Portions of an interview between Cleanfax magazine and Dan Bernazzani, former president of the Institute and chairman of the Government Affairs Committee, are below.
Bernazzani: Simply put, there was a vacuum to fill. Government affairs is an area to which the industry hadn''t paid attention and we felt the Institute should be the leader in turning that around. The Institute''s new president, Patrick Winters, has extensive experience in government relations and he will be invaluable to us.
Cleanfax: How important is this work to the industry? What''s at stake?
Bernazzani: It''s extremely important. Let me give you just one example. There are more than 7,000 fire or water damage losses every day. We''re building homes tighter and more energy efficient than ever and they are meant to be kept clean and dry. When that happens, insurance premiums rise. Homeowners, especially those without insurance, will carry the burden of licensing. Today, training classes and certification provide qualified technicians without the added burden of licensing.
Cleanfax: What are the biggest hurdles you have to clear?
Bernazzani: The biggest hurdles are time and budget. We have a small budget to do a tremendous amount of work and the people on our Government Affairs Committee are volunteers with other things on their plates. Another big hurdle is locating the right person to talk to in the relevant state agencies and offices. I guess that''s the nature of bureaucracies.
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