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Who Are The Real Heroes?

January 11, 2005
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On a recent trip to England to attend IICRC-shareholder NCCA's annual convention and spend a few days at IICRC's United Kingdom headquarters, I was treated like a real-life hero.

It felt much like last year, when Past President Lee Zimmerman and myself traveled to Japan in support of Japanese cleaning and restoration firms and registrants. Lee and I had our pictures taken with at least 40 different business people that were die-hard IICRC supporters. The truth of the matter is, Lee and I are just typical people in the cleaning and restoration industry.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the real-life heroes in this industry. This past year, we saw several Category 4 and 5 hurricanes hit the southeastern U.S. Some say this is just part of living in the South. But for the home and business owners in Florida and the surrounding states, it wreaked havoc on their lives and properties. All the while, business as usual at the IICRC, except for one thing:

Our Standards committees are bogged down. The Applied Structural Drying (ASD) TAC meetings are missing people, and a lot of people are slow at answering their e-mail. Some are not available at all.

What does this tell you? That IICRC committee members are the absolute experts in the industry! They are the ones working, supervising or providing equipment for the restoration process in the South.

The list is endless, IICRC board member Howard Wolfe had to leave the recent semi-annual IICRC board of directors meeting to serve his clients in Florida. Restoration expert and S500 Co-Chair Rusty Amarante has missed several IICRC standards revision meetings to lead his staff in the post-hurricane cleanup. Water-restoration expert Pat Dooley missed several ASD TAC meetings because of work in Florida.

The list goes on and on: Sonny Bass, Jeff Bishop, Kurt Bolden, Steve Swan, Chuck Dewald and so many others have come into the spotlight because of the serious damage in the South. The list of master textile cleaners and master water restorers is very long, much too long to mention all the men and women fill the ranks of the IICRC.

You can be certain that someone you know, at home or abroad, in this great industry of ours has been involved with the rebuilding and restoration of property after the wrath Mother Nature threw our way in the past year. But wait. There is even more! The entire IICRC is made up of heroes. Yes, real-life heroes are the people that volunteer for your IICRC.

OK, you are probably wondering why I am bringing this up now. I recently returned from Las Vegas where we completed our semi-annual meeting, held in conjunction with the Connections Convention and Trade Show, Nov. 2-4, 2004. Any time I see the thousands of professionals at an industry event, it makes me realize how lucky we are to have the volunteer base that we have.

But it does not stop there. There is an opportunity for everyone to volunteer inside the IICRC. All anyone needs to do is ask. Dozens of committees and task forces are always looking for help. Give a call or volunteer to participate during an industry convention. Your help will be greatly appreciated, and you too can be a real hero of the industry.

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