Collaboration Is the Conduit to Success

MBCEA In the News,

By Robert Tiffin, President, Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association

Posted January 29, 2024 in Metal Construction News

As Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA) members, let us recognize and deeply thank Jen Heimburger who adroitly served us as our association president. Her two-year leadership strengthened a strong legacy of success and has set us on a fabulous course of industry growth and collaboration.

Our association is a wonderful blend of contractor and erector members (66 percent), industry reps (19 percent), regional reps (13 percent), and lifetime individual members (3 percent). We all bring something to our membership, and when we come together, good things happen. Great things will happen when we agree to continue the good work of our past presidents and grow our industry as a safe, viable, sustainable, and very creative alternative to traditional construction.

My ask is, bring your pride, your skills, and your passion for what we know and for what we do. And join me in sharing, educating, collaborating, just shy of shouting to the world who we are and what we have to offer, and why they should really, and need to, listen.

The MBCEA is the place to exchange ideas, strategize, and network with a primary purpose of serving the needs of the contractor and erector segment with three main goals: education, image enhancement, and grassroots support.

Under Jen’s leadership, education was certainly in the forefront. She initiated and negotiated a deal with the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) that will revolutionize the way we recruit, train, and develop new craft workers—the forces we need to sustain and to thrive as our industry grows. This program remains a top priority for the MBCEA. Thank you to all the companies that are eagerly supporting this program both financially and as subject matter experts. This program will be ongoing, so let me know how you want to be part of it at

One example of developing and training is the recent release of the Retrofit Roofing video by the Metal Buildings Institute (MBI). Invest in the video now and capture a basic understanding of the types and methods of retrofit applications over existing flat, conventional-type roofs and existing sloped metal roofs.

Before we leave the education resources, we cannot do so before listing our other initiatives: accreditation, national conference, chapter events, and even our social media efforts. The MBCEA Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages will become more active and provide meaningful content. I ask—no, urge—all of you to like, follow, and share.

Our quality initiative with the International Accreditation Service (IAS), the metal building accreditation, provides tangible proof that the assembler places a high priority on safety, training, and continuous improvement resulting in quality. AC478 assures owners their chosen erector follows a comprehensive, quality-driven metal building assembly program, a program and protocols that are assessed annually.

The national conference is the key point of our year. The network, the tools, and the opportunities for you to grow personally and professionally are only limited by your imagination and by not attending the conference. This year, we focus on the management side of our businesses, with sessions on business valuation and job costing. In 2025, we are in Charlotte, N.C., and, as we did in Nashville, Tenn., we will focus more on field and practical needs. So, I will look forward to seeing all of you in San Diego, Calif., on April 24.

Our major industry event is the awarding of the MBCEA Building of the Year. This celebratory award gives us all a chance to showcase the advances and innovations our industry has made in recent years. Earn your peers’ and national recognition for outstanding efforts in creating one of the best metal building projects of the year. In addition, your company also receives great press coverage for the event, as the winners are featured in Metal Construction News, on our social media pages, and on the Awards & Recognition webpage. We invite you to submit your application now at

A major project ahead is our participation, as an industry-united front, in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference in June. The goal? Introducing all 15,000 projected attendees to the benefits of designing or specifying a metal building system. Educating architects and specifiers about the potential of metal building systems while also promoting our quality initiatives (AC472 and AC478) is a winning combination.

With collaboration being the conduit for our success, we want and need to be able to share with and hear from you as often and as quickly as we can. We have a mobile app to do just that. Please go to the App Store or Google Play and search for MBCEA. It is quick, it is simple, and it is ours. Once you have downloaded it and logged in, send me a message (yes, that is a function in the app), and let’s get going!

Over the last 55 years, we have built a strong association of which we should all be proud. We continue to develop meaningful programs focused on training, quality, education, and safety. We have developed resources to promote our amazing industry and are enticing and welcoming in the next generation. We are committed to growing awareness of and promoting the acceptance of our industry, backed solidly with safety and quality programs. And we do all of this while having fun.

Thank you for being a part of an amazing organization and letting me share my excitement about what we will do together this year.

What: 55th Annual MBCEA Conference
Date: April 24–26, 2024
Where: Rancho Bernardo Inn
17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive
San Diego, Calif.

Robert Tiffin’s passion to create positive change motivates him daily. The metal building systems industry is changing, and Tiffin is active in creating opportunities to forge a new perception by thinking well outside the colloquial “pre-engineered metal box.” As the national accounts manager of Silvercote—a laminator in custom insulation solutions—Tiffin leads foundation customer relationships in the U.S. and Canada. He drives interaction with the market, designer/specifiers, and end use owners, as they are the critical connections to the future of the industry. As a fervent advocate of collaboration with industry associations, Tiffin connects his peers and network as the president of the Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA) and as the chair of the architects committee of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA).