Earl Stewart Is a Roofing MVP Because of His People Skills

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Elliott Roofing's award-winning field worker is more than just the average roofing specialist.

Earl Stewart fell while trying to grab the ridge of a roof because his rope broke during the Oklahoma City area's worst hailstorm in decades in 2010. Stewart slid down the roof and landed on the concrete sidewalk approximately 20 feet below the roof. He got right back up and fixed the roof.

Last year, Stewart donated his labor to fix the roof of the Edmond, Okla., home of a woman who was broke after she was ripped off by unscrupulous roofers.

Stewart has also fixed roofs for Habitat for Humanity and fixed roofs in Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria and Hungary after selling his roofing company and moving his family from Oklahoma to become a church leader, teacher, pastor and songwriter. He lived in Switzerland and Germany from 1982 through 1986.

Stewart, 62, has had a very interesting life because he is a people person who happens to also be skilled at building and fixing roofs. The combination of people and roofing skills has resulted in him being one of three winners of the San Antonio-based The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ 2013 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards. The other two winners were from Rochester, N.Y. and Bloomington, Minn.

"Earl Stewart's commitment to helping people regardless of the circumstances made him stand out as someone who understands how important roofs can be," said Bennett Judson, the executive director of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress.

“Earl came out in the rain and patched my leaking roof,” wrote an Oklahoma City resident who identified herself only as Cindy in a testimonial on the website of Stewart’s company, Elliott Roofing (http://www.elliottroofs.com), which has offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. “He’s an angel.”

Stewart’s title for Elliott Roofing is field worker, but he is much more than that.

“I am usually the last Elliott person our customers see, and it is my responsibility to receive and handle any concerns or complaints they may have about their new roof,” he said in an online interview about his award.

Patty Hinson certainly had no complaints. She is the woman whose roof was leaking after she was scammed by another roofer. Elliott Roofing donated the labor to help her, while ABC Supply donated the materials and a local handyman named Cliff Ellis installed new windows, according to a report by Oklahoma City’s KFOR-TV. Hinson told KFOR that the repair work was “miraculous” and “takes your breath away.”

“It’s made me want to do more for others,” she said. “It’s made me so grateful and so happy.”

Stewart became a roofer in 1968 when he was 17 years old because he needed money desperately after being cited for 13 traffic violations in one evening and his brother-in-law, who owned a construction company, needed roofers. He worked in roofing while he was a high school and college student, but also became very spiritual and graduated Trinity Bible College.

After serving in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and marrying his wife Peggy, he started Faith Roofing with a friend in 1973. “Leaky roof? Faith will fix it!” was the company’s slogan.

One of Stewart’s workers at Faith was a young man named Keith Elliott. When Stewart decided that faith outside the roofing company came first and he moved to Europe with Peggy and his three sons (the Stewarts had a fourth son and a daughter while they were in Europe), he referred all of his customers to Elliott, who started his own roofing business.

When Stewart returned to Oklahoma, Elliott hired him as Elliott Roofing’s lone salesman. In 1992, Stewart started his second company, Integrity Roofing, but he returned to Elliott Roofing in 2001.

Stewart has always been active in whatever community he lived in because he is a people person. In 1999, he was elected to the Putnam City School Board.

“Apart from roofing, I pastor a House Church, play competitive tennis, golf, and enjoy visiting kids and grandkids,” Stewart added.

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Gina Jennings

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