On Saturday, March 7, 2020, all but one existing administrators and moderators of the “Restoration Rebel” Facebook group were removed from the group by a single administrator. To the best of our knowledge — based on screenshots, reports shared with us, and conversations we’ve had with those involved — the following then occurred:
This sole administrator added Andy McCabe to the “Restoration Rebel” group and granted him administrator privileges (Mr. McCabe had left the “Rebel” group in 2019). Shortly after this, additional administrators were added. All but one of these new administrators had been previously removed from the “Rebel” group due repeated rule violations or had left of their own accord.
Many within the “Rebel” group — especially those viewed by the new administrators as AIR “supporters” — were then permanently removed and blocked.
Since Saturday, March 7, it has been stated within the “Rebel” group and elsewhere, that former “leadership” of the Rebel group had “stepped down” and:
“…AIR leaders [those affiliated with The Alliance of Independent Restorers] had decided not to continue running the ‘Rebel’ group.”
“They [AIR] stated that it was dying and not worth saving.”
These statements are categorically false. While Klark Brown, co-founder of AIR, had temporarily removed himself from the “Rebel” group to focus on the upcoming AIR Summit 2.020, the “Rebel” group continued to be managed and moderated by approximately eighteen administrators and moderators, including AIR co-founder Jonathan Grubb. Additionally, many of these administrators also served as AIR volunteers, helping in such roles as “Event Coordinator”, “National Chapter Coordinator”, “Affiliate Coordinator”, and more. At no time did the volunteer “Rebel” group administrators and moderators willfully leave or abandon the “Rebel” group. These volunteers were forcibly removed. Whether this unfortunate situation is the work of a single individual or was a group effort remains to be seen.
At no time did the volunteer “Rebel” group administrators and moderators willfully leave or abandon the “Rebel” group. These volunteers were forcibly removed.
Over the past few years, many online groups and organizations have called for unity and an end to fragmentation within our industry. The Alliance of Independent Restorers was birthed out of this very desire.
In 2018, Klark Brown and Jonathan Grubb, longtime administrators with the “Rebel” group, understood that while the “Rebel” group had engagement, it lacked direction. Similarly, what the group lacked in “action”, it made up for in “noise”. Both men understood that true change in the industry could not come from a “Facebook group”: an organization — with buy-in from real Restorers determined to better their companies and industry — would have to be formed.
The Alliance of Independent Restorers (AIR), an LLC wholly owned by Klark Brown and Jonathan Grubb, officially formed in late 2018. With the support of hundreds of Restorers, AIR launched its online educational and social media platform in early 2019. In the Spring of the same year, the first AIR Chapters formed, facilitating their own educational events and meet-ups. Recently, AIR has launched its Healthcare Initiative with the intent of offering low cost group health insurance to AIR members, their families, staff, and dependents of staff. Additionally, as of the writing of this release, AIR’s second fully-branded Summit is less than a week away. While the timing of the “Rebel” group antics is disappointing (and suspect), Summit 2.020 will go on unfazed.
AIR’s Mission is:
“To elevate our industry through enhanced education and technologies and create a community of vetted restoration specialists who leverage the network to grow their business. United we’re strong. Divided we’re weak.”
Perhaps the most serious side effect of the “Rebel coup” as it’s been called, is that thousands of Restorers will no longer see the value that AIR’s involvement within the “Rebel” group brought. Nevertheless, AIR will continue to provide value and ROI to its members while seeking out others to add to our tribe. And we will continue — as we have from Day 1 — to work with any and all groups and individuals who share our core values and who seek to make our industry great.
Please send all questions and comments to email@example.com.
Klark Brown, Co-Founder
Jonathan Grubb, Co-Founder