Junior Achievement Special Section
Junior Achievement Special Section
Rain Proof Roofing and the Reillys
More than half a century of community support

or nearly sixty years Rain Proof Roofing has been an integral part of Alaska’s business community. Founded in 1962 by Jack Markley, the company is owned and operated today by Pat and April Reilly (née Markley). The couple, who started dating in high school, are significant contributors to nonprofit organizations throughout their community, says Flora Teo, president of Junior Achievement, noting that the Reilly’s were chosen as 2020 Alaska Business Hall of Fame Laureates “for their significant contributions to the growth of Alaska’s economy and demonstrated commitment to the principals that Junior Achievement teaches young people—financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship.”

Rain Proof Roofing’s investment in Alaska starts with creating jobs, employing between 60 and 100 workers depending on the season, and by purchasing roofing supplies locally. It goes a step further through their support of nonprofit organizations including Junior Achievement of Alaska, Boys & Girls Clubs of Anchorage, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, Bean’s Café, and United Way. The company sponsored Junior Achievement programs for 280 students during the 2019-2020 school year, Teo says.

Pat Reilly—who started running the company as its president in 1978—officially took over at Rain Proof Roofing in the early ‘80s after buying out April’s father’s share of the company. The family company has grown steadily over the years from a six-truck operation in the early ‘70s to fifty some trucks today, providing roofing peace of mind to homeowners in communities throughout Anchorage, Wasilla, and the Kenai Peninsula.

During the nomination process, Rain Proof Roofing demonstrated unique qualities that helped make the company and its owners stand out. “[The company] provides outstanding service and support to customers all over the state—which is no easy feat in Alaska. With projects from the North Slope to Southeast, from the roof on your home to the Military Mall on Elmendorf Air Force Base, Rain Proof Roofing maintains a standard of excellence across the board,” says Teo.

It was also Rain Proof Roofing’s “above-average commitment to the highest quality of service for their customers” that prompted the Reilly’s business peers to nominate them for the Alaska Business Hall of Fame. “This standard garnered national attention and earned Rain Proof Roofing the Centurion Award—a national recognition given by Carlisle SynTec Systems to honor companies that have 100 projects that have earned a perfect ten. Rain Proof Roofing was the first roofing company to ever receive that honor.

“Peers also cited Rain Proof Roofing’s long-standing commitment to the community,” Teo says.

A Q&A with Junior Achievement:
Junior Achievement: What opportunities led to the early success of your business?
Pat & April Reilly: In the late ‘70s, early ‘80s, Rain Proof ventured into federal, state, and municipal (which was then borough) work—this changed the dynamic of the company and provided the opportunity to grow the business and the ability to retain employees year-round.

JA: Do you believe there is value in educating young people about free enterprise?
P&A Reilly: Absolutely; free enterprise is an avenue to work hard to improve one’s financial position in life. It teaches young people to make decisions based on how much effort they are willing to put forth to make that happen. For most who value the concept of free enterprise, it is often hard to understand those who are content to live off of subsidies that are paid for by others. [We] believe that this is an issue that future generations will have to be more involved in.

JA: What can schools and parents do to ensure that young people don’t encounter financial pitfalls?
P&A Reilly: Very early on in a young person’s life, it is crucial that they understand the crippling effect debt has on a person’s ability to get ahead financially. Debt drastically limits a person’s ability to accumulate wealth and almost always extends the length of one’s working years.

JA: What can we do to prepare young people to succeed in a global economy?
P&A Reilly: Help them understand that, with today’s technology and internet capabilities, borders between states and countries are less of a factor than they used to be. Many industries are no longer defined by where a product is made but instead of how soon can the product be delivered to someone’s doorstep.

JA: What accomplishments are you most proud of?
P&A Reilly: That we’ve raised two sons that we are both proud of. That we have a wonderful and caring daughter-in-law and are very fortunate to have two young adult grandsons that are working and/or going to school and a third who is active in school sports. Business related, we have both been awarded the Associated General Contractors Hard Hat award, which is recognition within our industry, and have also been recognized by Camp Fire and Boys & Girls Club as strong community supporters.

JA: What do you want your legacy to be?
P&A Reilly: To be loved by family and friends. To be respected by our employees, customers, and business associates. To be known as someone who values and supports the place we call home. And to be remembered as someone who truly values the employees that made Rain Proof the company that it is today.