2022 President's Message

Time flies. It really does. It feels like all of 5 minutes ago that I accepted a position to move myself from Texas to the bright lights and big city. Doing the math, I’m coming up with something closer to 6 years, 6 months, and 3 days, give or take a day or two depending on when this letter is published. Now, I somehow find myself here in 2022, alive and thriving in the concrete jungle.

For those who do not know me, my name is Derek Robertson. Like I said, I’ve been in the New York Metro area for the last six and a half years, trying to figure out how to take over the world, amongst other endeavors. In the meantime, I’ve been working in the wonderful world of building preservation and restoration. After all, I need to make sure that there’s something in this world to take over when I finally figure the whole first part out! 

My involvement with the ICRI and the Metro New York chapter, like most of us on the board, started with getting brought to a meeting by a former colleague of mine. When I first told my friends I’d be attending a meeting after work, they thought I was talking about an AA meeting. I told them no, I’ll be going to those AFTER I finish my time on the board! Hi, my name is Derek, and I am addicted to concrete repair. 

Against the will of my social anxiety, I attended my first evening technical presentation at Club 101. I distinctly remember standing in the room, intimidated by all the accomplished individuals standing around me. The only thing on my mind was trying to think of any way to start up a conversation that would not come off as incredibly awkward. As time went on and many conversations ensued, the uncomfortable feelings melted away. One event turned into a second, the second to a third, the third to a guest appearance at the board meeting, and the next thing I knew, I was helping plan events, assemble the newsletters, etc. In no time, many of those strangers in that room almost 6 years ago had become close friends and peers.

For those of you thinking about getting involved in ICRI, I cannot give endorsement strongly enough. Not only will you be able to gain invaluable information from our technical programs and a sense of belonging from our social events, but you will get to be a part of a community of the leaders in building repair and restoration looking to do their best for the built world. Our chapter is filled with so many incredibly talented, educated, and motivated people who care deeply about what we do. Together, we’ve created a strong and collective commitment to creating and nurturing our community of industry professionals, promoting education, and providing opportunities for all to network with like-minded individuals. It is an invaluable group to be a part of and I hope you join us a member, if not already, and get involved in one of our committees. 

I am extremely humbled for the trust instilled in me by my fellow board members. The success of the chapter is a direct result of all the hard work they do behind the scenes, and without their support I would not be able to take on this role. I want to give a very quick special thanks to my fellow board member, Connie Mugno, as well. It was she who showed belief and trust in me very early on by bringing me on to the board. The guidance she’s provided has been crucial in my growth and development. 

Lastly, I would like to thank all our members who support our chapter by giving their personal time to plan and participate in our meetings and attend our social events.

As we move further into 2022, I am excited to get to see some familiar faces, and hopefully meet some new ones as well. With the help of the chapter’s leadership, I look forward to continuing to push forward with our chapter’s mission to provide education, certification, networking, and leadership to improve the quality of repair, restoration, and protection/preservation!

Yours sincerely,

Derek Robertson

[email protected]