On Top of the Industry

Commercial Roofers
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Commercial Roofers, in its nearly twenty years in business, has built a reputation for a job well done, becoming an industry leader in the process. The company was ranked the best place to work by Las Vegas In Business magazine and has received many other recognitions such as roofing contractor of the year from Roofing Contractor Magazine and the National Roofing Contractors Association Gold Circle Award. It also serves as a proud member of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.
As a full-service roofing and waterproofing contractor, Commercial Roofers brings an exceptional level of professionalism and experience to its clients. Though the history of Commercial Roofers can be traced back to the 1950s, under the supervision of the Howard family, a new era of success began in 1996.

In 1996, co-principals and friends, Scott Howard and Dennis Conway, joined forces after working together at Bryant Universal. They brought with them a wealth of knowledge, experience, a strong business acumen, and a common approach to business.

“We both believe we have a partnership – a relationship,” said Scott Howard. “In a business, you both have to have the same values, ethics, and principles, and we did, and it’s worked out very well.” He also noted that they always make the decision to do the right thing, even when it is not the easiest or least expensive option.

The philosophy adopted by Howard and Conway extends to Commercial Roofers’ relationships with suppliers, bankers, insurance brokers, and everyone else who plays a role in Commercial Roofers’ continued success. The company’s satisfied clients include the Wynn, the Encore, and City Center in Las Vegas, and it is currently working on the MGM Arena.

The highly professional, experienced, and quality services at Commercial Roofers are available for both commercial and public clients. The company has reroofed more than one hundred schools in the Las Vegas area.

Relationships have developed from the firm conducting business with integrity and professionalism. Repeat business comprises a great deal of the work done by Commercial Roofers each year, and having earned a ninety-nine percent certified approval rating for its work is a large part of that.

Commercial Roofers offers the necessary follow-up service, maintenance, and support. It employs more people in its service department than other roofing contractors have in an entire operation. This enables the company to respond quickly to clients’ needs at any time of day, seven days a week, year round.

Commercial Roofers has grown to become one of the largest roofing and waterproofing contractors available. It is licensed, bonded, and insured to undertake work in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah and goes with its clients where it is needed. The growing demand for its services has meant that it has increased its area of operations while continuing to operate out of its Las Vegas headquarters.

“When we go out of town, it’s important – especially from a philosophical standpoint – to send the very best people. People you can trust,” Conway explained. “I think we’ve got the very best people. I think we’ve got the most qualified people. I think we’ve got the most experienced people. If you walk down our hallway, there are probably over two hundred years of roofing experience.”

When asked what differentiates Commercial Roofers from its competitors, both Howard and Conway are quick to answer that it is, “the people”. Employees are provided with training opportunities and incentives for a job well done. The company has full appreciation for the caliber of its employees.

Safety is of the utmost importance, and its excellent safety record speaks for itself. Commercial Roofers has adopted a culture of safety and has a full-time safety director who goes out to job sites to perform inspections and safety analyses. Its office team of twenty people and a comprehensive and open system of communication are used to coordinate effectively the multiple ongoing projects it has undertaken at any given time.

Commercial Roofers makes every effort to be an employer of choice. It has created a team environment, works in close collaboration with the union, supports the union apprenticeship program, and brings in manufacturers to train workers on new roofing systems. The company’s adoption of industry best practices into its corporate culture has led to continuous improvement.

It remains an employer that can be counted on, even when times get tough. “When times slowed down, we made a decision that we weren’t going to make any serious or deep cuts. We were going to do our best to keep our staff together, and we did,” Conway shared, “Now, work is on an upswing, so it ended up strategically being a good decision.”

Understanding the evolution that has occurred in the industry over the last ten to fifteen years, Commercial Roofers has worked hard to stay up-to-date and relevant regarding available industry innovation and technology. There has been a shift from traditional asphalt built-up roof systems to more single-ply thermal plastics, including green roof systems, coatings, and reflective roof technology.

The company is equipped to install specialized polyurethane foam (PUF) systems, concrete and clay tiles, as well as any re-roofing, waterproofing, retrofitting, or expansion needs. It also has a service and maintenance program and provides emergency repair services, if necessary.

“We continue doing quality work and continue to lay the foundation,” stated Howard, “Business is changing, as we all know, and we’re going to lay a solid foundation for the long-term.”

As Howard explains, “We don’t want to be the biggest. I’d rather be known as the best, most profitable, rather than the biggest.” The company values a job well done and holds its quality employees in the highest regard. Commercial Roofers understands that these factors have helped it to reinforce and uphold its reputation. “I think the results speak for themselves,” Conway added.

Commercial Roofers has served as a leader in their industry through its ongoing involvement with industry bodies such as the Roofing Contractors Association. In fact, Dennis Conway has been named president-elect of the National Roofing Contractors Association and is ready to assume the role in June 2016.

The company is a good community steward and participates in outreach efforts with organizations such as Convoy of Hope, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, Opportunity Village, and many others. It aids these groups via in-kind and monetary support. “One thing that we feel is part of our corporate culture is to be good community members,” said Howard.

Commercial Roofers also funds a scholarship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Architecture. The initiative has existed since its inception as a company and is near and dear to the hearts of Conway and Howard. Citing the limited roofing education architects receive, the two teach a roofing class, introducing students to industry best practices, the various roofing technologies, and available resources.

Once they are equipped with an understanding of the different roofing systems available and how roofs can contribute to a building’s overall quality and sustainability, students compete for the scholarship using the information they learned. Their knowledge is applied to a case study, evaluated, and the one producing the best design results is declared the winner.

“It has to do with designing a roof system on a building, and it’s a really good program,” said Howard.

“It’s basically educating the young architectural students on roofing because they don’t spend a whole lot of time studying roofing over four years,” added Conway. “It’s just to give them some little tidbits of useful information about roofing, about how important it is.”

An alumnus of Colorado State University, Dennis Conway goes back to his alma mater twice a year to teach a class on roofing. He joins a partnering manufacturer and brings his industry knowledge and experience to educate the next generation of industry professionals.

As they celebrate twenty years in business together, Howard and Conway will continue to develop the workforce, to better serve their ever-growing list of clients.

“You know,” Howard said, “Many businesses don’t survive past two or three years. And, to not only survive, but to prosper and to provide employment and community pride for a lot of employees, to be a part of our family for twenty years, that’s something to be proud of.”

Conway continued, “If someone would have told me twenty years ago, when Scott and I got together, that we’d be together for twenty years and it would be about as close to a perfect marriage as you could find, I might have had my doubts, not being able to look in the future that far. But, after looking back on twenty years, Scott’s not only a good friend and a good business partner, but also a good man.”

Together, Howard and Conway have developed an excellent formula for success, taking Commercial Roofers to the very top of the industry. “A lot goes into it, but we’ve been very successful,” Conway concluded.



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