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NRCA's engagement with roofing and waterproofing industry stakeholders throughout the world has steadily increased during recent years, and this trend continued during the past year. Demand for NRCA training and education, technical support, and assistance with establishing related building codes and standards are the primary drivers for this global activity.

In July 2016, NRCA staff met with a large engineering firm—an NRCA member company—in Dubai to discuss how we could establish a long-term presence in the Middle East and North Africa region. This conversation led to a significant training contract that was delivered in May 2017. During the trip, staff also met with another member company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to discuss how NRCA might work with their government officials regarding adoption of the NRCA technical manuals as a standard for their underdeveloped building code system.

From Riyadh, staff traveled to Shanghai to attend the 14th annual China International Roofing & Waterproofing Expo July 13-18, 2016. NRCA helped establish China National Building Waterproof Association's (CWA's) first conference in 2003 and helps promote the China show to NRCA members and at NRCA events.

In October 2016, NRCA was invited back to Dubai for a study tour. NRCA Executive Committee member Alex Hernandez, president of Clark Roofing Co., Broadview, Ill., accompanied staff on the trip. One purpose of the tour was to meet with stakeholders and explore the construction market opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa region. Construction work is increasing exponentially in the region as Dubai prepares to host the Dubai 2020 World Conference and Qatar to host the 2022 FICA World Cup. This rapid industry growth is creating new regional problems as demand is outpacing the supplies of skilled labor, quality materials and technical knowledge about roofing and waterproofing systems. Stakeholders are seeking help from NRCA to address these issues.

The 64th International Federation for the Roofing Trade (IFD) Congress was held in November 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, and offered an opportunity to network. About 70 delegates from member countries, partner members and cooperating partners attended the closing IFD membership meeting. During the membership meeting, reports from the individual committees and working groups were presented and approved. NRCA Chairman of the Board Dennis Conway and NRCA Director of Technical Services Maciek Rupar attended.

The International Roofing Expo® was held March 1-3 in Las Vegas and set new records in international attendee registrations with nearly 1,100 attendees from 59 countries. NRCA leadership met privately with representatives from several countries to discuss specific issues and needs and how NRCA might help.

NRCA's meeting in July 2016 in Dubai led to NRCA being awarded a training contract by a large engineering firm. NRCA staff, along with former NRCA President Dane Bradford, delivered a four-day training event to the firm's employees, addressing polymer-modified bitumen, metal, spray polyurethane foam and liquid-applied roof and flashing systems. The unbudgeted revenues help support education and training programs for all NRCA members. During this training trip, NRCA staff and Bradford also had an opportunity to meet with a large general contracting firm that operates offices in seven Middle East and North Africa-region countries. Topics of these conversations included technical training for its employees in each country; an extensive train-the-trainer program to enable their employees to train their customers and subcontractors; consulting work to help establish regional codes and standards; and how this firm might help sponsor NRCA to set up an office in the region.

Finally, NRCA staff and leadership attended the 2017 China International Roofing & Waterproofing Expo May 23-25, 2017, in Shenzhen. Staff facilitated three technical presentations during the event. NRCA CEO Reid Ribble, along with Uhlrich Marx, executive vice president of the Deutsches Dachdeckerhandwerk (Central Association of German Roofing Contractors) and Dongqing Zhu, president of CWA, cut the ceremonial cake to honor the 15th anniversary of the event.

The NRCA brand is highly respected throughout the world, and there is no evidence to suggest global activities will decline. NRCA is receiving increasing requests for training, education and help with codes and standards development. Staff submitted five significant proposals for training, education and other services to various global companies last fiscal year, and we already are receiving new—and larger—requests. NRCA's Global Strategy Committee is charged with helping ensure member resources are carefully used for maximum association benefit when engaging global activities and discerning these activities to ensure NRCA's intellectual property is protected while advancing the NRCA vision and mission.

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