HISTORIC TRIANGLE — “Ten Questions with” is a series that allows readers to get to know local business leaders, volunteers and community members in the Historic Triangle.
This week meet Katie LeVan.
What is your job title and description?
Commercial Marketer for Paul Davis Restoration of Williamsburg. We already have a strong
presence in the residential restoration industry, so my main function is securing new commercial customers and creating brand recognition throughout the Peninsula through networking, community engagement, and promoting pre-damage preparation and education. My focus in my connections with potential customers is to educate the benefits of preparedness and our proactive versus reactive approach to property restoration.
Who do you interact/work with on a regular basis?
Generally speaking, I interact with anyone who manages multi-unit properties, healthcare and assisted living facilities, retail establishments, office space, and others in the restoration/property insurance industry. As a board member of the Hampton Roads Claims Association, I work hand-in-hand with many competitors, insurance adjusters, and vendors as we serve the community by way of raising money for various charities and scholarship programs. After I have secured a new customer, continuity of the relationship is key. I visit my customers regularly to make sure I stay on top of any changes to their needs, processes, or team members so that I may be able to assist them better when disaster strikes. I am the point of contact for our commercial customers should they suffer a loss at their properties, and it’s important to me that they know they have a reliable contact for updates and coordination of mitigation and repairs.
What is something about your job most people wouldn’t know about?
I get to do some really interesting training as part of my job. Throughout my adult life, I’ve always been fascinated with the “why” behind decisions and processes. Knowing the background information about a particular policy or way of doing things allows me to help others to understand why things happen the way they do, and to be able to break down the steps in a process so it’s easier for someone who is not in the restoration industry to understand. The extensive training Paul Davis Restoration provides us allows me to satisfy my curiosity which makes me a more knowledgeable advisor for our Commercial customers. I’m actually certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) in water damage restoration, and I am a certified IICRC and insurance continuing education teacher. Next month I’m taking a class on Commercial Project Management. What I’d really like to do is to go to our home office in Jacksonville where they have an entire home built inside of a warehouse. They flood the home for hands-on training classes for certification in Applied Structural Drying, which I think is super cool!
How do you define success?
Self-reflection is very important to me. If I can look back on the events of any given day and honestly say to myself, “I did the best I could with the information I had at the time,” I consider that to be a successful day. Learning from my mistakes and embracing when others may have a better solution is key to my personal and professional growth and success.
What is your most successful accomplishment to date?
I think that being an empathetic person has helped me to be a more successful leader over the years. My most successful accomplishment is, was, and probably always will be the positive impact I’ve made on people who have worked with me and under me. To have former employees even from 20-plus years ago reach out to me to tell me they still use processes I’ve taught them or advice I’ve given them, it makes me feel proud to have been a resource for them.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t let fear of failure stop you from reaching your full potential. Also, not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay.
How long have you lived in the greater Williamsburg/York area?
I moved here from Cincinnati just over six years ago. (Who Dey!)
What is your favorite part of living here?
It’s absolutely the history. Colonial, indigenous, military, space, I love it all!
What do you do for downtime/to relax?
I do pretty much any kind of crafting you can think of. If I’m not behind my sewing machine, painting cheeky home décor signage, or refinishing furniture, you can find me in my vegetable garden. I love canning vegetables and cooking with herbs that I’ve grown, and I try to grow as much as possible from seed.
What is the next step in your journey?
I want to keep learning as much as I can about the restoration industry so that I can pass that knowledge on to others. I’ve been told that my excitement over any given subject can be quite infectious, so I see myself in some sort of training or teaching role in the future.
Visit Paul Davis Restoration of Williamsburg to learn more about their services.
Do you want to learn more about your community and the people that live and work in the Historic Triangle? We are looking for people with interesting jobs, super volunteers, or community leaders to showcase. Reach out to let us know if you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for Ten Questions.