AUSTIN, TX —  The RIA Convention and Industry Expo has ended, and the restoration-industry exclusive event experienced another successful year, with hundreds in attendance along with numerous exhibitors.

The convention, which ran February 14-16, offered attendees industry-specific education and demonstrations in addition to multiple announcements, including welcoming Lee King, COO of AfterDisaster in Greensboro, NC, as the association’s new president.

View a slideshow of images from the event below.

Ernie Storrer was honored with the 2018 Martin L. King Award, which is presented annually to individuals for their extraordinary service and dedication to restoration and the industry. Storrer, an industry veteran who has been in restoration since 1973, is president of Injectidry Systems. He holds certifications in water damage restoration and applied structural drying from the IICRC and was a committee member for multiple editions of the IICRC S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration.

Storrer also was previously president of the Carpet Cleaners Institute of the Northwest, served as chairman of the Education Committee, and was editor of Western Cleantalk. He holds multiple U.S. patents on drying processes and equipment.

Several other items were unveiled during the RIA convention including the long-awaited Certified Restorer Body of Knowledge, which can now be downloaded on the RIA website. Also announced was a new designation’s planned rollout. The Content Loss Specialist (CLS) designation will be available beginning in November.

The new 2018 RIA Board of Directors was also announced during the event. The 2018 board includes:

  • Josh Hobbs of Dalworth Restoration and DKI,
  • Craig Powers of COIT Services Inc.,
  • Lorne McIntyre, CR, WLS, of Dryfast Restoration,
  • Scott Black, CR, WLS, CMP, of Interstate Restoration,
  • Joseph Gillette, CR, WLS, of Complete Restoration Solutions,
  • Dave Robbins of Sharp and Robbins & Popwell LLC,
  • Josh Miller, CR, CMP, WLS, of Rainbow International,
  • Kent Rawhouser, WLS, CMP, MRS, MRT, of A&J Specialty Services Inc. and DKI.

Keynote addresses during the event were given by Chris Voss and Larry Janesky. Voss, who was the former lead kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, gave a rousing speech in which he taught the group to avoid “yes” questions. He says a “calibrated ‘no’ is worth five ‘yeses’.” He gave an example: When following up in a sales proposal, don’t ask for a “yes,” but rather, phrase the question like, “Have you given up on….”

View a slideshow of images from the event below.