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Minimize Commercial Storm Damage: 3 Things You Can Do

11/28/2022 (Permalink)

Storm over a town In the event that your property experiences storm damage, it is of the utmost importance to prevent further damage.

Storms can wreak havoc on commercial properties, inflicting various types of storm and water damage. In the event that your property experiences storm damage, it is of the utmost importance to prevent further damage by being proactive in the downtime before professional help arrives. Today’s blog will share 3 tips that can be beneficial in protecting your commercial property from unnecessary storm damage while waiting for help to arrive.

  1. Stay Away from the Affected Area

The combination of standing water and electricity poses safety risks to those occupying your commercial property, which means that it is imperative that people stay out of water damaged until professionals have restored the affected areas. Additional safety risks can arise if electrical appliances, wiring, and outlets are in the affected areas. While keeping people out of affected areas is a critical first step, it is also crucial that you refrain from turning on the lights or unplugging electrical appliances because these actions can threaten the safety of those occupying the commercial building.

  1. Turn Off the Water Source & Breakers

After a storm and the discovery of water damage inside of your commercial property, shutting off the water source and the breakers is the best way to protect yourself and others working in your commercial building from safety concerns such as electrical shock.

  1. Protect Your Building’s Belongings

From important documents and equipment to retail items and other products, various valuable items are commonly stored in commercial buildings. In order to protect valuable items from water damage, it is best to move them away from water damaged areas, which facilitates drying. Be sure to also assess your business’ valuables for damage as soon as possible in order to prevent further water damage.

Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Commercial Restoration Services

Both big or small, storms and the damage that they leave in their path can cause significant stress and challenges for commercial property owners. Remember, however, that SERVPRO Team Wall and our storm damage restoration professionals can help you find peace of mind in the aftermath of any storm event. At the first sight of water damage, call your local SERVPRO Team Wall office, SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East, at (412) 672-5400 for more information about our Commercial Storm Restoration offerings. Curious as to the ways in which SERVPRO can help your commercial property after a storm? Check out the resources on our website that explain our other related offerings, from general Commercial Restoration to Commercial Water Damage Restoration services. Even in the event of larger storm event, SERVPRO Team Wall can help. Our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team, with its extensive network of teams located across the country, offers services for large commercial storm losses 24/7. Call SERVPRO Team Wall immediately to restore your commercial property to its preloss condition and make it “Like it never even happened” after any storm emergency.

Hurricane Season 2022 and Florida's Hurricanes

11/20/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricanes Strong storms, such as hurricanes, can form and make landfall in your area at any time during hurricane season, even as late as November.

Florida was significantly impacted by the end of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. In September and November, Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole, respectively, made landfall in Florida. Because of our large loss abilities, SERVPRO Team Wall and our Disaster Recovery Team had the opportunity to assist Florida communities that were impacted by the storms. Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole left sometimes intersecting paths of damage to residential and commercial properties because they made landfall in Florida within a relatively short time of each other. Continue reading to learn more about Florida’s 2022 hurricane season and how they fit into the grand scheme of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Florida's 2022 Hurricanes

Southwest Florida saw Hurricane Ian make landfall in mid-September. The result? A devastating number of casualties, many community members left without power, and significant damage to properties. A mere 43 days later, Hurricane Nicole made landfall, impacting many of the same Florida areas and sending first responders on search and rescue missions. Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, a seemingly bizarre double-whammy of hurricanes at the tail-end of hurricane season, might seem to be an anomaly. However, something similar happened 18 years ago. In 2004, Florida saw Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Jeanne make landfall, impacting practically the same areas of the state as Ian and Nicole. Yet another similarity is that the same amount of time lapsed in between hurricanes Charley and Jeanne as Ian and Nicole. With this information, it is important to consider what this might mean for property owners in Florida and across the country.

Call SERVPRO with Any Storm Emergency

Types of strong storms, such as hurricanes, can form and make landfall in your area at any time during hurricane season, even as late as November. Based on what we have seen in the case of Hurricane Nicole, a November hurricane is not necessarily a rare occurrence. Instead, a November hurricane – as well as hurricanes occurring in the latter part of the season – is a very real possibility for coastal states like Florida or anywhere on the east coast. SERVPRO Team Wall is here for you in the event of any storm emergency – large or small. For more information, call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East at (412) 672-5400 to speak with one of our team members about our professional Storm Damage Restoration services. We also offer storm damage restoration services tailored to commercial properties, perfect for commercial businesses. Information about our other storm-related offerings can also be found on our website. Check out our pages dedicated to our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team, which aids communities following strong storm events such as hurricanes, as well as our residential and commercial Water Damage Restoration pages. Trust SERVPRO Team Wall to make it “Like it never even happened” after any storm emergency.

Water Damage and Commercial Roofing

11/12/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage roof Knowing what interior and exterior signs of water damage to look for can best help prevent further damage to your commercial roof.

“Out of sight, out of mind” – it’s a common phrase and it can be applied to today’s blog topic, which involves identifying roof damage for commercial properties. Because we don’t see our roofs on an everyday basis, it can be challenging to assess their condition. There are a few signs for which you can look that indicate potential water damage to your roof. By knowing what to look for on the interior and exterior of your commercial property when inspecting it for water damage, you can best prevent your commercial property from experiencing any roof damage and the water damage that coincides with it. Read on to learn more.

Interior Indicators

There are three primary indicators of water damage on the interior of your commercial property, indicating roof damage. If you notice any leaks or puddles of water, take them seriously, as they are classic signs of water damage. Likewise, water spots, which are damp areas of discoloration, on the ceiling are also a sign of roof damage. Lastly, if you are suspicious of mold in any capacity – whether it be that you smell or see visible mold growth – this can also be a sign that your roof is experiencing water damage.

Exterior Indicators

If you are inspecting the exterior of your commercial property, the first things you might notice are cracks and tears on the roof. While these commonly result from aging, they are a cause for concern, as water can seep into these small areas of damage and risk water damage to your property. You may also discover puddles of water on your commercial property’s roof, which can indicate that your roof’s draining system is malfunctioning. In the event that the draining system isn’t fixed and the water doesn’t move, the standing water increases your risk of roof and water damage. Finally, water may leak through loose roof seams. This requires immediate professional assistance. The key to all of this is being proactive. You can prevent further roof and water damage the sooner you take action.

Call SERVPRO Team Wall with Water and Roof Damage

By visiting our website or giving us a call at (412) 672-5400 to learn more about our Commercial Restoration and Building Services, as well as our Water and Storm Damage Restoration offerings. Don’t hesitate – call SERVPRO Team Wall immediately upon discovering water or roof damage of any kind. Our experienced team and advanced technology will give you peace of mind, making it “Like it never even happened.” for your commercial property after any disaster.

Meet Our Employees of the Quarter: Q3 2022

10/25/2022 (Permalink)

Employees of the quarter This quarter, we celebrate Team Wall’s Centralized team EOQ, Brian Barry, and our SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East office’s EOQ, Sarah Gebauer.

One exemplary employee from each area of SERVPRO Team Wall is selected each quarter to be recognized as Team Wall’s “Employee of the Quarter.” This quarter, we celebrate Team Wall’s Centralized team EOQ, Brian Barry, and our SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East office’s EOQ, Sarah Gebauer. Keep reading to learn a little more about Brian and Sarah.

Brian Barry

A member of our SERVPRO Team Wall for the last 2 years, Brian Barry is a valued member of our centralized team. Prior to his current role as Construction Estimator, he was Fire Production Manager. Brian is always willing to help, even when tasks that need to be accomplished fall outside of his job description. During his time with Team Wall, Brian has assisted with project management on large construction jobs and has made many estimating trips to Pittsburgh.  What makes Brian an exemplary employee is that, on top of all this, Brian always takes time to look out for customers and ensure that we are addressing their concerns so that we know customers find peace of mind in their unique times of need. Thank you for all you do, Brian! 

Sarah Gebauer

Sarah is a newer member of SERVPRO Team Wall and our Metro Pittsburgh East office, as she joined us in May of this year, but she has already made a name for herself. As our Pittsburgh office’s Construction Operations Manager, Sarah has proven her ability to bring the construction department together and she continues to build an amazing construction team in Pittsburgh. Thanks to Sarah’s management style, she never fails to bring smiles to her teammates’ faces, even when times get tough. Never hesitant to put in the time to do whatever must be done for her team’s success, she prioritizes her team, as well as customers’ wellbeing. Thank you for all you do, Sarah- we are grateful to have you on our team.

Heating Equipment: Practicing Fire Safety

10/14/2022 (Permalink)

Heater It is always important to discuss fire safety when using any type of heating system in order to decrease fire risk.

The chill in the air only means one thing: It’s getting to be that time of year again when the temperature drops and we begin thinking about turning on our home or business’ heating system. It is always important to discuss fire safety when using any type of heating system in order to decrease fire risk. Today’s blog will take 3 statistical observations from the National Fire Protection Agency into consideration in order to discuss a few different ways in which you can prevent your property from becoming part of the statistics.

1. “Most home heating fire deaths (81%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.”

Decrease your home or business’ fire risk by keeping objects, especially those that are combustible like blankets and upholstery, at least 3ft away from portable heaters at all times.

2. “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (25%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.”

Soiled-fueled heating systems, such as chimneys, should be cleaned by professionals of a yearly basis. Annual chimney inspections and cleanings can help decrease your property’s fire risk.

3. “Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.”

During the colder months, it can be tempting to keep hearing sources working 24/7. However, fires can ignite when heaters are unsupervised. When you leave the room or go to bed, be sure to turn off your portable heater.

Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Fire Damage Restoration Services

On our website, you can find more Fire Tips, in addition to information about our Fire Damage Restoration services and Fire Restoration Process. In the colder months to follow, call SERVPRO Team Wall at (412) 672-5400 if your home or business experiences fire damage this fall or winter. Trust our team’s experience and expertise to make it “Like it never even happened.”

What You Should Know About Lightning

9/23/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning Learning more about these 3 common types of lightning you may see during a thunderstorm can help you best protect yourself and your property.

Most storms involve lightning, which can pose safety concerns as well as dangers to residential and commercial properties. Even hurricanes sometimes have lightning near the eye of the storm. There are 3 common types of lightning you may see during a thunderstorm and learning more about them can help you best protect yourself and your property. With information from NOAA’s “Lightning Types” article, today’s blog will discuss 3 common types of lightning that you may see in thunderstorms, as well as safety risks to properties associated with each type. 

Cloud-to-Ground Lightning

The most dangerous type of lightning is cloud-to-ground lighting. This kind of lightning occurs when a channel of negative charge shoots down from a storm cloud and meets a positive charge emanating from tall objects like nearby trees, power lines, and tall structures like homes and commercial buildings. If the positive charge comes from a tall property, the unification of the positive and negative charges initiates the flow of an electrical current, which can pose safety risks to the property. Fires can ignite as a result of an electrical surge from a lightning strike. Equipping your property with surge protectors can help prevent damage to your property if lightning strikes. Additionally, if you know that there are thunderstorms in your area, even if you don’t see any lightning nearby, refraining from using electrical appliances and doing activities involving water, like taking a shower or bath, are good rules of thumb in order to protect the people living or working in your residential or commercial property during a thunderstorm. 

Cloud Flashes

Sometimes, lightning during a thunderstorm does not reach the ground. Instead of seeing lightning bolts, you might just see flashes of light in the clouds. This phenomenon is known as cloud flashes, in which lightning remains in the clouds through what NOAA calls intra-cloud lightning flashes, and it occurs when an “electrical discharge between oppositely charged areas within the thunderstorm cloud,” according to The National Weather Service. While cloud flashes may not seem as dangerous, cloud flashes still pose safety threats, as they indicate that the storm is producing electrical charges.

Heat Lightning

You may be surprised to learn that there is actually no such thing as heat lightning. What we perceive as heat lightning is actually the lightning flashes from a distant storm that is far enough away from us that we can’t see the storm’s lightning bolts or hear its thunder. We mention heat lightning in this blog because an accurate understanding of what we know as heat lightning reveals that a potentially dangerous storm producing lightning is in the area.

Experience Lightning Damage? Call SERVPRO

Know that SERVPRO Team Wall has your back in the event that lightning from a storm causes damage to your property. We are committed to making it “Like it never even happened” after any storm. Trust SERVPRO’s experienced storm damage restoration specialists, equipment, and methods to restore your property to its preloss condition. Speak to one of our SERVPRO Team Wall team members by calling SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East at (412) 672-5400. On our website, you can find more information about our Storm Damage Restoration capabilities, including storm restoration services tailored specifically to commercial properties, our Disaster Recovery Team for large losses, and our water restoration process

Hurricanes in September: What to Know About Peak Hurricane Season

9/16/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane It is imperative that property owners continue taking proactive actions as we head into the last part of hurricane season.

Last week, an article posted on weather.com declared September the “annual peak of Atlantic hurricane season.” The author, who serves as a senior meteorologist at weather.com, shares data and analysis supporting that September 10th of this year marked the statistical, climatological peak of hurricane season. During this time, “the Atlantic Basin has had the most hurricanes and named storms over the course of history,” according to the author. NOAA explains that the northern hemisphere’s hurricane season began on June 1st this year and will end November 30th. September 10th is not the exact middle of hurricane season. As a result, we might ask: what constitutes September as peak hurricane season? Today’s blog will answer this question and also share a few ways in which property owners can protect their homes and businesses during this peak period, as well as the remainder of hurricane season.

What Makes September Peak Hurricane Season?

Several factors, according to the weather.com article, increase the likelihood of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic region during the month of September. The article lists “ocean water reaching its highest temperature, the atmosphere's ability to generate thunderstorms hitting its peak, and hostile shearing winds declining to a minimum,” as well as “tropical waves,” which peak in July and carry into September, among these factors. In the article, the author also incorporates statistical data that highlights the peak of hurricanes on or around September 10th of this year. The data additionally shows that 77% of named storms and 87% of hurricanes in an average hurricane season occur in the last 3 months of the season: August, September, and October. We can deduce from this information that, although we are currently in the most active portion of hurricane season, the heightened risk for hurricanes stretches well into the remainder of September and October. This means that it is imperative that residential and commercial property owners continue taking proactive actions in order to protect their properties from increased potential storm activity as we head into the last part of hurricane season.

Hurricane Preparedness

Property owners should prepare for two primary things before a hurricane- wind and flooding- according to the American Red Cross. Two ways to prevent wind damage are cutting back trees and bushes close to your property and securing windows with storm shutters. In order to prevent flooding, be sure that your property’s gutters and drains are cleared before the storm, as this will allow storm water to drain easier. Even with our best, proactive, and preventative efforts, it is important to remember that hurricanes are unpredictable, powerful forces of nature that can cause unanticipated property damage. If your residential or commercial property experiences storm damage in the aftermath of a hurricane this season, know that SERVPRO Team Wall is here for you. Talk to one of our team members at the first sign of damage by picking up the phone and calling SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East at (412) 672-5400. Additionally, you can visit our website for more information about our professional Storm Damage Restoration services, Commercial Storm Damage Restoration, and our experienced Disaster Recovery/Large Loss Team. You can find peace in knowing that SERVPRO will make it “Like it never even happened”for your residential or commercial property.

Fire Safety Tips: Fire Pits

9/10/2022 (Permalink)

Fire pit Taking fire safety precautions such as those listed in this blog can decrease the risk of fire damage to your property.

Though we’re still feeling the summer heat and fall seems to be far away, we’ll start to experience colder temperatures as we approach October. Fall is prime time for s’mores, apple cider, time spent outdoors, and of course, fire pits. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire pits and campfires can facilitate accidents that may lead to injury if safety guidelines are not followed. Keep reading to learn ways in which you can safely use a fire pit and prevent fire damage to your property this fall.

Fire Safety at the Fire Pit

Two different types of fire pits can be purchased for properties: in-ground and above-ground. Both types must be kept at a safe distance away from your home, in addition to any combustible objects on your property, like sheds, trees, bushes, and other types of brush. Your fire pit should also be built from a non-combustible material, heavy metal, brick, or stone, in order to reduce fire risks. To prevent a fire emergency, a responsible adult should supervise the fire pit at all times whenever a fire is actively burning in the fire pit. 

Make Safety a Priority

Be informed about your fire pit’s fuel safety protocols in order to protect your property. If you have a wood-burning fire pit, be sure that you use dry, clean wood. If your fire pit is not wood-burning, it is crucial that you follow the safety guidelines of your fuel type. These safety precautions may seem obvious, but a small oversight can have a significant impact on the safety of your property. Taking fire safety precautions such as those listed in this blog can decrease the risk of fire damage to your property, but accidents happen. For this reason, it is beneficial to always have a fire extinguishing device at the ready when using your fire pit. A fire extinguisher is a helpful tool, but a garden hose or bucket of water sitting nearby are also sufficient tools that can quickly douse a fire in an emergency.

Have a Fire? Call SERVPRO 

Emphasizing fire safety is of the utmost importance, but if disaster strikes unexpectedly, SERVPRO Team Wall has your back. Available to you 24/7 with our 24-Hour Emergency Services, our professional team of experienced fire damage restoration technicians will work diligently to restore your property to its preloss condition. make it “Like it never even happened” after fire emergencies large and small. To learn more about our fire restoration services, pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Metro Pittsburgh East today at (412) 672-5400 and check out our website, which features ample fire damage restoration resources, including our Fire Damage Restoration services overview, Fire Restoration Process, and Fire Damage Tips pages. To make it “Like it never even happened” after fire emergencies large and small, look no further than SERVPRO Team Wall.

SERVPRO’s Commercial Industry Offerings

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

Buildings Over the years, we've had the privilege of restoring properties housing businesses belonging to many different commercial industries.

Here at SERVPRO, we offer restoration and construction services alike for commercial properties. You may be wondering, however, what exactly we mean by “commercial restoration services.” There are many different types of commercial properties, so it is reasonable to wonder if our services apply to all commercial properties? This blog will break down SERVPRO’s commercial restoration services, highlighting the ways in which we meet different commercial industries’ unique needs. For more information about how SERVPRO Team Wall can help your commercial property in the event of any loss, keep reading. 

Why Choose SERVPRO for Your Commercial Business?

In addition to offering construction and cleaning services for commercial properties, SERVPRO also offers extensive restoration services, specializing in storm, water, mold, and fire restoration. As a result, SERVPRO is experienced and trusted in the restoration industry. Having worked with many different businesses over the years, SERVPRO is experienced and trusted in the restoration industry. Our top priorities are restoring your property to its preloss condition as soon as possible and limiting the amount of disruption to your business’ daily operations as best we can. Therefore, we offer flexible scheduling, with abilities to work around the clock and around your schedule. Our team also adjusts our workspace as best we can to keep your business’ functional areas clear, allowing work can continue when possible. To further emphasize time management and efficiency, we embody our motto, “Faster to any disaster”, on a daily basis through our 24/7 emergency services and frequent collaboration with other SERVPRO franchises around the country, which helps us quickly acquire the resources required to handle larger commercial loss restoration work. 

Experiences With Multiple Industries

As a result of our extensive experience in commercial property restoration over the years, we have had the privilege of working with a wide range of commercial industries, including but not limited to retail locations, schools and academic buildings, healthcare facilities, restaurants, food service, and hospitality. Additionally, we have worked with commercial properties large and small, from small retail stores and apartment buildings to large office buildings and government facilities. 

Call SERVPRO After Any Commercial Emergency

In the event that an emergency leaves your commercial property needing fire, mold, storm, or water damage restoration services, take comfort in knowing that SERVPRO Team Wall is here for you and can meet your business’ unique needs. Pick up the phone and call (412) 672-5400 to speak to one of our experienced team members. To learn more about our commercial restoration offerings, visit our website’s Commercial Restoration services overview page, as well as our Commercial Cleaning services page. To restore your property to its preloss condition and make it “Like it never even happened” after the unexpected, trust SERVPRO Team Wall.

And the Franchise of the Year Is... Team Wall!

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

One of our owners at convention “And our new Franchise of the Year is…Team Wall.” It really is just the beginning!

June 2011: we were a different company, a different team, different people.

We did not have family in the area to help with childcare. Our earnings reinvested back in the business, I decided to stay home with our young kids to offset costs. Meanwhile, Jim was working full-time as an entrepreneur (to the third degree). To say that he worked 18-hour days, on a daily basis is no exaggeration- sometimes he would go up to 2 weeks without seeing our boys. Before daybreak, he was out the door, and he didn’t get home until after bedtime. Weekends were non-existent and vacations were impossible. If we went to an event, we always had a contingency plan… just in case that phone would ring. This was our way of life.

In that time, we learned about the dichotomy of ‘teamwork’. Success in family and business was our common goal, but in order to make it happen, we had to be incredibly independent. The whole experience was a crash course in faith, self-reliance, grit, and innovation. Man, could it be lonely sometimes.

Often, I wondered,  “is it all worth it?” On those days, the weather would break and the phones would start ringing. It is difficult to capture in words the joy that radiated from Jim’s every step and exuberance in each word he spoke. In those moments, he thrived. Backed by his team of 15, Jim loved taking on the challenge of a mounting workload. Saying “yes” was his mantra and “figuring it out” was like fire in his veins. This was his passion and I did all I could to support him.

We thought for two years that we were the only people that lived and experienced our crazy way of life until I flew to St. Louis, MO for my first SERVPRO convention. Upon arrival, I looked around and immediately realized I was completely wrong. Thousands of people just like us were gathered to network and learn from each other. The experience was an unforgettable week of soaking in all things SERVPRO. I was starting to get to the core of what Jim found so exhilarating about this business. However, I remember thinking, “If I have to listen to one more conversation about dehumidifiers…!” ??

Next was awards night. Dressing up and dancing- yes please! All the while, the dressing up and dancing were not the extent of my takeaways from that night. That week, I fully realized the magnitude of it all. The fact that we were a part of it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

At convention, the top 100 franchises in the entire SERVPRO system are highlighted and celebrated at every awards banquet. The top 3 are even treated with a special video. Watching on the 100-foot screen in front of me, I witnessed with pure awe as those stellar teams were highlighted. I made note of the advice they gave, mentally logged their massive revenue volume (#1 was at $12M), and secretly wondered deep down, “Could it ever be us?”

“Us.” That was the very first time I thought of it as something other than just ‘Jim’s Business.’ For the first time, it was ours. I was no longer merely supporting his dream. Instead, we were tackling a vision together. From the beginning, it was “us,” regardless of the time I spent as a stay-at-home mom or wasn’t involved in day-to-day operations. Building a team, we redefined our last name to mean something that meant more than ‘just the two of us.’ We became a very cozy “just the 150 of us”…Team Wall.

Fast forward to June 2022. Eleven years later, after massive growth and life events, I found myself sitting in a room of a thousand of my SERVPRO peers at the end of the 2022 convention. Eight of our amazing team members sat by my side. Jim, however, was sitting on the tarmac of Dallas Love Field, about to head home early. 

Suddenly, they were announcing an award that we always quietly wondered might include our name one day, although we always felt a sense of improbability. We roll with a sea of titans at SERVPRO, anyway. Among them, who were we?

“And our new Franchise of the Year is…Team Wall.”

What was the first thing that went through my mind? Elation…intricately weaved with devastation because Jim wasn’t there. It was his dream to begin with and he wasn’t there to witness an incredible moment. This had my heart breaking and tears welling up in my eyes for hours. Days? Maybe more. Even while writing this, I’m still emotional. ??

After hugging every one of our Team Wall members tight, together we walked up to accept the incredible recognition. Next, I did what anyone else would do: I told all of the one thousand people in the room to text Jim and tell him that we are FRANCHISE OF THE YEAR baby!!!

His phone was blowing up. For each and every member of Team Wall, Jim was crying tears of joy and pride for their achievements. What began as a dream for one became much more than we could have ever imagined.

Congratulations to every member of our team for this incredible accomplishment. You should be so proud of yourselves!

It’s truly just the beginning, my friends!

- Trish Wall