Through my work over the past 15 or more years in property restoration, I have appreciated the good work that our friends at Restoration & Remediation Magazine (R&R) do. Through their monthly publication, blog posts and collaboration with industry professionals R&R and their parent company BNP Media produces resources that help bolster the efforts of the restoration community. We recently saw a post from Restoration & Remediation Editor in Chief Michelle Blevins regarding a conference that the BNP Media group will be producing in October of 2018, Preparing to Respond, so we wanted to follow up to learn more about this endeavor. Our thanks to Michelle for taking the time to share with us.
Jon Isaacson (IZ Vents): How long has the R&R team been discussing the concept of an annual conference and what was the catalyst for deciding to take this adventure on?
Michelle Blevins (BNP Media): We have actually be talking about this for a couple years now! However, with so many other conferences and events in the restoration industry, we wanted to be sure we were doing something different and something needed, not just trying to add another event to everyone’s already very busy schedules. Everyone’s time is so valuable! R&R is part of BNP Media, a publishing company based in Troy, Michigan; we have an incredible events staff here that has been putting together top-notch, high quality events for decades. Once we honed in on the focus of the conference, we knew the event planning and marketing team would have our back, and they sure have! We are still a full year out from the event, and are confident it will be a success – and valuable to everyone involved.
What is the target audience for the Preparing to Respond conference?
This is a great question! I want to be sure people understand this is NOT about storm chasing, at all. Disasters, big and small, hit close to home more often than they hit far away. I could tell countless stories of restoration companies caught up in disasters at home - like a restoration company in the Carolinas that ended up being at the center of Hurricane Matthew’s devastation, or hit by a tornado outbreak – like Hattiesburg, Mississippi, or the wildfires happening right now in California. The list goes on and on. Some communities are hit with major spring flooding almost every year! At some point, nearly every restoration company will need to know how to “scale up” to respond to a disaster of some magnitude. This conference will teach them how.
Who are the initial collaborators that are assisting you with putting this together?
As I said in the first answer, BNP Media has a fabulous events department. So on top of myself, our National Sales Manager Darlene Balzano, and Publisher Randy Green, we have a whole events staff working on the day-to-day details of this event to make sure it goes off without a hitch!
For those interested in coming what are a few key things you believe they will come away with that will make the trip a worthwhile investment?
I believe they will come away with three key things:
Obviously our nation and our industry has been hit with a heavy storm season this year and you all have been doing a great job of trying to capture the stories and efforts from our property restoration community. Are there a few positive stories that stick out to you from the most recent hurricane response?
Oh my gosh, when I saw the photos of water rescues from Blake Moak at ServiceMaster by Century in Houston, Texas, all I could think is: that is why this industry ROCKS. Isn’t this an industry full of people with servants hearts? When the water was too high after Hurricane Harvey hit to start the drying out process, Blake and his team used trucks and boats to rescue people stranded in their homes. I know other companies did the same. I’m really looking forward to hearing more success stories from Irma and Harvey once things settle down a bit more. In fact, I hope to have a panel of contractors at Preparing to Respond who are willing to share their successes – and failures – doing CAT work.
Read more from R&R regarding positive stories from catastrophe response - Lessons From Hurricane Matthew
Are there a few cautionary tales that stick out to you as well?
From these recent storms, no. But in just the 2.5 years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve heard several stories from people who have lost everything doing CAT work, or who have thought they were going to lose it all. These are also stories we hope to share at Preparing to Respond to help prepare other contractors for the realities of catastrophe work – like just how long it can take to get paid. There are ways to safeguard yourself and your company, and still do catastrophe work!
Read more from BNP Media regarding Cautionary Tales from catastrophe response - The Big Gamble
What are some of the newer resources from R&R that people may not be aware of.
Jon – you ask the BEST questions! First, we currently have a landing page dedicated to information related to responding to Harvey, Irma, and Maria (HERE). Secondly, we have a super awesome new microsite, if you will, dedicated to odor removal HERE. Seriously, that page has anything and everything you could ever need to know about removing odors of any kind!
Read more from Michelle and the team at Restoration & Remediation magazine through the website links in the interview above, follow them on Twitter @RnRMag or LinkedIn. You can also read our prior interview with Michelle for the LFMC facilities management networking group HERE.
Opportunities for development and motivation come in many forms, on June 21st and 22nd 2016, the Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance (PIA) will be bringing their annual Oregon & Idaho EXPO to Eugene, Oregon. PIA primarily assists professionals working in the insurance industry with education, networking and resources but events like these are open to interested individuals who may find value in the two day conference.
The keynote presentation to open Day 2 of the PIA EXPO on Wednesday, June 22nd will cover EPIC NETWORKING: Use Narrative Intelligence to grow and develop your contacts, a topic that has a broad application to anyone engaged in business.
This presentation will be given by Steve Donahue, a motivational speaker and best selling author who, "Grabs your attention and never lets go. His highly interactive and deeply researched presentations touch the heart and soul of corporate purpose and individual motivation." Steve's own epic journey started as a young man when he ventured across the Sahara Desert overland. An experience that has fueled him for over 25 years to share the story of that epic journey to help companies and individuals change and experience epic success.
Steve is a bestselling author and one of the world’s leading experts on the business applications of Narrative Intelligence. His first book, Shifting Sands, has sold over 125,000 copies in half a dozen countries. Steve has spoken to 500 organizations on 4 continents. As a former standup comedian, Steve’s presentations are highly entertaining and packed with easy to implement ideas that produce immediate impact.
Most understand that networking is crucial to success in any business but networking is often an calendar item that doesn't get the time or value that it needs to flourish. Steve Donahue will show you how use Narrative Intelligence to achieve epic results through face-to-face networking and all forms of follow up. To be the hero of your own career you need to become the best supporting actor or actress in the epic tale of others. Instead of learning to “work the room” Steve will show you how to “start a story” that will build your network naturally and effectively with a follow up system that is fun and efficient.
For those interested in attending the Professional Insurance Agents Oregon and Idaho annual EXPO, information and registration details can be found on the PIA website. Utilize the resources available to you, especially when they show up in your backyard.
Eugene Food Truck Fest 2016 will be hosted at Valley River Center (North Lot) on Saturday, June 18th, 2016 and is presented by SELCO Community Credit Union with portions of proceeds designated to benefit the good work of The Eugene Mission.
If you enjoy local street eats, the launch of the annual event will bring together over 25 of Eugene's favorite food truck vendors and will include an opportunity to give your input for Eugene's Best in the Tasting Battle. Launch your summer with family, food, music, fun and the added bonus of supporting a good cause in our community, The Eugene Mission which is a wellness center for our local homeless.
Admission is free and the event will have fun for all ages including a Kid Zone for the young foodies. Local food trucks will compete to win the title of ‘Eugene's Favorite Food Truck’ as 3 local celebrity judges who will be tasting food from each participating vendor. In addition, another truck will be awarded “People’s Choice 2016” for the crowd favorite.
The setting for this event will span the bike path behind Valley River Center with the beautiful backdrop of the Willamette River. Easy access, with plenty of parking. All participating food trucks will be donating a percentage of the proceeds from food and beverage sales to the Eugene Mission which assists over 400 men, women, children and families in need every day through shelter, food, recovery and care.
Eugene Food Truck Fest 2016
Saturday, June 18th
11am - 3pm
Valley River North Parking Lot
293 Valley River Ctr,
Eugene, Oregon 97401
I was excited to be a part of the first ever annual Eugene Young Professionals Summit and am proud to report that the event was everything it was advertised to be.
The vibe was electric, the presentations were inspiring and the material was direct. While Millennails may get a bad wrap throughout the nation, this gathering in Eugene, Oregon on June 2nd of 2016 was a celebration of the efforts of many motivated young professionals sharing stories of battles won, lost and on-going for the development of our community as well as our professional aspirations.
The Eugene Young Professionals Summit was an extension of the fruits of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network and their many partners in the local community. For the Eugene area, the bar has been set rather high for the launch of an event aimed at connecting young professionals and further inspiring their engagement in the local economy.
Since the event was social media charged, this first recap will showcase live tweets highlighting moments from the event. I tried to discipline myself to primarily experience the event, something that can't always be done when you are tweeting every moment, so here are some of the key points. If these grab your attention you can reference my Twitter feed for corresponding photos as well as the links to other young professionals who tweeted throughout the event.
Event Kick Off & Keynote Speaker
This is what millennialism in action looks like. #eugeneypsummit Watch Out!
@jessemthomas speaking at #EugeneYPSummit - secret to success "LARPing" (if you didn't attend you missed it)
Start Up Panel
@upstreamOR @iamcarolina @derekedws @youngmtntea Startup Panel for #EugeneYPSummit
#EugeneYPSummit Start Up Panel - Feel the buzz in Eugene/Springfield, an ecosystem of start ups w/ a sense of balance @eugenerain @nedcocdc
Post Lunch & Young Professionals Panel
Thus far #EugeneYPSummit is everything advertised, well done by all involved
#EugeneYPSummit Young Professionals Panel - @DutchBros @nedcocdc @RolfPrima @JakeWeatherly @PIVOTarch
Frustrated w macro politics, individuals can make an impact at the local level by showing up & entering discussion #INvolved #EugeneYPSummit
@Eugene2030 is a great way to connect with your community and give back while growing your leaderships skills. #eugeneypsummit
Deep Dive: Eugene Civic Alliance
@KidsportsBev & @EugeneCivic discuss Play On, Civic - revive & reimagine following disaster #EugeneYPSummit
Don't wait for someone to come and ask you, find something you want to get #INvolved in and go do it. #EugeneYPSummit
Deep Dive: DWN TWN EUG
Denny Braud of @cityofeugene speaking at #EugeneYPSummit - 5 years $300M invested in Downtown Eugene Development
Denny expressed gratitude & inspiration that 63 people attended (58 under 40) @cityofeugene Public Renewal Meeting #EugeneYPSummit #INvolved
If a group of us showed up at city council, we could make a difference!
No, really. REALLY. @bqdub #micdrop moment. #eugeneypsummit
@CelesteEdman speaking to close festivities #EugeneYPsummit aka standing between YPs & adult beverages
You can't just show up when YOU need help, participate in the community and it will reciprocate - @CelesteEdman #EugeneYPSummit
@EugeneYPSummit #EugeneYPSummit 100% well done by EVERY person & organization up front & behind the scenes
Eugene Young Professionals Summit
@eugeneypsummit / #eugeneypsummit
Stay tuned for the Second Annual Eugene YP Summit 2017!
The DYOJO is the Do Your Job Dojo. In The DYOJO we want to help each other develop intentionally.
Jon Isaacson has a monthly feature column with Restoration & Remediation (R&R) Magazine titled The Intentional Restorer