Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Owner's Corner: Third Quarter 2021

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

Our Owners When you think about impressing your 80-year-old self, what sentiments inspire you to become the best version of yourself that you can be?

“Could I ask you something, mom?”

“Sure. What is it?”

“In your life, which two people do you want to make the most proud?”

“There are so many! Only two?”

“Just two.”

After several moments of deliberation and thought, I responded, “My mom and dad???”

“Nope! The correct answer is yourself at 8 years old and yourself at 80 years old. You should make your 8-year-old self think that you’re having an awesome life and your 80-year-old self should be convinced that your life was worthwhile.”

Cut back to me- speechless and awe-struck by the wise insight coming from my 12-year-old. Where did this come from? Did he learn it on TikTok? 

I’m snapped out of my daze of silence when he asks, “How would they think of you?”

This required a deep, thoughtful breath. I answered, “For my 8-year-old self, I guess she would think that I’ve had some cool adventures and traveled to interesting places.” 

“How about your 80-year-old self? What would she think?”

“Oh my. That’s more difficult to answer.”

“Thanks okay! You won’t have to have that one figured out for another 40 years.” 

What can I say? He was absolutely right and there I stood, astounded. 

This year, for those of you who didn’t do the math, I turned 40. In all honesty, I dreaded the prospect of entering this new decade even though, in hindsight, I don’t feel all that different physically. All the while, I do feel as though I’ve changed in a mental sense, but it’s a change for the better. As they say, with age comes wisdom, which ultimately generates increased confidence as a result of more lessons learned. 

You might want to roll your eyes at me for preaching when I only have 40 years under my belt, but there’s a chance that you might be in a similar position as me. Either way, I have five sentiments that I’ve picked up along the way and would like to share. In reality, it’s rare that I fulfill all of these on any given day, but if I average even one, I think that my 80-year-old self would be fairly impressed when she reflects back on her life.

  1. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” – A famous rockstar once sang, “It don’t come easy.” Anything worthwhile usually requires at least a little bit of elbow grease. 
  2.     “Do What Scares You Until it Doesn’t” – I devoted a whole blog to this topic last year. It’s important to recognize that many people attempt various endeavors and find success. Remember- if they can do it, you can too! Failure is always daunting, but one day, you’ll find that what once scared you isn’t so scary anymore. 
  3. “Be the Buffalo” – Are you familiar with this metaphor? Cows and buffaloes face danger as it approaches in two very different ways. Buffaloes take off, running towards the storm, while cows run away in the opposite direction. The cow’s method isn’t helpful, as it can’t outrun the storm and painful frustration is the only outcome. What can we learn from the cow and the buffalo? Deal with problems directly as they arise instead of prolonging your suffering by running away from them.
  4.     “It takes twice as long to build bridges you’ve burnt” – My sister and I found ourselves in a nasty argument on Christmas day in 1988 and the punishment that our mother gave me involved writing the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” no less than one hundred times. Many people, including myself, have burned bridges in their time. Afterwards, you can’t help but replay moments back on repeat in your head, hoping that you could hop in a time machine and change the course of events. What you learn from those situations is to face difficult circumstances with empathy, honesty, and complete transparency. Weight will be lifted from your shoulders and peace of mind will come to you if you keep the Golden Rule close to your heart. 
  5. “No one wears the jersey of a Monday Morning Quarterback” – I recently read about “The Man in the Arena” by Theodore Roosevelt. One of his main ideas is that you can find critics pretty much everywhere, but it’s unfair to critique another person without having any idea of their situation. The real heroes are those who defy the “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” and, instead, decide to continue attempting, failing, inventing, and picking themselves up no matter what happens. Who do you want to be? 

I tend to come across the words that I need to hear most when I’m least expecting it. This blog has been, on a small-scale, my means of paying it forward. I’d consider it a success if even one person walked away with a new perspective to consider. 

When you think about impressing your 80-year-old self, what sentiments inspire you to become the best version of yourself that you can be? I’d love to know.

Sincerely,

Trish Wall

Recognizing Outstanding Employees: Q3 Employee of the Quarter

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Employees of the quarter We are thrilled to recognize Bobbie and Octavius as c0-Employees of the Quarter.

Each quarter, SERVPRO of Harrisburg West recognizes a team member with the “Employee of the Quarter” award. This quarter, not one but two exemplary employees, Bobbie Wylie and Octavius Duval, particularly stuck out and we are thrilled to recognize them as our Employees of the Quarter. Keep reading to learn more about Bobbie and Octavius:

Bobbie has only been a member of our SERVPRO of Harrisburg West team for a few months, as she joined us in June of this year, but she has made quite the impression right off of the bat. Bobbie serves as the Office Manager of our SERVPRO of Harrisburg West office. She has done a fantastic job handling all concerns from customers in addition to managing the schedule. This September, when Hurricane Ida hit, Bobbie assisted in putting together a plan to help as many customers as possible while Ida was slamming Central Pennsylvania.  Bobbie also consistently puts in extra time to make sure things have been completed and done in a timely manner.  She continues to use her insurance knowledge to assist in speaking to adjusters for approval, offering us a unique and beneficial perspective that makes the process smoother for adjusters, customers, and our staff. We know that Bobbie has a bright future ahead of her with SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall. She has already done so much impressive work and we cannot wait to see what else she will accomplish as a member of our team. Thank you for all that you do, Bobbie!

Crew Chief Octavius Duval has been a member of our SERVPRO of Harrisburg West team for almost 2 years, but he has worked with SERVPRO for over 8 years. In addition to his valuable experience in the field, he consistently shows great leadership skills. He also frequently volunteers for storm work opportunities, including this summer’s Hurricane Ida, in addition to volunteering locally for overtime work. Octavius knows that at the Crew Chief level, leadership and hardwork are crucial, and he makes sure that he demonstrates in everything he does. Always willing to do what is needed to get the job done, he makes certain that his jobs are completed and information is easily transferred to the job file coordinator for quick billing.  Octavius is everything we can ask for in a Crew Chief and we are so grateful to have him on our team!

A Note From Our Owners: The Owner’s Corner

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Convention photo As we navigate our journey as “Multi-Market Owners” during an exciting time for SERVPRO franchise owners, we find ourselves forging our own path.

The following blog is an excerpt from our latest newsletter:

The phrase “Independently Owned and Operated” is a tagline that we have seen time and time again, but do we know what it really means? 

Think about the businesses that you see or frequent on a regular basis… The UPS Store, 7-Eleven, Orangetheory, McDonalds, The Philadelphia Phillies, and even SERVPRO. These are all businesses that are franchised and both owned and operated by individuals. All the while, they are still guided and supported by their founders and structured by their central board or corporate team. 

On any given business day, a new franchise is opened every 8 minutes. Small business owners are three times more likely to succeed if they open a franchise instead of an independent business. However, while having a predetermined business plan to follow as a franchise may appear to offer instant success, this outcome is not guaranteed. The owners of a franchised business must have an entrepreneurial mindset, create a team with strong collective hustle, and win the trust of loyal customers who will move the business forward. 

In May 2009, a husband and wife duo took a chance by opening one license franchise during a recession and thus, SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team – Team Wall was born. Perhaps blessed by youth and its accompanying naivety, failure and questions of “What If?” never crossed our minds as first-time small business owners. Instead, we found our way by following the path to success forged by SERVPRO franchises that came before. The whole experience was amazing, but it was an endeavor that was equally marked by amazingly hard work. 

12 years later, Team Wall owns and operates 12 franchise licenses via 3 different metro markets. We believe that the architecture that was fashioned for us in 2009 was integral to our success, but as we navigate our journey as “Multi-Market Owners” during an exciting time for SERVPRO franchise owners, we find ourselves forging our own path. 

Individual franchise owners often operate Multi-Market Operations. Examples include Anytime Fitness, Subway, and Dunkin Donuts. You may even come across Multi-Market franchise owners who possess a number of licenses that comes close to 300. While holding 300 licenses is inspiring, this is a practice that is usually found in the food industry. For Team Wall, it has been an honor to take part, alongside approximately 20 of our fellow franchises, in traversing this concept in SERVPRO Industries’ service sector.

During the 4th quarter of 2019, Team Wall began our journey as Multi-Market Operators. Of course, the warmest winter in 100 years and a pandemic quickly followed, throwing a wrench in our plans. Yikes! This certainly is not a section of our journey as franchise owners that we would like to repeat. However, it made the week of July 20th, 2021 all the more gratifying. In addition to celebrating SERVPRO’s 52nd Annual Convention, it was the first time in over 2 years that we were able to see members of our SERVPRO family in person.

The annual SERVPRO convention gave us inspiration, guidance, and fellowship that are meaningful beyond words. The convention’s events taught us new lessons in technology, automation, integration, marketing strategies, key accounts and new relationships, best practices in the industry, and ways in which we can better serve our customers. 

Talking through the challenges and triumphs alike that we experienced this year, as well as the many lessons that we learned, we were able to network with our peers. As First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

We experienced first-hand the infectious enthusiasm of convention week and returned home buzzing with fresh ideas about ways in which we can further Team Wall’s success. The Multi-Market Operator is a blessing that we are so grateful to have been given and we are eager to do all we can to make the most of this opportunity. 

The gratitude that we feel as a result of the opportunities given to us by our customers throughout the years is never-ending. We are additionally humbled by our team members’ constant dedication and enthusiasm. We would not be where we are today without the overwhelming support of our customers and team members. 

With heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude,

Jim and Trish Wall

Praising Our Employees

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Annual picnic Employees play cornhole at our office's annual picnic.

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Individual commitment to a group effort- that is what makes a team work.” In order for our company to thrive, each individual employee must be committed to the group goal. Therefore, we like to take the time to recognize and appreciate our team members for their efforts, which are essential to our company’s success. Here at SERVPRO of Harrisburg West, we believe that employee recognition should take center stage. We’ll share some of the ways in which we appreciate our employees throughout the year in this blog.

Crab Feast and BBQ

During the summer, there’s nothing quite like a relaxing barbeque with friends. Our annual office barbeque is an event that our employees look forward to every summer as a day in which they can leave the stress of daily work behind and enjoy each other’s company. 

Department Outings

Throughout the year, we take the time to gather our employees together outside of the office through department outings. These outings serve two beneficial purposes: Letting off steam and strengthening our team bond. Recently, our Sales and Marketing teams traveled to Big Truck Farm Brewery one afternoon in June to spend time together in person after more than a year of Zoom meetings. Our team members tried their hand at archery and relished in the beautiful summer weather.

The “Wall of Praise”

Inside of our office is a custom-made decal and a stack of notepads that can be found in our primary conference room. This wall is dedicated to employee recognition and it is known amongst our team members as “The Wall of Praise.” Employees are encouraged to write positive notes about their coworkers’ strengths and add them to the wall. Each quarter, about 4 or 5 of these notes are selected to be read aloud to the entire team at the quarterly meeting so that their hard work can be known to everyone. 

Employee Highlights and Awards

Our quarterly meetings are also the backdrop for the presentation of our “Employee of the Quarter” award, tenure and anniversary awards, and various Sales and Marketing awards, including the “Coach’s Award,” “Top Producer,” and “Most Improved.” It is important to our team that we highlight employees in this large group setting, as it allows for employees to be appreciated in front of the largest group of their teammates possible, boosting the total team morale. Additionally, the recipients of our “Employee of the Quarter” award is also highlighted on our social media accounts through spotlight posts and an article shared in our quarterly newsletter as well as a blog on our website. 

Trust Our Team

The “team” component of our “7 Pillars” is often emphasized, but our team would not be successful without the hard work and dedication of each individual employee. At SERVPRO of Harrisburg West, you’ll find a tight-knit, robust team of professionals who are always ready to help restore your commercial or residential property after any disaster. For immediate assistance, give us a call right away at (717) 510-6779.

Employee of the Quarter: Tommy Duval

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Employee of the Quarter Tommy Duval was selected as this quarter’s “Employee of the Quarter” for our Harrisburg West office.

Every quarter, we select one employee who exudes the qualities of an outstanding team member of SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall. Tommy Duval was selected as this quarter’s “Employee of the Quarter” for our Harrisburg West office. Tommy is currently a Production Manager at our office and has been with us for six months. Prior to joining our Harrisburg West team, he gained considerable knowledge and experience with SERVPRO of North York, working as a Crew Chief and Production Manager. 

Tommy’s Commendable Qualities

In total, Tommy has worked with SERVPRO for eleven years and he is an incredible asset to our team. On an everyday basis, Tommy is hardworking, as he is always willing to stay after hours to make sure that schedules are correct and job updates are being sent, as well as working on larger projects in the field to ensure that work is completed quickly and efficiently. A reliable employee, Tommy is available to help his coworkers at any time of day- on or off the clock. When he picks up the phone, he always answers with the mindset of offering a helping hand. Communication is another of Tommy’s strengths, making sure that he checks in with the office, shares concerns, and makes them aware of crucial obstacles and information. Understanding the concerns of customers and working to find solutions, Tommy displays impressive patience. He excels in initiative, as he consistently plans ahead. When we are short-staffed or are forced to juggle various issues, Tommy remains optimistic, whether he is on the job site or managing his crew. 

Exemplary Skills and Characteristics 

Tommy adheres to SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall’s “7 Pillars” on a daily basis. He displays accountability through his professionalism. He excels in leadership as well as organization, which strengthens his problem-solving skills and helps him find solutions. 

His negotiation skills are strong and nourish his persistence. Lastly, Tommy is a true team-player, as he places teamwork front and center every day. We are so grateful for all that you do, Tommy!

Employees of the Quarter: Octavius Duval and Matt Voght

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

Every quarter, we highlight one employee from our Harrisburg West office who showcases the qualities that characterize an outstanding SERVPRO team member. This quarter, however, two employees, Octavius Duval and Matt Voght, were worthy of the distinguished “Employee of the Quarter” award.

Octavius Duval

Octavius joined our SERVPRO team as a Crew Chief in October of 2019 after previously working as both a Technician and a Crew Chief of SERVPRO of North York. His team members know Octavius as someone who is always ready and willing to help. He consistently displays phenomenal customer service in all of his work. Octavius also eagerly works as a part of our traveling storm teams, which is no easy job. We’d like to thank Octavius for being someone who his peers can rely on and a valued member of our team!

Matt Voght

Starting off as a Technician in January of 2020, Matt moved quickly into the role of Crew Chief. As a Crew Chief, Matt has continued to excel. A man of many talents under the umbrella of construction, Matt is always prepared to put his skills to use and help his peers in any way possible. Matt is a true team player, who we are lucky to have as a part of our team. Like Octavius, Matt’s teammates can always depend on him when in need. Thank you for all that you do, Matt!

Owners Corner: 1st Quarter 2021

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Two Men Pictured: James Wall Jr. & James Wall Sr.

The article that follows is featured in our most latest Quarterly Newsletter:

Never in my life have I experienced something so heart-wrenching. My mother-in-law stood surrounded by Jim, his brothers, and their wives as she said goodbye to her husband after 48 years of marriage. It was an experience that will stay with me forever. Additionally, it helped me fully comprehend the awe-inspiring mark that a life well-lived leaves behind.

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

It was only a few weeks into dating his son that I first met my future father-in-law. Upon sitting down for dinner, he posed two questions, the first being “What was your college GPA?” and the second was “How much money do you make?”. (Insert that surprised, wide-eyed emoji here). Wow! Now, after seventeen years, I understand that it was just the way of Dr. Jim Wall. He was fiercely caring and took every measure to ensure that his children were given the best life possible, which included screening a potential girlfriend every so often.

It is impossible to describe the tremendous impact that he had on my husband. Jim Sr. had no idea of the extent to which the guidance and direction that he provided his son would reach thousands of strangers.

Jim Sr., an entrepreneur, and his wife, Jane, quickly recognized their son’s innate leadership ability and knew that he had a future in entrepreneurship. To say that my father-in-law encouraged his son would be an understatement but, to say that he forced such a career upon him would be unfair. The verb I’m looking for to describe Jim Sr.’s intentions falls somewhere in the middle of these two (which would make complete sense to anyone who knew Jim Sr.).

One of the lessons that he taught his son was that work and goals will never be completely harmonious. He modeled the skill of being frugal while still treating oneself every once in a while. Living life to the fullest was another lesson passed down from Jim Sr. to his son (we can thank Jim Sr. for my husband’s idea to get an incubator, as well as the 5 resulting baby chickens running around my house). Promoting the notion of learning from others at every opportunity, he challenged his son to relish curiosity and to never be afraid to ask questions.

These soft skills, as well as the space in the middle of “encouraged” and “forced,” were the reasons why my husband graduated from a prestigious college not only with a degree in Accounting under his belt, but fluency in a second language as well. With his dad’s voice ever present in the back of his mind, my husband set out on the road to entrepreneurship.

Long story short: It worked. From his high school days all the way up until his early 30s, Jim tossed around a plethora of small business ideas. The dream that Jim’s dad inspired in his son finally came true in 2009, when we seized the opportunity and opened our first SERVPRO franchise. Starting off in Hunt Valley, Maryland, we spent the following 12 years growing our business and expanding geographically all the way into Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Just this past year, we’ve tackled over 3,100 jobs, acquired 12 franchise licenses, and grown our team with 133 new employees. These numbers speak for themselves in terms of the reach of our work, as we’ve been able to create jobs, support families, assist customers, and touch lives. This is all thanks to one father who placed enough faith in his son to propel him towards his dream.

Sometimes, we underestimate the impact that we have on others. What we say and what we do are a part of the footprint that we leave on this earth long after we’re gone. If my footprint is even half as wide as that of my father-in-law, I would consider myself lucky.

While we miss him immensely, our family- as well as our family here at SERVPRO- remembers Dr. James R. Wall’s legacy and its ripples that will continue touching the lives of people near and far.

Employee of the Quarter: Vickie Jordan

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Every quarter, we celebrate one particularly spectacular employee and present them with the title “Employee of the Quarter”. Our Harrisburg West office chose Vickie Jordan to receive the title this quarter. Learn more about Vickie and her outstanding work in the following excerpt from our recent quarterly newsletter:

Meet Vickie

SERVPRO of Harrisburg West’s 4th Quarter “Employee of the Quarter” is Vickie Jordan! Though Vickie started working with Team Wall in November of 2019, she has years of experience with the company, as she worked as an Administrative Assistant for SERVPRO of North York prior to Team Wall’s ownership.

A Master of Her Craft

In her current role as Job File Coordinator for SERVPRO of Harrisburg West, Vickie works diligently while juggling many different tasks. Vickie has demonstrated that she is a remarkable multitasker, as she collaborates with our field technicians, insurance adjusters, and customers in order to put together estimates and invoice packages that thoroughly and accurately detail each job. With a tremendous amount of protocol to follow for our insurance carrier program requirements, Vickie’s work is meticulous, but she knows her stuff.

Thank You, Vickie!

Vickie’s coworkers know her as a team-player, as she is always willing to help others and be of assistance in any way she can. We are so lucky to have Vickie on our SERVPRO of Harrisburg West team!

Owners Corner: 1st Quarter Newsletter Excerpt

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

No one can argue that 2020 was a challenging year. Just take a look at the Wikipedia page dedicated to 2020 (it even itemizes events by month and day). You could also peruse your favorite social media platform and, within a matter of seconds, find a video, meme, a “vent” from a friend, or an advertisement that leaves you wondering, “will we ever find a light at the end of the tunnel that is 2020?”.

We could even see this sentiment reflected in our family and friends’ holiday cards. It seemed as though everyone referenced the events and feelings of this year, whether it be through amusing candid photos, “year in review” notes, or catchy taglines. That is, until January 2nd, 2021, when I received and opened the final card of the season, which sparked an intense feeling of gratitude.

On the back of the card, I found words that caught me by surprise and inspired me to alter my viewpoint as I began to lumber into the new year:

“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

 ~Excerpt from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

I am committed to savoring the good lessons that emerged from the obstacles of 2020. Particularly, for Jim and I, we want to savor those that impacted the most important parts of our world:

  1. Family: Every day, our kids are growing. This year, we had the opportunity to spend more time together and revel in each moment instead of driving separate cars to make it to whichever sporting event was next on the roster. We were able to eat our dinner at the SAME table, at the SAME time. At the table, we had meaningful discussions with our kids, watching their personalities grow right before our eyes. Some of that growth stretched beyond their personalities as well. We watched, without the distractions presented by the everyday chaos with which we had previously become acquainted, our 12-year-old tack on an additional 6 inches to his height this year. The ability to be present in the moment, void of distractions, was one of the most incredible blessings to come out of 2020 and it’s one that we want to carry with us for years to come.
  2. SERVPRO: While the lesson of humility is continuous, 2020 brought it to the forefront of our minds. Regardless of our efforts to plan and attempt to get things under control as best we can, there will always be some situations that we just can’t control:
  • 1St Quarter 2020: In October of 2019, our business underwent a significant expansion geographically, which was followed by the warmest winter to be recorded in the last 125 years. Our business halted and sweat began to drip off our brows as unsettling discussions of layoffs commenced. This unforeseen circumstance was nothing short of a punch to the gut. At the same time, however, it served as a reminder that instead of the rest of the world revolving around our plans, it is us who must revolve our plans around the rest of the world. It was the earliest use of the word “pivot”, something that would be applied many, many more times in 2020.
  • 2nd Quarter 2020: COVID-19, lockdowns, uncertainty, fear. I don’t think I need to tell you what went down in 2nd Quarter. Almost overnight, both our business as a whole and our employees were deemed “essential”. In order to help “flatten the curve”, our primary services changed from restoration to viral pathogen cleaning. Aspiring to give our communities some much-needed peace of mind, we did everything in our power to keep businesses open and decelerate the economic consequences of lengthy shutdowns. As entrepreneurs, we’ll never forget this period of time. We certainly felt the fear that arose from the profound uncertainty, but we were filled with pride as we watched our team band together, acclimate to the unfamiliar situation, and display our synergy in order to fulfill our tagline, “Here to Help”.
  • 3rd Quarter 2020: It all began with the English alphabet and came to a close with the Greek alphabet. The 2020 hurricane season broke records left and right. Our Storm Response teams traveled across the country, from Philadelphia to Florida, in response to Hurricanes Isaias, Laura, and Sally. One project that particularly stood out is summarized in our most recent “Job of the Quarter”. This project emphasized far more than our team’s capabilities, as it also illustrated the beneficial outcomes that result from our SERVPRO franchise system’s “One Team” mindset. Just the same as 2nd Quarter, we learned another lesson in humility, reflected in the proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
  • 4th Quarter 2020: Here you come again, just when I'm about to get myself together”. The lyrics of Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” resounded in my mind. The contrast in temperature between the winter of 2019 and that of 2020 was drastic. This winter has been incredibly cold and largely unhelpful in the process of curbing COVID-19. Cases skyrocketed toward the end of October, sending our team back into an overwhelming amount of COVID-19 cleanings. In fact, we completed 400 COVID-19 related cleanings this quarter and then some. To reflect the resurgence of the virus, our focus shifted back to being there for our communities. Knowing that we didn’t have to head out into uncharted territory, as we did in the spring, took some of the weight off of our shoulders. With experience and practice, our team was able to polish the process and improve the quality of our services.

Looking back on the difficult challenges posed by 2020, it’s apparent that those challenges were the catalyst of many good things. I encourage you to acknowledge and honor the good that came out of the past year. Life is short and it shouldn’t be wasted by wallowing in the disappointing aspects.

“…it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” These words, the last sentences I read in 2020, were unbelievably fitting. This year, I’m taking those words and tucking them into my back pocket to carry them with me into the new year. I hope you’ll do the same.

Wishing that you remain well and happy,

Trish and Jim Wall

Chris Employee Highlight Writeup

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Hoeltke is the kind of man who seeks unpredictability and challenge, while valuing loyalty and family. This was made vehemently clear during the filming of our most recent Employee Highlight video about Chris Hoeltke. Chris Hoeltke, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley Harford County's Warehouse Coordinator, a full-service disaster recovery agency, has led a fascinating life. He and his partner, Shannon, have chosen to live full-time on one of the many boats he's collected over the years.

We spoke about his work experience during our conversation with Chris. He mentioned that he never stayed too long at any workplace. He has lasted approximately five years in every given job since his first job.  He explained how from the bottom he begins, works his way to the top, then something— happens and he decides to leave.   
"I'm getting bored," he said. Chris no longer sees excitement in what he does if his job is no longer challenging for him. He says this is why working as SERVPRO's Warehouse Coordinator is the ideal role, because when he arrives at work, he never knows what the day would bring. A storm might have struck that he has to drive to a nearby job may require his help, anything that is broken may need repairing. as,Whatever the case might be, because it is still different from yesterday, Chris is happy to do it.   

You may be aware that the destructive Hurricane Laura struck Lake Charles in Louisiana in late August. Shortly afterward, Hurricane Delta struck the area. SERVPRO sent multiple teams down to the scene to support any businesses or families in distress, hearing about the back to back destruction. to Hoeltke contributed to those teams and was even the first to suggest he "roll out".  

Hoeltke said "I was happy because I got to see my family."

Hoeltke had already spoken with Jim Wall, owner of SERVPRO Team Wall, about his origins in Louisiana prior to his planned visit back to his old stomping ground.

"[Jim] let me go down early one day so I could spend a day in New Orleans... I got to see my parents who I haven't seen for 15-18 years."  
The home reunion at Hoeltke was successful, to say the least. He had the chance to meet nieces and nephews he had never met before.

All in all, we appreciate the years that Chris has spent with us so far and are glad to have come to know him the way we have. Thank you, Chris, for everything.

Taking it to the Streets - A Field Investigation

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Hallway SERVPRO Are you ready for back to school?

Back in mid-March, statewide closures of public schools were announced by the Pennsylvania and Maryland governors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, students, teachers, and parents stayed at home for the rest of the school year and adjusted to the new normal of virtual learning. With fall quickly approaching, the question on everyone’s mind is: Will students return to school or will virtual learning continue?

Will Students Return to the Classroom?

An article recently published in the Baltimore Sun, titled “Superintendents say schools in Central Maryland unlikely to return to normal in the fall, describes the problem that is currently facing Maryland schools while Baltimore-area school superintendents examine a variety of fall reopening plans. According to the superintendents, students returning to “in-person classes five days a week” (Bowie, 2020) this fall is unlikely. Several Maryland counties and Pittsburgh Public Schools have already decided to hold fall classes virtually. Contrastingly, other area schools and districts have decided to adopt either completely virtual or hybrid methods of learning.

Schools Consider Different Plans

Hybrid models of learning, differing slightly from institution to institution, are being considered by regional colleges and universities. Located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Dickinson College has opted for an entirely virtual fall semester, keeping students at home. On the other hand, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Maryland both plan to have students return to campus in some capacity this fall, as they will offer a mostly remote schedule and some in-person classes. Both schools have announced that they will enforce social distancing, mask wearing, and other safety protocols in addition to providing isolation facilities on campus (coronavirus.pitt.edu, 2020; umd.edu, 2020). Even with all of these safety precautions, the question is: will it be enough?

SERVPRO Can Help

No matter what model schools adopt, here at SERVPRO, we have a solution. Our “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program can be integrated into school reopening plans this fall by offering schools a cleaning service that is hospital-grade and uses disinfectants that are approved by the EPA. Both frequently contacted touchpoints, which include desktops, chair backs, and stair handrails, as well as less frequently contacted touchpoints, such as backs of desks and bathroom stall walls, are targeted in the cleaning. Afterward, SERVPRO will provide physical and digital signage, which schools can put on display to communicate the high level of disinfectant cleaning that the school has received. “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” cleanings can be either defensive or, if the school has a positive case of COVID-19, SERVPRO will arrive immediately to thoroughly disinfect the building.

Even though there is uncertainty surrounding this fall and the school year, you can guarantee that your school will undergo the highest standard of cleaning by integrating SERVPRO’s “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program into your unique reopening plan.

Owners Corner: 2nd Quarter 2020

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

The following is an excerpt from our 3rd quarter newsletter. This quarter’s Owner’s Corner features one of our owners, Trish Wall, giving her thoughts on the company’s experience over the last several months dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:

It’s been 6 months since we published our last quarterly newsletter back in January. Now, at the end of July, we’re here looking at only our second “Quarterly” newsletter of 2020. If you’re doing the math and wondering why it doesn’t quite add up, you’re not mistaken. I’ll give you two guesses at the reason for this and the first one doesn’t count… COVID-19.

It was the afternoon of New Year’s Eve when I wrote the last “Owner’s Corner” article and I was filled with emotions anticipating the new year. Feeling pensive, excited, anxious, and hopeful, I summarized our strategy for 2020 as “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”, which ended up being more prophetic than any of us could have imagined.

Everyone was uniquely impacted by COVID-19 in this country. Professionally, the pandemic forced our team to take on an abrupt change. We were a restoration company that offered cleaning services on 3/11/20. By 3/12/20, we suddenly became a cleaning company that offered restoration services after our first COVID-19 cleaning job began. It doesn’t get more uncomfortable than reversing your business model overnight.

Every member of our team dove in headfirst, taking the challenge of shifting right away. “Flattening the curve” was the country’s top priority and our company had the resources and tools to help do so. Therefore, we felt and still feel an immense social responsibility to service our communities. After four months and a plethora of COVID-19 cleaning jobs, our team is incredibly proud of the contributions that they have made in an effort to combat this pandemic.

The pride that Jim and I hold for our team is even more extensive. I’m reminded of the John Maxwell quote, “Change is Inevitable. Growth is Optional.” Growth was something consciously chosen by our team members when they were surrounded by the numerous uncertainties of this time. Their decision to choose growth has left us in awe.

We strive to instill the mindset of always pursuing professional as well as personal growth. It was incredibly gratifying to watch it play out right before our eyes. Our company’s ability to positively impact our community amidst the turbulence our country is facing has brought us gratitude. We are even more appreciative of our team for carrying out Team Wall’s vision statement, “Restoring peace of mind to EVERY customer. EVERY day”.

We hope that you stay healthy and stay safe. Keep growing!

Sincerely,

Jim and Trish Wall

P.S. Entreleadership is one of our favorite podcast series. One episode in May featured John Maxwell as a guest, speaking about Personal Growth. It had a great impact on us and we think that giving it a listen would be worth your time: https://www.entreleadership.com/blog/podcasts/john-maxwell-success. I have many favorite thoughts from this podcasts, but this quote is a particular favorite:

“I’m going to live til I die and I’m not going to get the two confused.”

Employee of the Quarter (Q2 2020)

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

two people in front of SERVPRO truck Kyrie Muffley and Tony Keller

Each quarter, we recognize one exemplary employee as our “Employee of the Quarter”. With so many incredible employees, you may be wondering: How do we choose the employee of the quarter?

Here at SERVPRO Harrisburg West, we ask our employees to strive for our 7 “pillars”, that which include: QualityPersistenceConsistencyTeamHustleSolutions, and Accountability. The employee of the quarter not only follows and models all 7 pillars, but also surpasses expectations. This quarter, two employees possessed these qualities, so we couldn’t pick just one! Congratulations Kyrie Muffley and Tony Keller!


Kyrie Muffley

Kyrie Muffley serves as Office Administrator at SERVPRO of Harrisburg West. An exemplary employee, Kyrie always puts the needs of customers and team members first. You can always count on Kyrie, even if a job requires working extra hours before or after the workday or going out into the field. In her role as the office administrator, she keeps everyone and everything in check and we would be lost without her. We’re thrilled to have Kyrie as a part of our team!

Tony Keller

The second employee of the quarter is SERVPRO of Harrisburg West’s crew chief, Tony Keller. Tony has a multitude of responsibilities in his position as crew chief, which includes mentoring team members, running job sites, and working with customers and insurance carriers. To all of these responsibilities, Tony brings a wonderful, even-keeled approach. His efforts as crew chief transcend what is expected of him. Tony never shies away from new opportunities and is always eager to try something new or expand his role in the company. There’s no doubt that you can always count on Tony when you need him. We’re so happy he’s part of our team!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Harrisburg West today at  (717) 761-2173 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

What Does FEMA Have to do With Waffles?

4/5/2020 (Permalink)

Many years ago, in 2004, a hurricane swept across the east coast. FEMA went to work, doing what they could to analyze the damage and help the communities that had been struck by the disaster. At the same time, an informal metric would rise out of this slew of hurricanes that would puzzle civilians for years to come. This metric was, The Waffle House Index. What exactly is The Waffle House Index? Well, a researcher working for FEMA at the time noticed that one could theoretically quantify how severe a natural disaster was to the surrounding areas by analyzing the current operating status of Waffle Houses in the affected area. If the store was open, green light, if the store was running on a limited menu, yellow light, and if the store was completely shut down, red light. It turned out that while the premise might have seemed odd, FEMA could get a pretty decent idea of the severity of the situation in a certain region. It began as sort of a joke until the term was coined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in May 2011 (https://n.pr/2JznNEc).
Now, with the current epidemic, The Waffle House Index is being put to the test again but now on a nationwide scale. If we can take anything from this story its that being able to support the community should be held above all house. Good risk management is one thing, but understanding how to prepare for any size disaster, and being able to hold the foundation of our communities because of our preparedness is a trait that we hold pride on as well.
SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team-Team Wall, chooses to be that foundation for our community every day we put our boots on the ground.
We are here to help. We are here to commit. We are here to serve.
SERVPRO, One Team.

Job of the Quarter (Q4 2019)

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee working in a local office where a pipe had burst and flooded the entire hallway.

Job of the Quarter - "One Stop Solution Shop"

Baltimore was founded 47 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1729. It's an ancient city in terms of the "new world."

In the last 291 years since the city was founded, significant progress has been made over design, engineering, and innovation. The sewage system in Baltimore city has unfortunately not made the necessary progress to bring it up to modern standards. The best summary is a post from www.cleanwateraction.org:

“Baltimore City’s sewage system was designed with dozens of Sanitary Sewer Overflow Structures: intentional release valves that allowed sewage to overflow into streams, rather than streets or people’s basements. Although this was a best practice in the early 1900’s, using streams as open sewer pipes is a significant public health and environmental threat…”

“In 2002, Baltimore City finalized a Consent Decree… outlining how it would end the chronic sewage overflows into local streams that were fouling the Inner Harbor…”

“Between 2002 and 2016, Baltimore City completed half the work that was described in the Consent Decree - but backups of sewage into homes in Baltimore grew from a minor problem to a major hazard” According to an investigation by the Baltimore Sun, in 2004, the Department of Public Works responded to 622 sewage backups and by 2015, that number had hit nearly 5000.

 “When we closed those other 60 overflows that actually increased the number of basement backups that we saw in the city. Again, because the sewage has to go somewhere.” ~Department of Public Work’s General Counsel

At SERVPRO, we see sewage spills daily throughout the city and counties. Early November, we were honored to help multiple homeowners recover in all eight of their attached city row homes from a large sewage backup affecting basements. We chose this job as our "Quarter Job" not only for our quick response to completion timeline, but also because it is a great example of our full-service capabilities.

The call came to our office early on a Friday afternoon and we had crews on-site within 30 minutes to start sewage extraction from row home basements. Because drywall wicks up water as fast as 1 inch per hour and sewage qualify as water loss Category 3 (water containing unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness), it was necessary to cut drywall and remove insulation to 2' to allow proper drying and sanitation. All content in the sewage-affected basement was removed and disposed of. Including some appliances. We are proud to be the "one-stop solution shop" for all customer problems. We handled repairing appliances for those homeowners and helped to provide even more timely solutions.

Many people don't realize that SERVPRO not only mitigates your disaster, but we'll put it all back together. "Like it never even happened," remember? That's what we did for the 8-row home basements affected by this mass sewage backup. Our mitigation teams finished and our reconstruction team moved in, replaced all contaminated insulation, installed fresh drywall, and repainted the entire basement. Our team laid new carpets, tile floors, installed new kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and kitchen backsplashes tiled. New doors were installed and decorated, and appliances were installed. All this, time 8 homeowners, completed in 35 days.

Our team members signed up for a dirty, messy, and labor-intensive job. However, the pride they take in bringing back people's lives quickly and efficiently couldn't be greater. That's what Team Wall's SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team loves to do... we love being your "One Stop Solution Shop!"

Insurance Agents, Meet Matterport

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

The Matterport is the pinnacle of new real-estate technology

Have you ever been deceived by the amount time insurance claims take to settle? You know that time is money if you're a professional insurance broker or property manager! The cost and time involved in settling a conflict over the property is usually based on the competence and efficiency of the maintenance and repair undertaking. If you are using a contractor who is without the expertise, training and equipment to make accurate estimates, your insured or tenant's retention is at great risk. Nonetheless, if you hire the right professional to help settle your case, your estimate, fast turnaround time and quality work will give you an insight into accuracy. At the end of the day, the claim will be treated equally, efficiently and your insured or occupant will be paid.

The Matterport Introduction! The most advanced 3D camera ever made. With over 2 million spaces available, Matterport holds the largest 3D structure file database in the world. The Matterport is a game changer that can more effectively solve claims through high-definition images, accurate floor plan measurements and guided tours. Imagine walking through a house or business structure literally to evaluate damage without ever leaving your office chair! You can now!

No more sketches and your own measurements, because you have no faith in the contractor you have hired to help resolve your claim. You can now see interactive environments from several different angles as an insurer, a contractor or a property manager to calculate accurately, access three-dimensional, self-guided tours, OBJ 4 K print quality photos and comprehensive floor plans. Matterport has transformed the idea of the reconstruction and rebuilding industry as a specialized technology company that created the first end-to-end video capture device.

Employee of the Quarter (Q4 2019)

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Tim is an incredible asset to our team.

This is the official write up regarding our Employee of the Quarter for SERVPRO Harrisburg West! This person was chosen because of their outstanding work and their dedication to the 7 Pillars of Success we have outlined in previous meetings. Accountability, Solutions, Team, Hustle, Quality, Consistency, and Persistence.

The Employee of The Quarter this quarter was 

Tim Miles 

Paul Naugle had this to say about Tim, "Our 4th quarter of 2019 was filled with many changes, both in staffing and in growth of our business.  Tim quickly stood out as someone who was willing to do whatever it took to get the job done!  He didn’t shy away from any project or situation and always put his best efforts in. Tim is truly an asset to our team."

Owners Corner: 4th Quarter 2019

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Team Wall Members

Our franchise owners, Jim and Trish, like to make sure that they are always transparent about the things going on at our SERVPRO. To do this, one of the things Trish enjoys is writing up a Quarterly recap and distributing it to our loyal customers and potential new ones. Below is the Owners Corner, written by Trish wall. Please feel free to email us directly if you have anything you would like to ask us!

    Wowza. Has it been a year! Last quarter’s “Owner’s Corner” focused on the big, surprise announcement that occurred earlier this year.

Just as a quick recap, Blackstone entered into a recapitalization and long term partnership deal with SERVPRO Industries in March 2019. Blackstone did an incredible amount of market research and determined there is huge growth potential for the SERVPRO franchise system in the restoration market. This single conclusion has been THE catalyst for innovation and change for SERVPRO franchises across the country.

So how has it affected Team Wall’s business and franchises? One word… “wholeheartedly”. 

In January of this year, we had a total of 3 franchises and were a month away from opening up our very first out of state office in Harrisburg, PA. Now, here we are, midway into fourth-quarter 2019, and we have acquired a total of 11 franchises and are operating in 3 locations. This is the most in SERVPRO history and Team Wall is honored and proud to pave the way for others in our franchise community.

So let’s get down to it. Where in the world is Team Wall’s SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team? Well, here’s the rundown:

  1. Hunt Valley & Harford County: Our office is located in Sparks, MD; Employs over 70 people; Services Maryland, Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and travels the East Coast for Catastrophic Storm Response; We offer full service mitigation and reconstruction in this office.
  1. Harrisburg West: Our office is located in Camp Hill, PA; Currently employs a team of 15; Services Central PA and travels the East Coast for Catastrophic Storm Response; We offer full service mitigation and reconstruction in this office.
  1. Metro Pittsburgh East: Our office is located in North Versailles, PA; Currently employs a team of 30; Services Western PA, Eastern Ohio, West Virginia, and travels the East Coast for Catastrophic Storm Response; We offer full service mitigation and reconstruction in this office.

Running 3 offices and a team of 115 plus employees may seem like a daunting task, but we have searched high and low for some amazing team members to help make this adventure a successful one. Please check them out in our 4th Quarter hiring class article! These added members to our team really have made a significant impact already and have been so helpful in navigating our new business model. 

Expanding geographically means nothing but good things for our customers:

  • Larger Geographic Territory: Operating 3 offices spaced out throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region enables us to service customers who have multiple locations as well. We can be the go-to vendor to count on no matter where a property is located.  
  • Larger Team: We have 4 crews in our smallest office and 15 crews in our largest… and that number is only growing. If a large influx of work affects one office, we can share resources from our others to ensure a quality and timely job is produced. These shared resources apply to production staff, equipment, office responsibilities, training, and so much more. Sharing resources and best practices makes Team Wall a more effective and reliable team no matter what region we are serving. 
  • Focus: Growing from 1 to 3 offices in a 250 mile radius within a mere 10 months may seem disorienting, but we have been able to focus more than ever. Focus on our processes, on our team, on our service lines, on our training programs… bottom line… on our business in every aspect. This has made our team more reactive, more knowledgeable, and completely focused on a superior customer service experience. Jim and I are focused on working “on” our business and not “in” our business. We have seen the positive impact this has made in the short term and we’re confident this will make us the restoration vendor of choice in the long term. 

Looking back through this article, we have used the words “change”, “daunting”, and “disorienting”. But, we’ve also used the words “innovation”, “impact”, and “successful”. 

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

We are excited to see where this road leads us and, as always, thank you for your support and loyalty as a customer!

Sincerely,

Jim and Trish Wall

Dave Royer - Employee Highlight

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

For an employee highlight we decided to aim the spotlight on our Director of Operations of our New Cumberland/Carlisle office; Dave Royer!

After his training in January of this year, he opened the doors to SERVPRO of New Cumberland/Carlisle in February and he has grown the branch from no employees to over ten in less than eight months.

His knack for leadership, work ethic, and resourcefulness has also helped assist our team in acquiring further franchises as well.

Outside of SERVPRO, Dave is a family man who enjoys spending time and doing fun things with is loved ones, especially when it involves outdoor activities. He also enjoys listening to late 90s/early 2000s alternative rock. Dave has a knack for cooking as well and has developed his own pasta recipe in which he creates his own type of noodles, leading to delicious variants of numerous meals.

We are grateful to have someone like Dave leading the charge for our New Cumberland/ Carlisle franchise and for someone with his work ethics and values help extending our company reach further! 

SERVPRO Cares

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

It has always been important for owners Jim and Trish Wall to give back to the community. They were thrilled to be a part of St. Vincent's Villa Pancake Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on Saturday, December 8th.

Our SERVPRO reached out to friends, family, vendors and to the public, and boy did they respond! We collected $1,350 which was matched by the company for a total donation of $2,700 for gift cards for the children of St. Vincent's, a comprehensive residential treatment facility for children, ages 5-14 operated by Catholic Charities of Baltimore. Our generous donors had their names written on ornaments placed on a tree which was presented to St. Vincent's along with gift cards and small gifts by our festively dressed marketing staff, and our very own SERVPRO Storm-troopers.

As you can imagine, the Storm troopers were a big hit with the children. According to Trish, "This morning was truly one of the most special and rewarding experiences I have ever had. Watching those kids’ faces was priceless and getting to interact with them to make them smile was amazing. Thank you all for making this a possibility and I really hope we can make it an annual event."

ERP Profile

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Statistically speaking, up to 50% of businesses fail to completely recover after natural disasters. For the most part, the businesses that are able to recover had formulated an emergency plan beforehand. Similar to an insurance policy, this preparedness strategy can decrease anxiety before a disaster and promote an overall calm attitude through confidence that your business won’t suffer too much damage.

Though there are many different kinds of natural disasters, they can all be dangerous and equally important to pay attention to. Therefore, it is important to prepare for all of these types despite their size.

To help you to put an emergency plan in place for your home or business, SERVPRO has created Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) app for tablets and smartphones. This free app is easy to use and will be helpful in the creation and management of your own emergency plan, keeping it simple and easy to understand.

The app makes it easy to complete the formulating process, taking virtually no time at all. It also eliminates steps that would take time by verifying which SERVPRO you prefer and allowing for more rapid completion of beginning authorization work, preserving your time and money.

An added perk of the app is immediate access to information including shut-off valve locations, important areas, and contact information during emergencies, ensuring that you will be “ready for whatever happens”.

Job of the Quarter Q2

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

This section of our newsletter is usually devoted to describing a specific job we completed that generated an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and achievement in our team. Upon reviewing the completed jobs of 2019’s second quarter, we came to the conclusion that instead of just one job in particular, it should be the entirety of a new branch of our franchise that has marked great pride to our team.

Ken Matejek, an owner/operator, represents SERVPRO with great pride and believes in our brand wholeheartedly. Being able to help people across the country get back on their feet after disaster strikes is what he enjoys most and finds the most gratifying. Deciding to leave Massachusetts was bittersweet, but a necessary leap in order to focus on doing what he loved most. Joining Team Wall allowed Ken’s passion for helping those in need to become a reality.

Alongside members of the travel storm team, Ken has aided in restorative services across the country since the partnership was formed earlier in the year. Examples of these services include February’s deep freeze in Chicago, spring flooding in Minnesota and Iowa during March, microburst flooding in a small section of Central New Jersey, and July’s flooding in DC. These services have contributed to helping more than 115 homeowners across the country make it “Like it never even happened." For Ken’s willingness to take a chance, taking part in our team and building a residential storm response team that has proven to be beneficial nationwide, we are so thankful. We’re excited to feature more stories of SERVPRO heroes in the future.

Happy 10 Year Anniversary!

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO family!

May 2019 marks a very big milestone for the Wall Family. 10 years as SERVPRO owners and operators!

Many people don’t know the personal journey behind our SERVPRO franchises and many more don’t realize that SERVPROs are independently owned and operated.

There are over 1800 SERVPRO franchises throughout the United States and Canada. Our family runs and operates three of these offices: Hunt Valley, Harford County, and New Cumberland/Carlisle, PA. It’s been a path of quick growth and an incredible amount of dedication and hard work by an entire team of people.

We thought sharing our SERVPRO story might be appropriate for our 10-year anniversary. So, here’s how we got here…

Jim and I met while working in Philadelphia, PA at a public accounting firm, KPMG. We were engaged quickly… 6 months! And, at the same time, left our public accounting firm jobs to pursue other career paths. Newlywed life was good and our jobs were solid. That is until the recession rocked our country to the core. We found ourselves laid off (both of us), living with Jim’s parents, and pregnant with our first child. Life never goes the way you plan it, does it?

An opportunity to open a SERVPRO franchise in Hunt Valley, MD presented itself and we are thankful every day for taking the chance. SERVPRO corporate provides tremendous support to their franchisees and their core values aligned directly with ours. It was a great fit, and luckily due to the optimism youth can bring, we took the risk, moved our life to Northern Baltimore County, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work.

This is very much the abbreviated version and those 10 years hold a lot of trials and tribulations along our path to growth. It is ultimately the solid team we have been so lucky to build that has helped us grow to be among the top 20 of 1800 SERVPRO franchises. Consistently. Year after year.

We want to take the opportunity to thank all of you directly for your continued support through out the last decade. Ultimately, if it wasn’t for a customer, we would not have the opportunity to be a business. Thank you very much for giving us a chance to earn your business not just once, but for a lifetime.

Many thanks and looking forward to another great 10 years on this SERVPRO journey!

Jim and Trish