I want to thank Metal Roofing Magazine and those in the industry who supported my induction into the Metal Roofing Hall of Fame. I’m honored and flattered to know I am included with those members already named, Jack Berridge, Herb Englert, Don Miller and Tem McElroy, all who have contributed so much to the success of the industry. I’m especially happy that I was selected to join A.R. Ginn into the Hall of Fame because A.R. was among the first in the industry in the early 70s to commit to using Galvalume sheet roofing on buildings built by MBCI and he later supported BIEC’s industry marketing programs in the 80s and into the 90s.
Q: What are you doing nowadays?
Since my retirement in 2002, I have been dividing my time in both suburban Philadelphia and Naples, Fla. This has made it possible for me to enjoy and sharpen up my golf game throughout the year. I also served on the Board of our Homeowners Association in Pennsylvania for about four years and my wife and I celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2007. I had a heart attack in December 2005 and had a stent placed in the blocked artery. So, I spend three mornings a week in the gym exercising. I’m currently doing very well and probably in as good a condition as possible for my age.
Q: How did you first get involved in the metal roofing industry?
My first experience with metal roofing dates back to the early 70s when Galvalume sheet was first produced and sold by Bethlehem Steel. Production of Galvalume sheet culminated after about 10 years of development at Bethlehem’s Homer Research Laboratory and several production trials at the Sparrows Point Plant. After my development work on the product in research, I was a member of Bethlehem’s Galvalume Project Team, which had the responsibility for marketing and selling the product in the US market. It was during this time that I learned about steel roofing applications and got to meet many metal roofing industry professionals. Later in the 80s and 90s while at BIEC, whose role it was to license worldwide the Galvalume sheet patents and technology, I managed marketing and technical metal roofing programs of the Galvalume Sheet Producers of North American and actively participated in MCA and METALCON.
Q: How has the industry changed since you became involved?
There have been many materials, product design and company ownership and company consolidation changes in the industry since the mid-70s. However, in my opinion, one of the most significant changes has been the evolving cooperation among companies and industry associations to conduct programs that grow the general metal roofing market. In the 70s and into the 80s metal roofing and metal building companies, along with the associations representing them, emphasized the differences among their products and systems to get their share of the relatively small metal roofing market. Then in the mid-80s, when Steve Chehi, my BIEC colleague and marketing mentor, and I initiated BIEC’s marketing programs with our North American licensees (the major USA, Canadian and Mexican steel companies) the emphasis was to target and reach the total roofing market to educate architects, specifiers and building owners about the benefits of steel roofing over traditional nonmetallic roofs. During that time, BIEC and NamZAC provided program planning and management, created and distributed promotional materials, including sales literature, technical papers and videos, to promote metal roofing in general and Galvalume sheet roofing in particular. One of the first such programs was to conduct seminars in cities around the USA with individual metal component and metal building companies. During these seminars invited architects, specifiers, builders and building owners were informed about the performance, design, installation and long term economic benefits of steel roofing compared to nonmetallic roofing. These programs later evolved into cooperative programs of the various trade associations representing companies and industries that have a stake in the metal roofing industry.
Q: What contributions have you and your company made to metal roofing?
The biggest and most obvious contribution has been to develop Galvalume sheet while at Bethlehem Steel, which then made and sold the product to metal roofing companies in the USA. Galvalume sheet came into the market when metal roofing companies were looking for a long life, cost effective roofing sheet that was superior to existing products. Today, after over 35 years of proven performance in a wide range of environments, Galvalume sheet, both painted and unpainted, is probably the most widely used steel roofing product. In addition, as noted above, BIEC led industry wide marketing programs to promote metal roofing and many of its early programs have served as a model for those used today.
Q: What does the future look like for our industry?
In my opinion the future looks bright for the industry for all metal roofing applications. The current emphasis on energy efficient and environmentally friendly nonresidential and residential buildings should be good for metal roofing because it offers a wide range of unpainted and painted products with a combination of good reflectivity, good emissivity and long life compared to nonmetallic roofing. Also, because of the devastating fires on the West Coast, it’s very likely that code and insurance requirements will soon be enacted that will require fire resistant roofing there. So, when considering the current and emerging requirements for all roofs, I believe that metal roofing is uniquely positioned to gain market share and to grow in the future.