Spotlight on Erica Farver: The Woman Driving Innovation at Duro-Last

As the Senior Business Manager of Roofing for Duro-Last®, Inc., Erica Farver has a lot on her daily plate. From managing Duro-Last’s extensive portfolio of membrane products and accessories, to assisting the Research & Development and Innovation teams with new product development, and facilitating advisory meetings with contractors throughout the country, she is leaving her mark on the evolution of the commercial roofing market.

As a leader in the roofing industry, Erica has gained valuable insight through her experience and connections. Below, she shares some of her biggest accomplishments and words of wisdom for women in the roofing industry.

What accomplishments are you most proud of at this point in your career?
My favorite accomplishments to date have been the launch of the Duro-Last Roof Pavers in 2019 and the new Duro-Last X™ membrane launched earlier this year. It’s awesome when you can play a part in the process of turning an innovative idea into a viable product in the market. Nothing is more satisfying for me. It’s even better when it’s an industry first, like the new custom-length roll good Duro-Last X.

As you stated, Duro-Last recently launched the Duro-Last X membrane, which marries the convenience of roll goods with the efficiency of custom solutions. How does this product speak to Duro-Last’s culture of innovation and what is next for the company?  
Duro-Last X encompasses all of the philosophies that Duro-Last is built on. Our founder, John R. Burt, created a company culture that emphasizes the value of custom solutions designed to make the installation process more efficient with quality products that stand the test of time. The Duro-Last X membrane continues this tradition – it’s innovative, an industry first, and it is truly a custom solution that eliminates scrap and labor from the jobsite.

As we look to the future for Duro-Last, custom solutions will continue to be at the forefront of our innovation process. There are a lot of exciting things in the works and I am proud to be a part of the team that brings these innovations to life. I wish I could share all of my upcoming projects, but you’ll just have to wait and see what Duro-Last does next. One thing I can say; you won’t be disappointed.

In your role, you spend time listening to and getting to know contractors in the field. What are some of the most important lessons that you learned from these contractors, or nuggets of wisdom that have stuck with you?  
Serving as the facilitator for the Duro-Last Emerging Leaders Advisory Board meetings has really been an invaluable learning experience. Each year I am humbled by the outpouring of industry knowledge and experiences that our contractors share with us.  It’s such a blessing to have contractors willing to share tidbits with us in order to improve our products, work processes, and allow us to grow as an organization.  I have developed some amazing friendships with these contractors and enjoy seeing them succeed. On an everyday basis I receive calls regarding unique product questions or experiences from contractors and it’s fun to learn and explore opportunities with them.  I definitely learn something new every day!

You’ve been active in the National Women in Roofing organization since 2018, even serving in a leadership role on the Education committee. Why do you find it important to be involved in a women-focused industry organization and why should other women in the industry consider getting involved?  
I have served on the NWiR Education Council for two years now, first as the Secretary and now transitioning into the role of Vice Chair.  Much like my experience networking with contractors in the field, my participation in this organization has also been an invaluable opportunity for me to learn and grow. The roofing industry is predominately populated by men, so it’s important for women in the industry to have a dedicated space to network, share experiences, and learn from each other, which National Women in Roofing provides. As with anything, you get what you put in, so I encourage women to not only join the organization but to really get involved. Join a committee, participate in local and virtual events, ask questions and make connections. The women in this organization bring so much knowledge and resources to the table, and it’s all at your fingertips. 

What advice or words of wisdom do you have for women navigating the roofing industry? What has helped you most over the years?
Being a woman in the roofing industry is not for the faint of heart!  Find a mentor, male or female, and absorb as much as you can from them. I personally have a diverse group that I refer to for knowledge and experiences, and it’s truly helped me to better understand the industry from all perspectives. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the roofing industry and I look forward to seeing it grow in the years to come!