Another successful show is in the books! This year, the 2016 International Restoration Convention & Industry Expo also celebrated RIA’s 70 years of leadership in the restoration industry. From an evening welcome reception in a beautiful outdoor garden space to the 70th anniversary gala, it was truly an event to remember.

Leadership Changes

Just before keynote speaker Judy Ferraro got the ball rolling Tuesday morning, RIA Executive Director Marc Selvitelli took care of some business items – namely thanking RIA’s outgoing president, Scott Stamper. In the words of Selvitelli, Stamper successfully led the organization through some murky waters of a lawsuit and some other organizational changes.

Also, welcome to RIA’s new president, Chuck Violand. His industry leadership has long reached beyond the walls of Violand Management Associates, and Violand will undoubtedly be another great leader of RIA.

Martin L. King Award Recipient: Sam Bergman

Sam Bergman, CEO of Rolyn Companies Inc., was awarded the 2016 Martin L. King award, named for the late industry leader. King passed away shortly before last year’s convention. This year’s award ceremony included a tearful introduction by Pete Consigli, CR, WLS, the RIA’s education adviser. Bergman also gave a very heartfelt acceptance speech talking about the vision King had for the future of the CR program.

2016 Phoenix Awards

These large banners recognized the two winners of the 2016 Phoenix Awards! BELFOR in Dallas, Tex., won the award for innovations in restoration for their work at a medical facility on Odessa, Tex. HarenLaughlin Restoration in Lenexa, Kan., was recognized for their innovations in reconstruction during a large condo project.

New Certified Restorer and Water Loss Specialist Certificate Earners

Congratulations to all the new Certified Restorer and Water Loss Specialists! They were recognized during a ceremony on Tuesday, March 22, at the start of the second day of RIA. Also, a special congrats to Joe Meyers from Hammer Restoration who earned his WLS and CR certificates in the same year!

The Resilient, Multi-Generational Workplace with Judy Ferraro

Keynote speaker Judy Ferraro offered a very interactive, engaging keynote. Instead of taking the popular root of poking at downfalls of millennials, Ferraro focused on the positive attributes of every generation in today’s diverse workforce. She suggested thinking about it this way: no sports team would have all veterans or all rookies, so why should a business? It’s important to be a conscious leader and truly understand the strengths of each of your team members.

Here are Ferraro’s 5 Myths about the Multi-Generational Workplace:

Myth #1:Generation X & Millennials won’t comply with dress codes.

Reality: Both of those generations understand the importance of dressing up for some occasions, and the important role their appearance makes on first impressions and in business in general.

Myth #2:Having a good work ethic is a thing of the past.

Reality: Sure, there are a few bad eggs out there who can give almost an entire generation a bad name, but the truth is most millennials out there want to do a good job, be a good employee, and find success. Understanding what makes them tick will help you harness their ambition within your company. Also, don’t mistake a millennial’s desire for a flexible work schedule to mean they will work less. While they might take off early on a Friday afternoon, they may likewise make a coffeehouse their second office on a quiet Thursday evening.

Myth #3: Baby boomers will never leave, and are poor at transferring their knowledge to others.

Reality: It doesn’t work to have an outgoing employee train an incoming employee at the drop of a hat. If you have an employee approaching retirement, ask if they would be willing to slowly compile some material to help train their successor when the time comes.

Myth #4: There is no such thing as loyalty anymore.

Reality: Millennials can be loyal – but in today’s job market, they don’t really have to be. Millennials were raised to reach of the sky, so they do. They will make lateral moves if they see a clear line for advancement through the new position. Again, the key to effectively leading millennials is to know what makes them tick. The next myth speaks to that directly.

Myth #5: Training and education is the same for all generations.

Reality: A millennial will likely thrive through online learning, while a traditionalist or baby boomer might prefer in-person or hands-on experiences.