So here is some total honesty for you. When I interviewed for the Restoration & Remediation editor gig in the spring of 2015, I left the meeting thinking there was no way I got the job. You know why? (Okay – everyone in HR, cover your ears!) One of the questions I was asked toward the end of the interview was if I could handle working in a male-dominated industry. My answer? You bet!

In my “past life”, I worked as a TV producer and small town newspaper reporter. In both cases, most of the people I interviewed on a day-to-day basis were men – politicians, sheriffs, firefighters, and so on. But just in the last few decades, we have seen a major surge in women jumping into all of those roles. Restoration is no different!

I was in awe reading the entries for this year’s Recognizing Women in Restoration campaign. Every story was unique, insightful, and full of wisdom. Since I couldn’t talk about everyone in the Women in Restoration special section starting on page 10, I want to talk about a few more of this year’s nominees here.

While Annissa won and is beyond deserving of the title, two other leading ladies in the contents restoration realm were also toward the top. My guess is many of you reading this know the names Barb Jackson and Lisa Morantz. They, too, are cornerstones of the contents world. Barb has been in the cleaning and restoration industry since the 1980’s, and has written a number of articles, papers, and even books on contents cleaning. Lisa has a similar story – 35 years in the industry, the product of a long line of restorers. She is the third generation owner and president of her company, Morantz Ultrasonics, and like Barb has a pretty impressive resume.

I also want to talk a little bit about Nicole Humber. I had the pleasure of meeting this young lady at an industry show last year, and in all honesty was shocked to learn someone so young was about to be the owner of a restoration company.But her youth is serving her well! With exactly 10 years of experience in restoration, Nicole became owner of Bravo Company Restoration. Her biggest pieces of advice to other women: work hard every day, prove you know your stuff, and always put people before profits.

I do not personally know most of the women nominated or who submitted profiles this year, but I hope in time (if y’all let me stick around!) I will have the privilege of meeting each of you, and I certainly look forward to reading many more amazing profiles and stories in years to come.

Wishing you all success and everything pumpkin spice,

Michelle Blevins