I would like to introduce the new ABRA Board of Directors to our membership and R&R readers. I’m Rich Ross, the new association president. Mark Fagala was elected VP, with Joe Walsh as Member-at-Large. A motion to add a new International Member-at-Large position – with Peter Guerin taking the position – was made, the ballots sent out and voted on for our new by-law change.

Despite the economy the ABRA Conference was a huge success this year. Just weeks before the conference the committee had talked about canceling it because of poor registration, but it was decided to go on with the conference. Everyone was pleased and happy it had not been canceled. The committee met every week for a year to make the conference beneficial to everyone attending, and we feel that we pulled it off.

ABRA is considered by many to be the best association and authority for the bio-recovery industry. Our membership keeps expanding on many levels of service and into other associations, bringing strong and vital best practices to the organization, including setting standards that someday will become the norm. For those that are considering starting or offering this type of service, you will not find another source for better information and commitment.

This association is unique, and many people we talk to have been intrigued or fascinated by the work we perform, but they want no part of it. Some, after doing it for a short time, find they just can’t handle the emotional stress coming from the job itself or, in some cases, from their families.

In this field, along with new products and supplies, training and understanding is essential. With bio-recovery services, if your company is one that doesn’t follow standards, this is one field you’d do well to stay clear of, not only for your health and well being, but for your clients and the public at large as well. In addition, there are many aspects to the profession beyond the work itself that must be considered, one reason ABRA has become the association the National Organization for Victim Assistance has partnered with.

Last year the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification approached the ABRA board of directors and expressed a desire to have ABRA on board with developing a standard for the bio-recovery services industry. Some were hesitant, but it is a good move for all and will take hard work from everyone for the benefit of everyone. I have been involved with IICRC from the early 1980s, have all three Master levels of certification and have supported this venture from the start.

In the past ABRA struggled with the idea of restricting membership to a small, closed group. At this time, we are pleased to announce that ABRA has every intention to grow its membership and add new and better benefits for its members. There is plenty of room to grow, and it is time to reach out and invite those that can demonstrate their knowledge, ethics and commitment. Companies looking to apply for membership are welcome to submit their application, which can be found on the ABRA website at www.americanbiorecovery.com.