4 Questions With Barry Costa
1 | Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Barry Costa. I am currently a managing member/educator with Costa Group Education LLC and an IICRC-approved instructor teaching WRT Live Stream Schools. I have been in the industry for over 50 years and have been involved heavily in the development and improvements of our industry. My career includes carpet installation and repair; carpet cleaning; water damage restoration; and many other services in our industry. I was also an elementary physical education teacher in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and was awarded Teacher of the Year through the New Hampshire Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NHAHPERD).
2 | How did you first get started in the industry?
My father, Ed Costa, started a company in Taunton/Raynham, Massachusetts, known as Costa Carpet Company, Inc. He sold and installed both residential and commercial carpet throughout the New England area. At 12 years old, my father started to teach me the craft of carpet installation, and my summers were full of trips to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, installing carpet and wondering, “Is it time to go home yet?” In the early 1970s, we branched into carpet cleaning and water damage restoration when we had very little knowledge of the health effects pertaining to water intrusion into the built environment.
3 | Who in your life impacts you the most?
There are many people that have impacted my 68 years of life. This is only a partial list of those that have. My father, Ed Costa, worked feverishly so that we would always have food on the table. He taught me the importance of work ethics. My mother, Marion Costa, made sure she attended my soccer games and gymnastic meets and supported me emotionally. My wife, Carol, was my daughter’s “rock” as she battled cancer because I couldn’t “fix” my daughter. My good friend, Tom Hill, gave me a way to punch back at cancer by introducing me to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training Program, for which I raised over a quarter of a million dollars. Bill Yeadon is the ultimate teacher of how to retire and have a zest for life. However, if you have been a student in my class, you all know that my daughter, Kimberly Joy Costa, made the most significant impact on my life and in identifying who I am today. My daughter helped me identify my purpose in life through her 10 Life Lessons graduation speech from ConVal High School. Her fifth life lesson is, “Touch as many lives as you can.” I try to fulfill this promise I made to my daughter each day.
4 | What personal philosophy of life motivates you the most?
What can I do to help you achieve? As a Springfield College graduate, I believe in the humanistic philosophy of spirit, mind, and body. Society is becoming increasingly detached. Today, we count how many friends we have on Facebook, and yet, do we know much about each of those people? We speak to each other with our thumbs and never hear the inflection of a voice nor see the body language attached to the message, which can lead to misinterpretations. As we strive for more efficiency, I hope we never lose the “personal relationship” involved in the transactions and the human connection to life.
AI is here and going to weave increasingly into our everyday lives. It brings immense potential; however, will we be emotionally mature enough to handle it, or will it drive an even deeper gap into our emotional connection to each other as people? Will we be emotionally able to move from a purely egocentric philosophy to the capability to play cooperatively and support each other? So once again, what can I do to help you achieve?