Take a look at the first of three in-booth interview episodes from the International Roofing Expo (IRE) 2017. In this episode, we interviewed IKO Residential Product Development Manager, Mark Okland

We had an amazing time at IRE with a number of great in-booth activities, including: our #IKOVotersChoice campaign, in-booth photo booth and Get to Know IKO giveaways. In the midst of those activities, we had the opportunity to chat with some of our executives about some frequently asked questions and some little-known details. Check out the IKO IRE in-booth interview series!

Mark Okland – Residential Product Development Manager

I’m Mark Okland, and I’m the Residential Product Development Manager for North America. Basically, my main, primary focus is to make sure that we have a good pipeline of new products for our customer base.

Q: What do you see as some of the upcoming trends in residential roofing for 2017 and 2018?

A: We’ve seen these trends kind of happening, but what we’re really seeing continue is the customer looking for different colors and styles when making their roofing choices. We’re seeing that and also, contractors are demanding more and more performance out of their products.

Q: What is your favorite IKO asphalt shingle and what is your favorite color blend?

A: Speaking of performance, my favorite shingle is IKO Dynasty® with ArmourZone®; my favorite color in Dynasty is Sedona. It’s a great looking shingle; it has a really good high-definition look to it and really ‘pops’ on the roof. I will tell you this, though: there are some new colors coming out with Dynasty that I’m really excited about, so stay tuned for those!

Q: How long have you been with the company?

A: I’ve been with IKO for 13 years.

Q: What other role(s) did you perform for IKO before your current position?

A: I was a regional sales manager for IKO in the mid-west region for 12 years, before moving into this role as product development manager back in January 2016.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working with IKO?

A: IKO is a family-owned business and their decisions are based on the ‘long-term’ approach. You can see that in the decisions they make and also in the re-investment they make within the company.

Q: What does a day in the life look like for the Residential Product Development Manager?

A: I’m out in the field, working with salespeople. I’m also meeting with customers and having meetings and focus groups. I’m also, on a daily and weekly basis, working with various functional groups within the organization to bring a product from the start phase to the launch phase as effectively as possible.

Q: What do you love most about IRE?

A:  IRE is a great show. It really targets our key end-user customer, which is the contractor. They love coming to this show, we promote this show leading up to the IRE, and if you look at the time of year – it’s the first quarter, it’s a great time to introduce new products. Obviously, I get excited about that as a product development manager.

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