National Safety Month

June 2021 marks the 25th year for National Safety Month, sponsored by the National Safety Council. Safety is paramount in our line of work at Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal. Whether installing new roofing 10 stories high in Kansas City’s skyline or fabricating in our sheet metal shop, Cornell crews take safety seriously.

A lot has changed when it comes to safety since our company started in 1927. While there are many more protections in place, you can never take safety for granted. We continuously look for ways to maximize and enhance safety protocols for our crews. National Safety Month is a reminder for us – and all construction companies – about the importance of working toward our common goals of reducing workplace injuries and accidents, and improving safety on our job sites.

This year, the National Safety Council recommends a focus on the following safety topics to bolster Safety in the workplace:

  • Prevent Incidents Before They Start: Identifying risks and taking proactive safety measures to reduce hazard exposure on everything from ergonomics to chemical management is important in creating a safe workplace.


  • Address Ongoing COVID-19 Safety Concerns: While we are making strides against COVID-19, the pandemic remains. Employers play an important role in the return to physical workspaces, building trust around vaccines, mental health and much more.


  • Ensuring Individual Security on the Job: Being able to work without fear is necessary for an inclusive safety culture. Leading organizations focus not only on physical safety but psychological safety as well.


  • Ongoing Advancements to Your Safety Journey: Safety is all about continuous improvement. Whether organizationally or individually, the National Safety Council has resources to lend a hand. Visit for more information.


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit or call 816-252-8300.

Cornell Roofing Named Large Business of the Year

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is honored to be recognized by the Independence Economic Development Council (IEDC) as the Large Business of the Year. The award was presented to Cornell Owner and President, Mary McNamara at the IEDC’s Annual Independence Business Awards Ceremony, May 13, 2021 at the Stoney Creek Conference Center. 

Honorees for the Independence Business Awards were nominated by other business leaders in the community. The Large Business of the Year award recognizes companies with 50 or more employees who are engaged in the growth and development of opportunities for the Independence community. As a business that has made Independence home for over 94 years, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is dedicated to supporting our local community and grateful to be the recipient of this award. 


Other honorees included:

  • Apex Aleworks, Small Business of the Year
  • West iNd Connection, Nonprofit Business of the Year
  • Classy Canines, Start-up Business of the Year
  • Wine Down 109, Hospitality Business of the Year
  • Little BBQ Joint, Philanthropic Business of the Year
  • Goad Manufacturing, Best Place to Work

Congratulations to all the other award winners. Thank you to the Independence Economic Development Council for presenting this program and for the work you do to support the businesses in our community. To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit or call 816-252-8300.

Celebrating Administrative Professionals

Our Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal crews working in the field and in our shop are on our project front lines delivering top-quality work for our customers. But there are Cornell team members working “behind the scenes” whose work is just as important to our success; the professionals of Cornell’s administrative team.

This month, we are celebrating National Administrative Professionals Day on April 21st (the Wednesday of the last full week in April each year). This is an opportunity to recognize the vital role individuals in administrative positions play in business. At Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, we value our administrative team and appreciate all they do to contribute to our success.

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal’s daily administrative functions for human resources, accounting, scheduling, reporting and service are managed by a team of experienced professionals with industry expertise. These folks keep our office operations running smoothly to support our leadership team and crews in the field, ensuring we meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. 

The hard work and dedication of our administrative professionals does not go unnoticed. Join us in celebrating our amazing administrative pros at Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal! 

To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit or call 816-252-8300.

Longevity: 4 Keys to 94 Years in Business

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is among a handful of locally owned and operated businesses in Kansas that have sustained across multiple generations, nearing or past the 100-year mark. As a business that has been operating for over 94 years and is still growing, we are sometimes asked about our key to success. This kind of longevity can’t be attributed to one single key; it involves many factors in addition to sheer hard work and determination.




Here are four keys to our success at Cornell:

Team of Champions

The people at Cornell are what drives our success. Our engaged group of skilled professionals are passionate about their crafts. We’re united in delivering the highest quality results for our customers. Giving your team the respect they deserve and resources they need to grow and thrive in their careers will go a long way.


Change is the one constant in business. Being open to new ideas, methods, technologies and processes not only gives you a competitive edge, it can also help you improve your service to customers and optimize your bottom line. 


Expect the unexpected. As so many companies have seen over the last year, changes outside your control can drastically impact your business. Consider the what-ifs, have a contingency plan, get creative and be ready to shift gears as needed to protect your business and continue your commitment to customers.


Never forget where you came from. Being involved in your community is not only good for business, it is vital to creating an environment for success in which your company – and your community – can thrive. This includes investing time and donating to local community efforts as well as supporting industry associations that provide resources for your company and team. 


Whether you’ve been in business nine months or over 90 years, these keys can help you stay grounded and serve as a foundation for growth. At Cornell, we are excited for what the future holds and celebrating the milestones ahead. To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit or call 816-252-8300.

Withstanding the Test of Time


As a company that has been serving the Kansas City region for 94 years, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has seen many changes through the years. We’ve played a role in helping build the Kansas City skyline you see today. Our industry has grown and remained strong due in large part to the early development of trade groups, such as the Builders’ Association and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) – some of the oldest industry associations in the country.

In 1887, a group of construction industry representatives came together to form the Master Builders’ and Traders’ Exchange in Kansas City, Missouri. This evolved to become the Builders’ Association and remains headquartered in Kansas City. The mission of the Builders Association is to provide high-quality and valued services that contribute to the betterment of their individual members and the construction industry overall. They offer a broad range of support services and resources for every facet of the construction industry, including everything from education and safety to government regulations and marketing. 

In 1886, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) was established. NRCA is headquartered in Rosemont, IL and is a central source for informational, educational, technical and advocacy resources for their 3500+ roofing industry members across all 50 states and 53 countries worldwide. 

While entrenched in history, these organizations are shepherding advances in the roofing industry. Their support, insights and resources are vital to companies like Cornell in our efforts to drive continual improvements for safety and quality. Trade organizations help build the foundation for success across for roofing contractors and the construction industry as a whole.

To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit or call 816-252-8300.

Cornell Recognized in Community Leader Video

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal was proud to join a group of businesses who came together recently to lend support to the Independence Chamber of Commerce and their efforts to continue building a business community of excellence. The Chamber provides invaluable resources and support for businesses in our area and the community in general. The Chamber graciously recognized the initiative taken by these “Community Leaders” in a series of videos that were aired by local broadcast TV stations. View the spot featuring Cornell here.

To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit or call 816-252-8300.

Key Partnerships Drive Success

Building something great does not rest on the shoulders of one entity. It takes a collaboration of community. In our world of commercial construction, we work alongside many skilled, talented professionals from all aspects of planning, architecture, construction and the trades. We align our areas of expertise to execute a common vision. Together, we aim to deliver our best. 


Key partnerships are central to the success of these projects. At Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal Co., we are fortunate to have fostered key partnerships with our colleagues in the region. This includes companies like JE Dunn Construction Co and Hollis & Miller Architecture, among many others. 


We value these alliances, the opportunities for business growth, and the friendships created along the way as we work with partners in Kansas City. With nearly 100 years in business, we’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Solid partnerships are built on integrity, dependability, quality and accountability. Simply put, when you make a promise, you keep that promise. Period.


We are proud and honored to receive feedback like these examples below from our partners:


“Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has been a collaborative, trusted partner for our project in many aspects and we sincerely appreciate the positive relationships their team has developed with ours. It has been a pleasure to work with them and we look forward to working with Cornell again soon.”

 — Andrew Petersen and Robert Pinkerton, JE Dunn Construction Co.


“I want to extend my deepest appreciation and thanks to Cornell Roofing for their help and professionalism, and especially Cornell’s adaptation to the project’s changing work scope – Cornell’s rapid response to these changes was essential to the project’s success.”

 — Steve Golubski, JE Dunn Construction Co.


“Cornell took the extra steps to get the job done right the first time and you were very meticulous when it came to the details. Because of your responsiveness, the professional way you conduct business and especially your high-quality level of service, we often recommend your company to others.”

— Justin Durham, AIA, Hollis & Miller Architects


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit or call 816-252-8300.

Finding the Positives: A Look Back at 2020

Just about anyone will tell you they are ready to be done with 2020. It was a challenging year for so many. Despite the trauma and drama of the year, there were still positives to be found. People and businesses discovered ways to be resourceful to take care of customers and each other. In the commercial roofing industry, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is fortunate we were able to keep our crews working and building for the future. 


Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal had wins to be celebrated in 2020. We began the year with the momentum of hitting a major milestone of 1,000 jobs completed in 2019, as well as being recognized as the third-largest roofing company and 23rd-largest woman-owned business in the Kansas City region. This year, we were also able to continue our legacy of giving back to our community with Cornell’s first $25,000 gift to the Builders’ Association Scholarship Foundation to support career development in the trades. In addition, our Owner and President, Mary McNamara was honored as a 2020 Rainmaker by Ingram’s Magazine for her leadership in Kansas City business.


For Cornell, our most shining moments in 2020 are the many projects our expert crews were able to work on and complete. Cornell crews were hands-on in projects that enhanced the commercial infrastructure landscape, transformed the skyline and helped support the economic development of Kansas City. We could not be more proud to play a part. Just a few of the major projects completed in 2020 and/or currently in process include:

  • Children’s Mercy Research Institute 
  • Harry S. Truman Presidential Library
  • Fort Osage School District (High School, Fire Prairie, Elm Grove)
  • Kansas City Zoo (Meerkat, Sting Ray and Elephant Exhibits)
  • Commerce Tower
  • Kansas City Missouri City Hall
  • Loews Convention Center
  • Kansas City Museum
  • McCownGordon Construction Offices (sheet metal)


As a company that has been in business for nearly 100 years, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has weathered many changes and tumultuous years. 2020 challenged us all, but also proved we can still rise to the challenge. And there are always positives, you just need to look for them. Here’s to the promise of a new year and a bright 2021 ahead!


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, click here About Us or call 816-252-8300.

Protect Your Commercial Property with Preventative Maintenance

Commercial buildings are major investments, and most building owners want to do all they can to protect their investments and minimize costs. When it comes to commercial roofing, spending a little on preventative maintenance now, can save big money in the long run.


No matter what commercial roofing system you have, there are steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your roof – while improving or maintaining the value of your structure and the property inside. Taking these steps can often delay or potentially eliminate the need for commercial roofing repair or an expensive commercial roof replacement.


  1. Inspect rooftop vents and equipment. Be certain all are properly functioning and well sealed.
  2. Examine drains and downspouts. Ensure there are no blockages that will inhibit proper drainage.
  3. Assess penetrations and flashings. Be on the lookout for any gaps or tears.
  4. Thoroughly check the roof for other potential damage or issues.


Cornell’s Roof Maintenance Program is offered as an important part of our comprehensive Commercial Roof Management System. Identifying potential problems early is the key to protecting your investment – and your peace of mind. 


Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has been building and protecting commercial roofing systems for nearly 100 years. To learn more about Cornell Roofing and our Preventative Maintenance Services, visit and or call 816-252-8300.


Commercial Roofing: What to Consider When Hiring a Company

Having been in business since 1927, Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal Company has seen competitors in the commercial roofing industry come and go through the years. Hiring the right commercial roofing contractor for your commercial building and construction project is critical. Roofing is not an area to compromise quality if you want your property to be stable, efficient, durable, properly functioning, aesthetically pleasing and to maintain optimal value for the long haul. Consider the following when hiring a commercial roofing contractor:


Can the crew handle the project?

It’s no overstatement to say Cornell Roofing’s professional teams can install any commercial roof, whatever the size or scale. We can make this bold statement because we actively ensure our crews receive continuing education and constant training to follow the most up-to-date best practices in the industry. Just as important, we make sure they’re equipped with state-of-the-art tools and equipment necessary to get the job done. From Kansas City’s urban high-rises to large-scale industrial manufacturing plants, Cornell’s professionals understand the latest roofing services, commercial roof systems, roof replacement options and commercial roof maintenance


What safety and environmental standards are in place?

When working at the heights we do every day, safety is obviously a concern. Cornell adheres to a strict safety policy to ensure our teams are properly trained per all OSHA compliance standards and industry best practices. It begins with pre-employment training and health screenings and continues with regular safety protocol training, inspections and updates.


At Cornell, we are also mindful of the impact commercial roofing has on our environment. There are many variables when considering commercial roofing contractors and roof systems. Through a better understanding of commercial roofing products, their life cycles and ability to be recycled, and varying energy consumption of the many different commercial roofing materials, we are able to give our customers a roof system that meets their needs while minimizing the effects on the environment.


What roofing systems are offered?

Cornell uses the most advanced supplies and products from the best brands in the industry, including Carlisle, Derbigum, Firestone, GAF, Johns Manville, Sarnafil, Siplast, Tamko and Tremco. An educated, experienced team plus the best brands in the business ensure a top-quality result.


Cornell’s commercial roofing experts have the training and experience to handle the most popular and highest quality installs including:

  • Built-up Roof Systems
  • Daylighting Systems
  • Flat Roof Systems
  • Green Roof Systems
  • Metal Roof Systems
  • Modified Bitumen Roof Systems
  • Single-ply Roof Systems, EPDM, TPO and PVC
  • Skylights
  • Vegetative PVC


In addition, Cornell also offers complete commercial metal roofing systems. From design, construction and installation to metal roof repair and maintenance, our full-service commercial sheet metal shop routinely produces excellent results. Our foremen, staff and field superintendents personally focus on each detail, no matter how small. You may not even notice some of these touches until after our installation team is long gone – but we believe this type of workmanship, especially when it’s a detail others might overlook, represents integrity you can count on. Every day and on every job.


How long have they been in business and what is their track record?

Cornell has been in this business a long time – nearly 100 years. A company does not make it this long in business without doing things right and setting the standard for success. We let that record speak for itself. When it comes to Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal’s track record, our long-standing relationships with the region’s top general commercial contractors, architecture firms and construction companies says it all. Here’s a testimonial from our friends at J.E. Dunn on a recent project:


 “Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has been a collaborative, trusted partner for our project in many aspects and we sincerely appreciate the positive relationships their team has developed with ours. It has been a pleasure to work with them.”


When it comes time to hire a commercial roofing contractor, there are many things to consider, but asking these questions will help you determine who is the best fit for your project. To learn more about Cornell Roofing, visit and follow @cornellroofingandsheetmetal on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.