Hello, Brian and Angie! Welcome to 2020! Thank you for taking the time to sit down and answer some questions. Let’s go ahead and get started.
What are you most excited about for Summit in the upcoming year?
Since I’m a sports fan, I’ll bring this back to football. A football game is 60 minutes of play that represents hundreds of hours of preparation. The right people have to be on the team. They have to be focused on a common objective. They have to be dedicated to a common goal and committed to training to become their very best. They become stronger as individuals and unstoppable as a team. They bond and support each other, building ties that run deep. What I’m most excited about is this team of people we have at Summit. The groundwork and preparation from the past year has been grueling at times but we know that all the little details matter so much. Our team is committed to our success and I truly believe we are headed into a great season. I’m looking forward to celebrating our victories and achievements together as we work towards always improving how we serve our customers.
What is one of the biggest takeaways you learned from 2019?
Wow. I feel like there is so much. I’ll try to narrow this down to one thing. To me this is personal, but it translates into all areas of life. Breathe. Simple right? I’ll try to explain. When chaos hits, slow down, let the turbulence stop, and prepare yourself to take the appropriate action at the appropriate time. It is so tempting to react immediately and with force. Everything in our society seems to press us towards instant decisions. You see this in the way we get angry, speak to each other, judge each other. Often I see people making decisions in the heat of the moment that bring destruction to themselves and those around them. 2019 for me was full of opportunity to practice my breathing. To slow the moment and evaluate the rhythm of my heart, and then with a clear mind, to take the necessary actions. Maybe I can never get this perfect. I’m bound to make mistakes along the way, but I believe learning this skill is critical as a leader who continues to be entrusted with ever increasing levels of responsibility. Breathe.
What are some aspects of the company that have had to change as you’ve grown?
It might be shorter to say what hasn’t changed. Nearly every aspect of our business has evolved over the past 15 years. It starts with me. I’ve had to learn to be a better business leader. The complexity of decision making is exponentially harder when those decisions affect so many people in differing ways. On the good side, we now have better equipment, training and service delivery than ever before. We now offer better benefits to our people and very competitive wages. Having multiple locations allows us to move people and assets where they are needed when disasters happen and to respond rapidly. While mostly our growth has really produced positive changes there are a few things I miss. Christmas parties were a lot easier to plan when we were small and we had some really creative ones! One time we took our whole staff on a cruise out of L.A., I can’t even imagine what that would cost today. We also daily now have to fight to retain our scrappy underdog mentality. I never want us to lose our hunger for serving or the importance of every single customer. I think overall we have done a pretty great job of retaining a small company mentality while gaining the resources of a larger team.
What are some things that have stayed the same?
Oh good. This is easy and a much smaller list. Our Why. It hasn’t changed and I don’t think it ever will as long as I have any say. Summit exists so that we can empower people to change lives. We are passionate about understanding the needs of our customers and finding creative and innovative ways to meet those needs. We have fun at Summit because we all share the same mission and we all work hard to deliver exceptional service. We are a team that cares for each other. We also have a list of values and standards that never change. Things like how we will communicate or how compassion is seen as a requirement of the job. All of that just goes back to our why.
What are some goals for Summit in the new decade?
I love this question. There’s so many aspects when you think about goals for the future. We have goals related to service delivery, like finding ways to reduce delays or creating more efficient processes. We have goals based around customer experience like improving response times and communication standards. We have some goals of expanding our service offerings into some new areas both geographic and into new lines of service. All of our goals really are a derivative of our continued main goal. Simply, our goal is to be the best. We are in a competitive industry, that’s true, but honestly I think we push ourselves harder than anything. We compete against complacency as we dream about what we can do to achieve better results for our customers.
How can supporters of Summit get behind you and help?
First, we want the opportunity to serve you, your friends, your families, your businesses and your communities. We never wish for disasters to happen to people. We know they are going to happen though and when they do we hope you will trust us with the opportunity to bring restoration to your property. Second, find an online platform like Google to leave a positive review of your experience. Sharing your review in such a visible place has a drastic impact on our opportunity to serve others and we believe there’s no better company to respond in time of need than Summit. Finally, keep spreading the word. Facebook is one example of how word of mouth experiences can get shared publicly and instantly. If someone posts that they’ve had a loss or asks who they should call you know it’s got to be Summit. We don’t enjoy national corporate contracts, but I think that makes us work that much harder. Our reputation is everything to us and every job is critically important. We want to thank you in advance for the opportunities you send our way. We only win when we all win together.