RIA: Updates on the PIC, Leadership Summit & Expo and Thermapure Lawsuit
The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) takes its charge to serve the entire industry very seriously. This involves educating members and other stakeholders affiliated with the industry, protecting their legal rights to operate their businesses and providing opportunities to learn from and network with industry leaders.
RIA continues to participate in activities that will positively impact all who work in or support the restoration industry. Here is a brief update of some of those endeavors.
Organizers of the Property Industry Conference (PIC) are preparing for the next meeting on Sunday, March 17, 2013, before the PRLB conference in Boston, MA. The focus will be contents restoration and what can and cannot be restored, the different types of restoration technology available, determining whether to restore or replace damaged contents, recommendations for what should be included as part of the new contents-focused fire damage standard beginning development later on this year and insurance adjuster perspectives on industry standards in general.
The next PIC meeting will be held at the Back Bay Hilton from noon to 4 p.m. and begins with a networking lunch for attendees, followed by several panel presentations. The PIC is open to all interested parties and additional registration information can be found at www.propertyindustryconference.org.
RIA’s 68th-annual Leadership Summit & Industry Expo will be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino March 23-25, in Las Vegas. A gathering of industry leaders from around the world, the Leadership Summit will include three keynote presentations, three pre-conference workshops and 14 education sessions over a three-day period.
Session topics include the next generation of restoration contractors, a look at Xactimate 28, two open forums (one addressing current hot topics and another geared specifically for RIA’s new Canadian Council members), an update on current legal issues affecting the restoration industry, tips and tricks for restoration estimating, insider secrets to becoming an expert witness, infectious disease control and restoration opportunities for contractors and an update on RIA’s accounting and financial management guideline.
In the exhibition hall, not only will attendees have the opportunity to see and test-drive the latest equipment and products, but they will also have the opportunity to win the money to purchase these products. One thousand dollars in cash prizes will be awarded to a lucky winner every hour that the exhibit hall is open. And since it’s Las Vegas, it’s quite likely that some well-known celebrities might be spotted on the exhibition floor.
Industry leaders and individuals attaining RIA certifications will be recognized at the RIA Dinner and Awards banquet, and convention attendees will have multiple opportunities to network with their peers throughout the event. Some of the best conversations and greatest exchanges of knowledge have taken place in the hallways or over drinks at the end of the day.
For more information on the RIA Leadership Summit & Industry Expo, visit www.riaconvention.org.
In 2012, the RIA Board of Directors formed the Restoration Industry Legal Fund (RILF) to address a number of issues that impact RIA members and the entire industry. The Board also formed the RIA Legal Fund Committee to make recommendations concerning issues on which the Association should act.
The recommendation was made and approved by the Board to engage counsel to work on invalidating a family of patents held by a manufacturer. On January 28, a lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in the Western District of Washington State against Thermapure. The “812” patents held by this company have been used to sue RIA members and other restoration companies. RIA firmly believes that these suits are without merit, since the family of patents involved assert claims that have been industry standards for years.
RIA has also combined resources with the Joint Defense Fund, which was formed in 2012, because the organizations believe that joining efforts will reduce administrative costs and result in more progress by working collaboratively rather than individually. RIA is soliciting donations from members and non-members to fund this effort and will make all prior art and case history available to RIA members for their use should the need arise. More information on the RILF can be found on the RIA website at www.restorationindustry.org. An update on this and other legal efforts will be presented at the RIA Convention.