RUTH TRAVIS
Is the immediate Past President/Chairmen of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Ruth has a B.S. degree in Textiles from the University of Tennessee and has attended most of the major cleaning and restoration industry courses. She shares with her students and peers the unique perspective of a small carpet cleaning business owner, retail rug store owner and carpet inspector. She has over 25 years experience in maintenance and restoration of carpet, rugs and upholstery. In addition, she is a flooring inspector and performs corrections for some of the major carpet mills. She has traveled throughout the US and abroad sharing her knowledge with other cleaners, inspectors and restorers.  Ruth is an active volunteer in the cleaning, restoration and inspection industry.  She served as the IICRC as Marketing Committee Chairman and President/Chairman of the Board of Directors for two years and is the past Chairman of the IICRC's Color Repair Committee.  She is also on the IICRC Rug Cleaning Technician Committee and was one of the editors of IICRC S-100 Carpet Cleaning Standard and S-300 Upholstery Cleaning Standard.  She was a member of the S520 Mold Remediation Standard Committee. Ruth also serves as Past President of the Society of Cleaning and Restoration Technicians. After fulfilling her responsibilities as President of the IICRC, Ruth was named the Director of the WoolSafe Organization in North America.

Mark Warner serves as President of Americhem International, Inc., located in Harrisburg, PA. In addition, he is a past member of the ISSA Board of Directors, holding the post of Distributor Director, assisting in the leadership of the ISSA.  Mark also serves as the Vice President of The League of Hard Flooring Professionals, an association of peer-reviewed hard flooring maintenance experts.  Furthermore, Mark serves as the Division Leader for the IICRC’s Hard Surface Division, a position that oversees 10 Technical Advisory Committees related to the maintenance and inspection of floors, including wood floors, stone floors, ceramic floors, and resilient floors such as VCT tile and rubber floors. Mark also held the position of President of the Low Moisture Carpet Cleaners Assoc (LMCCA) for 6 years.  He is also an Advisory Board member for the Housekeeping Channel.  Over the years, Mark has held the positions of Director of Training, and Disinfectant Product Manager for a chemical manufacturer in Peterborough, Ontario, and Vice President of a chemical manufacturing company in Philadelphia. Incidentally, Mark has been a Certified ISSA CIMS Expert since the program’s inception.
Mark is an acknowledged specialist in the area of infectious disease control through the use of modern disinfectants and critical care cleaning procedures and is an acknowledged specialist in the area of Green and sustainable products through the use of modern bio-based chemistry and specific Green cleaning procedures.  He has worked with a number of high visibility organizations including Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, the US Dept of Homeland Security, FEMA, the US Military and others.  Mark has written hundreds of articles for trade magazines and has presented dozens of keynote speeches, seminar presentations and training sessions.  His enthusiastic and motivational style has made him a popular speaker within the facility maintenance field, as well as at various association meetings including CSSA, IEHA, BSCAI, APIC, the American Red Cross and many others.
Audiences have embraced him as a speaker nationwide and abroad.  Recent venues include Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL, Seattle, WA, Indianapolis, IN, Las Vegas, NV, Annapolis, MD, Pittsburgh, PA, Dover, DE and Toronto, ON, among others.  These venues included attendees from Johns Hopkins, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center, Lycoming College, Penn State University, City of New York, and many Federal, State and Local government offices. His articles have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, ISSA Today, CleanFax, ICS Magazine, Maintenance Sales News, Maintenance Supplies, Cleaning Maintenance Management, Sanitation Canada and others.   


JOEY PICKETT
Joey Pickett is president of Service Consultants and Joey’s Carpet Care of Lexington, KY. With over 34 years of experienced, he is recognized by the IICRC as a Certified Master Cleaning Technician, Restorer, and Senior Inspector. He serves on the IICRC standard committee including as contents chapter co-chair of the S-500 water damage restoration standard, chairman of the S-300 upholstery and fine fabric cleaning standard, and has provided peer review for several other standards. He has served as a teacher and consultant to insurance companies. Joey is well known as an IICRC approved instructor, TV and radio personality, and offers presentations on a wide variety of technical, management, marketing, and inspirational topics.  He works or has worked as an industry consultant and coach to cleaning and restoration companies, he has served as a teacher and consultant to insurance companies, Carpet and Fiber manufacturers, Consumer reporting agencies, Chemical and Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers, the BBB, LMCCA, AMFA and several others.

LEE SURGENER
Ohio Biohazardous Recovery was started in 2005 by Lee Surgener. Lee has an extensive background in Fire & EMS, HAZMAT certification, 40 Hour HAZWOPER, Ohio Fire Academy for Meth Labs and attended the North Central Ohio School of Nursing. Lee and Ohio Biohazardous Recovery have worked hard to set a standard of excellence in the state of Ohio in the field of Methamphetamine Decontamination and has personally neutralized over One Hundred Post Meth Bust Labs. Lee has personally advised some of Ohio’s Drug Task Force Units on meth lab neutralization, and has advised the state senate on meth lab remediation and neutralization. In addition, Lee currently is involved at the state and local levels doing presentations on methamphetamine awareness so that health officials can continue to make the changes necessary to make homes safer after a Clandestine Drug Lab bust. Lee is Also President of Ohio Clan Lab Neutralization Technicians. OCLNT is a clandestine drug lab neutralization response team, made up of HAZMAT Technicians from law enforcement and the Fire & EMS Services. OCLNT has been instrumental in assisting Ohio’s Drug Task Force Units primarily in Central, North Central and Northeast Ohio by keeping the costs of cleaning up post meth bust labs under a thousand dollars.


DESTRY RANSDELL
Is the President of TEC Pro which provides training, education and consulting to companies in the restoration/remediation industry. He is also an IICRC Instructor, an IICRC Certified Master Textile Cleaner, Master Water Restorer and Master Fire and Smoke Restorer. He has worked in the remediation/restoration industry for 12 years as an estimator, project manager and technician and has even been a Health & Safety Director for several employers. Destry still remains in the field as a consultant and trainer, which keeps him on top of the best practices, newest methods and equipment. Prior to this, Destry worked in the reconstruction field. Destry has become very familiar with the building envelope, construction practices and materials. Destry not only brings real world hands on training to you, but he makes it fun and interesting.

JEFF PADUANO
Is President and Owner of ESCA Blast, a 30 year old Hatfield, PA based company.  ESCA is a turn-key renter and supplier of all types of blasting equipment and supplies, including soda and dry ice blasting equipment, specialty cleaning systems, abrasives, cleaning media, and dry ice pellets. Jeff has been personally involved with some very interesting projects during his tenure at ESCA, including working on many Landmark buildings and structures such as the US Capitol, Library of Congress, High Bridge Park (NYC), and the Merchants Exchange Building (Philadelphia).  Jeff holds a C7 Dry Abrasive Blaster Certificate from the Society of Protective Coatings.  Jeff is an active member of SSPC, Association of Preservation Technologies (APT), and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).  Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Geneseo, with a concentration in Business and Management.

 LISA LAVENDER
Lisa D. Lavender is Chief Operating Officer of Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠ and the Restoration Technical Institute.  Lisa “grew up” in the world of insurance.  Many family members built their careers in underwriting and claims.  Her father, Paul, worked in underwriting his entire life retiring in 2004 as VP of Product and State Management.  It was not uncommon to discuss “loss ratios” at the dinner table.  Her interests grew and insurance became a large part of life. Lisa graduated with distinction from Pennsylvania State University with a BS degree in Accounting.  After working several years in her field, Lisa became the business manager of Lancaster Catholic High School.  Lisa’s husband, Ted K. Lavender, had a successful career in claims and claims management.  They combined their specialties and founded Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠ in 2000.  And in 2012, they expanded their passion for education and opened the Restoration Technical Institute. Lisa is an active member 
in the local community.  Lisa Lavender and her organizations support various charitable organizations in many ways.  As a  supporter of the American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, Make a Wish, YMCA, and Volunteer Fire Companies, Lisa,
 Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠, and the Restoration Technical Institute hope to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the community. Lisa is a member of various professional and industry related organizations.  Lisa is an IICRC certified Master Fire
 & Smoke Restorer, Journeyman in Water Loss and holds numerous other restoration and mitigation certifications.  As the Chief Operating Officer, Lisa leads the company in being a technological leader in the restoration industry, enhancing service packages and product development.

Instructors of Restoration Technical Institute

STEPHAN SCHUMM
In his current role, Director of Education for the Restoration Technical Institute Stephan Schumm uses the skills he honed while he was the Director of Education for Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠ for more than three and a half years.  In both roles, Steve’s responsibilities included facilitating educational opportunities by developing course material and providing information, knowledge and passion for one’s success in the restoration industry.  As the Director of Education for Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠ Steve also managed all in-house training programs including but not limited to company process and procedures, safety, and off-site training and certification.  He also facilitated all Continuing Education Courses for Insurance Professionals including course creation, approvals and filings.  Steve entered the restoration field in 1990 where he became the lead carpenter for Maximum Services Group. In 2000, he became an Estimator for Dynamic Building Restoration.  In 2002, he joined Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠ as a Project Manager where he managed all facets of the restoration of residential and commercial properties.Through the IICRC Steve has obtained his Master Fire Restorer, Master Water Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner, Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Certification, Health & Safety Certification, Applied Structural Drying Certification, Commercial Drying Specialist Certification, Fire & Smoke Restoration Certification, Odor Control Certification, Water Damage Restoration Certification, Carpet Cleaning Certification, Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Certification and Color Repair Technician.  He also has the Mold Remediation Technician through RIA and a Lead Renovators Certification. Steve served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves for 12 years, where he was an Intelligence Officer and was the Junior Officer of the Year - USNR RIA Area 16 in 1989.   


BEN UMBERGER, Managing Partner – Carolina Conservation, LLC
In 2005, Ben Umberger co-founded Carolina Conservation, the nation’s first fine art conservation studio exclusively specializing in fire and water damage for the insurance restoration industry. In addition to fine art, Carolina Conservation provides high value and specialty contents services to insurance restoration professionals nationwide.
Through Carolina Conservation’s education initiatives, Mr. Umberger instructs restoration contractors and insurance claims managers on the identification, handling, and appropriate care of disaster affected fine art and specialty, high-risk contents. These trainings allow contents restoration professionals the opportunity to elevate their contents processing skill sets, increase the capacity for full service contents solutions, and improve the perception of their operations in the eyes of adjusters and homeowners. He is frequently invited to provide training and education classes at the regional and national levels.
Since 2013, Mr. Umberger has worked as an instructor at Fireline Training Centers in Scottsdale, Arizona where he teaches Specialty Contents Recovery, Advanced Hand Cleaning Systems, and Fine Art Handling and Specialty Contents Pack Out courses.

In addition to full service paintings, paper, and objects conservation, Carolina Conservation provides on-site collection retrieval and large loss pack out coordination, transportation, fine art storage, and consulting. Carolina Conservation employs an internationally trained staff with a high level of institutional and private practice experience. Carolina Conservation is a high volume conservation studio that processes several thousand original works each year. As Managing Partner for Carolina Conservation, Mr. Umberger directs all of the company’s business-to-business marketing, education and training programs, as well as large loss project management.


Professional Memberships & Associations:

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

Western Association of Art Conservation

Southeastern Regional Conservation Association

Historic Columbia Foundation – Palladium Society Member

Claims Litigation Management-Fellow

Fireline Systems – Specialty Contents Instructor

IICRC – Contents Technical Advisory Committee Member

Mid-South Professional Cleaners Association

The Alpha Alliance – Contents Restoration Advisor

Southern Loss Association

Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Association

CHUCK BOUTALL
After selling the successful Air Quest Systems — a well known manufacturer of custom desiccant dehumidifiers, large refrigerant dehumidifiers and portable air conditioners, Chuck has turned his attention to training others how to utilize “big” equipment for “big” jobs. Chuck is a down to earth type fellow with vast knowledge and education. He is a super hands on instructor. If you have a question about drying anything, ask Chuck! Chuck has been a speaker at the Dri-Eaz Restorative Drying Symposiums, the Water Loss Institute, ASCR National, Connections East and West since 2011, SCRIA 2012 thru 2015, and DRC Canada. He has dried over a million square feet of structure, hundreds of thousands of books and documents and designed permanent systems for various manufacturing and storage projects over his 20 year career as an Application Engineer. Chuck graduated from college as an Electrical Engineer. His career spanned many years with large well known named companies before building Air Quest Systems from the ground up.  In addition, Chuck is a contributing author to the new S500.

What does Chuck like most about the Industry?  I like to see the light bulbs going on.  When You can take a complex subject like "Psychrometrics and how it manipulates Desorption in Wet Materials" and make it as easy as waiting in line for the Tram at Disney!  You see the lights go on and you know they've got it now.  It's a great privilege to be able to pass along information on how to be a better Dryer

Instructor Bios

DON M. MCNULTY
State of Missouri’s 1999 winner of The Most Entrepreneurial and Excellence in Business Awards, winning businessman and entrepreneur, Don M. McNulty is a sought after author, motivational speaker and trainer to hundreds of companies across North America. He has helped thousands of people through his writings, training and consulting work while sharing his passion for helping others in their time of need, through his consulting providing profound impact on small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout America. McNulty first gained notoriety for his innovation in establishing the first company dedicated to helping others restore their lives and their property after traumatic events. When personal loss and devastation strikes in a community his compassion reached beyond just doing a task well.  Don continues to help by training thousands of others to carry on the work he started and has continued to branch out growing an ever widening circle of stressed entrepreneurs with his unique system and mind-set of asset growth and management. With an eye and heart towards charity and volunteerism, McNulty, has been active with Young Entrepreneurs of Kansas acting as BPA (Business Plan Advisor) at his Alumnae. He also serves on several national boards including Society of Restoration and Cleaning Technicians, Vice-Chair of an ANSI standards committee. McNulty, along with his wife Laura and their five children and five grandchildren lead busy lives managing their business ventures and helping anyone and everyone they can because of their profound belief in giving to the community at large. “As certain as the Law of Physics is applied to all creation, so are other unseen laws in force, which apply only to human endeavor. It is only for each person to seek out these laws and use them for their benefit.” Don M. McNulty

Meet the Instructors of Restoration Technical Institute

We thoroughly evaluate every Instructor prior to them teaching at the Institute to ensure that attendees are being educated by the industries finest.


RON VALEGA
Has been in the cleaning industry since 1977, specializing in restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning. As a franchise owner, Ron realized volume sales of up to $1.5 million annually. He understands fully the dedication required to maintain a growing business and the importance of continuing his own education to remain informed of industry changes, trends and the latest technological advances. As a franchise trainer, Ron’s responsibility was to teach students, men and women entrepreneurs, the restoration, carpet and upholstery business and how to become successful themselves. Ron would always ask his franchise owners “Did you buy a business or did you buy a job?” Training included not only the “how-to’s” of cleaning and restoration, but also sales, marketing, production and goal planning. Ron understands fully that owning a business is not merely knowing how to perform a particular service. You must be able to manage the office, cash flow and build relationships with staff and customers. Ron sold his business in the spring of 2002 to focus 100% on teaching.  Ron believes “this industry is a craft” and, as with any craft, it must be both studied and practiced to be successful. Ron became an approved instructor under the school of J. Henry & Company in 1998 and has been instructing IICRC approved classes throughout the United States and Canada. Mr. Henry was a Duraclean employee for several years, but most of all, Jim became Ron’s instructor and mentor for several years. Ron believes in our industry. He believes it is time to be the best we can be and master our craft – all the education we need is available – no more excuses!!​

MARK VIOLAND

Mark has been in the floor covering business since 1977. Carpet care was his first encounter. As consumers became more interested in other types of floor coverings, so did Mark. As a certified senior carpet inspector, Mark now operates an inspection, correction, and repair business which handles all types of floor coverings. He is credentialed to inspect carpet, wood, laminate, vinyl, ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone floors. Mark has been training carpet cleaning and floor covering professionals almost as long as he has been one himself. He currently teaches the Carpet Cleaning Technician and Carpet Repair and Reinstallation Technician classes for The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). As part owner of one of Northeast Ohio’s largest carpet care companies, he was responsible for the technical training of all service personnel. The company performed services in all aspects of carpet cleaning, carpet maintenance, water damage restoration, color repair (spot dyeing), carpet repair, and carpet installation. He now manages the maintenance division for Northeast Ohio’s largest family-owned commercial flooring company where he manages crews who perform all types of carpet and hard surface floor care, cleaning, and maintenance. Industry involvement is important to Mark. He presently works on the Certification Council of the IICRC. He is past chairman of the Senior Carpet Inspector committee. Certified by the IICRC in many categories, prior involvement includes serving on the IICRC Board of Directors from 1987 to 1991 and being part of the Public Relations and Marketing committee for more than eight years. Mark was the national president of the United Carpet Cleaners Institute (UCCI) in 1987-88, and was the founding director of UCCI’s Cleveland Chapter, which still meets quarterly as a chapter of the Society of Cleaning and Restoration Technicians (SCRT). He is currently a Director at Large with National Institute of Certified Floor Covering Inspectors (NICFI).