In my last editor’s note announcing the call for 2022 Women in Restoration Award nominations (which, by the way, we are accepting through January 10), I shared that R&R is planning to launch a brand-new award in 2022 recognizing outstanding restoration technicians. 

I noted, “In my short time with the industry, I’ve heard it voiced again and again that technicians are the unsung, frontline heroes tasked with the grueling work this great industry prides itself on. I’ve also heard that in the war for talent restoration companies find themselves fighting in, technicians are among the hardest to recruit and retain. In the spirit of helping build a strong, sustainable pipeline of restoration professionals for generations to come, we are eager – through this new award – to celebrate restoration technicians and to give them the industrywide visibility they deserve for the very hard but noble work they do.” 

We will have much more to share on this exciting new award in the coming months, so please stay tuned and keep the input coming our way. 

In the meantime, I wanted to announce a new series we’re rolling out in early 2022 that has similar objectives to the award program, only it will begin to recognize restoration technicians right away and continue to shine a spotlight on them year-round. As you may have guessed from the title of this piece, the series will be named “Field Notes” in light of the fieldwork these valued, frontline team members engage in. This will launch as a Q&A series, asking restoration technicians from across the industry similar questions each occurrence. 

Sharing insights from the experts, seasoned veterans, executives, owners, etc., will always be critical to our mission at R&R of helping restoration professionals better serve their customers. That noted, there are endless insights to be gleaned from the frontline perspective as well. Restoration technicians are the ones who come into the most contact with property owners and policyholders. They are the individuals tasked with providing the actual services that restore lives. They are the faces of the businesses – the true brand ambassadors. 

Research from the Brookings Institute shows that frontline workers tend to earn lower wages than their colleagues. What’s more, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, technicians are unavoidably more vulnerable to infection as they don’t have the option to work from home. In fact, they are exposed to more health and safety risks than office-based colleagues pandemic or not, given the hazards that come with their working environments. And at the risk of stating the obvious, as I highlighted earlier, this is tough work; job seekers can find less physically and emotionally demanding opportunities elsewhere for comparable compensation. 

Through Field Notes, we look forward to sharing the stories of the industry’s most driven, engaged and innovative technicians. We are eager to consistently shed light on their ideas, pain points, motivators, paths to restoration and more. In doing so, we hope to help shrink the gap between C-suite and frontline. We hope to help give these unsung heroes a real seat at the proverbial table and a stronger voice in the future of the industry. 

Please help us shine a spotlight on restoration technicians by reaching out to me with candidates to interview. Send me an email at

Happy holidays! 

Until next time,


Valerie King