Reflecting on FRSA’s Greatest Assets

Tue, Jun 04, 2024 at 9:55AM

Mike Silvers, CPRC, Owner, Silvers Systems Inc. and FRSA Technical Director

While attending FRSA’s Board of Directors meetings in April, I listened time and again as our impressive financial condition was reviewed in several meetings. My thoughts wandered back to another meeting more than 30 years ago. It was during my time on the Executive Committee. FRSA was in a much different position. Staff was going through some major changes. Financial statements were confusing at best. Money was tight primarily due to the many different departments that were being supported and the lack of good financial information that would allow leadership to effect solutions. At that meeting, the Executive Committee chipped in by writing checks to cover expenses and payroll while waiting for incoming receivables. We’ve come a long way!

So, I decided (at my editor's urging) to review just how far we have come and to share some of those thoughts with you. Currently, our financial condition has improved dramatically. With several million dollars in liquid assets, we are much more than financially stable. Getting here has not been easy: it has taken the steadfast dedication of current and past members, leadership and staff.

Besides these liquid assets, we also own (debt-free) our impressive headquarters building in Orlando. It is the hub of Florida’s roofing industry and will continue to be for many decades into the future. The Training Center provides a facility that is used not only during FRSA’s many training efforts but by many other industry groups and companies.

The Education and Research Foundation and Endowment have combined assets that are approaching two million dollars. This has been accomplished by the generosity of our industry through donations, endowments, program proceeds and fundraisers. The Foundation is paramount in our efforts to share industry-specific knowledge and to help our contractors meet their licensure requirements through continuing education credits. It is also a source of funding for important research projects. Each year, the Foundation awards many scholarships to qualified applicants. I’m proud to announce that this year the Foundation will award $65,000 in scholarships – the largest amount ever. The financial strength of the Foundation and endowments, combined with generous donations from member companies, will ensure that we can continue to provide these services for our future leaders.

FRSA’s Convention and Expo have often been referred to as the second largest (after IRE) roofing-
specific trade show in the country. This year, we will feature 246 exhibiting companies occupying a sold out show floor of 120,000 square feet. We're offering 41 roofing-related educational seminars and opportunities to network and socialize will be numerous. Our Convention brings the entire industry together in an impressive scope but still keeps it intimate. We've secured over 1,200 hotel rooms on our peak night for a total of 3,582 room nights. The Convention is also a very important source of current and future revenue, which allows us to offer member services and add to the Association’s financial stability.

Although the FRSA Self Insurers Fund is a separate entity, it has, since its inception, been a major part of the FRSA family. The SIF has been a consistent source of workers’ compensation coverage and premiums. It provides invaluable information for regulators as well as offering unequaled roofing-specific safety training for its members. It has returned more than $190 million to its members in the form of dividends. The Fund is very strong financially with substantial assets of its own.

Florida Roofing Magazine is the voice of the Association and an important source of information not only for our contractor and associate members but also for building officials and others. Through advertising sales, it provides a consistent stream of revenue for the Association.

FRSA’s staff members and other professional representatives have always demonstrated outstanding dedication and professionalism. Some have served the membership for just a few years while others have served for many more. Our Executive Director has done so at an extremely high level, consistently for almost four decades now. Staff works together moving the positions taken by our leadership forward while assisting with making all the aforementioned activities possible. A lot is done each year with a very small and efficient group of professionals. They strive to meet the needs of our membership daily through their hard work and enthusiasm.

FRSA’s Members, volunteers, Directors and Officers have been the lifeblood of FRSA for 102 years. They are the reason we exist. To our founders and many early participants, we owe our gratitude for establishing a very well-constructed foundation through adoption of our bylaws, code of ethics and articles of incorporation. These documents and our traditions have been well thought out and have provided a path for new leaders to follow. As good as these founding principles are, they would be nothing without volunteers to carry those ideas forward. We are blessed to have so many dedicated individuals who serve our trade by the gracious expenditure of their time and energy working on the industry’s behalf. They serve on our many boards and committees; some also serve on the State of Florida’s commissions, boards and committees, further volunteering their time. They and our staff address our government representatives and regulators in Washington, Tallahassee and nearer to home. Volunteers step up to offer instruction for classes and seminars and, just as importantly, to offer support and advice to industry participants who seek it. This is all fueled by the overall professionalism of their member companies. In turn, our Association and all it offers, fuels higher levels of professionalism within those companies.

As important as all the assets above are, there is something that in the big picture is even more valuable to our future endeavors. It is something that all of us, who are involved in representing FRSA, draw on regularly. It is our Association’s reputation. FRSA has always held the improvement of our trades and our industry's reputation and image as our most important goal. That reputation took a big hit recently by what I refer to as the free roof syndrome. Media coverage and discussions within government portrayed roofers as crooked scammers praying on homeowners and their insurance companies. We pushed back on those misconceptions and changed the narrative by being part of the solution to an expanding problem that was limiting availability of property insurance. The legislative and code proposals we supported and helped pass added significant substance to needed reforms and have helped to further our cause. Our ability to lean on the Associations’ long-term reputation allowed us to speak with authority on the subject and have a consequential impact. We’ve succeeded in retaking the high ground in defending our industry's reputation. There is still much work to be done.

All of this leads me to consider that our most valuable asset has been and should always continue to be, our integrity. It has been hard earned by so many for over a century and it deserves to be respected, protected and carried forward.


Mike Silvers, CPRC, is owner of Silvers Systems Inc. and is consulting with FRSA as Director of Technical Services. Mike is an FRSA Past President, Life Member, and Campanella Award recipient and brings over 50 years of industry knowledge and experience to FRSA’s team.

Editor’s note: It’s the unwavering passion of members like Mike that continue to grow and improve FRSA and the services we offer. We’ve been told time and again by new members that the reason they joined was to take advantage of the many services we offer and specifically for access to Mike. His code and technical expertise, knowledge and experience benefit so many. We’re extremely proud to have him on our team!

Mike SilversFRSA President
Mike Silvers, CPRC,
in the early 1990s.

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