Michael R. Morris
I love history. Always have. Most of my favorite kinds of books tend to be about prehistoric times, ancient civilizations, early explorers and historical figures.
That's probably why I was so drawn to the topic of this month's cover story, "10 Most Influential People in Remodeling." Not only would a project of this magnitude require us to look back over years of our country's history, but it would give us the opportunity to learn more about the evolution of this great industry we serve and the people who shaped it.
My further desire was that this type of article, which is quite a departure from our usual strategic business-related fare, might serve an even higher purpose by stimulating passionate debate and thoughtful discussion.
History has proven time and again that change often occurs when well-intentioned members of a particular community get involved in discussing important topics and exchanging their diverse ideas and opinions.
So, as much as our staff has enjoyed researching, debating and discussing which individuals would eventually end up on our list, my true hope is that by broaching subjects such as this, we can be a proponent of something even bigger by causing you to join the conversation.
One of the things I believe has hindered the growth of professionalism in this industry is the fact that remodeling is such a local business that the widespread dispersal of great ideas — potentially revolutionary ideas — has always been a painfully slow process.
That doesn't have to be the case anymore, however, as the emergence of the Internet has provided us with an easily accessible meeting place where we can all join the conversation and influence improvement and change.
Imagine where we'd be today if a guy like Walt Stoeppelwerth, who is on our list and was one of the earliest stewards of professionalism in the remodeling industry, had a tool as powerful as the Internet at his disposal.
Walt's message of charging what you're worth was as important — and controversial — a concept as this industry has ever seen. And still, more than 30 years later, the concept is lost on many who either haven't heard it or have chosen to ignore it out of fear or ignorance.
Whether you agree with our list of influential people is not the point, really. I honestly hope you disagree with at least one of our choices. Maybe in that way, you will be motivated to log on to our Web site at www.ProRemodeler.com and let your opinion be known. Get involved. This is your industry, after all.
One of our duties as an industry leader is to help remodelers build more professionally run businesses. Won't you join us in this worthy cause?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630/288-8057