gentleman [David Cocuzzi] became available so I retired again in May/June of this year. I never really considered myself a metal roofing industry expert. I was heavily involved in an important supporting role of the metal roofing industry—coatings. My background has always been in the coatings industry. The coatings and coil industry is a very important role within the metal roofing industry. Metal with the correct coating has a long life, and consequently I believe that this plays an important supportive role in the metal coatings industry.

Q: What is your educational background?

A: I studied chemistry and have graduate degrees, including a Ph.D., in chemical engineering. I graduated from the University of Windsor and the University of Toronto, both in Ontario, Canada.

Q: Can you tell me a little background about your business?

A: I started out my career in chemical engineering. The company, Glidden, I worked for was based in Cleveland and I was transferred there in 1985. When that company was sold, I was offered a job at Valspar. Although I was offered a job that purchased the business, I chose to take the job with Valspar and was with Valspar for more than 20 years. I started at Valspar as a general manager. My role expanded as the coil and coatings industry expanded. We became the predominant coating supplier in the United States and globally. I had a really good team at Valspar and we worked well together to expand the industry on a global level. That’s so important. It makes us [Valspar] a leader in the industry. Doing business in China and Russia is very different, compared to doing business in the United States. You need to learn how to defend your position globally and that is what we did; we stood by our innovations and products.

Q: What are some of your career-related achievements?

A: I have always been involved with the NCCA, the European Coil Coatings Association (ECCA), the Metal Construction Association (MCA) and I have worked with METALCON in years’ past. I have represented NCCA before organizations such as MCA, CRRC, ASTM and ECCA.

Working with the technology, marketing and program planning committees, I covered key issues such as EPDs, the Zinc coalition, the MCA certification program, LEED and many others. A long-time veteran of NCCA and the industry, I previously worked with Valspar, Glidden and Novacor Chemical. Additionally, I served on the NCCA Board of Directors.

Q: What do you think the future looks like for the metal roofing

A: The future is very bright for the metal roofing industry.

With the advancements of color options and solar reflectance properties, its long life and low maintenance, I think the metal roofing industry will continue to grow. That’s not to say that there won’t be bumps on the road along the way. There will be. But generally looking at the future, the future is good for metal roofing.

Q: What is the most important advice you would like to share with a newcomer to the industry?

A: Every business, no matter what business you are in, is still a people business. Make sure you think this way.

Q: What do you most enjoy about your work?

A: Definitely working with all of the people that I have throughout my career. If I could give any advice, it would be to develop relationships with people and trust working with those people.

That is what I missed the most when I first retired and that’s the main reason why I agreed to work with the NCCA when they asked me to work with them after I retired the first time.


Bob Scichili

Q: What is your current position?

A: I am the owner and president of Robert Scichili Associates, Inc. in Richardson, Texas. I am also co-founder with Scott Kriner of RSK Avanti Partners, LLC, a full service consulting firm, specializing in marketing, technical, branding issues, market and technical studies, to name a few. We both bring a diverse background and expertise to our industry, as well as many others needing these same areas addressed.

Q: How did you become involved in the metal roofing industry?

A: I came to the metals/coatings business from my tenure with 3M Company, where I was charged with developing new products from their vast research capabilities in reflective products. I joined De Soto, Inc. in 1967 to become the first Kynar-based PVDF coatings sales person to pioneer this product to the metals industry, and in two years established it well within the building products markets.

Q: How has the industry changed since you became involved?

A: Since the advent of the PVDF coatings systems, the metal building business and metal roofing business were greatly affected. The coatings being used back in the late 1960s were poor in quality and the Kynar/Hylar based coatings rivaled porcelain finished products and were cheaper in cost initially and long term.

Now that the long life systems are more mature, the down side is the many rebates being handed out to end user companies, leaving new advancements in finishes without the research needed to get them. Yes, the silicone polyester products have made some strides, but still the best coatings are still PVDF based.

The advent of cool pigment technology has been the only true new advancement in the industry, making this a major contribution to metal products and buildings and their standing in saving energy. It was my privilege to also pioneer this advancement to our industry and particularly to roofing. Scott Kriner and I also helped write portions of the original Energy Bill where metal coated with heat reflective pigments was given a rebate to the building owner. I am pleased to say that Cool Metal Roofing is now a standard in our industry and accepted as a premier contribution to the betterment of our industry and its customers.

Q: What is your educational background?

A: I went to Waukesha High School where I was All Suburban Conference and All State selections, and then, to Lake Forest College in Illinois on football and baseball scholarships graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, Business Administration and Social Studies and minors in Education and Physical Education. I consider my tenure with 3M company to be a formidable factor in my success as a sales, marketing and development executive.

Q: Can you tell me a little about the background of your business?

A: I operate a consulting firm with clients from our industry and have done so since 2005. I also co-own a more full-service consulting firm with Scott Kriner, who is recognized by the industry as a premier technical expert in metals and coatings as well. This full-service firm does marketing, sales and development for industry clients and also outside our industry.

Q: Are there any stories about your business you would like to share that demonstrates your businesses commitment to the industry?

A: I have always been sort of a coach to other sales and marketing people. I feel, in life, you gain a lot of experience and these experiences shape you along way. My 3M training taught me to have great skills and especially ethics. People are always telling me that I am always teaching, and it is my way of giving back to my core training. All this does is leave a legacy to others to emulate—hopefully to make the industry better.

Q: What does the future look like for our industry?

A: We have not met our full potential as an industry and although the MCA and Coil Coaters Associations strive to elevate this industry, we need to do more to be a greater factor in the building products markets.

We are out spent by the asphalt industry by plenty, so if we are to progress as we want to, we must overcome this disparity with better products that innovate and with the treasure needed to stimulate buyers to metal.

Q: What is the most important advice you would like to share with a newcomer to the industry?

A: Get involved with a company that will expand your horizons while you do the same for that company. Get involved with the industry associations and strive to make a contribution and learn in return. MR

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