“Be There…” 

February 2024

I coached minor hockey for 17 years; among the many things I might be known for of all kids I coached, I coached many who are now young men - are two words I would bark out from the bench….’be there’…

I coached players to put themselves in the right position not only to make the right play, but to get that lucky bounce. ‘Be there’ was my way to communicate the need to put oneself in the position to make a difference, intended or otherwise.

‘Be there’ can apply just as much to leading an industry association, you gotta ‘be there’ in front and with the members to listen to what they have to say. Over the past few weeks, I have had the honour to ‘be there’, to participate in annual membership meetings in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Quebec.

Prior to these opportunities I also visited with RCABC, ARCA board of directors and the RCANS annual meeting. Each time I learn more through in-person interactions, I get to listen to what members have to say. Such was the case in New Brunswick during my visit to the NBRCA office and training center.

I met Edgar, the famous NB Red Seal roofer trainer. In some detail he explained to me how he uses CRCA manuals, how he reads them aloud with the students, and how he can identify with students for whom the school classroom is a challenge. He himself said to me he did not like school.

I had a few moments to address the seven third-block Red Seal students, I made a comment that, I will admit, reminded me of being mindful of the end user. I said that we would be moving someday to paperless manuals, two students shook their heads, “we are roofers, we like our paper too”…

This message has stuck with me ever since, it reminded me that we must find a balance as we move forward. To the two gentlemen in the back with the black hoodies and toques, thank you.

I had to ‘be there’.

I plan to ‘be there’ as often as possible. Thank you to everyone who took the time to speak with me, and to those I have yet to meet, I hope to meet as soon as possible.

I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you to ‘be there’ … be in Victoria at the CRCA 64th Annual Conference and meeting of members, May 10th to 12th, visit www.roofingcanada.com for more information.

See you THERE!