The RIA Leadership Summit in Las Vegas last April provided an opportunity to recognize the achievements of individuals within the industry. Twenty-two individuals achieved one of RIA’s three advanced certifications – the Certified Mold ProfessionalSM, Water Loss SpecialistSM and Certified Restorer® - and were honored for their accomplishments. Lee Baker, a newly minted CR who works for A.E. Fickert, received a $1,000 Martin L. King Scholarship to help offset the costs of becoming a Certified Restorer. 
Four key industry awards were also presented during the Awards banquet.

Phoenix Awards

The Phoenix Awards recognize excellence, cost savings and innovation in the areas of restoration and reconstruction.  The Innovation in Restoration award was presented to Kelmann Restoration of Wauwatosa, WI, for its work on the St. Alphonsus Parish and School, which were damaged by a fire.
Platinum Restoration, of Westmont, IL, won the Innovation in Reconstruction award for its work on a historical home also damaged by a fire. The owner wanted to preserve some of the damage from the fire since it added to the historic nature of the home. 

Martin L. King Award

The industry’s highest individual honor, the Martin L. King Award, recognizes an individual’s exceptional service and dedication to the restoration industry.
Larry Holder, CR, BELFOR USA has served on the task force that created the RIA Glossary of Standardized Terms, and on the RIA Restoration Council. He currently serves on the task force creating the first restoration industry accounting guideline and on the RIA Advisory Committee on Standards and was the vice chairman of the first component standard for the RIA Fire Damage Standard. He has been in the restoration industry for more than 20 years. 
Holder is BELFOR’s National Safety Director and heads up their Environmental Services division. Other responsibilities include sales, marketing, operations, finance and personnel development. This is the second time a BELFOR representative has been selected for the award. Rusty Amarante, CR, BELFOR’s Director of Operations, received the award in 2006.
The continuing education sessions addressed topics such as expert witnessing, employee terminations, infectious disease control, HIPPA compliance, Xactimate updates, legal issues in the industry and a look at the next generation of contractors. RIA announced the formation of the Canadian Council and provided an opportunity for all of RIA’s international members to meet and network. 
Next year’s Restoration Industry Summit and Industry Expo will take place at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, from April 9-11.

Legal Fund update

The Restoration Industry Legal Fund (RILF) launched a major fundraising campaign at the RIA Convention in Las Vegas to generate support for RIA’s efforts to invalidate six of the patents held by David Hedman and ThermaPure. To date, almost $200,000 has been raised for the effort. 

Trademark Infringement Update

The Specialised Cleaning & Restoration Industry Association (SCRIA) has withdrawn their application to use that name in Australia since it infringed on two trademarks held by the Restoration Industry Association (RIA), formerly known as the Association of Specialists in Cleaning & Restoration (ASCR). 

RIA’s Certification Programs

Individuals interested in obtaining one of RIA’s advanced certifications, the CR, WLS or CMP, have only a few more months to enter the application process. Beginning in 2014, RIA will put a “pause” on accepting certification applications to focus on restructuring its certification program. Candidates accepted into the 2013 season must complete all phases of the certification requirements by February 14, 2014. 
Current candidates who have not completed the formal report process by February 14, 2014, will be deactivated from the certification program and will be held to RIA’s new certification guidelines available in 2015. RIA will not accept new certification applications in 2014.
For more information on RIA programs and events, please visit