Chris Aldrich and I first met after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. I was still getting my bearings along the devastated New Jersey shore when Chris offered to take me on a tour. Getting a tour with a first responder was a little different because he was an eyewitness to the destruction and knew the story behind the story of what happened.
Chris wrote about Superstorm Sandy in a guest blog written almost a decade ago, A responder’s perspective on Hurricane Sandy. I noted his background:
This guest blog is by Chris Aldrich, a firefighter for 23 years, (19.5 in Toms River with 2 of those 19 years as Fire Chief, 12 years as Commanding Officer, 3.5 years in Whitesville FD, Jackson Township currently serving as fire commissioner) , as well as a deputy fire coordinator, with the Ocean County Fire Coordinators for 3 years and 14 years as a deputy coordinator in the Toms River Office of Emergency Management. Chris is a public adjuster with Andrew K. Knox and Company.
We talk a lot about supporting First Responders. The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) has a new president.
Here are some quick questions from me and answers from Chris:
1. Number one goal you want to achieve?
Response: To establish a better relationship between NAPIA and the contracting community. I want to erase the stigma that NAPIA’s membership is against restoration contractors.
2. Who had the biggest influence on your public adaptation philosophies?
Response: Biggest influence, clearly, is Leslie Knox.
3. Can you describe how much work you do and the knowledge you gain on the NAPIA leadership ladder?
Response: The amount of work wins each rung on the ladder; the higher you go the more jobs there are. NAPIA easily consumes 10-20 hours a week. The knowledge of how the insurance industry works, especially the insider knowledge I learned from attending NAIC, CAIF, meetings, etc. My learning and hearing stories from peers has added a great deal of knowledge to my understanding of public adjustment.
4. Why did you become a public adjuster and why do you continue to do so?
Response: Because I really enjoy helping people. This is such a rewarding career, and it’s a daily battle between David and Goliath.
5. Describe when you were most scared or frantic as a firefighter.
Response: Most scared/frantic was on 12/31/2018, when I was blown out of an elevated ranch in a backfire in Toms River, New Jersey, while trying to search for victims. There were none in the building, thankfully.
I have been to many places and seen many sights since I first met Chris. He’s a fun guy to be around, as seen in this photo in a wine cellar:
And this photo near Times Square:
Having known Chris as closely as I have over the last decade, what is NAPIA getting with its new president? Chris is a person who is constantly learning and trying to improve himself. His knowledge and experience as a public adjuster has grown tremendously since I first met him with the Superstorm Sandy claims. Today, he often leaves New Jersey and conducts public adaptations on a national basis. He really likes people and wants to create positive relationships with his colleagues. He asks many questions before making final decisions and likes to gain consensus through collaboration.
Chris Aldrich will be a successful president. NAPIA has a very hard working and dedicated management team. It is in good hands.
Firefighters are some of the most selfless public servants you will ever come across.
– Denis Leary