Giving Thanks

In our 95 years of business, there has been much to be thankful for, but this year we’re overflowing with gratitude at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal. For one, celebrating 95 years is a feat in itself. We are thankful for all the skilled trades people, customers and partners who helped grow Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal into the company we are today. 

 

That leads us to our Owner and President, Mary McNamara. Under her leadership our company has grown exponentially. She has been bravely battling breast cancer this year, while still managing our operation with the support of our phenomenal leadership team. We are thankful for their guidance, collaboration and for Mary’s good prognosis looking ahead to healthier days.

 

We are thankful for our crews. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has the most talented and dedicated skilled trades professionals in Kansas City and we’re proud to have them on our team. Their commitment to delivering excellence for our customers on all our projects is unwavering. Kudos to you all – and a sincere thank you.

 

We are thankful for our customers and partners! Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal is fortunate to have wonderful relationships with so many Kansas City companies and organizations, as well as national groups. We are thankful for the trust they put in us to get the job done – and done right.

 

We are thankful for our vendors and suppliers. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal works with only the best and most trusted names in the industry. With their support, we are able to ensure top-quality for our customers.

 

We are thankful for our community. Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal has always been committed to giving back and supporting our community. But this year, so many community members have stepped forward to show their support for our Owner/President Mary McNamara in her fight against breast cancer. This means the world to not only Mary, but to all of us who work alongside her. Thank YOU for showing us you care. Together, we are making a difference.

 

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Since 1985, October has been recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has participated in events and efforts to raise awareness in years past, but this year the commemoration holds extra significance for the team. This summer, our Owner and President, Mary McNamara was diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. Mary’s prognosis is good and she is a fierce fighter. All of us here at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal are looking forward to Mary’s full recovery.

This month, we celebrate breast cancer survivors and those with breast cancer and encourage them to share their stories. We also encourage you to take action to protect your own health and support efforts to raise funds for breast cancer research and other related causes. True to Mary’s generous spirit, she has initiated an effort to give back, even during her own battle. Mary provided special, limited edition t-shirts to the team and is donating all proceeds from sales of the shirts to KU Cancer Center to support research. You can purchase a shirt or donate online at https://cornellroofing.com/breast-cancer-awareness/.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance for all of us to take time and acknowledge those men and women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. For additional resources, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation at https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/. Together, we can knock out breast cancer!

Business as Usual – A Message From Mary

As many may already know, Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal’s Owner and President, Mary McNamara was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. Her prognosis is positive and, if you know Mary, you know she is a fighter who will fiercely battle the disease. Mary remains engaged with the business even during her treatments (no surprise there!), but is putting Senior Vice President, Paul Coussens at the helm to fill in when she is not available.

See below for a message from Mary McNamara on the support she has received and her commitment to ensuring “business as usual”:

“The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. I am humbled by the outpouring of support and kindness I have received from my team, our customers, our vendors, the community and so many family and friends. It truly makes this difficult journey easier. I intend to battle breast cancer every step of the way and get back to business quickly. In the meantime, I am appointing Paul Coussens, our Senior VP, to oversee daily operations during times when I am unable to attend to business. Paul has been with Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal since 2012 and has the in-depth knowledge and expertise to ensure and maintain the company’s high standards of excellence for project management and customer care.

I want to thank our amazing, dedicated team at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal. You are all valued and appreciated. We are a family and that means the world to me. Thank you for doing what you do, and all the support you have given me. I have a job ahead of me to beat this thing and you have yours to take care of our customers. Now, let’s get to work!”

Cornell Projects Among 2022 Capstone Award Winners

Each year, a select group of notable real estate projects that represent excellence in our community are recognized with the annual Capstone Real Estate Awards presented by the Kansas City Business Journal. The field this year was competitive with several projects in the running before a panel of judges. To be honored, each project had to be move-in ready by the end of 2021. Ultimately, the 2022 Capstone Award honored 28 projects across the Kansas City metropolitan area. Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal proudly managed the commercial roofing for three of these projects:

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library Museum Renovation and Expansion
Category: Architectural Design

The Kansas City Museum Renovation
Category: Architectural Design Category

Kirk Family YMCA
Category: Adaptive Reuse

Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal congratulates all the winners and is honored to have been involved in the development, renovation and expansion of these projects and so many other Capstone Award-winning properties throughout our history. To see the full list of 2022 Capstone honorees, click here. To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Women in Construction

In March, we not only celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8), we also take time to recognize Women in Construction Week (March 6-12). This is a week sponsored by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women in our industry, as well as the enormous opportunities for growth.

Being a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal understands the important role women have in our industry. Our Owner and President, Mary McNamara has paved the way for many – women and men – in our rapidly growing industry. Under Mary’s leadership, Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has broken records for revenue growth year over year – a huge accomplishment for a company that is nearly 100 years old.

While women make up 47% of the entire employed population, they represent just 10.9% of the workforce in the construction industry. However, we see that tide changing, not only in commercial roofing, but across the construction industry in general. Industry analysts are predicting an additional 2 million jobs will be added in construction in 2022 alone. This is a prime opportunity for women seeking positions in the skilled trades, management, and executive leadership. Women are encouraged to consider construction as a rewarding career path with an abundance of opportunities.

To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal and our team, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Celebrating 95 Years in Business

This year marks Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal’s 95th year of business in Kansas City. When we were founded in 1927, a lot was happening in the world that would change the course of history:

  • Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo flight across the Atlantic
  • The film, The Jazz Singer opened, ending the era of silent movies
  • Work began on the Mount Rushmore Sculpture of Presidents 
  • Ford Motor Company unveiled the Model A

It appears Cornell is in good company with those who set out to make history and start something great in 1927! 

While much has changed over the years, the values that our company was founded upon remain the cornerstones of our success. Cornell’s dedication to operating with integrity, staying innovative, taking care of our people and our customers, and delivering top-quality commercial roofing projects was, is and will always be what sets us apart. 

We may be in our 95th year, but Cornell is not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, our team has recently expanded by over 250% and we are continuing to break records for growth. With solid leadership and our amazing professional staff and highly skilled crews, we are excited for all the future holds – and the next 95 years ahead for Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal.

To learn more about Cornell, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Cornell Roofing Leadership Feature: Meet The Owner

Mary McNamara, Owner and President of Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is from a family of leaders within the roofing industry. In fact, the McNamara name has been a force for three generations, starting with her father, Jim and uncle, Don. But don’t get the idea that Mary had it easy coming up in the industry. She has earned her spot as leader in the commercial roofing space and Kansas City-area commercial construction.

Mary grew up in Michigan and Illinois, earning her BS in Accounting from Northern Illinois University and later her MBA from Rockhurst University in Kansas City. She started in the industry assisting her dad and uncle in their partnership with multiple roofing contractors across the United States to manufacture high-end roofing material. From there, she applied for and earned a key role in launching the company in Kansas City, KS.

In 2007, Cornell Roofing was a customer of Mary’s. When presented with the opportunity to buy the business, she took it. It was a risky move and pushed Mary to her financial limits at the time. With grit, determination, sharp business acumen, and surrounding herself with a rock-solid team, Mary forged ahead to grow the business from 26 to 92 employees.

Cornell was originally established in 1927 and, under Mary’s leadership, is breaking records as they approach 100 years in business. Being a women-owned business in this industry has both challenges and advantages, but in the end, the company must still perform and deliver top-notch quality to succeed.

Mary credits much of her success to her team at Cornell and her background as CFO with the materials manufacturer, “I met some of the best contractors across the nation. They were the leaders in the industry, and it was overwhelming in many ways. Today, I am working with new peers and many of our younger ‘family’ members, and enjoying watching the legacy of our industry move forward.”

In addition to leading Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal to new levels of success, Mary has held many leadership positions on industry and community boards. Positions include, Director, Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA); Director, Greater Kansas City Builders Association; Director, Blue Ridge Bank & Trust; Trustee, Teamsters Local 541, Health & Welfare; and Trustee, Roofers Local 20, Pension.

For more information about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com and or call 816-252-8300.

Building Kansas City’s Skyline

Over the past 95 years, Kansas City’s skyline has seen a lot of changes. At Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, we are proud to have played a part in the growth and evolution of our City. Since our beginnings in 1927, Cornell has been roofing Kansas City commercial facilities, including some of KC’s most iconic buildings.


From Children’s Mercy to KCMO City Hall, One Light to UMKC, to the new KCI Terminal – and countless more projects, our Cornell crews literally go to new heights to deliver top-quality results for our customers. While we are constantly striving to improve by leveraging the most up-to-date, high-performance products, materials and processes, our philosophy for service has remained steadfast through the years. In addition to being the premier commercial roofing contractor in our region, we are dedicated to operating with integrity with all associates, customers and suppliers and become a leading voice in our industry for civic outreach and community involvement.


As we’ve helped build Kansas City’s skyline, we’ve grown our company along the way, by staying true to our core values:

– Operate with integrity with all customers and suppliers

– Offer opportunities for growth and development to our associates

– Deliver top quality products and services to the marketplace

– Develop strong community and civic outreach

– Build a strong and profitable company


To learn more about Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, our expertise and the projects we’ve completed, visit https://cornellroofing.com/projects/ or call 816-252-8300.

Careers in Construction Month

Careers in Construction Month is an annual month designated to increase public awareness and appreciation of the more than five million construction craft professionals working in the United States. Skilled trades professionals are in high demand, with some industry analysts predicting the construction industry will need one million new craft professionals by 2023.

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is proud to participate in efforts like this to honor the men and women working in skilled trades careers, and the critical role they play in the development of our local cities and nationwide economy. We also understand the importance of engaging students and job seekers to educate them on the vast employment opportunities in construction. Cornell supports scholarship programs leading to careers in construction, which can be long-term, lucrative and rewarding opportunities. 

Cornell’s nearly 95 years of success in Kansas City construction comes from the skilled craftsmanship and dedication to excellence that has carried through generations of Cornell crews. This month, and all year through, we celebrate our hard-working teams of skilled trades professionals. Thank you for your expertise and commitment to delivering unmatched quality for our customers. We appreciate you!

For more information on Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.

Cornell Roofing Honored with 2021 Perfection Award

Since 1927 Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal has been striving for perfection on every project. Recently, we were honored to be granted the 2021 Perfection Award from Carlisle SynTec Systems in recognition of our commitment to excellence.

Carlisle SynTec Systems, based in Carlisle, PA, has been a leading manufacturer of roofing materials for over 50 years. Each year they recognize a distinguished few quality-oriented contractors across the United States. Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal was named as a recipient after meeting Carlisle’s stringent criteria for the award. To be selected, contractors must:

  • Maintain a minimum 7-year track record of exceptional installation quality
  • Maintain a minimum 7-year track record of excellent warranty claim performance
  • Complete a set minimum amount of warranted work
  • Complete a set minimum number of jobs annually

Mike DuCharme, Carlisle’s VP of Marketing notes, “Perfection Award winners demonstrate their dedication to excellence on every installation, and Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. exemplifies this mindset.”

Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal is proud to receive this converted industry honor recognizing our dedication to top-quality workmanship. For more information on Cornell Roofing and Sheet Metal, visit www.CornellRoofing.com or call 816-252-8300.