Meet the judges

The role of the judge:
The judging process for the Pitched Roofing Awards will rely on the expertise of an impartial panel of industry experts, whose background and experience cover the full spectrum of the pitched roofing sector to ensure that the judging process is objective and fair.

How will the judging process work?
The judges will assess all the relevant submissions and support material submitted via the Pitched Roofing Awards website. They will then submit their shortlist of entries in each category to the non-voting chair, RCI’s editor, Nichola Farrugia.

The second stage will involve a final meeting with the judges, which will take place after entries close. Here, the judges will discuss and debate the merits of each entry based on the criteria listed for each category and will allocate points to their winning entry.

In the case of scores being equal, the judges will discuss tied entries once more and if no decision can be reached, the chair will then cast her vote.

Please note that RCI magazine and the panel of awards judges will not enter into any discussion regarding individual entries and/or awards winners. The judging process is strictly confidential to ensure that the judging process is fair.

Denise Cherry, Training Officer, Yorkshire Independent Roof Training Group

Denise has over 20 years’ experience working in the construction sector. She has held several highly strategic roles in the roofing industry, which focuses on inspiring, educating and supporting a range of people from a variety of backgrounds into work and careers. With her valuable training and funding expertise, Denise has led the development of several sector specific programmes and projects, which have had a significant impact on upskilling and qualifying the workforce, employability, apprenticeships, and helping firms to reap the tangible benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce through the management of CITB, NFRC and RIA projects across the UK. As a training officer for the Yorkshire Independent Roof Training Group, Denise assists over 100 companies in the region with training and development activities, and has helped companies apply for additional funding, which has delivered training with a value of approaching £650,000 over six years. She has designed and delivered training programmes including the Roofers Guide to Sustainability, A Guide to Finding and Funding Training, and the Institute of Roofing Associate Course. Through the ‘Women in Roofing’ group, Denise has dedicated her time to identifying and promoting young role models in the roofing industry, in particular women on the tools. She has encouraged people to become construction ambassadors and promote career opportunities in the roofing industry amongst school students, educators, and parents. A key current project is Proud to Promote Roofing, which leads the way on school engagement through practical opportunities for young people to engage with roofing using miniature interactive roof rigs and other exercises.

Clare Fenton, Chairperson, MCRMA

Clare Fenton was recently appointed as chairperson of the Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association (MCRMA) and is the first woman to hold the office since the Association’s formation over 30 years ago.

Clare has more than 20 years’ experience in the construction industry and alongside her husband developed several companies including Mark Fenton Design Services, a specialist drawing office for the roofing and cladding sector. During that time Clare and Mark are proud to have delivered close to 2,000 projects, so she carries vast knowledge and experience in this sector.

Clare thrives on the technical element of her role and this, matched with a desire to see quality in constructions, has allowed her the opportunity to be involved in some fantastic innovations and collaborations over recent years. 

She is co-founder and co-inventor of Veritherm, a rapid thermal performance testing solution. More recently, Clare has been heavily engaged with the Construction Innovation Hub and Manufacturing Technology Centre to help deliver their Platform Design Programme. The programme looks at modern methods of construction (MMC) and aims to design and deliver a new platform solution for future buildings.

Clare feels she is perfectly positioned to judge the Pitched Roofing Awards, and having worked at a delivery level, there is not many roof types, complexities or shapes she hasn’t worked on!

Chris Hopkins, Managing Director, Green & Heritage Roofing

Over the years, Chris Hopkins has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the roofing industry and his own business, Green and Heritage Roofing. As a business coach, mentor and change management practitioner, Chris’s achievements include working to change the public’s perception of the roofing industry; surviving through a recession; starting his own training school; and propelling the solar roofing industry through a fruitful appearance on the BBC’s Dragons Den. As part of the Solar Trade Association’s Technical Roofing Group for the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), Chris deals with technical skills in relation to how solar mechanical fixings are integrated into a roof surface and roof structure. He is also part of the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education, as a Construction Route Panel member, which maps out the construction training skills and the delivery of the construction skills (it includes all elements of roofing) for the future 2022-2025 in apprenticeships, T levels and technical skills.

Gary Lyons, Managing Director , Essex Metal Roofing

From the old-school of metal roofing, Gary Lyons started his career by undertaking a plumbing apprenticeship in a large construction company, which came to an end when he successfully completed the leadwork on the headquarters of the Lead Development Association at 34 Berkeley Square in London.

The advanced City and Guilds qualifications Gary gained quickly propelled him towards his aim of working in the lead and hard metal roofing industry. Now the managing director of Essex Metal Roofing, his 48 years’ experience has given him a further strong working knowledge of all other aspects of roofing.  

Gary’s work ranges from residential projects, some of which has featured in programmes such as ‘Building the Dream’, to heritage projects including the copper cupola on the Campanile in Kew Gardens, the copper dome on the Old Bailey, the stainless steel cupola on Saffron Walden Castle, the copper dome on Scotch House in London, as well as works on Kensington Palace, Clarence House, the Tower of London, the Duchess of Kent Mausoleum (Frogmore House), Chelsea Barracks and countless cathedrals and churches.

Gary’s experience has also led to him tutoring others in leadwork and hard metal roofing to NVQ level.

John Mercer, Independent Consultant

Independent consultant John Mercer has more than 40 years’ experience in pitched roofing. In 1985, he joined Sandtoft Roof Tiles as a sales representative, and in 1992, he started the company’s technical department, which enabled him to develop detailed knowledge of the use of roofing materials and systems, together with all relevant standards and building regulations. This included designing and writing specifications for complete roofing systems. John has also designed many roofing accessory products and systems in that time, including an online technical tool for estimating, roof tile fixing calculating and specification writing. For the last 27 years, John has been a member of several industry committees and expert groups, responsible for writing and revising British and European roofing standards. He was also chairman of the Roof Tile Association technical committee for eight years until 2017. Since May 2018, John continues to work in the industry as an independent consultant.

Chris Miller, Managing Director , The Roofing Corporation

Chris Miller, managing director of The Roofing Corporation has more than 30 years’ experience in the roofing industry. The successful family-run business specialises in traditional slating, handmade clay tiles, specialist lead works and various flat roof coverings. Currently employing 12 full-time employees, which includes four CITB apprentices, The Roofing Corporation prides itself on offering bespoke methods, such as adding personal touches to jobs to make them unique. Chris is passionate about training and up-skilling to a professional level, believing you should never stop learning.

Stewart Rowles, Director, Master Roofers UK

An experienced roofer and roof restoration specialist, Stewart Rowles has worked in the heritage roofing sector for over 20 years. He has worked on many prestigious buildings and projects, specialising in ornate leadwork and heritage slating and tiling, among other traditional skills. Stewart is also managing director at Master Roofers UK, an online community of 11,500 roofers and industry personnel. Even though Stewart is still carrying out roofing projects throughout the country, he is now heavily focused on raising the profile of roofers and roofing-based education in the UK. He writes roofing related articles for construction-based publications, and also has his own online video and content series on social media and YouTube called ‘The Rowles Report’, where he highlights the UK roofing industry and shares case studies about interesting work, technical advice and debate key issues.