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MRCA History

1950 marked the official beginning of an organization that would become known as the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA). However, planning for this organization began back in the late 1940s when many roofing contractors realized that regional groups could better serve the needs of area contractors than the national association. 

MRCA was initially organized as the result of a roofing clinic held in Topeka, Kansas on January 12, 1950. The handful of contractors in attendance agreed to help create the organization. The initial membership consisted of six firms from Kansas and three firms from Nebraska. Membership in MRCA was originally limited to contractors in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri cities along the Kansas-Missouri border.

From the very beginning MRCA was committed to serving as an advocate on behalf of roofing contractors. Membership was limited to roofing contractors who, in addition to providing financial and moral support, also developed programs and services to benefit the members of the association by saving them money and helping them build their business. 

From the beginning, conventions have been an important service provided by MRCA. The earliest conventions featured little of the educational and technical content that now highlights the MRCA convention program. The first conventions were an opportunity for contractors to gather and exchange ideas informally.

It was in the early 1960s that MRCA embarked on its first technical and research project. In 1965 MRCA issued the first of its publications, Don't Panic – Here's How to Make a Roof Drain. This brochure revolutionized the roofing industry as architects uniformly accepted its recommended minimum slope to provide proper drainage. Since that time, the MRCA Technical and Research (T&R) Committee has presented studies that have had a dramatic impact on behalf of roofing contractors throughout the Midwest and across the entire country. MRCA studies have improved products applied by contractors; prevented contractors from having to absorb re-roof costs due to faulty materials; and have influenced architects and specifiers to follow sound and accepted roofing practices – all of which benefit the roofing contractor and improve the roofing industry.

MRCA continues to build on its proud history while looking towards the future. MRCA helps members build their business through marketing, managing the business process and keeping them informed with all the information they need to have to be successful.

MRCA knows that being successful means more money to the bottom-line. That's why many member services that can help members save thousands are offered free of charge.

MRCA is about serving the needs of its members, but MRCA also understands the need to improve the roofing industry. A strong MRCA represents the needs of the contractor to manufacturers, consultants and other regulatory agencies. 


MRCA's Living History - An Interactive Living Historical Document Sustained by MRCA Members

MRCA has had a major impact to the history of this industry for over three quarters of a century.  This impact has been on both a regional and national level.

MRCA has been an innovator since its inception, starting with a Technical and Research Committee that never shied away from taking a controversial position.  They are known for saying it like it is and promoting the truth, no matter how unpleasant or unpopular it can be.

An innovator in Safety as well, the MRCA brought the industry its unique ELITE Safety Awards Program, Safety Certification Program, and CERTA.

Education is the key to adapting to the constant growth and change of the industry.  MRCA has taken its Conference and EXPO to every major city in the Midwest.  The show has always included an extensive Expo of the latest in products and services.  In addition, the Conference aspect of the annual event includes education sessions of every type from technical to business management.  The association has also kept the recognition of our leaders a priority with the James Q. McCawley Award and the Past Presidents’ Council.

There was one problem that faced MRCA: how do you put all of this history into a document that is readily available to the membership in a form that is not static, but always up to date.  The solution has been found by the Past Presidents’ Council through the MRCA Living History.  This document will be archived on the MRCA website, and open to everyone.  It will be formatted into annual volumes.  Viewers can select a year, and then electronically flip through the pages of that volume, just like a printed magazine.

The most interesting part is that it is never a final documentation of our history.  Additional information can be added in any year at any time.  MRCA Members be provided with an avenue to communicate with the MRCA Staff in order to contribute additional articles, information, and pictures.  This will continuously breathe new life into the MRCA legacy and minimize any erroneous omissions from our memories.

For instance, let’s say you want to see what was going on in 1952.  When you engage with the 1952 Volume, you will see conference literature, news releases, old advertisements from that time, and a ton of pictures.  Then, you decide to jump to 1994, and boom, you are there with a click.  It is like having your own time machine.

As you flip through this entertaining document, you can see why MRCA has always been the THE ROOFING CONTRACTORS ADVOCATE.

This Living History Is Dedicated To the Entire MRCA Membership

“We are not makers of history.  We are made by history” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” – Winston Churchill


It is recommend opening in the web browser Firefox. (Google Chrome and  Microsoft Edge will cause some errors)   When opening the year you want to look at, you should RIGHT click on the year.

This will bring up a window to either:

  • Open link in new tab or
  • Open link in in new window

Open the 2nd option – Open link in new window

 By opening in a new window, it will allow you to keep the tab open of all the years.    If you open in the 1st option, you can hit the back button and ultimately get back to the page with all the years but you might have to hit the back button many times depending on how many pages you have looked at.



Screen Shot 2024 04 22 At 2.39.18 Pm          2022       Living History 2021 Cover  2020   2019    2018       2017     2016     2015     20142013     2012     2011     2010     2009     20082007     2006     2005     2004     2003     20022001     2000     1999     1998     1997     19961995     1994     1993     1992    1991   19901989     1988 1987 1986      1985  1984    1983     1982     1981     1980     1979     1978     1977     1976     1975   1974     1973     1972     1971          1969     1968     1967     1966    1965     1964     1963     1962     1961     19601959     1958     1957     1956     1955     19541953     1952 Lucid Press Cover Page

LH 1951 Cover