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Nicole Pinto & John Sheridan - The Growth of Metal Roofing - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Nicole Pinto & John Sheridan - The Growth of Metal Roofing - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION
March 21, 2023 at 10:10 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Nicole Pinto and John Sheridan from Sheridan Metal Resources. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Hello and welcome to Metal Cast from Metal Coffee Shop. My name is Heidi Ellsworth and I'm so excited to be here today. This Metal Cast series video and podcast has really brought some interesting conversations, interesting people, to really find out what's going on in the world of metal, metal roofing, siding, sheet metal shops, you name it. Today, no different, it is going to be very cool. We are talking about how people first get into metal, what's that first step? And we all have seen John Sheridan on the show before, but today, we have Nicole Pinto who went to one of John's trainings and is going to share and talk about that, so pretty fun. Nicole, welcome to the show.

Nicole Pinto: Thank you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Thank you so much for being here. And John, welcome.

John Sheridan: Hey, thanks, Heidi. Good to see you.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Always fun. I love these topics in this conversation. So before we get too far into it, Nicole, why don't you start, if you could introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you and what you're doing in metal roofing.

Nicole Pinto: Okay. Yeah, my name's Nicole. I live on Bainbridge Island to Seattle, just a ferry ride away. And my husband and I bought a really old farmhouse out here, and I started restoring it because of the lockdown. There wasn't anyone available and wasn't happy with my job at the time anyway, so it was a good fit for me to leave, and just got really into construction and even started my own business and am still working on that house. But that's how I found John. I wanted to put a zinc roof on and I wanted to do it myself, so it led me eventually to do the training with John. And that roof is now finished, barely.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: What's the name of your new construction company?

Nicole Pinto: It's called, "Six Protons." It's tiny. It's basically just so I can order materials, it really is. But I also see myself going into construction because I absolutely love it. I don't know how or what that's going to look like, but it seemed to make sense because I see myself going down that path. That was, "Okay. I could open up a company."

Heidi J. Ellsworth: John, can you introduce yourself?

John Sheridan: John Sheridan. I've been in the business forever, been training for more or less 20 years, started training for VMZINC about 20 years ago and have moved into a relationship with you and the MetalVue program with Sherwin-Williams to try and bring more people into the business, so that's more of a painted steel, painted aluminum approach to bringing people into the business. And it makes sense. At first, I thought, "Why do I want to do that? I'm at the top of the food chain as far as training goes, so that's very entry level stuff." But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that the more people you can bring into the business, percentage of those people are going to want to take the next step and get better and move into more exotic systems and cleaner detailing and that kind of stuff.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Nicole is a perfect example.

John Sheridan: Nicole is a perfect example, and to her credit, she stuck with it. I canceled her training at least three or four times, Nicole, didn't I?

Nicole Pinto: Yeah, you did. That's true.

John Sheridan: I just couldn't get my schedule straight. And she hung in there and we set up a training in Texas, or I'm sorry, at Mesa, Arizona, three-day training. Went through everything there that she needed to know to get the roof started, and then just stayed with the process through the roof installation to walk through some details and that kind of stuff. So it really went well.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That is great. So when you found John and decided to, once you got ahold of him that third time and was able to go to the training, tell us a little bit about the experience of the training, of going down to Mesa and learning how to put on a zinc roof.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah. It was definitely intimidating at first. I think I definitely braced myself for... I didn't know John, so I braced myself for the fact that this guy maybe doesn't want to train me because he's canceled a few times. And I've had a couple of bad experiences. I tried to get advice from someone around here about zinc roofing, and they were not very kind or didn't think I could do it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Nicole Pinto: So I was definitely prepared and pretty nervous because I thought, "Okay. I don't know what I'm getting into. [Inaudible 00:05:08] be someone who tells me that I shouldn't do this." So I was definitely a little nervous, but it ended up being great. John's great, super supportive of women in construction and women in roofing, so it totally defied my expectations. But I think it helped that I went in with a lot of questions because I was a little bit nervous, and I watched a ton of videos beforehand and I had lists and lists of things I needed to know in order to put the roof on, or that I thought I needed to know. And I think because of that, I was a little more prepared than maybe I would've been otherwise.

Other than that, we did the training at ATAS, which is a big warehouse.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Great company.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah. And it was great. John had a small little miniature roof set up for us so that we could practice on a tiny roof. And he honestly, I usually would be pestering him with questions so much that he'd end up staying late with me because I wouldn't leave him alone. And it was great. He was so ready and willing to show me all the different options of how to do something, because there's never just one way, and it ended up being really a wonderful experience.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That is so great. So John, this must be... I know you well enough to know, you just must have been like, "This is awesome to have someone so passionate and care so much about learning how to install a zinc roof, and with all the questions." Tell us a little bit from your perspective of working with Nicole.

John Sheridan: I spoke to a couple of people from National Women in Roofing, so I was already looking for somebody that had a good mechanical aptitude, and Nicole comes in and she's all over it. She had her list of questions, mechanically she was on top of things, she wasn't afraid to work with tools or ask questions about how to use a tool. So from that standpoint, she was ready to go. And I'm always preaching to you that you don't become an expert in three days.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right.

John Sheridan: And the most important part of that is to follow up after the training. And I think the things that we worked on after the training, Nicole and I, breaking down the details, changing some details that we had to change, simplifying some details that were pretty complicated. I don't know how many messages and emails we exchanged, but it was a process, but it was key. It was key to her being comfortable doing that roof. And she'll send you a picture when we're done this of the roof.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Oh yeah.

John Sheridan: It's impressive. I was really impressed.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

John Sheridan: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. Nicole, as you were remodeling your home, and why did you decide on metal roofing? What kind of led you that direction?

Nicole Pinto: Yeah. I knew I wanted to do metal from the beginning. It's true to the history of the house, so that was important. But the more research I did into the standard metal roofs, the standing seam and such, made me realize just how it's not a natural material. It's coated in a lot of stuff, a lot of plastic, a lot of paint, and I didn't love that. I love to work with a natural material that's going to change and age, I think that's a beautiful process. And that led me to [inaudible 00:09:01].

And it took me a really long time to find John, or to find anyone in the industry, because it's a very niche industry. It's hard to find, as someone who's not in it, Google is not really your friend. But once I did, and then once I did the training with John, I really fell in love with working with it. It's such a interesting material. You really have to be creative instead of just installing and cutting, and there's just no creativity to a lot of normal roofing. And I love that, with this, it forces you to find solutions and material in a way that it demands.

John Sheridan: It's a flexible enough material that you can attack it from different directions too-

Nicole Pinto: Yeah.

John Sheridan: ... so you're not limited to a few details. You can actually work your way out of it from several different options, so, from that perspective, zinc is awesome.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

John Sheridan: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. So I just love the research that you put into it and knowing what you wanted.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... and then training to install it. So talk us through the install. I love what John is saying, that you guys were in constant contact as you were installing your roof too. And how, John, I know you say it all the time, follow-up is the most important thing in training. So Nicole, tell us a little bit, did you have a crew? How many people did you have installing the roof with you? How did it all go?

Nicole Pinto: Yeah, it was just me. I know. It took me a long time.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's so awesome.

John Sheridan: I'm telling you. Wait till you see the roof picture, it's impressive. It really is.

Nicole Pinto: It's not a simple roof either. There's eight gables, 12 valleys, a low slope on top where all the ridges come into, and the valleys as well. I could have made it simpler, for sure. My first project probably should have been simpler. But I started on a side that [inaudible 00:11:19], it's hidden, which was great because I look back at that side and I wish I could redo it. But it's okay, it'll be fine. It's waterproof, I'm just not happy with it. And once I started there, I think I was three panels in before I was talking to John. But yeah, it took me a long time, I think because I was on my own. Luckily the panels aren't super heavy and so I could work with it. It's a 12 and 12 roof, so it's very steep.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Nicole Pinto: So I was in harnesses the entire time. And there was, for the most part, once John got me started to make some good progress, but there were quite a few tricky spots where I had to call him up, take pictures, and he would usually FaceTime me and give me a couple of different solutions, just drawing it out on paper or folding paper-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Nicole Pinto: ... to show me exactly what the options were. And it worked out to be something that I... I love the roof. I think it looks really, really wonderful.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's awesome. That is so cool. So as you look at that process, and I just want to go back and touch on something you said, and maybe John, when you're doing your trainings, the first part of every training is safety.

John Sheridan: I try to, yeah. I try to focus on safety, but not so much with the group that we had with Nicole because there was a crazy group of guys from Texas. But as I do more and more trainings, you know Ronnie Rosevear?

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, yeah.

John Sheridan: Well, Ronnie is my safety guy.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's awesome.

John Sheridan: And he has probably the most workable safety equipment out there. It's very front connection, so you're not constantly trying to hook on the back of your harness, and it's just very comfortable stuff to work in, the rope grabs are good. So I try to help people design, or at least push them in his direction, so that they can find a safety system that they're comfortable wearing. 'Cause if you're not comfortable wearing, if it's hard to get in and out of, you're not going to wear it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We've seen that with National Women in Roofing in that trying to find harnesses that fit correctly is such a challenge. So Nicole, where did you get your safety? I'm just interested. Where'd you get all your safety gear?

Nicole Pinto: Yeah. I might not be the best person to talk to because I did not go through Ronnie.

John Sheridan: Yeah.

Nicole Pinto: I have a climbing harness, it's not for roofing, it's for climbing, and a repelling clip, and I set up hooks and I was in my climbing harness. So maybe not the best.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

John Sheridan: All of Ronnie's equipment is Petzl, Petzl equipment, so it's all engineered for climbing, so it's similar.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

John Sheridan: His stuff is a full harness though. You're talking more of about a repelling harness.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah. It wasn't all the way up.

John Sheridan: Right.

Nicole Pinto: It didn't go across the top half of the body. Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And when you're talking your own own house that you were doing too, so you were comfortable in what the safety that you had. That's what's key.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. So Nicole, you said you started your own business and mostly to keep going on your house and working on it, but what are some of the things, now that you've been introduced into this world of metal roofing and working with John, what are some of the things that you're thinking about? Are you thinking about continuing to possibly do more roofs or to do more of this kind of work?

Nicole Pinto: Thinking about it. I haven't really decided yet. I think I'm giving myself the freedom to finish the house and see how I feel at the end of it. But at the moment, the metal roof was definitely my favorite thing that I've done so far on the house. So yeah, I think there's a pretty good chance that I'll continue that afterwards.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah, that is cool. So where are you on the house? How much longer do you have, do you think?

Nicole Pinto: I'm not sure. Probably at least until the end of the year.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. I love it.

Nicole Pinto: Got some time.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That is so cool. I know, we want pictures.

Nicole Pinto: Okay.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We're going to be showing them on [inaudible 00:16:00] Coffee Shop-

Nicole Pinto: Okay.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... and Metal Coffee Shop.

John Sheridan: Yeah, Nicole-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: John, you were going to say something?

John Sheridan: Nicole doesn't know it yet, but I'm going to recruit her to be a trainer at some point.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's what I was hoping to hear.

John Sheridan: With the National Women in Roofing, it seems like a no-brainer to just-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

John Sheridan: ... try and put together, at least put together a test class and see if it works. Mesa.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah.

John Sheridan: We could do it at Mesa again.

Nicole Pinto: That'd be great.

John Sheridan: Or we're up in Portland at your place.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. Yeah.

John Sheridan: But I think we should set that up and do a test run and just see how it goes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: So everyone's hearing it here that Nicole is officially being recruited to be a trainer, to help get all of this new metal roofing training going with John. So I love it.

John Sheridan: No pressure.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: We're breaking the story. Yeah.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah. No kidding.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: No pressure. Okay. Well, along that line, what we were just talking about, Nicole, you said you did have some hard... A few times it was hard because people weren't taking you serious as a woman, and you found John who's incredibly supportive. Why should other women really think about doing what you've done, and taking it one step further and get starting their own construction business, getting involved?

Nicole Pinto: Yeah. I guess there's a ton of reasons, but I think the most important one would be, if you want to, then you should. If you're interested in it, then you shouldn't really let anyone else's idea of what you can and can't do just determine your course. And I think it's important to really stay stubborn about that, that I want to do this, and so I can. Even if there's people who maybe don't believe you.

But I also think it's a really a creative way to do roofing. I've done other roofs before that [inaudible 00:17:43], honest, you just stick some shingles or pieces of metal on, and this is really different. You really use your brain, you really get creative and it's just a different experience. It's more fun, it's more intellectual, it's more hands-on. I think all of that is really, it's going to be different. And I think women really can excel in it, just like men can too.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Nicole Pinto: It's not either or.

John Sheridan: So do I. So do I.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It really is, that's the thing, and that's what I love about what John's doing and about John, your trainings and your consulting, is that you are so inclusive. We talked to Nicole about bringing more women in and National Women in Roofing. Your classes are also in Spanish, so you are really embracing the Latino community and helping to train in metal roofing. I think that diversity, what you do in your business, is awesome. Amazing. And we got to keep it up, you got to keep it up.

John Sheridan: Doing my best.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Keep those trainings going.

John Sheridan: There's a pretty lengthy list of things I want to accomplish.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know. Well, we're going to have a lot of it on Metal Coffee Shop, so we'll have pictures from Nicole. If you have some pictures from that training you did in Mesa, we sure would love to see them. Get them over here and we'll get them up on the site. And then, just so everybody knows, another little news break, but John is, we are going to be having some amazing video coming out of Nashville that John just did on training, and we're going to have some of that coming on the site too. So lots of great training stuff coming up.

Nicole, thank you so much. Thank you first of all-

Nicole Pinto: Thanks for having me.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... for doing it, and then being here and telling us about it.

Nicole Pinto: Sure.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And hopefully I'll get up to Bainbridge at some point and-

Nicole Pinto: Yeah, absolutely.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: ... check it out.

Nicole Pinto: I hope you do.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: I know, exactly. John, thank you. As always, thank you for all you're doing for the industry and all the great training, and for introducing us to Nicole.

John Sheridan: Okay, great to see you guys. Good to see you, Nicole. Take care.

Nicole Pinto: Yeah, you too.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And thank you all for listening. These Metal Casts, this is what it's all about, all sides of the metal industry. So we're talking about roofing and training today, we'll be talking about sheet metal shops coming up soon. You name it, if it's metal, we're talking about it on Metal Cast, so be sure to check out all of our video podcasts under "Read, Listen, Watch, under, "Metal Cast Podcasts." And also, on your favorite podcast channel, be sure to subscribe and hit that notification so you don't miss a single one. And we will be seeing you next time on Metal Cast.

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