Whether you’ve dropped by our office or spoken with us on the phone, you probably talked to Judy-Lynn first.
That’s because Judy-Lynn Beaulieu is the backbone of Walton Restoration, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Since 1999, Judy-Lynn has been our Office Administrator and our Office Manager, and she does whatever she can to keep the rest of us in line.
Originally hailing from Timmins, Ontario, Judy-Lynn had been down in Durham Region since the 1980s, but by the late 1990s had retired from her career as an in-home daycare provider and was looking for a new role.
When she saw Walton Restoration’s job ad in the newspaper, she noticed that the ad listed an address, so she walked right in.
Little did she know that the office manager at the time was leaving three days later, and was grateful to see a capable replacement come through the door!
Judy-Lynn didn’t have much time to train, but thankfully that didn’t frighten her away. It was a rough first few months, but as Judy-Lynn herself says, “if I get something, I’m going to conquer it.”
She remembers the old days when it was just founder Al Walton, co-owner Harold Wotten, Clem Kersten and herself handling just about everything.
In those days Judy-Lynn didn’t just stay at her desk. She would often accompany the rest of the crew out on job sites, donning her rubber boots and protective gear and helping to review and assess damaged contents.
The work was tough, but she didn’t mind. Recalling her days of growing up in a mining town, Judy-Lynn laughs, noting that northerners are known to be a strong breed.
She also remembers being there as a physical support for clients in times of crisis, serving as a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear after someone had been through a major disaster.
Even though she no longer attends job sites, Judy-Lynn spends much of her days taking calls, reviewing and sending estimates to insurance companies, managing accounts receivable and payable, payroll, commercial leases, tending to leaseholder needs, etc.
When she started she was handling calls from clients and insurance companies alike, but now with the advent of technology most calls come from the clients themselves.
In fact, it’s Judy-Lynn who’s usually the calming voice on the other end, guiding you through one of the worst days of your life and explaining what happens next.
“We can only do so much,” she notes, but she still works closely with adjusters to make sure that everyone stays on-track and gets the work done quickly and smoothly.
Tragedy itself struck the Walton Restoration family when owner Harold Wotten passed away suddenly in 2017, and Judy-Lynn and the team faced the challenge of maintaining the smooth flow of the business under new leadership.
“It was tough,” she recalls now, “but I had enough experience.”
She was used to working independently, often running the office on her own while the rest of the crew was on job sites.
Now, though, she has the support of Harold’s son, Jordan, who has thoroughly impressed her with his leadership.
“I knew Harold had groomed him perfectly,” she laughs, remembering the days when Jordan would spend time at the office as a young boy.
With Jordan now firmly entrenched at the helm, Judy-Lynn is entering semi-retirement, but she’s not ready to give up her employment just yet.
She still finds the industry fascinating, and cherishes the knowledge that she’s developed over the years. “My father used to double and triple check all of the taps before we left the house,” she remembers, “and now I understand why.”
She’s also grateful to be part of such an incredible customer service experience, which provides a comforting ear and a steady hand as clients work to navigate a crisis.
Nor is she leaving the desk empty. Judy-Lynn notes that Latticia, who recently joined the team, has been ‘fabulous’ and will eventually take up the mantle of handling all adjuster/client support.
As for Judy-Lynn, she has a list of adventures that she wants to try, including driving in a racecar, doing a tandem jump out of an airplane, and seeing even more of the world.
Her children, however, want to make sure she proceeds cautiously. Now a grandmother of three, she’s also excited to spend more time with her grandchildren - just as long as she still has time to have a little fun for herself as well.