As the Director of Education, Steve facilitates educational opportunities by developing course material and providing information, knowledge and passion for one’s success in the restoration industry. He manages all in-house training programs, including company process and procedures, safety, and off-site training and certification. He also facilitates all Continuing Education Courses for Insurance Professionals including course creation, approvals and filings. Steve first 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 before joining Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠ in 2002 as a Project Manager, handling all facets of the restoration of residential and commercial properties. As an IICRC Master Fire, Water, Textile and Color Repair Restorer, Steve is a qualified IICRC teacher. He also holds his IICRC certifications in Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning, Health & Safety, Applied Structural Drying, Commercial Drying Specialist, Fire & Smoke Restoration, Odor Control, Water Damage Restoration, Carpet Cleaning, and Carpet Repair & Reinstallation. Prior to beginning his journey in the restoration industry, 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.

A Berks County Native, Dave is a familiar face. Many know him from his family business, Hair On The Avenue, an 11-time recipient for Best of Berks and “Top 200” Salons in the U.S, which was founded in 1993 and he co-owned for 23 years. Prior to beginning his own business venture, Dave worked in the foundry industry, having trained in Sheffield, England and Chicago. Throughout his tenure at PA Steel, he was promoted to VP of Engineering, where he managed projects from the blueprint stages to final production, and he also worked as the VP of Sales and Marketing. Prior to joining the Restoration Technical Institute team in March 2017, Dave was the VP of Sales and Marketing for Crescent Brass Manufacturing, a Design Consultant for Littman Bros. Design Studio, and the Membership Marketing Director for Moselem Springs Golf Club. He serves as the board chair for the Reading Public Museum and co-founded the Help of The Angels Fund through Berks County Community Foundation. Dave also served as a board member for the Berks County Chamber of Commerce and Industry, President of the West Reading and Wyomissing Rotary, President and Board of Directors for Prospectus Berco, and President of the Board of Directors for the Mifflin Community Library. He continues to donate his time to local nonprofits.

Angela Cremer

Director of Public Relations

Meet The Team

We believe in inspiring happiness, pride and innovation in others!


Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors from Albright College in May 2017. Her degree is in Communications with a focus in Public Relations and Advertising. She comes to Restoration Technical Institute with a demonstrated history of working in the development departments of local nonprofits, conducting freelance marketing for various clients, and experience in the publication industry. In 2016 she was awarded Philadelphia Ad Club’s “Philly’s Future” Scholarship and was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society’s scholarship. As the Director of Public Relations, Angela manages all aspects of Restoration Technical Institute’s internal and external communications, which includes all print, web, social media and multimedia. She collaborates with the Restoration Technical Institute team to ensure that strategic communication and marketing goals are achieved. What she loves most about Restoration Technical Institute is “getting to meet the various restoration professionals and watching them come together to share ideas, learn, and simply enjoy one another’s company while attending class at RTI.” In her spare time, Angela enjoys photography.

Ted Lavender

Co-Owner and CEO

Kristen Orgera

Director of Training Operations

Lisa Lavender

Co-Owner and COO

Steve Schumm

Director of Education

​Kristen arrived at the Restoration Technical Institute with a versatile background from a variety of roles in nonprofits, small businesses and education. After receiving her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her Masters in Art Education from Columbia College, Kristen created and implemented original art curriculum for Pre-K through 8th grade students at Hinton Elementary School in Chicago. Her education helped her develop skills in creative thinking, problem solving and strategy. She put these skills to good use, allowing her to reach achievements such as initiating and maintaining an Amazon site that yielded $1 million in annual sales. Kristen most enjoys creating easy-to-manage streamlined systems that assist in planning strategies and events. She says, “From my experience as an educator, I learned how to work with and manage diverse groups of people. I enjoy harnessing individuals’ strengths, utilizing and building upon them during creative projects. I find that each person I work with adds a unique perspective to the marketing assignments, events, and projects that I initiate.” Kristen is grateful to be part of the RTI team and looks forward to meeting and working with the diverse industry professionals who will take courses at the Restoration Technical Institute. It is her aspiration to make their time at RTI as productive and fun as possible so they leave inspired to continue to learn and grow as industry professionals.

Lisa holds a BS in Accounting from Penn State, is an IICRC Master Fire, Water and Textile Restorer, a monthly columnist for Restoration & Remediation magazine, and an author and instructor of various insurance and restorations related courses. Insurance policies and loss ratios were part of her childhood dinner conversation, as her father was an underwriter in the P&C Industry before retiring in 2004 as VP of Product Management. In 2004, Lisa married Ted Lavender, a claims adjuster, who spent over ten years in the Insurance industry. In the Summer of 2000, she and her husband started Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc. ℠, which has grown into an award-winning, full service, regional restoration company. Lisa’s accounting background and understanding of the insurance industry helped grown the company to team of approximately 50 professionals. In August 2012, she founded the Restoration Technical Institute to be able to share her knowledge and passion for the Restoration Industry and inspire others to achieve success. Since then, RTI has brought in the best instructors to teach IICRC and CEC courses to over 1,000 restoration professionals from across the country.


“I love my job because it is inspiring to be part of the learning process. It is so rewarding to not just share knowledge with colleagues from all over the country but also learn and grow from them. I love being surrounded by the expertise and knowledge that our instructors bring. It is all energizing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have my job.”

Dave Meas

VP of Development

Ted exemplifies the true entrepreneurial spirit. Growing up in Indiana, he spent time under the close tutelage of his father, Dennis, helping to build the family home. He continued to expand his interests in construction by pursuing a degree in Engineering from Ball State University. Ted began his career in the Insurance Industry in 1990 as a Claims Adjuster responsible for adjusting auto, property and liability claims for Prudential Financial. He quickly furthered his claims career as the Claims Team Leader for Cigna Investment Management. During a 10 year career in claims, he gained experience managing several claims departments, including property, casualty, CFIS accounts and Inamar boat and yacht division. He was also involved in the training process of claim professionals all over the country while also managing and interacting with the Insurance departments in each state. These experiences helped Ted identify the need for a full-service restoration company that handles all insurance-related loss from beginning to end in Berks County. He and his wife, Lisa, brought his vision to life in the Summer of 2000. As President and CEO of Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.℠ Ted was recognized nationally by the US Chamber of Commerce with the 2013 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award. Ted’s passion for serving his community shines through in his work with the Olivet Boys' & Girls' Club and Vision Research Center, where he serves as an Advisory Board Member. He is generous with his time and talents by supporting organizations, people, and causes that make our communities strong.