Letter from CEO Winter 2017
A letter from Advanced Roofing’s founder and CEO, Robert “Rob” Kornahrens
As we close the books on one of the most active hurricane seasons we have seen in a while, we are reminded of how truly thankful we are to have a roof over our heads and a family that is safe and sound to make memories with this holiday season. We spent the second half of 2017 putting into action the groundwork we laid earlier in the year. A keen focus on sales and operations resulted in the 2nd most successful year since I founded Advanced Roofing in 1983. Our success is a direct result of the hard work our team members put forth every day, so thank you.
We will start out the New Year busier than ever with a backlog of solar and roofing projects. Even with an uptick in revenue and projects, one thing remains constant – our commitment to quality. It is the most important thing we do and will continue to be our focus in 2018. Before we look forward towards the New Year, I would like to share a few of our achievements from the second half of the year.
Company Highlights in the 2nd half of 2017
- We welcomed new talent to the team and are currently running 35 crews, up from 18 at the start of the year.
- The Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association awarded ARI with the 1st Place Low Slope STAR Award for its re-roofing solutions at the National Hurricane Weather Center in Miami, Florida.
- The National Roofing Contractors Association named ARI as a “Top Commercial Roofing Contractor in the state of Florida.”
- Carlisle SynTec Systems honored ARI with their “Perfection Award” for “exceptional installation quality and excellent warranty claim performance.”
- The ARI-Sailsmen Fishing Team earned 1st place in the Jeb Bush Florida Classic Fishing Tournament supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Our team is working hard to complete many re-roofing and solar jobs by year-end while cleaning up the damages left behind by Hurricane Irma state-wide. In the second half of this year we had the honor of earning several jobs including the following:
- Hurricane Irma Damage: St. Mary’s Christian Center Tampa (read case study)
- Re-Roofing: JM Family Aviation Center (read case study)
- Solar: South Florida Regional Tri-Rail Station Solar Canopy & Roofing (watch video)
A Look Back at the 2017 Hurricane Season
This year’s hurricane season was one we will not forget, with 19 named storms. We experienced together nearly every emotion as we prepared our business and our homes for Hurricane Irma, from anticipation and fear, to hope and relief. Irma caused a lot of damage throughout the state, impacting all seven of our offices. Critical to any hurricane preparation is having a good plan in place before the season starts, which is our principal priority every year. Our team came together and executed the plan flawlessly. We brought in out-of-state partners to help, and also traveled to the Keys and Jacksonville to provide a helping hand to the naval bases. Our team was one of the first to make it into the Keys by boat to support relief efforts after the hurricane. I am always amazed at the generosity of our employees, especially during times of need.
As we prepare our plan for next year, here are four tips to keep your commercial roof safe during hurricane season:
- Preparedness is critical. Update and test your hurricane plan.
- Have a preventative roof maintenance plan and follow inspection protocols. These are the best pieces of insurance you can buy to mitigate any potential disaster with roof loss during a hurricane.
- If you need a new roof or your existing roof needs repair, call ARI. Of the roofs we have seen fail throughout the years, 95% were due to lack of maintenance and poor workmanship during the installation.
- Thoroughly review your insurance policy to make sure it is up-to-date and that you understand the coverage provided. Get clarification on your policy if needed before the season starts.
We continue to see an increase in the use of coatings as a complete roofing system and anticipate this solution to be a significant market player in the next few years due to the cost savings and versatility of applications. Single-ply PVC roofing systems were also in high demand this year due to the undeniable cost savings and waterproofing protection. PVC systems can be less expensive to maintain and have a higher performance rating than traditional single-ply, making it the top choice for many projects. Another trend we have seen this year is the use of custom colors in rooftop membranes. With a variety of colors to choose from, your roof can look aesthetically pleasing to the upper-level residents and guests who look down on the rooftop.
The U.S. solar industry is holding its breath as President Trump prepares to vote by January 12 on the groundbreaking Section 201 trade case that will impose a tariff on solar modules, ranging anywhere up to 74 cents per watt. The tariff risk has already caused prices to increase, reversing a trend of steadily declining costs for the past ten years. Although the tariff is intended for low-priced solar imports, it also means that U.S. produced solar panels would get taxed in foreign markets. Clint Sockman, Advanced Roofing’s Vice President of Renewable Energy, anticipates a minimal impact on small to medium scale projects with a more significant effect felt on larger-scale utility investors. However, the support for and interest in solar is high throughout the world, and with electric vehicles, in high demand, we see a trend in requests for solar carports and EV charging stations.
Advanced Roofing in the Community
ARI is dedicated to serving the communities in which we work and live. This year was filled with many notable achievements that I’m excited to share with you:
- The ABC Apprenticeship Program celebrated its first graduating class over the summer. I am proud that our company is one of the program’s co-founders and am even more proud of the five graduates who completed the three-year program. Way to go!
- We hit the pavement in October to participate in the 4th Annual Ride for Breast Cancer Awareness at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida.
- The Student ACES board, a Florida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for high school students, selected Rob Kornahrens as a board member.
- Broward County Board of City Commissions and Mayor Barbra Sharief designate Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 as Broward Means Business Advanced Green Technologies Day. Watch the video at https://goo.gl/XgGibJ
- Rob Kornahrens will co-chair the 2018 American Heart Association’s Broward Heart Walk with Cleveland Clinic Florida CEO Dr. Wael Barsoum. Learn more at https://goo.gl/a87ncr.
The constant thread woven throughout all of our achievements is our people. As I like to say, our people are our “secret sauce.” They drive our success and are the reason our customers choose us. This year we hired many new talented employees that are allowing us to grow and improve our processes. I am excited to work together with you all as we continue to grow the company and work on new and exciting projects in 2018. Sadly this year, we had to say goodbye to a long-time employee, Michelle Friedman, who passed away in November. She was a dear friend to many of us and an essential part of the ARI team. We will miss her very much and are proud to have been a part of her life. In her memory, we are planting trees in Israel and one at our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.
I anticipate a great year working alongside our talented ARI family as we celebrate 35 years in business this April. As re-roofing projects are in high-demand for 2018, we have a substantial backlog going into the New Year with help from the hurricanes. We will continue to grow our business with a focus on regional operations. Also, our team will look to build our partnerships with stakeholders statewide as well as help our people grow within their positions while recruiting the best talent to our team.
I look forward to spending time with family and friends this holiday season and creating new memories with my ARI family as we continue our longtime tradition of bringing in the holidays at the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade on December 9. Be on the lookout for our Grease the Movie themed boat as we cruise “Broadway on the Waterway.”
From my family to yours, have a Happy and Healthy holiday season!