The 68th-annual RIA Leadership Summit and Expo will be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV from April 23-25, 2013, and offers a variety of education and networking sessions over the three-day event.

Preconvention Workshops

There will be three pre-convention workshops offered on April 23 for professionals who want to learn about specific topics or earn some additional CECs. Lori Young, CR, of Bartwood Construction, will offer a half-day, interactive workshop on estimating for contents restoration. Estimating is not an exact science, but attendees will learn the macro functions of estimating (i.e., the necessity of the “pillar of pricing,” how to avoid “creative” estimating and the importance of writing a “clean sheet”). Attendees will walk away with business estimating tools that will increase their professionalism and help them deliver what they promise to their clients.

For anyone interested in gaining advanced working knowledge of Xactimate’s estimating software, a half-day session for intermediate users may be just the ticket. Led by a certified Xactware instructor, attendees must have basic computer skills, understand the property loss industry and terminology, have a laptop with Xactimate 27 installed and an external computer mouse. Attendees will complete hands-on Xactimate exercises and learn shortcuts to save time, use Macros to quickly add line items to estimates, use Sketch templates to save time sketching commonly seen floor plans, add line items and make changes to multiple rooms simultaneously, transfer measurements from laser measuring devices and import building blueprints from Sketch to reduce the need to measure each room in a building.

Michael Pinto, CSP, CMP, will offer a one-day Mold Refresher Course for anyone who requires continuing education credits and wants to update their knowledge on mold and environmental issues. These include recent updates in legislation and research and new developments in the field. This is not an entry-level course and prerequisites include attendance at either the Mold Remediation Technician (MRT) or Mold Remediation Supervisor (MRS) courses or an advanced certification in mold remediation.

Keynote Presentations

There will be three keynote presentations during the event. Dina Dwyer-Owens, chairwoman and CEO of The Dwyer Group, was a winner of the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Southwest Area North and participated in the Emmy-winning reality show, “Undercover Boss.”

A certified franchise executive with more than 30 years experience, Dwyer-Owens will inspire restoration professionals with “Leading R.I.C.H.! How to Build Success in Your Company & Life with a Proven Code of Values.” Living R.I.C.H. means incorporating respect, integrity, customer focus and having fun in the process.

Jeffrey Gross, CR, executive vice president of operations, and Howard White, CR, executive vice president, of Maxons Restorations, Inc. in New York City will give attendees a behind the scenes look at what occurred in those days after September 11, 2001. Never before seen photos of Ground Zero and project sites throughout the area, including Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, will detail the restoration techniques used on these landmarks and other buildings impacted by the collapse of the Twin Towers.

Emma Cardini, senior associate with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, is a professional engineer who was involved with the damage inspection of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., following the most widely felt earthquake in U.S. history. The quake hit the mid-Atlantic area in August 2011, and Cardini will present her experiences  with the assessment, including the use of rope access techniques to inspect the building’s façade. 

Education Sessions

Education sessions will cover a wide range of topics including:  providing expert witness testimony, mobile technology available for the restoration industry, HIPPA compliance for restoration businesses, restoration estimating, handling employee terminations, an update on RIA’s new Accounting Guideline, infectious disease control and an open forum to discuss today’s hot topics.