Candidates Vie for Region IV, V, and VI Director Positions

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January 26, 2018
By Catherine Moon, Director of Region & Chapter Relations

Two-term region directors Steve Drennan, Region IV; Mike Gardner, Region V; and Paul Kompauer, Region VI, will conclude their terms of service during the 2018 RCI International Convention and Trade Show at the Annual Meeting of Members in Houston, TX. One of their responsibilities is finding qualified candidates, with the assistance of the RCI Nominating Committee, to run for the director position. This was successfully accomplished, and voting members of Regions IV, V, and VI were mailed candidate profiles and ballots. The completed ballots from voting members of each of these regions are due to RCI headquarters by February 9, 2018, by 5:00 p.m. EST. In lieu of mailing the completed ballot in the provided return envelope, voters may fax their signed and dated certified ballots to 919-859-1328. (See the position statements of each of the region director candidates below.)

Elected region directors will begin their two-year terms at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the Members on Monday, March 26.

Mentoring, recruiting, and nominating leaders are of utmost importance to our association’s operation and growth. If you or someone you know is interested in a leadership role, please contact RCI Nominating Committee Chairman Patrick Downey at 770-565-3016 or The Nominating Committee is always interested in those seeking RCI leadership opportunities.

Region IV Director Candidates

Neal Johnson, RRO, AIA
Candidate for Region IV Director

Neal Johnson is the president of Neal Johnson, LLC, an architectural firm specializing in building envelope consulting and forensic services in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missis­sippi, and Alabama. With over 35 years of widely varied experience as a practicing architect, Neal’s background includes serving as an architect, principal in charge, project manager, and building envelope consultant for more than 1,200 facility projects, encompassing new construction as well as extensive renovation/rehabilitation work.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in architecture from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 1978

RCI, Inc.

  • Registered Roof Observer (RRO)
  • Louisiana Branch Liaison of the Northern Gulf Coast Chapter, 2016-2017
  • Consultant member, 2001 to present
  • Ethics Committee member, 2011-2014; chair, 2014-2017
  • Attendance at RCI conventions, 2002 to present
  • Attendance at Building Envelope Symposium, 2017; Leadership Workshop, 2016 and 2017; and chapter meetings and other organizational functions, 2000 to present
  • Supporter and advisor on procurement reform issues
  • Instructor at the following courses:
    • Roof Technology & Science II, 2017, Pensacola – Roof Surveys, Moisture Surveys, Moisture Behavior, Metal Roofing Principles, Roof Flashings, Liquid Applied Membranes, Roof Surveys, and Steep Roofing
    • Rooftop Quality Assurance, 2016, New Orleans – Building Codes, Construction Documents, Low-Slope Roofing, Surfacings, Mod Bit, Single Ply, Steep-Slope Roofing, and Asphalt Shingles
    • Stucco & Exterior Finish Cladding Systems, 2016, Pensacola – Materials and their Properties, Applicable Design Codes and Standards, Design Requirements, and Repairing and Maintaining Stucco and EIFS
    • Roof Technology & Science I and II, 2015, San Francisco – Moisture Behavior, Modified Bitumen, BUR Roofing, Metal Roofing Principles, and Roof Flashings
    • Professional Roof Consulting, 2009, New Orleans ­– Roof Asset Management, Contract Documents, and Ethics for the Consultant

Other Professional Activities

  • Registered architect in LA, MS, AL, TX, and AR
  • Board member and active participant in the Baton Rouge Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Professional member of National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)
  • Past president, board liaison, and active member of Baton Rouge Chapter of the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA)

The success of RCI’s regions depends on its leadership’s ability to energize the member base and encourage growth by providing educational programs that give opportunities for learning and networking. Our industry is evolving at an ever-increasing rate, and it is incumbent upon us to stay current with the trends while maintaining a level of common sense regarding new technologies.

Having originally been established as an organization focused on roof consulting, RCI has expanded to include all facets of building envelope science, thereby ensuring continued advancement and growth within its member ranks. Current and future leadership must continue to seek other avenues for expansion while maintaining the intent of RCI’s founders.

If I am fortunate to be elected as the Region IV director, I will:

  • Continue the progress of my predecessor
  • Seek to increase our RCI mentor program
  • Provide additional opportunities for open discussion with industry colleagues
  • Assist RCI in all current efforts to protect our work and the integrity of the public procurement process

Neal and his wife, Melanie, have been married for 30 years. They have two daughters, Megan and Rachel. When not working, he enjoys reading, learning about wine, salt- and fresh-water fishing, and golfing.

Pete Keener, RRO, CIT
Candidate for Region IV Director

Pete started his roofing career in May 1988, when he joined The Garland Company as a technical consultant. Pete has over 29 years of experience in the building envelope industry. During that time, Pete has worked as a manufacturer rep, roof consultant to a large architectural firm, owned his own roof consulting company, and gained experience with several engineering firms. This provides Pete with a well-rounded knowledge of the building envelope industry.

Pete is an Associate III with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in their San Antonio office, and provides consulting services to multiple clients throughout Texas. Pete is proud to be one of the founding members of the RCI Great Lakes Chapter, established in 2003. He is currently the branch liaison for the RCI Central Texas Chapter’s San Antonio Branch. As an employee of the federal government, Mr. Keener graduated from the United States Army Corp of Engineers Security Engineer School and the U.S. Army Antiterrorism Officer School. He has vast experience in designing antiterrorism measures in buildings that fall under the Uniform Facilities Code (UFC).


  • Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana, 1984
  • Certified Level I Thermographer, Infrared Technical Institute
  • Certified Antiterrorism Officer, United States Army, 2012
  • Various RIEI and RCI courses, including building envelope symposia

RCI, Inc.

  • Founding member of Great Lakes Chapter, 2003
  • Branch liaison for Central Texas Chapter, 2016 to present
  • Leadership Workshop, 2016 and 2017
  • RCI Foundation supporter, secured $5,000 donation from Terracon for the Robert W. Lyons Scholarship, 2017

Professional License and Registration

  • Registered Roof Observer, 2014
  • Antiterrorism Officer, 2012 to present
  • Certified Infrared Thermographer, 2012 to present

I chose to become active in RCI because of RCI’s emphasis on education and professionalism. The federal government now requires an RRC, PE, or AIA on any roofing project, according to the 2017 UFC. I believe RCI has played a major role in establishing professionals across the country as experts in the building envelope. My goals, if elected as a region director, will include:

  • Serve as a voice for Region IV on RCI policies and issues. I believe educating RCI members on RCI policies and issues will make a stronger region.
  • Continue my commitment to RCI and promotion of RCI’s educational opportunities to members and nonmembers.
  • Establish solid chapters in Oklahoma and Louisiana to continue to promote RCI.
  • Assist the Region IV chapters in promotion, growth, and membership advancement.
  • Provide opportunities for eligible members to take the RRC and RRO exams within Region IV. Both exams can be taken at a local test site, which most RCI members do not know.
  • I am committed to increase the exposure of RCI with local, state, and federal agencies within our region. Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana schools face many challenges from “roofing scams.” I am committed to bringing these programs to an end and exposing the perpetrators for wasting tax dollars.

Pete has three grown children living in Minnesota (Nick), Michigan (Sam), and Georgia (Rachel). When not working, he enjoys golf, hiking, fishing, hunting, and spending time with his wife Terri and their three rescue dogs, Ruby, Mocha, and Annie.

Region V Director Candidates

John D. Shepherd, RRC, RRO
Candidate for Region V Director

In 1968, John Shepherd began working as a helper for his family’s roofing and siding company. Fifty years later, he is the principal of Shepherd Consulting Services (founded in 2001), a building envelope construction forensic consulting firm. In 2012, he founded Thermal Imaging of America, a roof and wall infrared survey firm.

He became a journeyman roofer in 1973, started his own roofing and waterproofing business in 1980, and became a full-time construction forensic consultant in 1995.

John’s consulting practice focuses on expert witness testimony in building envelope construction defect litigation, leak and forensic investigations, insurance-related issues (fraud, bad faith defense, property damage claims), and construction industry standard of care issues. Since 1998, he has served as an educator more than 75 times at RCI, WSRCA, NRCA, and insurance-related conferences. He assisted in developing the RCI Hawaii Winter Workshop and the RCI Summer WSRCA Convention Workshop, two programs that endure to this day and are among the longest continuous running annual programs to come out of RCI.

Since 1994, Shepherd has:

  • Attended almost 2,000 hours of continuing education sessions.
  • Presented more than 150 hours of continuing education.
  • Developed or co-developed over 50 one- to two-day educational seminars and 20 half-day seminars.
  • Prepared education sessions and seminars requiring multiple hours of self-education on the issues affecting our industry.

 Professional Licenses and Registrations

  • RCI Registered Roof Observer (#019), 1994
  • RCI Registered Roof Consultant (#212), 1999
  • Certified Building Science Thermographer
  • Haag Certified Commercial and Residential Roof Inspector (#200911150)
  • RICOWI Wind Investigation Program (WIP) credential
  • RICOWI Hail Investigation Program (HIP) credential
  • Tile Roofing Institute, Certified Tile Specialist

RCI, Inc.

  • Speaker, digital photography, convention, Charlotte, 1999
  • Region VI director/board member, 1999-2001
  • Liaison to the WSRCA, 2000-2005
  • Participant, RCI Strategic Planning Session, 2001
  • Member, Annual Convention Committee, 2005-2006
  • Member, Chapter Development Committee, 2004-2009
  • Member, Advocacy Committee, 2009 to present
  • So Cal Chapter, founding member, 2003
  • So Cal Chapter board, 2004-2010; president, 2009-2010
  • So Cal Chapter Education Committee chair, 2004-2010
  • So Cal Chapter Liaison to California Real Estate Inspectors Association, 2007-2010
  • RCI Hawaii Winter Workshop Committee chair, 2008-2012

Honors: Recipient, Michael DeFrancesco Volunteer of the Year Award, 2008

Other Organization Involvement

  • ASTM D08 Committee member, 2008 to present
  • WSRCA Associate Advisory Council member, 2003-2005

In 1995, when I transitioned from contractor to consultant, I was venturing down a new path in life and thought I was doing so without a lifeboat. Much to my surprise, as I got involved in RCI, so many people reached out to help me become the consultant I am today. Consultants I met told me to call them if I got stuck, confused, or lost, and I took every one of them up on that at one point or another. Despite being a competitor to some, for over 23 years, no one has ever said no when I asked for help or guidance. The comradery I found in RCI felt like I had a second family. The level of professionalism, quality of education, and credentials available through RCI, has allowed me to provide for my family and successfully serve my clients.

If you choose to elect me as the next Region V director, I will continue to ensure current and future members of RCI Region V have the same positive experiences I’ve had with RCI. My goals as the next Region V director include:

  • Serve as an advocate for Region V on RCI policies and issues. As a long-time member of RCI and someone whose business practices routinely take me to half (CA, AZ, NV, CO, HI, and WA) of the states that make up Region V, I believe I have a unique grasp on the issues that impact members in the region. We are a large, spread-out region, and I promise to reach out to each area to help get issues important to your area in front of the RCI Board of Directors.
  • Improve industry awareness of RCI credentialed members in Region V. I have been working on this with the RCI Advocacy Committee, and I plan to take what I have learned from the committee and share it throughout our region and to each chapter to develop increased awareness about the benefits of using RCI credentialed members on roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall projects. Additionally, I will ensure that every credentialed member in Region V is aware of the opportunities already available to them from government and private entities that require RCI credentialed observers and consultants on their projects.
  • Education Development. Utilizing my experience in developing education programs, I will work hard to ensure that future Region V meetings will meet the needs of the members. I will also make myself available to help each chapter in our region develop educational programs that meet the needs of their local membership and help develop an education sharing program amongst chapters so education that has already been developed does not have to be reinvented. Lastly, I plan to develop a one-day program to help our members get into the pipeline for federal government work that requires the involvement of an RRC in the design phase and an RRO in the observer phase.
  • Chapter Development. I plan to continue the work of my predecessors (and of the chapters) to develop more chapters in the western part of the country.

My wife Joanne and I have been married 26 years. We have two children: Sarah, 17, a high school junior; and James, 12, a 5th grader. When I am not working, I enjoy time with my family, gardening, and archery. I am the current USA Masters and California State Games outdoor bare bow archery champion. I hope to soon be the CA and National indoor bare bow archery champion.

Szymon Zienkiewicz, RRC, RRO, PE, LEEDTM AP
Candidate for Region V Director

Szymon Zienkiewicz has a technical background and diverse project expertise in understanding and solving building enclosure challenges related to air, water, vapor, and thermal control in the design, renovation, and investigation of buildings. His area of practice focuses on CSI Division 7 – Thermal and Moisture Protection, 8 – Doors and Windows, and 9 – Finishes, with emphasis on air barriers, building science, coatings, expansion joints, exterior wall claddings, fenestration systems, insulation, interior waterproofing, and roofing.

In 2015, Szymon co-founded Larsen Zienkiewicz Inc., an engineering consulting firm based in Pasadena, CA, and specializing in building enclosure performance in new construction, renovation, and repair projects.


  • A.Sc. in Honors Civil Engineering, Cooperative Program, Management Sciences Option, Certificate in Structural Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, 2007
  • RCI programs, conventions, symposia, and plant tours, 2007 to present
  • RCI, Inc. Affiliated Chapter/Region Leadership Development Training Workshop, Raleigh, NC, 2011 attendee, and 2016 and 2017, presenter

 Professional License and Registration

  • Registered Professional Engineer in CA, AZ, and NV
  • Registered Roof Consultant (RRC), no. 808
  • Registered Roof Observer (RRO), no. 933
  • LEEDTM Accredited Professional

RCI, Inc.
For the past decade, Szymon has been actively involved with RCI, Inc. at the national and local levels as an organizer, presenter, and leader.

  • Consultant member, 2007 to present
  • Strategic Planning session contributor, November 2017
  • Emerging Professionals Committee, 2013 to present
  • Chapter Development Committee, 2016 to present
  • So Cal Chapter of RCI, Inc., president, 2013 and 2017
  • So Cal Chapter of RCI, Inc., vice president, 2012 and 2016
  • So Cal Chapter of RCI, Inc., treasurer, 2009, 2010, and 2011
  • So Cal Chapter of RCI, Inc., Education Committee chair, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2016
  • So Cal Chapter Hawaii Winter Workshop Committee chair, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017


  • RCI, Inc. Emerging Professional Award of Excellence, March 2016
  • RCI Outstanding Chapter Award – So Cal Chapter, 2016 and 2017
  • Sanford Fleming Award for Cooperative Proficiency: outstanding performance in both work-term experience and academic program of cooperative engineering education, 2007


The effectiveness of achieving RCI’s vision to be the leading authority for roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall consulting is largely influenced by the health of its chapters and success of its members at the local level. I believe that the role of the region director is to be an effective conduit between RCI and local membership to support RCI’s goals; but equally, to ensure the voices of our members are heard and are adequately represented on an international platform.

If elected, my goals are as follows:

  • Build a closer relationship between members in our region through increased communication on RCI activities, including advocacy and education.
  • Facilitate greater interaction and comradery between our four regional affiliated chapters and one branch.
  • Strengthen the relationship between our region and RCI.
  • Provide greater support to our chapters and our diverse and expansive membership.

Over the past decade, RCI has been instrumental in my professional development as a consultant, both through technical education and soft skills that I acquired through participation in my local chapter and volunteering on national committees. I have met many amazing individuals, forged lasting relationships, and I am hopeful and motivated to do the same for others by representing you wholeheartedly as your next Region V director.

Thank you for considering me for this position and the opportunity to serve our region. I hope for your support and vote.

Szymon lives in Los Angeles, CA, with his wife Asha. They enjoy exploring the great outdoors, traveling, anything sports-related, and adding new craft breweries to their expanding list.

Region VI Director Candidate

Blair Baxter, RRC
Candidate for Region VI Director

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Calgary, Blair began his career as a laboratory technical supervisor for a civil engineering firm in Calgary. The experience gave him a large exposure to construction and petroleum test procedures. Many of the projects administered by Blair were research-based. On the construction side, roofing materials were brought into the lab for ASTM testing, which eventually led him to a career in roof consulting.

In 1982, Blair cofounded Baxter & Carter-Edwards Associates Ltd. Their primary focus was on architectural division 7 construction reviews.

Today, Blair is the owner of Baxter Roof Consulting Ltd., which he established in 1999. The firm’s services include condition assessments, nondestructive and destructive testing, reroof design, construction administration, roof management, and forensic investigations for roofing and waterproofing systems.

Blair has been a member of the RCI since 1990 and earned his Registered Roof Consultant (RRC) designation in 1997.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science degree in physics, University of Calgary, 1977

Professional Registration

  • Registered Roof Consultant, 1997 to present
  • Member, Alberta Building Envelope Council
  • Member, Construction Specifications Canada

RCI, Inc.

  • RRC Exam Development Subcommittee, 2002-2005, 2005-2008, and 2009-2012
  • Technical Advisory Committee, 2010-2013 and 2013-2016
  • Bylaws Committee, 2017 to present

ASTM: D08 member

RCI Western Canada Chapter: President, 2005

RCI Canadian Prairies Chapter: Founding president, 2011

I was happy to find an association dedicated to making the roof consulting industry a defined profession. Joining RCI was an obvious choice. After passing the RRC exam in 1997, I chose to become active in the RRC Exam Development Subcommittee. While serving on the committee, two complete rewrites of the exam were prepared.

I would like to see RCI continue to improve the education program and continue to expand the online knowledge library. As new members join, it is satisfying to know they have the help of the association.

My goals, if elected as a region director, will include:

  • Serve as a voice for Region VI on RCI policies and issues.
  • Promote educational opportunities for both technical and nontechnical issues facing building envelope consultants.
  • Promote the registration programs, encouraging members to challenge the exams.
  • Increase the exposure of RCI within Region VI, which should lead to additional members.
  • Promote the competitiveness and qualifications of members, which will lead to increased professionalism and prosperity.
  • Promote the awareness of the Technical Advisory Committee, encouraging members to take a proactive approach to their concerns.

Thank you for the opportunity to run for this office and to serve RCI.

Blair has been married to Gail for 39 years and has three children. When not working, he enjoys golfing, camping, off-road vehicles, photography, astronomy, and playing guitar.