This issue marks the fourth anniversary of R&R’s Women in Restoration award, again supported so strongly by Violand Management Associates. Each year we award one deserving restoration diva the top honor out of dozens of nominees. In 2019, nearly 40 women were nominated for the award—and each have at least 10 years of experience in the industry.

I’ve been asked by several people since this award’s inception why women need to be recognized. It’s my opinion that the more visibility women receive in our industry, the more it will hopefully encourage fellow women in restoration to get more involved, and draw other women into the industry as well! In this issue we talk a bit about attracting the future generation of restorers—and women are certainly part of that!

Kevin O’Leary, entrepreneur, investor, and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” believes women are ideal business owners. “I’ve been investing now for over 10 years on things like ‘Shark Tank’ deals—and other deals that are brought to me because of ‘Shark Tank’—and the majority of my returns come from the companies run by women,” O’Leary tells CNBC of his portfolio. “Now this isn’t some kind of academic research, this is real data. This is real money coming back to me.” He adds that women, especially mothers, are natural multitaskers, have exceptional listening skills, and (sorry guys!) set more realistic goals than men.

This year’s winner is a name and face many will recognize! She is a huge proponent of education, something that is seeing a huge push in the industry today. Educational opportunities abound through industry conferences, like R&R’s Preparing to Respond. Plus, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and Institute of Certification in Restoration and Cleaning (IICRC) just announced a brand new strategic partnership in early May that will greatly expand the RIA’s educational reach, as well as that of the IICRC. This comes just in time as the RIA continues rolling out brand-new expert industry certifications, like the Contents Loss Specialist (CLS). The first recipients of that designation were pinned this spring.

If you are looking for some Continuing Education Credits, consider grabbing your seat for Preparing to Respond soon! Attendees will learn about everything from estimating and drying to contents, odor removal, fire damage restoration, and a whole lot more. Plus, our keynote speaker will reveal more details about a new initiative to give restorers a bigger voice before legislators and advocate for industry best practices.

See you in San Antonio next month!