I started in the roofing industry in August 2014 as a Territory Manager in the Atlanta, GA market. In 2017-2018 I joined the National Women in Roofing (NWIR) Council in Atlanta, GA and led the education pillar. As a Latina in roofing, I found so much support from other women in the industry and made relationships that still stand today. I encourage all women in the roofing industry to join National Women in Roofing and if there is no council near you, start one! The benefits from networking and support from other women and allies shaped me to be the stronger woman that I am today in roofing. I am privileged to share my SHERO story in the roofing industry though NWIR’s newsletter and showcase the next phase of my journey, the SRS Para Latinos program.
I wanted to be a game changer as a territory manager and provide as much value as possible to the roofing contractors that I served. I started to understand what it takes to grow a roofing business though CRMs, financing, aerial measurements, selling roofing systems & extended warranties, insurance supplementing, sales training development, and door knocking strategies to close more roofing contracts.
As I grew my business with Latino owned roofing companies, I started to see that there was hardly any literature, business development training, or resources to help communicate how to grow your roofing business in Spanish. With the lack of support available, I found myself helping those in need, sometimes helping contractors to simply fill out a credit application and starting conversations around all the tools and technology that can help run their business more efficiently. I encouraged adding other service options that can be provided by a roofing company to increase business growth including adding gutters, hanging Christmas light services, roofing maintenance plans, or simply going from just residential jobs to starting to grow in the commercial roofing lane.
I set up training lunch and learn opportunities at my SRS Distribution branch where I worked. Many roofing manufacturers did not have any Spanish speaking trainers, so often I found myself translating the education that we were providing at the training events.
Fast forward to November 2019, SRS hosted a Latino focus group to hear the voices of Latinos at SRS and gain a better understanding of what it takes to be the preferred employer and distributor for Latinos in roofing. In January 2020, the Latino Program Manger position was created to support SRS’s Latino initiatives. Having the support from both my branch manager and regional VP, I was encouraged to interview for the position and relocated to SRS’s corporate office in McKinney, TX.
The SRS Para Latinos program started in June 2020 and, utilizing my experience on what was missing in order to serve the Spanish speaking roofing community, the journey began!
The SRS Para Latinos program engages with Latino contractors by creating an environment that is easier and more comfortable for Latinos in roofing to do business with a distribution partner. The SRS Para Latinos initiative has three key channels: tradeshow events, increasing accessibility in branches for Spanish-speakers, and providing business growth development opportunities through partnerships with top vendors via seminars and webinars.
The program was introduced to contractors at the International Roofing Expo (IRE) August 2021, SRS Para Latinos hosted two events specifically for Latino contractors: a VIP Latino cocktail event at the SRS eXtreme Tailgating Vehicle (XTV), and a “Voice of the Latino Customer” dinner. Six months later, the program ramped up efforts to reach contractors again at our first ever SRS para Latinos Education Lounge. The SRS Para Latinos booth offered visitors an exclusive opportunity to connect with industry experts and partners, product demonstrations and a first-class lineup of workshops and presentations geared towards supporting roofing contractors grow their businesses. The educational program offered at the booth collaborated with IKO, GAF, CertainTeed, and TAMKO to provide training content on relevant topics such as Sales 101, Preparing for Storm Season, and 2022 Strategic Planning. Additionally, SRS introduced TopShield Quality Products to the Latino audience through presentation and Spanish literature. The learning and development experience included a VIP Cocktail Event sponsored by Owens Corning, featuring Latin-inspired cuisine and entertainment from Mariachi Jalisco. At the VIP cocktail event, we held the first annual Premio’s Éxito (Contractor Success Awards), an initiative to reward and recognize Latino contractors in various categories: Contractor of the Year, Emerging Contractor and Community Hero.
On day three of IRE, we concluded with an Expert Contractor Panel discussion inviting owners of the largest and most successful roofing companies in the US to offer Latino contractors, customers, and attendees the latest industry insights, best practices on business and sales process to drive immediate improvement in their-day-to-day operations and bottom line.
SRS Para Latinos is also the Title sponsor for a regional tradeshow, Expo Contratista, which is the largest Hispanic tradeshow for Latinos in construction within the Texas market.
Working to break down the language barrier and ensure that Latino contractors feel welcome in the store, SRS has launched a nationwide hiring initiative targeting Spanish-speaking sales representatives. This has led to hiring more bilingual staff at each branch, providing more bilingual signage, translating the new SRS website into Spanish, and launching the Spanish service hotline (844-RUF-EROS) in key branches. SRS Para Latinos also partnered with Exito, SRS Distribution’s Latino Employee Resource Group to lead a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with activities and events designed to celebrate the contributions of Latin American heritage within the roofing community.
SRS Para Latinos has developed a series of webinars and business development trainings in Spanish. Several videos from the series are available on SRS’s video page. Our commitment is to continue creating opportunities and implementing innovative solutions that allow all Latino contractors and employees to achieve success.
Looking ahead, SRS Distribution is committed to providing support and expanding opportunities for Spanish-speaking contractors. Part of these plans include returning to IRE in March 2023 with a bigger SRS Para Latinos booth, expanding Spanish resources, such as the Spanish hotline to more stores across the country and hosting business development workshops in key markets.
To learn more about SRS Para Latinos, join our Spanish communications and visit our Facebook page at www.srsparalatinos.com and https://www.facebook.com/SRSDistributionparaLatinos/ .