This past weekend, the Slate Roofer’s Contractors Association met at Joseph Jenkins in Grove City, PA. The conference marked the 10 year anniversary of the SRCA. Members came from as far as Spain or Brazil to attend. It’s a memorable experience to all involved that I’ll recap from my point of view.
- Ed Stinson from HRC Roofing nailing the bulls-eye on John Mahan’s slate hammer throw. The hammer throw was easily the most entertaining game that raised hundreds of dollars as John’s enthusiasm for participation was unmatched.
- Joe Jenkins auctioneer abilities are first class. Whether it’s Ed Stinson’s DNA over various items or Gary’s underwear, Joe keeps the environment lively.
- John Crookston’s jokes were unrivaled and kept the members sides splitting…What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?
- Brent Ulisky’s dragon that he whipped up in 30 minutes was auctioned off for $140. Get off the roof, Brent. You’ve found your true calling.
- I’ve asked Korby from Grist Slate and Tile for the GoPro video of him on the 9th story of the Empress. You can find the footage on the Grist Slate and Tile webpage.
- Guenther from Ornamentals in his lederhosen the 2nd day was certainly a sight to see. Easily the best outfit of the day.
The first day was technically on Thursday when Chris Paulin and Barry Smith conducted a slate roof training class for interested parties. The idea of educating more roofers on proper installation techniques is essential to the future of slate roofing in the USA. More info can be found on this training class.
Jeff and I arrived at Joe Jenkins facility around 8 in the morning on Friday. We took some time and set up our booth along with various other vendors such as VMZinc, Newmont Slate, Be Natural, North Country Slate, SSQ, Slator LLC, Innova Tile, and Lifting Equipment Solutions
At 9am the first presentation was conducted by Joe Jenkins about common slate roofing mistakes. A key point Joe made was that installation mistakes negatively impact the industry and give slate a poor reputation.
We then moved into Barry Smith reviewing the SRCA guidelines for proper installation. Next, the group was introduced to Oranmental Slating by Orion Jenkins which is quite popular in Europe. It concluded with a walking tour of his home.
At 12pm the group had lunch which had some great food catered by Nonni’s. John Chan gave the next presentation on Spanish quarries and an overview of the trip the SRCA members took recently. Dave Thomas and Haroun El-Helw next gave a presentation on Spanish slate and the specifications and testing involved. The day wrapped up with Dave Armstrong and Chris Short explaining some hip and ridge details on a slate roof.
There was a short break and then dinner followed. The beer wagon kept the party lively while members congregated and shared stories and got to know each other better.
Joe began the second day with information on stone roofing from Norway which was incredibly unique. It’s refreshing to see different parts of the world and their methods.
The next presentation was easily the most exhilarating as a discussion that started on tips for slate roof estimating moved into a heated discussion between insurance adjusters and roofers. At the end, no punches were thrown and everyone left with a better understanding of how each other operate.
Larry Peters took the floor from the CDA and gave the group more information on copper than we know what to do with. Chris Large and John Neil them gave us a further look on the Glendyne quarry near Quebec that produces North Country black slate. Following North Country was Mark Cangemi from Miller Fall Protection who gave an animated presentation about various equipment and proper safety procedures. Brent Ulisky closed the day’s presentations with a demonstration on how to do closed valley flashing.
Spending the weekend in Grove City, Pa is definitely an experience. The presentations are well done and the schedule is upheld to make sure that the members are actually learning what they paid for. It’s truly a great group of people and I enjoy everyone’s company. Big shout out to Jason “Stortz” Klemm and Matt Rak who’s genuine zeal for our company is incredible.