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Sara Jonas - The New CoatingsCoffeeShop™ Site! - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

July 3, 2023 at 7:00 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Sara Jonas from APOC. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Introduction: Welcome to Coatings Cast by coatingscoffeeshop.com. Coatings Coffee Shop connects the industry suppliers, manufacturers, and associations with coating contractors to ensure the continued success of the contractor as well as the continued growth of this innovative and sustainable construction solution.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Hello and welcome to Coatings Cast. This is the very first podcast for our new site, coatingscoffeeshop. Yes, Coatings Coffee Shop, all about roof coatings. There is so much information out there. It is such a growing trend that we just knew here at the Coffee Shop Productions, that we needed to have Coatings Coffee Shop. So this is the podcast, we're going to give you all the information, everything you want to know. My name is Heidi Ellsworth, and I just had to invite the person I think who knows the most, and is also working with us as one of the very first sponsors, the sponsor, APOC, of Coatings Coffee Shop. And that is Sara Jonas. Sara, welcome to the first podcast.

Sara Jonas: Yay!

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yay! Yeah, you and I were just saying, I'm like, okay. Coatings Cast, Coatings Coffee Shop, all new.

Sara Jonas: I know. It's so exciting, so exciting. And thank you for the introduction. I don't know the most, for sure. But I'm very, very, very excited for sure, to promote Coatings Coffee Shop, promote roof coatings, have the conversation focused on roof coatings. It's exciting.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. Get it out there. It's growing so much in our industry, so we're going to talk a little bit about that. But first of all, Sara, if you can introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about ICP and APOC.

Sara Jonas: Thanks, Heidi. My name is Sara Jonas. I'm the Vice President of Marketing for ICP group, and ICP does have a slew of brands under its umbrella of building materials. We have everything from installation, to architectural coatings, resonance flooring, and of course roof coatings, under the brand APOC. And we also have other roofing products under that brand as well. Some adhesives, some cements, some underlayments, a full gamut. But today we're here to talk about APOC roof coatings.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, yes. And tell us a little bit about APOC.

Sara Jonas: Well, APOC is a brand that's been around for a very long time. Two years ago, ICP acquired Gardner Gibson, and of course the brand APOC. At ICP, we are really investing in the brand. We've got some cool things coming out to show our investment in the brand, including some new packaging that we're really excited about. We've got some new products coming up, we've got some things we're doing on the web, and it's a really cool brand. I'll also say, I personally love the colors, the black and gold, but that's because we're Steeler fans in this house.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: There you go.

Sara Jonas: So, the colors tie really well. Yeah, that's a little bit about APOC. Like I said, APOC's been around for a really long time. We sell to roofing contractors, so we have products for residential and commercial. We're expanding that brand, and actually rebranding some of our other roofing products to put them under the APOC brand. That's how strongly we feel, and that's how much we're investing in the success of APOC.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I love it. I love it. Well, you and I have worked together for a long time. A lot of different companies, we've known each other. It was really fun last year, when you and I started just kind of strategizing and talking about this. And it really came because of that commitment you have to the APOC, and to roof coatings overall. And we were like, you know what? We need a site just for roof coatings. That's really where Coatings Coffee Shop came from. And as you and I talked, really this vision of getting information out there, after all of our discussions, what really inspired you and the company overall to really become the premier sponsor and to help us launch this?

Sara Jonas: It's actually really interesting. The number one reason for us is obviously we want to support and promote the APOC brand. And we're very, very much rooted in roof coatings. However, I will also say last, maybe it was last summer, I had a roofing contractor out at my house because we had some issues. And of course, I'm following him around and following everything he's doing, and I'm super interested, probably more on a professional level than even a personal, this being my house. But we were having these conversations about, well, what product are you using here? Why are you using that? I basically turned it into a little mini focus group.

But one of the things that we started talking about was roof coatings. And the business that he was coming from was primarily focused on residential in northeast Ohio, and they had their niche, but roof coatings was an area that they were very, very interested in. But they didn't know where to go to get the information. They had a little pocket here, and a little pocket here. And so, that's one of the reasons. I've also heard some questions asked in contractor training programs in the past. To somebody who's already in the industry, it might seem really obvious where to go to get all this information, or to find everything on coatings or how to get started in coatings. But if you're not doing it today, it may not be so obvious. We thought this would be a great resource for both people who are already in coatings, to learn about new techniques, new innovations, to find out basically all that this industry has to offer in one spot. But it's also really great for people who aren't doing this today, to understand and learn how to expand their business.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. I think it's really important, and I love that perspective, especially coming from the residential side. Coatings is a great way for residential contractors to really add more commercial work to their portfolio, or to diversify their business. And now they have a place for the trainings. And so, I think one of the things you and I should really talk about too is the fact that Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association has also partnered with us, and is our lead association on Coatings Coffee Shop. You're on the board. I just talked to Chris Huettig, and there's a lot of great things that are going on there. How important is it to bring all of that together, all of the associations? You've been on Roofers Coffee Shop for a long time, so I guess I'm asking a question that's... but how important is it to have this one spot where we can bring everyone together?

Sara Jonas: Yeah. I think, well first of all, I think it's a great thing. We're all working toward the betterment of our industry as a whole. And when I say that, I mean the roofing industry, and then we tie in, of course, specifically coatings. It's really important that we're all heading in the same direction, because we'll have way more traction, and I think it's better for everybody. And RCMA has some really, really great tools that we'll be able to promote on Coatings Coffee Shop. Some of those training modules that are really, really accessible and can help contractors figure out where to get started. I think it's hugely important. I also just think that connecting people is only going to end, or result in good things. And I think that's another reason that this is just so important, to get everybody on the same page and everybody together in the same place. It brings a lot of opportunities for all of us.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We lift the industry together, it makes such a difference. Let's talk about some of the resources that are going to be on Coatings Coffee Shop. First, podcasts. Here we are, you're going to have podcasts. We're going to be talking to all of the experts out in the industry, getting Sara, getting with you, and getting some of the contractors on here to have conversations with them. Just to really hear, and I'm excited too, to possibly bring some of the chemical companies and the vendors on here to talk about, we hear that at the RCMA summer meeting how important the chemistry is, but we don't always get that out to the industry.

Sara Jonas: Totally agree, yeah. I think that'll be a huge component and a little piece of learning that people don't always get. And I think it'll also just lead into new technologies. If you back up and think about just coatings in general and where it's gone, it's amazing the changes in technology. And we're really just beginning. There are so many cool things that I've even heard of that are coming out, let alone the things that I have no idea that are in the works behind the scenes. I think over the next, I don't know, let's just say 10 years or whatever, the industry is going to experience a lot of transformation, all related to technology that's based in the chemistry.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. Okay, let's take that one step further. What about the technology of installation? How are we installing it, and are there robots in our future?

Sara Jonas: Yeah, yeah. Not to beat a dead horse here, but we've got labor issues in our industry. And this is not a new problem, this has been in existence for a long time, and we've seen changes in the industry to help us tackle this. But another way that we can do that is with changes in the technology, and the way that these products are applied. Anything that we can do to allow our contractors to maybe tackle more jobs, spend less time on a job, not because they're not doing a great job, but because the technology allows them to do that, those are things we absolutely support and want to do.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. I think there's so much. And so, when we're talking about the resources on the site, of course we have the podcast, but we're also going to have webinars. With our initiative, Read, List and Watch, which we do across all the coffee shops, it's all about generational learning. Some people want to read, some people want to listen, some people want to watch. And so we're going to be having those starting up probably in the fall, if not a little bit sooner, where we're going to be able to bring some real education and bring some different folks together. Probably starting with APOC, Sara. But I've seen an increase in so many people looking for that kind of information, looking for it on demand, looking for it on the webinars, getting into the chats and asking questions and talking. Are you seeing some of those same things?

Sara Jonas: Yeah, of course, of course. I was just going to say, should I tell Johnny Walker to get ready? I know you've talked before.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, you should. Yes.

Sara Jonas: Johnny is, well, he wears a lot of hats, but Johnny's our trainer, our national trainer. And he's provided so much information, and I absolutely know he gets pulled in so many different directions today. Because, to your point, people are looking for this type of information. They're looking for this content, they're thirsty for it. It'll be great to get the whole industry providing a lot of content on that front, that contractors want. Information that they need to know too.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Restoration, I've had some great discussions with Johnny in the past about restoration of roofs, what works, what doesn't work, really putting it out there. Just to round out the resources that everyone's going to find on this new site, is it's going to be all the same as Roofers Coffee Shop, but just so focused in on roof coatings. And so articles, classifieds, events, information, it's all going to be there, Sara. And I can't tell you, I'm just so excited to be able to just start really diving in, and bringing all of this in one place.

One of the things that we're going to be talking about a lot on the coffee shop also, one of the things I love to talk about, is trending. Let's go back, we touched on this just a little bit at the beginning, but I'd really like to hear some of your thoughts on what are you seeing right now in the growth of roof coatings, and really the acceptance of contractors overall, the market share?

Sara Jonas: Sure, sure. You've already mentioned it, and it's not a surprise. Roof coatings have grown in popularity and use over the years, and that growth is expected to continue for a very long time, so we're very excited about that, obviously. They're available from almost everybody. Anybody in roofing who's, especially on the commercial side, they've got a roof coating. It's, again, widely accepted, very, very popular, very common. Where I see some of the trends going are in technology advancements or technological advancements. Things have changed a lot from the time particularly, that reflective roof coatings came onto the scene. And I think we're going to continue seeing that. That's nothing new.

And I think because of those advancements, that's why they're more widely accepted. And I think there's also a greater understanding from the industry of what coatings are meant to do, and what they're not necessarily meant to do. And I think that both are equally important. I think that's another reason for the growth. I think one of the trends that we're going to see, or that we're hearing talked about, and a lot of the details are still coming out, but with the Inflation Reduction Act, I think you're going to see an even further increase in the use of really, any energy efficient products, because there are so many advantages and benefits from a tax perspective now. For a building owner with the changes to 179D, there are a lot more opportunities for deductions with white reflective roof coatings now, than there were previously.

And that conversation is going to continue to grow. And within our business, we've also got the insulation product, so we're talking a lot about IRA, so maybe it's just in my head. But I think that's going to be a big topic. Of course, tying to energy efficiency, again, this isn't new, but the whole sustainability play is becoming more, and more, and more important. That's not going to slow down anytime soon. The fact that you're extending the life of your roof by five to 10, to plus, 15 years by applying a coating, protecting what's underneath, and gaining the energy efficiency if it's a reflective roof coating, that's just such a great story. Especially when we know how many roofs are torn off, and all of that material goes to landfills. The less we can put in landfills, the better we all are.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Exactly, exactly. And you just look at, I think there's going to be a huge correlation between solar too, and that's where you're going with the energy efficiency. How can you restore roofs underneath solar without tearing it off, without doing all of that? That's the stuff I'm so excited to really get into and talk about, and help contractors take what you just mentioned, those trends, and help them incorporate it into their business, help them understand how the IRA Act is going to help them, help them understand the different types of roofs. Because it seems to me, Sara, I know I'm going on here, but a lot of times building owners would let the roofs just go, go, go, go until they were just almost falling in, right?

Sara Jonas: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: But now they realize that if they catch it before they get to that point of no return, that it has to be torn off, repaired and re-roofed, that they can do these other things. That to me, I think is a strong message that's going to really motivate a lot of business for the building owners and with the contractors.

Sara Jonas: Absolutely. And for those that do offer maintenance programs, like incorporate this into the maintenance program, it's a perfect fit. It's an absolute perfect fit, if it's not already.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And we'll probably have a lot, I see us having a lot of our LWs and webinars on service and maintenance, because that's a big part of it. Okay, last thing. You and I are going to be together at, well, first of all at Florida Roofing Show. When this podcast comes out, it'll be the 1st of July, everybody, and you will see Sara and I, and the whole team at Florida with Coatings Coffee Shop. That's going to be exciting.

Sara Jonas: Yay, I'm so excited. Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know, I know. We'll be there, all new, we'll be broadcasting, we'll be talking about it. Sara's going to be our very first live broadcast from the show, during show hours, and it's going to be great. And then you and I are going to the RCMA summer meeting, and we're going to be talking about Coatings Coffee Shop there too.

Sara Jonas: Yeah, yeah. We'll be in Cleveland. If you haven't registered, the registration's open on the RCMA website. But yes, I will see you in my hometown. And it will be very, very exciting to be talking about this. Really, really just such an exciting thing to bring so much focus to the roof coatings industry. Yeah, can't wait.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And we're bringing our contractor panel. This is sponsored by Coatings Coffee Shop, so our contractor panel will be there. I have some really great contractors to come and speak who are just leaders in the industry. I just encourage everybody, get onto Coatings Coffee Shop, make it part of your morning coffee, cup of coffee. Check it out, and learn more about APOC on the directory, on Coatings Coffee Shop, and all of the companies are going to be on there. Because it's going to incorporate the entire industry, and it's going to be pretty fabulous. Sara, thank you. Thank you for being a part of this.

Sara Jonas: Thanks, Heidi. So excited. So excited, yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We are going to have so much fun, and it's going to be a great resource for all of you, so stay tuned. You're going to be hearing about this on Roofing Road Trips too, we're going to be talking about it in a lot of different places, but this is the first Coatings Cast. Thank you for joining us today. Sara, one more time, thank you.

Sara Jonas: Thanks, Heidi.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And thank you all for listening. Be sure to check out APOC directory on Coatings Coffee Shop. Be sure to check out all of the upcoming Coatings Casts on Coatings Coffee Shop. Of course, also Roofing Road Trips on Roofers Coffee Shop. There's a lot out there for everyone to just really bring in to your business. Be sure to subscribe and set the notifications on your favorite podcast channel. And we'll be seeing you next time on Coatings Cast.

Introduction: Thanks for listening to Coatings Cast by coatingscoffeeshop.com. Make sure to leave a review and subscribe. We'll see you next time on Coatings Cast.

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