J&B Installations, Inc. Commercial & Industrial Roofing Contractors; Celebrating 40 Years of Success

By Sarah Hall

J&B Installations has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The roofing company got its start as a two-man operation in 1981. Now, celebrating their 40th anniversary, they employ upwards of 100 people during peak season and are known as one of the most reputable and safest roofing companies in Upstate New York.

Majority owner and President Robert Parker says he owes that growth to his team. “We employ good people” he said. “Our company is productive and safe because of our employees’ commitment—it’s a team effort.”

J&B specializes in commercial and industrial flat roofing. Their 16,000-square-foot corporate office/warehouse in Skaneateles Falls includes an in-house sheet metal/fabrication shop and a top-of-the-line plan room using cutting edge estimating software. They also have satellite offices in Ithaca and Rochester and are looking to increase their presence in those areas. All roofers, foremen, and superintendents are OSHA-certified. J&B’s full staff of 12 roofing crews, facilitating a 25-vehicle fleet, including its own crane and 8- 42’ to 55’ forklifts, allow the company to provide clients with complete roofing services and 24/7 roofing repairs.

J&B’s 5,000-plus clients include office parks, warehouses, supermarkets, schools, municipalities, and production facilities, among others. “We’ve performed work on over 200 Aldi’s stores,” Parker said. “Aldi’s insists on quality when selecting a contractor to install in their region. They chose us and that’s a huge compliment.” 

J&B’s reputation has netted the firm a number of clients. “Most of our work is word of mouth,” Parker said, “which is the best form of advertising. We strive to exceed clients’ expectations and have gained many loyal customers as a result.” 

The company, which typically does work all across New York State, has ventured into Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as well. They even followed a client to Colorado Springs. “We were doing work for a company in Fulton,” Parker said. “They had a roof problem at their plant in Colorado Springs and they were very happy with our work here, so they asked us to re-roof their plant in Colorado. It was a new type of long-distance challenge we had yet to experience, and the crews and superintendents that ran the project ultimately brought it in on time and budget.

The firm has taken on some significant projects, including the 1 million-square-foot Tops Distribution Center in Lancaster, New York, and a $5 million roofing project for the Webster Center School District.  J&B will be starting a $4.9 million roof project for Ithaca City School District, a $750,000 project for Community Hospital in Hamilton and a $650,000 project for JMA in Syracuse, to name a few upcoming projects in 2021.

It’s a far cry from Parker’s kitchen table, where he first drew up plans for his own company back in 1981. As a 23-year-old newlywed who had worked for Rochester Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. for three years after college, Parker couldn’t find anyone local who was hiring. So he decided to start his own company, “to be outside,” he said. When the business outgrew his “home office,” he moved into an office building down the street, where he slowly added staff, an administrative assistant and an estimator.


In 1988, the warehouse caught fire after being struck by lightning, making it unusable. In 1989 the current office/warehouse was built. In 1993, Mark Anderson, the owner of a local competitor, came on board as vice president and part owner, and he has been with the company since. By 2014 the company had again outgrown its space. A 6,000-square-foot addition was completed that year. Keeping up with the consistently changing industry and company growth has kept Parker and his employees extremely busy over the last 40 years.

Longevity has also brought recognition to J&B; the company is the recipient of numerous honors. J&B has been named Firestone Master Contractor 25 times. “The award is only bestowed on the top 125 contractors in North America,” Parker said. “It’s based on the quality of installation and workmanship.”

J&B has also been a Sarnafil Partners Club member for more than two decades, receiving Sarnafil’s Elite Contractor Award for a number of years. In addition, J&B has earned Carlisle Syntec’s Excellence in Single Ply Award, which Parker said is only awarded for “perfect work.”

Parker said his employees undergo rigorous training, both to ensure they’re producing top quality work and to guarantee everyone’s safety.  “We are a safe company,” Parker said.  “We preach to them by saying, ‘we want you to come to work on time, rested ready to work, and we want you to go home to your family safe.’”

Community and family are important to J&B, which is why the company makes sure to give back on a regular basis. The firm has done pro bono work for a number of local charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Southern Cayuga Observatory, the Elbridge Fire Station, and the American Legion Post 317 in Skaneateles Falls. And their generosity doesn’t stop there.

“We like to give back to the community,” Parker said.  “We donate to a variety of causes.  Locally we’ve contributed to the Christmas Basket for the elderly and to the Jordan-Elbridge Central School District, which helps families in need of Christmas presents for kids.  We’ve donated to several cancer charities and have helped raise suicide awareness, both of which have personally affected our J&B family. We also try to take care of our employees if they need something, such as help with funeral expenses or food for a benefit. We try to give where we can.”

Parker said J&B has been fortunate during the pandemic to not have faced as many losses as other businesses. “We were considered essential,” he said. “We had a lot of work going on. As far as the pandemic went, yes, it affected us somewhat in sales and with labor. Navigating the legalities of the ever-changing landscape and day-to-day updates in the beginning took a lot of focus and our office team really came to the plate. We wanted to ensure that our staff was safe and compliant. We got hurt a little bit, but not as harshly as other companies. Your smaller businesses, they really took a hit.”

That’s not to say the business is without challenges. As the new administration takes over, Parker said there is some concern that the tax bill passed as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Acts may be repealed. The tax bill allows for 100 percent expensing of a new roof in the first year up to $1 million per property instead of the old 39-year depreciation schedule it replaced.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act also helps with the cost of bringing existing buildings up to the new energy code. The new building code requires R-30 minimum insulation on all new construction and re-roofs. Parker estimates that 90 percent of existing buildings presently do not meet the code.

Parker also states that “multiple metal buildings/roofs built in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s are leaking and are at the end of their life cycle.” These buildings are easily re-roofed using fill insulation between the flutes and adding additional insulation to bring the system up to the new energy code. The building owner then receives a 20- to 30-year leak-free warranty from the roof system manufacturer.

As for the future of the company, Parker says it looks pretty green. “People are getting more conscious about the environment, which they should,” he said. Parker is so invested in the green movement that he also owns a green roofing company. Chatfield Green Roofing supplies the northeast with Xeroflor mats grown at Chatfield Farms in Elbridge. These mats consist of sedum, which are flowering succulent plants meant to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Northeast. The mats are non-biodegradable, lightweight, low maintenance, economical and can be removed 10, 15, or 20 years down the road to perform roof service/maintenance and then be reinstalled, making them a truly “sustainable” product. Chatfield and Xeroflor have supplied their products on a number of large-scale green roof projects throughout the East Coast, including the 294,000-square-foot Jacob Javits Convention Center roof in New York City. Other recognizable landmarks using these living mats are Binghamton City Hall, the Empire State Building and Duke University Medical Facility. Eventually, Parker said he plans to retire from J&B and devote himself full time to Chatfield Farms, but that’s still at least two to three years away. Right now, he’s fully invested in J&B.

“I’m really happy about our reputation as roofing contractors,” he said. “I’m proud of my team. They really work hard to get to a common goal and they do a very, very good job.” 

Parker marveled at how far the company has come since the day he sat down at his kitchen table to sketch out the plan for his company. 

“I cannot believe this is our company,” he said. “Our employees are here for a long, long time. We have people that have been here for over 30 years and we count multiple generations among our crews. Our CFO, Lynn Proulx, has been with me for 33 years. There are several other employees that can say the same. We have had very little turnover… I am proud of that fact and when I see my employees living in nice homes, supporting their families that now, in some instances include grandkids, I feel like we’ve all grown up together. We’ve helped support a lot of families, and it’s nice to see that.” 

The business is transforming to the younger generation. Chris Bacon, Parker’s nephew, will be taking over as majority owner in the near future with Brian Anderson, Anderson’s son, taking over his interest. This will happen over the next few years but both have been with the company for 20 and 15 years respectfully. “No one knows what the future holds, but one thing’s for sure—J&B will continue to provide the best quality and workmanship for years to come,” Parker says. “I have loved coming to work every day even after 40 years.”


Tim DeLany joins Five Star Equipment as its Used Equipment Manager


Camden Group Conquers the Difficult Projects

By: Tami Scott

As the sole shareholder of Camden Group, Ken Scherrieble’s company has earned itself a prestigious place in the world of environmental services and infrastructure restoration. Established in 2011, clients have come to know it as the solution to their most halting problems.      

Camden Group specializes in water and wastewater operations; grouting and waterproofing; and infrastructure restoration, including manhole rehabilitation and concrete rehabilitation and coatings. Its northeast and mid-Atlantic client base is comprised of municipalities, utility companies, and public sectors in the northeast and mid-Atlantic.

“Over the years we have become known as the firm you call when others have tried and failed,” Scherrieble said. “We have an exceptional corp of experienced craftsmen with well over 200 years of experience in water infiltration. We have been on many projects where the client or engineer has said there is no way we could do the job, only to hear them exclaim they would have never believed it if they did not see it with their own eyes.”

These jobs have included manhole restoration projects in the Metro NY/NJ area and in the suburbs of Philadelphia where water is pouring in and engineers are convinced nothing can be done to fix them. When Camden Group comes in, they turn it around and make it work. When the aquarium at the Dream Mall of America in East Rutherford, NJ was leaking and nobody could stop it, they called on Camden Group. The team got it to stop.

“Those are the fun things that we get into when other people just can’t solve the problem,” he said. “Pretty much anything that’s got to do with water moving, we can figure it out — [we can] stop it or move it in another direction.”

National recognition

Just last year, Camden Group earned national recognition for its role in a progressive pipeline project with the Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) in the Metro NY/NJ area.

It involved establishing a cured-in-place lining (CIPL) of a 573 lf, 42-inch, high pressure cast-iron gas main leaking under the Garden State Parkway at Central Avenue Bridge in East Orange, New Jersey. Several challenging obstacles had to be overcome to complete the project, one of which was water infiltrating the deeply buried gas lines. Scherrieble said they had to find a way to stop the water before a liner could be put in place.

“We created a means by which to drill through and then grout the pipe so that the grout surrounded the pipe from the outside to stop the infiltration of water,” he said, and due to the complex pipe configuration, Scherrieble’s crew had to travel inside the pipe on a skateboard-type conveyance, on their backs, down 300 feet at a 45-degree angle, then straight, and then another 300 feet down, before they could begin their “patchwork.”  

According to project officials, CIPL was the only option, yet lining a very large 42-inch cast-iron pipe had never before been done.  Camden Group played a critical role in the project’s successful outcome.

This PSE&G project was named the 2020 Trenchless Technology Project of the Year runner up and was showcased at the National No Dig Show. It was also set to be highlighted in Denver but the pandemic pushed it to a virtual show like many others.

“We were proud to be a part of it,” Scherrieble said.

Holistic approach

Unique to other companies, Camden Group began as a water and wastewater operations firm and over the years was involved as a client for the infrastructure restoration services that it now provides.

“That experience allowed us to see the good and the bad and since our focus as operators is assuring clean water, we used that experience and determined that we could perform the services we were contracting better (in our mind),” Scherrieble said. “We take a more holistic approach to the contracting side since we were, and in many cases still are, the client of these construction services. This gives us a different perspective and allows us to work with clients showing them how to meet their I&I, water intrusion, coatings, or soil stabilization goals.”

Large company expertise, small company values

Camden Group is based in Camden, NY, which is part of Central New York in Oneida County. Here they have a 9,000 square foot warehouse for the infrastructure restoration division and a separate 2,000 square foot office which serves as the company headquarters. In 2019, the company opened a second location in Butler, New Jersey, located in the Metro NY/NJ area. That location specializes in chemical grouting, soil stabilization, waterproofing, and concrete repair. The addition welcomed a 26-year veteran to the waterproofing division, and grew the employee base from three to 13. Due to this new and enjoyed growth, Scherrieble is on the lookout for more space in the New Jersey area, specifically, about two thousand square feet for both an office for staff and a warehouse to accommodate vehicles and product they utilize.

A family-oriented company, Camden Group has 38 full-time employees. The number climbs to about 50 during the peak summer season. Scherrieble takes pride in providing large company expertise with small company values. Each year, employees and their spouses gather for a large holiday party (minus 2020) where Scherrieble gives everybody a chance to meet and get to know each other.

“The company is stretched over such a distance that sometimes people think they’re just a core group of four to six, they don’t realize that there are 38 people that are part of the organization,” he said, adding he was disappointed he couldn’t bring his team together as often as he had planned last year due to the new COVID-19 protocols. He looks forward to bringing the family back together again.

Company philosophy

The Camden Group company philosophy, which Scherrieble attributes to his German upbringing, stands out front and center in the work they do every day, no matter how big or small is the job.

“No. 1, if you’re not gonna do it right, don’t do it at all. No. 2, if you are going to do it, do it right and don’t do it a second time,” he said, noting his grandfather was first-generation German. “Sums it up. Our philosophy is very much that philosophy.”         

Scherrieble’s father, Otto, owned his own machining company for which Scherrieble did some work. In a humorous yet accurate account of his family’s work ethic, he told of an encounter he had with an inspector from the National Regulatory Commission (NRC) while touring his father’s facility. It takes place in the QA/QC room:

“[The inspector] says to me, ‘What’s your sample size for your QA/QC program?’ And I said, ‘100 percent.’ ‘I don’t think you understand me. Out of 100 pieces, how many pieces do you measure to make sure they meet the QA/QC?’ ‘One hundred percent!’ ‘Nooo, you don’t understand me. I don’t mean what measurements you take. I mean how many of the pieces do you take? So, if you made 100 pieces, how many of those pieces do you measure?’ And I said, ‘100 percent!’ And he looked at me, and my father was standing in the doorway, and my father says, ‘Did you see the name on the sign when you came in? OttoTech. My name is Otto. Every single piece that leaves this facility is measured.’ And the NRC inspector turns around and he says to me, ‘Okay, 100 percent!’”

   “That’s the way I was brought up,” Scherrieble said. “You do it right. You do it right the first time.”

Ken Scherrieble has been in the water and wastewater treatment and infrastructure business since 1991. He is a Certified 4A NYS wastewater treatment plant operator and a member of various organizations including NACE (now known as AMPP) WEF, NYWEA, NYSRWA and AWWA.

To learn more about Camden Group, visit https://camdengroupusa.com/.



Tim DeLany joins Five Star Equipment as its Used Equipment Manager

Advocating for the Construction Industry

Earl R. Hall, Executive Director

Return on investment (ROI).  How many times have you asked yourself what is the ROI on various items?  Kitchen renovation, professional Association membership, club membership, bathroom renovation, etc.  Many people want to know, which may not always be easy to quantify, but typically you can determine an estimated ROI.

Association Executives had better keep ROI at the top of their priority list when evaluating the goods and services delivered to a membership of individuals or employers.  While many of the services the Syracuse Builders Exchange (“SBE”) delivers to the construction industry, our member employers and their employees are well known, one not so well-known service is our advocacy efforts.  How does one quantify the value of “advocacy” into the ROI determination?  It is a good question which I will address.

Advocating on behalf of the construction industry and our member employers remains a vital service SBE provides.  Although SBE does not have a lobbyist, as Executive Director I do participate with my construction industry Association peers across New York in identifying items of importance to the industry throughout New York State.  The group consists of construction industry Association executives from western New York, Rochester, central/northern New York, the Mohawk Valley, Albany, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island.

Collaboration among a small group of Association Executives has proven beneficial as our strength in numbers approach has illustrated a unified message to elected officials and bureaucrats in Albany.  I would be remis to say as a group we have any political power to overcome opponents which generally donate thousands of dollars to the same elected officials; however, we do have the intellect to deliver a thoughtful message that is not only in the best interest of the construction industry, but in most cases, taxpayers.

Examples of successful advocacy efforts in 2020 include implementation of new Substantial Completion legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Substantial Completion is now defined by law and will prevent project owners from withholding retainage for extended periods of time after a project has been fully occupied or utilized for its intended purposes. 

SBE successfully advocated for changing onerous provisions in State University Construction Fund (SUCF) project specifications relating to COVID-19 contractor liability on job sites.  The language essentially stated contractors would be responsible for any Executive Orders or orders by public health officials which were not present at the time of bidding but may be imposed during the project.  Those unknown costs would be the burden of the contractor.  SBE opposed such language and I engaged in discussions with SUCF legal counsel.  As a result, SUCF amended the language to mitigate the contractor’s liability on all SUCF projects, including the SUNY Oswego project in question.

Not all advocacy efforts result in favorable outcomes.   I remain frustrated that those of us advocating for Labor Law 240 reform (Scaffold Law) have failed.  The trial lawyers lobby and the lobbying efforts of organized labor continue to be too powerful to overcome.  In addition, some legislators in Albany are also attorneys who remain very reluctant to remove this absolute liability statute.  New York remains the only state that maintains an absolute liability statute.  Reform advocates simply request New York remove the absolute liability standard and replace such with a “comparative negligence standard”.  As long as our elected officials who continue to maintain control in the New York State Assembly and Senate, Labor Law reform is highly unlikely. 

Although New York State Labor Law reform is highly unlikely, I am working with Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) in supporting his effort to remove the absolute liability standard on all federally funded projects in New York and replace such with the comparative negligence standard.  As you can imagine, unfortunately, he is not getting the support from his colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

Quantifying the ROI of advocacy efforts is difficult, especially in instances as illustrated above.  I suspect the ROI is valued differently and varies from member to member; however, it remains important the construction industry and our member employers understand that such efforts will continue as representing the best interest of contractors and the industry is outlined in the SBE By-Laws.

Advocacy efforts will remain one of the top priorities at SBE.  Dues dollars are not taken for granted but are appreciated especially during the tail-end of a pandemic, and challenging economic times.  While the pandemic may be retreating and our return to “normal” just around the corner, the economic damage done by the pandemic and our elected officials in Albany will be felt for quite some time. 

I welcome and encourage contractors, engineers, architects, and project owners to contact me with items of importance.  All items will be reviewed and discussed to determine if such impacts the industry throughout New York, or just at the local level. 



Tim DeLany joins Five Star Equipment as its Used Equipment Manager

Three Pillars of a Good Cybersecurity Plan; The best way to prepare for a cyber-attack is to know exactly what you would do if one occurred.

By Dennis Ast, CPUC, CCIC, OneGroup

Cyber-attacks and their corresponding insurance claims are on the rise. We all spent more time in the virtual space last year than we ever had before, making it imperative that we really think about the increased risk that virtual work, school and living presents.

As our lives rapidly shifted into the digital space last March, hackers got to work. Cloud breaches, “Zoom bombing” and misleading links promising coronavirus cures and statistics costs companies billions in claims and ransom payments. Virtual schooling and telecommuting forced cybersecurity professionals to work in high gear.

You should be thinking about your cybersecurity plan more than ever, and if you are, make sure you are including cybersecurity measures, contingency planning, and risk transfer with a solid cyber insurance policy.  The worst time to try and establish a cybersecurity plan, or to put an insurance policy in place is after the breach has occurred.

Cybersecurity measures

Make sure you have done all you can to prevent cyber incidents. 


Keep your software up to date, use and be familiar with multi-factor authentication and strong password protocols, and train your team regularly on how to spot phishing or malware attacks. Install reputable NextGen anti-virus software and establish protocols for remote employees. Keep your data backed up and test these backups often.

Be sure to consider all possible goals of a cyber attacker, too. Some want money, others want trade secrets or patents, and still others could want something entirely different. Be sure your risk management plan addresses any possible motive.

Contingency planning

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we need strong contingency plans for every circumstance. Talk with your team about what you would do if you could no longer access your network or files. Know how you would reach your team, your clients and how you would access your backed up data if necessary.

Risk transfer with a solid cyber insurance policy

Cyber-attacks can be incredibly costly. After you are through paying for legal services, tech services, fines & penalties, ransom, etc., you could be looking at a bill in the millions. Cyber insurance can cover your business’ cyber liability, the costs of restoring or repairing your systems or data and more. Insurance carriers often impose certain exclusions and sublimits, though, so be sure to work with a trustworthy broker who can explain your policies to you in a complete and understandable way.

In the end, the most important phase of your cyber response plan is knowing what you will do immediately after you discover it. Know who you will call first and know what you will need to ask them. You do not have to face these incidents alone, and in fact, you should not face these incidents alone. Have the phone numbers of people like the police, your lawyer, your insurance broker and policy number and cyber claim reporting handy. Make sure you have got a team that will have your back if the worst were to happen to you.

For more information on Cybersecurity you may reach out to Dennis Ast, Senior Account Executive Cyber Risk Specialist at OneGroup.  He can be reached at DAst@onegroup.com or 716-572-2410.



Tim DeLany joins Five Star Equipment as its Used Equipment Manager