Damon is the CEO of Maxons Restoration, a company that specializes in restoring commercial and residential property which have been damaged by disaster.
On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Towers in New York were hit by terrorist attacks and the city was immediately plunged into chaos. In addition to the tragic loss of life, the entire city was put on lockdown and approximately 2 million tons of concrete dust and debris (including sheetrock, concrete, ash, soot, asbestos, and particles of glass and steel) blew into the air. Nearly every property throughout lower Manahattan south of Canal Street was either damaged or affected by dust and debris.
With the entire city in deep shock, and the world reeling with the realization that life would never be as we once knew it, Damon knew that the response to this crisis would be a defining moment for himself and others. He was 33 years old at the time.
Damon understood that the bottleneck in the disaster recovery industry was access to the small pool of high-quality, specialized labor. At the time, most of those specialists were engaged on a contract basis by restoration companies whenever the need arose. However, in the two days after the attack, while most others were still in shock and coming to terms with the events, Damon saw an opportunity to play a pivotal role in the recovery and he had his team contact every subcontractor in his network that Maxons had previously worked with and asked them to work exclusively with his company.
A few days after the planes hit, he had secured almost the entire skilled labor market in the New York Area although he had not yet secured any new restoration contracts as the city remained on lockdown. As other restoration companies began contacting contractors, some contractors questioned their commitment to Maxons and Damon promised to pay workers on standby until they began to receive contracts. Making this commitment was an enormous financial risk at the time for a small company. With only minimal cash resources, Damon only had a small window of time before the decision would put his company at risk.
When restoration contracts started coming up, Maxons was the only company with access to large teams of sufficiently qualified labor, eventually mobilizing his work force of more than 1,600 recovery specialists with military style efficiency. He then helped to coordinate the large-scale, high-profile recovery effort to restore the damage to the buildings in lower Manhattan, including important historic landmarks.
In addition to playing a crucial role in the important role of helping New York recover from the tragedy, the revenue of Maxons increased approximately 500% over the next 6 months.
In the words of his nominator, “I had never seen anything like this from someone I knew. The gravity of the situation and the fact he could see through the fog, identify the opportunity and execute on it, at the age of 33, was truly unbelievable”.
Damon has distinguished himself with exemplary resourcefulness in a time of national crisis. He demonstrated cool headedness and the judgement to take enormous risk when others were in shock. His decisions allowed him to leverage his own extremely limited resources to have an outsized influence on New York’s recovery from the tragedy of 9/11, benefiting the city and his company.