Roofing Technology Think Tank, known as RT3, awarded Innovator of the Year to Curtis Sutton of NRCA member Rackley Roofing, Carthage, Tenn., according to rt3thinktank.com. RT3 is a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry; the award was presented at the 2019 Best of Success Conference in Miami.
The Innovator of the Year award was created to nationally recognize a roofing contractor who has contributed to the advancement of the roofing industry through technical innovation and/or product development in one of the following areas: production/technology efficiency; safety innovation; client service/quality of delivery; employee recruitment/training/retention; or environmental impact.
“We had many great nominations and it was very hard to narrow the field down to just one,” said Anna Anderson, Award Task Team leader and RT3 board member. “We selected Rackley Roofing because they embrace technology and have demonstrated that they are early adopters when it comes to implementing new innovations.”
Under Sutton’s leadership, Rackley Roofing has introduced industry-leading technologies such as Rackley RoofCheck and Rackley RoofView. The company has implemented the use of virtual reality safety headsets that allow everyone to experience being on a roof and learn best safety practices. In addition, it is starting to use in-ear translators that can translate speech into any language and dialect.
“It’s an honor, because innovation is one of our six core values,” Sutton said. “Innovation is driven in our company. Innovation to us also means being open to change. We lead everything with technology in the decisions we make in our company.”
After the award presentation at Best of Success, NRCA CEO Reid Ribble commented on the importance of innovation in roofing: “Given the workforce demands and the changing technology, the companies that are innovating are going to be winning. Innovation really matters if we are going to reach out to that new, young 18-, 19- or 20-year-old worker who still sees roofing as something hot and dirty and not something technologically advanced.”