Category: <span>RT3</span>

2023 RT3 Award Finalist Profile: Ken Kelly

There are many roofing contactors in the industry who are innovating every day and we are spotlighting those who were finalists in the Innovator of the Year awards program. While Ken Kelly was the recipient of the award in 2021, this nomination netted him a final spot in 2023 for his incredible work in the Tesla Solar Roof program.

In a rapidly evolving world, where innovation is the driving force behind progress, Ken Kelly stands out as a true trailblazer and a deserving candidate for the 2023 Innovator of the Year award. His relentless pursuit of innovative solutions, transformative ideas, and unwavering dedication to creating a positive impact on society sets him apart as a visionary leader shaping the future.

One of Ken’s standout achievements is his pioneering work with the Tesla Solar Roof. Embracing Kelly Roofing’s core value of Kaizen; continuous improvement, Ken Kelly along with a dedicated group of Kelly Roofing staff flew to California to participate in hands-on learning to become part of Tesla’s direct team and the first Tesla Channel Partner in Florida.

Kelly Roofing proudly cemented our position as a leader in the roofing industry by becoming the first company in Florida to offer and install the Tesla Solar Roof. Ken’s bold decision to integrate innovative technologies into traditional roofing practices showcased his keen understanding of the evolving market landscape and commitment to sustainable solutions. By embracing the Tesla Solar Roof, we have not only set a new industry benchmark but also showcased our dedication to providing customers with cutting-edge, environmentally conscious options for their roofing needs. This achievement positioned Kelly Roofing at the forefront of innovation in the state of Florida.

Ken’s leadership is driven by inclusivity and collaboration. He understands that innovation flourishes in an environment where diverse perspectives converge. Ken participated in regular meetings with the nation’s top three Tesla Solar Roof installers. Through these sessions, Ken was able to not only share his invaluable insights but also facilitated a dynamic exchange of ideas, resulting in a streamlined and optimized installation process.

What truly sets Ken apart is not just his ability to generate innovative ideas, but his commitment to translating these ideas into tangible results. He possesses a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit that drives him to take calculated risks, mobilize resources, and bring his visions to life. He has the incredible ability to identify pressing challenges and envision groundbreaking solutions. As Ken and the Kelly team began installing the Tesla Solar Roof, they collaborated directly with Tesla on better ways to integrate their innovative technology into traditional roofing practices resulting in two newer versions of the Tesla Solar Roof.

Under the visionary leadership of Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing has achieved several groundbreaking milestones including successfully completing the installation of the first Tesla Solar Roofs in both Florida and Tennessee as well as the first international installation of the Tesla Solar Roof in the West Indies, Caribbean. Ken’s unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability drove these remarkable achievements, marking a significant stride in revolutionizing the roofing industry.

Ken Kelly played a pivotal role in establishing the strong foundation of Kelly Roofing, positioning our company for a future filled with boundless possibilities. Through his visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence, Ken transformed Kelly Roofing from a small, family-owned business into a reputable and thriving roofing enterprise. His emphasis on quality craftsmanship, customer satisfaction, and innovative roofing solutions has not only earned us a stellar reputation but has also laid the groundwork for our continued success. As we look toward the future, we are poised to explore new horizons, embrace evolving technologies, and expand our reach. With the values and principles instilled by Ken, our company is well-equipped to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and write the next chapters of our journey in the roofing industry. Ken Kelly’s spirit of innovation continues to inspire and drive our staff towards creative solutions and excellence in everything we do.

In conclusion, Ken Kelly’s extraordinary journey from conception to realization, his capability to transform industries, and his dedication to cultivating a culture of innovation render him an exemplary candidate for the Innovator of the Year distinction. His influence reverberates through the roofing industry, imprinting an indelible mark on how we live, work, and envision the future. Ken’s story is not just one of individual success, but a testament to the power of innovation in shaping a brighter tomorrow for all of humanity.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Announces 2023 Innovator of the Year

The award recognizes a roofing contractor who contributes to the advancement of the roofing industry.

York, Pennsylvania, December 4, 2023 –- Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, awarded the 2023 Innovator of the Year award to John Kiesel, president of Division 7 Roofing in Galena, Ohio. The award was announced during the 2023 Best of Success Conference in Frisco, Texas.

“John’s development and use of photogrammetry and 3D models as well as augmented reality is leading the industry into the future,” stated Anna Anderson, CEO of Art Unlimited, RT3 Award Task Team Leader and past RT3 Board President. “In addition, he is sharing these technologies with local trade schools and hiring summer interns to show the appeal of a career in roofing.”

Kiesel began roofing at the age of 17 working for his father’s roofing business. He worked his way up from field worker to superintendent to general manager and today is president of Division 7 Roofing. “I feel the pain of roofing and recognize that when innovation or technology is able to disrupt the barbaric nature of roofing, I embrace that and I want to see roofing be a more accommodating career,” he said.

Congratulations to John Kiesel and Division 7 Roofing on being named the 2023 Innovator of the Year.

About Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3)
Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) strives to find innovative technology solutions to be used within the roofing industry.  RT3 provides insights from progressive thought leaders both inside and outside the roofing industry along with practical resources for implementing potential solutions successfully. The organization will encourage and enable contractors to embrace technology as they seek to grow their businesses.  With a commitment to disseminate technology advancement information, RT3 will help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry. Learn more at www.rt3thinktank.com.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) Announces New Technology Resources for Contractors

These one-of-a-kind tools were created to help contractors successfully navigate the roofing technology landscape.

September 20, 2023 – Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced the availability of technology resources for roofing contractors to help them successfully navigate their technology journey.

Developed by members of the RT3 Technology Task Team, the resources feature three key components:

  1. Business Maturity Guide – designed to help contractors understand where their business’s maturity level to help them develop strategies, plans and technology that support continued growth and success.
  2. Technology Landscape – a comprehensive guide to help contractors understand cutting-edge software tools specifically tailored for their needs. It defines industry technology solutions, the problems they solve, what questions to ask of vendors, considerations for scaling and expected price ranges.
  3. Technology Solution Directory* – This is where roofing contractors can browse a collection of tools and apps that can help solve their most urgent business issues.

“We are extremely excited to offer this one-of-a-kind resource to the roofing industry,” said Karen Edwards, director of RT3. “The Task Team members worked together for the last 18 months both in-person and virtually to create these resources. We were very intentional in assembling the information from the perspective of an independent third party without recommending one solution over another.”

Technology providers are encouraged to submit their solutions to be included in the RT3 Solutions Directory. They do not need to be a member of RT3 to have their listing included in the directory. The directory is designed to allow peers to comment on each solution and leave feedback that can help other roofing contractors in their technology journey.

The RT3 Technology Resources are available in an interactive format on the RT3 website and also available as a downloadable PDF. They can be accessed here: rt3thinktank.com/resources

*Disclaimer: RT3 does not endorse any of these solutions but provides the platform for the industry to share their information and leave reviews and feedback that could be useful to others.

About Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3)
Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) strives to find innovative technology solutions to be used within the roofing industry.  RT3 provides insights from progressive thought leaders both inside and outside the roofing industry along with practical resources for implementing potential solutions successfully. The organization will encourage and enable contractors to embrace technology as they seek to grow their businesses.  With a commitment to disseminate technology advancement information, RT3 will help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry. Learn more at www.rt3thinktank.com.

RT3 Member Mycocycle Featured on RE:TV as Inspiring Innovation

RE:TV highlights inspiring innovations and ideas that are emerging in response to the climate and biodiversity crisis.

Mycocycle, Inc., a leader in using mycoremediation to process toxins out of waste was featured in an episode on RE:TV, an initiative founded by His Majesty King Charles III in 2020 at the World Economic Forum (then HRH the Prince of Wales) to spotlight change makers around the world. The platform seeks innovations that are inspired by nature to address the challenges of the climate crisis.

Mycocycle’s process of using fungi to transform waste materials into a reusable resource captured the attention of RE:TV because of its ability to dramatically reduce the negative impact that the construction industry has on the environment. The resulting biomaterial that is produced is both fire- and water-resistant and can be used in the manufacture of many new products, including building materials, resulting in a true closed-loop ecosystem.

“The waste generated in the construction industry takes up space in landfills and can leach toxins into the air, water and soil,” Mycocyle CEO and Founder Joanne Rodriguez explained in the episode. “For every ton of waste that we treat, we are able to reduce CO2 emissions by almost three metric tons.” The Mycocycle spotlight can be watched on RE:TV’s website.

About Mycocycle

Mycocycle, Inc. is a nature-inspired and woman-owned biotechnology startup that leverages fungi to transform industrial waste into reusable materials. Founded in 2018, the company is on a mission to drive circularity in the construction supply chain and divert waste from landfills with its innovative solution. Mycocycle blends lab-cultivated fungi with debris at the point of waste generation to detoxify hard-to-recycle building materials and turn them into new raw materials. Its customers include companies across the waste management, recycling, and manufacturing industries, as well as companies focused on reducing Scope 3 emissions.

In 2023, Mycocycle was issued a Declare label for its “MycoFILL© G” materials through the International Living Futures Institute, which recognized its products as Red List Chemical Free. Mycocycle is a FastCompany World Changing Ideas finalist and its CEO has been honored as a Environment + Energy Leader Top 100 Leader, Crain’s Chicago Top 50 Sustainability Executive and named to the inaugural Forbes Next 1000 list. To learn more visit www.mycocycle.com.

Immersive Experiences at the Oracle Innovation Lab

RT3 members explore technology in one of the most innovative labs in the world.

The Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) is committed to learning about new, emerging technologies and how these technologies may be leveraged in the roofing industry. They meet several times a year to experience the latest innovations and understand how they might advance the roofing industry as a whole.

On May 16 RT3 members met at the Oracle Innovation Lab in Deerfield, Illinois to participate in immersive experiences at the lab. According to an information sheet provided by Oracle, “The Oracle Industry Lab is a unique idea incubator designed to help businesses in a variety of industries tackle their most complex challenges. At locations around the world, we work side by side with our customers and technology partners in hands-on simulated industry settings to turn bold ideas into powerful solutions they can implement and use today.”

Manufacturing and AI

One of the experiences was a manufacturing and transportation focus, where artificial intelligence was being used for quality control in a manufacturing environment. Strategically positioned cameras would monitor the production of materials and issue an alert if abnormalities were spotted in the item being made. Drones were deployed to fly autonomous missions to count inventory. In the use case in the lab, the drone would fly to a stack of pipes, take a photo and count the number of pipes, delivering the count to inventory software in the lab.

Models demonstrated how fleets of trucks could be outfitted with technology to monitor their performance, efficiency, locations and health. The technology can alert the company to potential delays or problems before they happen, allowing them to take action.

Mark Mortimer tries the exoskeleton

Connected Tools

Oracle partner Hilti was on site to demonstrate their line of connected tools. They have eliminated the need for electric cords by using smart batteries to power the tools. The tools are able to be monitored using an app on a smartphone that provides detailed information about the use of the tool and the GPS capabilities of the battery can provide the tool’s exact location. This feature was extremely helpful lto one contractor whose tools were stolen from their truck. The app was able to provide information on their whereabouts and the contractor was able to recover the stolen items. 

Hilti also has an exoskeleton that helps support the upper body when doing repetitive work overhead. Members were able to try on the exoskeleton and experience the difference. The company has another exoskeleton in the works that will provide support for the knees, hips and lower body.

Greg Bloom experiencing VR in a building model.

Virtual Reality and Wearables

VR headsets were donned by members as they experienced how a digital model of the Innovation Lab was used to identify a potential issue and correct it during the design phase – before construction was even started.

New Oracle partner RealWear had a hardhat equipped with a smart eye that allowed the person wearing the hat to use voice commands to take photos and share data about the condition of a roof or a job site. By freeing up both hands and eliminating the need to enter data into a smartphone or tablet, the user is safer on the job and more efficient.

Smart Suite

The energy and utilities section of the lab featured a model of a smart kitchen and living area that helps consumers understand their energy usage and ways that they might be more sustainable and energy smart. A Tesla battery wall stores electricity generated by the solar panels on the roof of the lab and holds enough electricity to power the lab for four hours should they experience a power outage.

Smart Scheduling

The command center at the lab has state-of the-art monitors and technology where the Primavera P6 scheduling software was demonstrated. Integrations with Esri and other data sources allow for the identification of potential issues that could arise during a project. The example was for the installation of a utility line, where upon examining the data, we were able to determine that there was farm that would experience disruption as well as a creek that would need navigated during the installation. This allowed for adjustment of the schedule with a more accurate timeline to allow for those issues to be addressed.

After the immersive experiences, members gathered to discuss what was learned throughout the morning and how it might translate into roofing. They also identified challenges that the industry may face in adopting some of these concepts and plan to work on providing information and education to help the industry integrate tech solutions more efficiently.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member or participating in future meetups, visit rt3thinktank.com and choose Join RT3.

RT3 member Kelly Roofing goes global with first international Tesla Solar Roof

This installation has opened up new possibilities for the next steps in solar roofing installations.

Kelly Roofing has completed the first-ever international Tesla Solar Roof installation, marking a significant milestone in green energy innovation. The Florida-based company managed negotiations, logistics and operations to extend its services into the international field, starting on the island of Nevis in the West Indies. This installation has opened up worldwide possibilities for the next steps in solar roofing installations for Kelly Roofing.

“This job is the pay off of years of work and innovation, it’s incredible to watch it come to life,” said Kelly Roofing President Ken Kelly. “Our team has been working with Tesla on building the solar roof deployment process from the ground up since they began developing it in 2019. Roofing innovation is what we do. It’s what we’ve been known for for the last fifty years at Kelly Roofing. This client, and this job have brought us to a new level and let us begin to really see the fruit of that labor.”

Installing a Tesla Solar Roof internationally required an intricate, multi-faceted and carefully honed system to complete. Kelly Roofing worked with the customer to understand their goals and negotiated a general price for the raw job. They then navigated duty and tariffs, shipping fees, customs fees, holding fees and transportation fees. The company’s prior experience in these logistics laid the groundwork for the job in Nevis and made the job seamless for the customer.

“We had the advantage of having solid shipping partners in place and a tested process, it was a matter of fitting the pieces together strategically for what this client needed,” Ken Said.

The Kelly Roofing team’s extensive experience in navigating Florida’s stringent roofing codes allowed them to navigate the legal hurdles of Nevis’s roofing regulations. The team also partnered with a local contracting team to ease relations with the government and the local community, providing on-the-job training and bringing the job to life.

The Tesla system is unique in its durability and innovation as well. It is connected to an app that is designed to be intuitive for the homeowner, helping control power consumption and usage. The roofs are also designed to last over time, making them hurricane-force-wind resistant and impact resistant to hail. Each tile is independent, allowing for expansion and contraction in extreme temperatures.

“The Tesla system gives peace of mind to our clients. We saw roofs come out of Hurricane Ian basically untouched and the Powerwall system kept up. There were entire blocks where neighbors were charging their phones at the only house with a Tesla Solar Roof because no one else had power,” Ken added.

For the homeowner, the Tesla Solar Roof came with a host of benefits, including ease of use and unmatched durability that provide an excellent return on their investment. In Nevis, the homeowner was able to take their home off-grid without interfering with the quality of their day-to-day life.

Kelly Roofing is now vetting and accepting new international Tesla Solar Roof jobs and is thankful and honored to have been a part of building this customer’s home.

Contact us today at 239.228.3276 or by email at: mail@kellyroofing.com for more information.

About Kelly Roofing

Kelly Roofing is an award-winning, Florida-based, international roofer that has been on the cutting edge of roofing innovation since 1972. They are a Top 100 Roofing Contractor and have been recognized as America’s Roofing Contractor of the Year. Kelly Roofing holds dozens of awards including the Roofing Think Tank Innovator of the Year and Fastest Growing Roofing Company in America Award. The company lives by the idea that the values of care, communication and consistency are the pathways to innovation and outstanding workmanship. Kelly Roofing is a certified Tesla Solar Roof installer and has leveraged this partnership to launch into the international solar roofing market.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) Plans Activities Around the 2023 International Roofing Expo®

Activities include a meetup at SRS Distribution’s new headquarters and a future workforce-focused contractor educational panel.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced activities scheduled for the International Roofing Expo (IRE) 2023.

Members will meet Monday, March 6 at the SRS Distribution Headquarters where they will tour the facility, hear from technology leaders at the company and then continue their work on the technology issues facing the industry. Members have been analyzing the lack of standardization among technology platforms and brainstorming ways to improve communications and integrations among these tools.

RT3 members will also participate in an educational panel on Thursday, March 9 at 9:30 a.m. The session is titled Finding Your Future Workforce. In this panel, RT3 contractor members share how they are leveraging their communities, engaging with youth, and using technology such as robotics, virtual reality and AI to appeal to the future workforce. They will share what they are doing, how they got started and tips for success.

The panel is moderated by Heidi J. Ellsworth and participants include RT3 contractor members John Peck of PB Roofing, Charles Antis, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, Christee Holbrook of Graham Roofing, Josey Parks, CEO of J Wales Enterprises and John Kiesel of Division 7 Roofing and Imagine Technologies.

“We have all been challenged when it comes to recruiting young team members into our roofing companies,” stated Karen Edwards, RT3 Director. “Technology is going to play a key role in attracting the next generation into roofing, but engaging with our youth and communities is where it starts. This panel is a chance for other contractors to learn how to get started and gain ideas as to what might work in their service areas.”

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About Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3)
Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) strives to find innovative technology solutions to be used within the roofing industry.  RT3 provides insights from progressive thought leaders both inside and outside the roofing industry along with practical resources for implementing potential solutions successfully. The organization will encourage and enable contractors to embrace technology as they seek to grow their businesses.  With a commitment to disseminate technology advancement information, RT3 will help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry. Learn more at www.rt3thinktank.com.

RT3 Member Roofing Contractor Magazine Announces Roofing Supply Pro to Support Roofing Distribution Industry

Roofing Contractor Magazine and its parent company, BNP Media, are proud to announce Roofing Supply Pro, a publication dedicated to serving professionals in the roofing distribution industry.

Set to launch during the 2023 International Roofing Expo in March, the online publication will deliver content crafted for the unique business needs of roofing supply professionals. Readers will enjoy coverage on a wide array of topics, ranging from news and products to operations, branch management, sales, logistics, and more. 

“As these past few years have demonstrated, supply and distribution are critical to the roofing industry,” said Jill Bloom, publisher of Roofing Contractor and Roofing Supply Pro. “As the premier publication for commercial, residential and industrial roofing contractors, we are excited to expand our coverage of the roofing industry to serve roofing supply professionals.”

Roofing Supply Pro is for owners, sales representatives, branch managers, credit managers, fleet managers and everyone else involved in this essential industry. Readers can subscribe for free at www.roofingcontractor.com/RSP-Sign-Up as well as sign up for eNewsletters that will send the latest news, videos, podcasts and more directly to their inboxes. Readers can also find Roofing Supply Pro on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay on top of the latest news.

For more information, visit www.roofingcontractor.com/RSP-Sign-Up.

About Roofing Contractor

Roofing Contractor, a BNP Media publication, is the premier media publication for roofers in North America, and the businesses that supply and support them. Roofingcontractor.com covers the latest news and information impacting the roofing industry on a daily basis. In addition, every month RC publishes a newly-redesigned eMagazine that delivers articles, contractor profiles, product information, and insights into the latest business, legal and safety concerns that contractors face every day. Our editorial reaches an international audience covering all aspects of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional roofing. 

About BNP Media

Founded in 1926, BNP Media is a fourth-generation, family-run media enterprise headquartered in Troy, Mich. Millions of B2B professionals worldwide rely on BNP Media for superior information in a variety of trusted formats. Their magazines, websites, events, custom media, webinars, continuing education coursework, and market research insights are known for helping industry professionals succeed in business and get closer to their customers.