The Indianapolis Home Show is always exciting and one of the longest home shows in the nation. Every year it brings in experts and celebrities from the residential building industry to discuss the latest and hottest trends. This year's schedule included Hilary Farr from HGTV’s “ Love it or List it," as well as Kevin O’Connor from This Old House.
It got pretty interesting when Kevin stopped by our booth at the home show to catch up for a few minutes between his speaking engagements. The really cool part for me was walking through the show with him. People kept stopping us and telling us they "love our show!" Not sure I really look like anyone from the show, but it was fun playing the celebrity for a minute! Kevin's excuse was "It's the Flannels."
You might ask how I happened to get to hang out with Kevin.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to spend some time with Kevin and Tom Silva to discuss the future of the building trades and what we can all do to effect the outcome.
I was attending a dinner to celebrate the accomplishments that have been made through the partnership between This Old House and the Mike Rowe Works Foundation. For those of you in the trades that have not heard of this yet, get on board! This movement is gaining steam, and is here to stay. I happened to be sitting directly across from Kevin while Tom was only two seats down. For a window and door geek like myself, getting to debate flashing techniques with Tom Silva and Kevin O’Conner, is pretty exciting stuff. I even got to spend one on one time with Mike Rowe, where we discussed how I plan to be part of the mission from a residential windows and doors perspective.
For anyone who has not met Mike, he is as passionate as they come about bringing back the skilled trades. And, interestingly enough, can sing “ Back Home Again in Indiana” word for word. He literally serenaded me with the whole thing! Awesome guy!
I explained to him that I read about his foundation's partnership between This Old House to bring young people back to the trades. The initiative is The Generation Next Project.
After reading the article, I felt compelled to share my frustration with the lack of young help, and my thoughts on some steps to effect change. I sent this letter out to anyone I thought would listen, and within hours I received an interesting response. The response came from Eric Thorkilsen, The CEO of This Old House. After a few more emails and a few short hours, Eric invited me to join them at a dinner to celebrate and thank everyone involved in the cause. He said if I wanted to join the cause myself this is the perfect place to start.
This was one of the most amazing nights of my life, and I want to personally thank Erik Thorkilsen and the whole This Old House team, as well as Mike Rowe! I am grateful to be a part of this movement .