- How did you become involved in this industry?
I was working as a steeplejack restoring historic steeples, towers and domes around the United States. This required me to be away from home a lot. My daughter was two years old, and my son was a newborn. Being away was hard on the family. I answered an ad in the paper for a carpenter position and was hired by Ted Jenkins. Ted had a concrete company at the time, though he had done some insurance restoration work in South Florida when he first came back from Vietnam and remembered it to be a better gig than concrete. We later formed Allied Fire & Flood, and the rest is history.
- As a professional and instructor who holds the CR designation, how important is it for individuals in this industry to consider obtaining that designation?
I earned my CR #106 in 1992. I learned a tremendous amount through that process. Two things stand out to me. One was the validation of the things I had learned through the years working in the industry and my training and the confidence I felt as a result. The other — and this is just one of Martin King’s gifts of wisdom to me — was to see myself as a professional within a specialized professional industry, not just a contractor who did fire work. The certified restorer designation helps to validate your level of professionalism and distinguish you from the herd. As a CR, you become part of a unique fraternity of professionals committed to being exceptional in their field.
- What are the greatest changes you’ve seen in this industry in the last 10 years?
The influence of third-party administrators and the reliance on estimating software. Unfortunately, knowledge, skill, common sense and too often the integrity of the claim process are lost to this market dynamic.
- Who have your mentors been in the industry?
My first business partner Ted Jenkins, Martin King and Cliff Zlotnick.
- What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
I am a published free-fall photographer.
This article was shared in C&R with the permission of the Restoration Industry Association.