During the past year the Restoration Industry Association has been quietly restructuring the association, retooling its leadership councils and developing new education programs that will provide maximum benefit to members and industry professionals alike.
Part of the restructuring has included the adoption of a new code of ethics, a new mission statement, and a very specific strategic plan. According to RIA Executive Director Don Manger, the strategic plan will “focus the association’s resources to better serve the rug and carpet cleaners, disaster restoration specialists, environmental remediators and associated professionals who work in this exciting industry.”
RIA's new mission statement also provides the foundation for association activities through its mission statement: RIA provides leadership, supports science, and promotes best practices for the cleaning and restoration industry.
“The planners were candid and forceful in identifying areas where RIA could be of greater service, and one area they addressed was providing leadership in the industry,” Manger said. “While no industry is perfect, RIA members have seen a shift in the ethics of the restoration market, which has reduced consumer choice and economic competitiveness. This is one of the primary reasons the plan aims to place ASCR at the center of the debate on practices that deny competitive choices to consumers.”
While the plan encourages new directions for RIA, it reinforces the importance of its blue chip certification programs such as the Certified Restorer, Water Loss Specialist, Certified Mold Professional, Certified Rug Specialist and others. “The recent creation of RIA’s first education department represents a major commitment to strengthen the upper-tier educational programming that the industry has come to expect from us,” Manger said.
The restructuring of RIA’s councils involves the creation of smaller, more vision-focused groups that will determine the direction of RIA’s education initiatives, address critical issues for the industry and provide recommendations to RIA’s board of directors for the association’s long-range planning.
RIA councils support its three industry divisions: disaster restoration; environmental; and rug, carpet and textiles. “The RIA Board realized the councils were not being utilized to their full potential,” RIA President Brian Spiegel, CR, of Spiegel Certified Restoration, said. “This new structure encourages individuals with unique expertise to collaborate for the benefit of the entire industry.”
The new structure is designed to increase volunteer opportunities for ASCR members on association committees and task forces, giving the councils the opportunity to concentrate on matters of long-term significance to the industry. Leading the RIA Disaster Restoration Council will be Mike Goldberg, CR, of RestoreCore, Harrisburg, Pa.; Art Johnson, CR, WLS, of Canstar Restoration, Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., will head the Environmental Council; and Tony Legenstein, CRS, of Certified Carpet in Lancaster, Pa., will assume the reins at the Rug, Carpet and Textile Council.
ASCR Offers "Solutions" in OrlandoSolutions, RIA’s 62nd annual convention and exhibition, will be held March 13-16 at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa in Orlando, Fla. Several new attractions have been added to the convention, including three optional full-day events for textile, environmental and restoration specialists, and the entire program expanded in scope.
To maximize attendees’ education time onsite, early bird sessions have been incorporated into two days of the convention. There will be two keynote speakers who will address the topics of “how the best get better” and “training employees for the millennium.” RIA has also added a business track to its existing textile, environmental and remediation tracks, providing more than 56 hours of education over a three-day period.