Restoration and Reconstruction
for Residential and Commercial

From Ted and Lisa Lavender’s humble beginnings working
out of the green and gold personal vehicles to their current
17,000-square-foot facility (plus a 10,000-square-foot warehouse)
and 80+ employees, Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. (BFW) is
pushing the industrial cleaning and restoration industry forward
in unexpected ways. Take a fascinating look behind the scenes
at their recent, innovative endeavors — from exploding on TikTok
to building community connections to launching nationwide
digital training programs.

The Story Behind Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.

In the summer of 2000, Ted Lavender decided he’d had enough of corporate life. He was tired of inefficient management and a lack of people-focused practices.

He’d spent the 10 years prior as a claims adjuster and manager, which had opened his eyes to the need for a full-service restoration company in Berks County that could handle an insurance-related loss from beginning to end.

After some heartfelt and serious discussions, Ted and his wife Lisa decided to go for it. Equipped with drive, passion and an entrepreneurial spirit, the duo first worked out of their home and their personal vehicles. Vehicles that — oddly enough — were cemented into Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.’s brand in an unexpected way.

Ted drove a gold vehicle; Lisa, a dark green one. To make the vehicles look more professional and cohesive, they decided to make the lettering on each car complimentary. They stenciled gold letters on the green vehicle and green letters on the gold vehicle.

Although they’ve long since graduated from those early personal vehicles and upgraded to a full fleet, the colors green and gold stuck. Today, green and gold emblazon everything from the company vehicles to their logo to their team shirts — an homage to their early days that’s now a permanent part of their brand legacy.

But it’s not just their brand and their fleet of vehicles that have experienced extraordinary transformation. Always willing to dig into their industry and experiment with new services and solutions, Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc. has grown steadily over the past two decades. Under Ted and Lisa’s guidance, the company quickly expanded from a “mom-and-pop” shop into a thriving business. In 2002, after just two years in business, they crossed the $1M in revenue mark; in subsequent years, they would also navigate through three location changes, multiple new service line roll-outs and a rapid staff expansion.

Thanks to their thirst for continuous improvement, Ted and Lisa regularly explore places where technology and digital trends can intersect with their operations.

Ted and Lisa know that social media can shape perception and influence feelings. And, as 20-year business veterans, they recognize the value of putting “aces in places.” So they hired a young professional named Mason Ayres not only to support their branding and marketing, but also to spearhead social media efforts for emerging platforms — namely, TikTok and Instagram.

The results have been tremendous. BFW’s social media presence has grown exponentially over the past two years. Featuring a mixture of slice-of-life moments, humor, trends and culture, BFW’s social media channels continue to delight and amuse its 10K+ followers.

Ted and Lisa freely admit that tying “direct sales/ROI” to their social media initiatives can be an imprecise science — after all, so much of marketing and customer decision-making are based on emotion and timing. But the company’s social media presence has spiced up their brand and, without a doubt, helped them take a leading edge on hiring by positioning BFW as a fun, exciting and forward-thinking employer.

“I’ve literally gotten a cell phone out and shown a young candidate our TikTok during an interview!” Lisa says with a laugh.

Berks Fire Water: Tiktok Video

Thanks to their thirst for continuous improvement, Ted and Lisa regularly explore places where technology and digital trends can intersect with their operations.

Ted and Lisa know that social media can shape perception and influence feelings. And, as 20-year business veterans, they recognize the value of putting “aces in places.” So they hired a young professional named Mason Ayres not only to support their branding and marketing, but also to spearhead social media efforts for emerging platforms — namely, TikTok and Instagram.

The results have been tremendous. BFW’s social media presence has grown exponentially over the past two years. Featuring a mixture of slice-of-life moments, humor, trends and culture, BFW’s social media channels continue to delight and amuse its 10K+ followers.

Ted and Lisa freely admit that tying “direct sales/ROI” to their social media initiatives can be an imprecise science — after all, so much of marketing and customer decision-making are based on emotion and timing. But the company’s social media presence has spiced up their brand and, without a doubt, helped them take a leading edge on hiring by positioning BFW as a fun, exciting and forward-thinking employer.

“I’ve literally gotten a cell phone out and shown a young candidate our TikTok during an interview!” Lisa says with a laugh.

Berks Fire Water: Tiktok Video

While the brand has been busy taking off on TikTok and other social media channels, another technology revolution has been quietly taking place behind the scenes at Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.

In 2012, Ted and Lisa expanded their passion for the restoration industry and utilized their expertise to open the Restoration Technical Institute. With divisions dedicated to both in-person and online learning programs, Restoration Technical Institute’s mission is to provide knowledge, passion and inspiration to restoration and insurance professionals from all over the world.

Not only does it offer some of the most comprehensive restoration courses in the industry, but it has also widened the scope of its online educational offerings to include soft skills, management, safety, graphic design and more.

When the pandemic struck, Restoration Technical Institute was perfectly positioned to scale and capitalize on its hard work over the past few years. Restoration Technical Institute now offers hundreds of online classes on their proprietary digital training solution with over 2000 users, as well as 30-40 concurrently running IICRC (Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) classes that take place throughout the year in both in-person and hybrid formats, as well as the occasional special event.

While the brand has been busy taking off on TikTok and other social media channels, another technology revolution has been quietly taking place behind the scenes at Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.

In 2012, Ted and Lisa expanded their passion for the restoration industry and utilized their expertise to open the Restoration Technical Institute. With divisions dedicated to both in-person and online learning programs, Restoration Technical Institute’s mission is to provide knowledge, passion and inspiration to restoration and insurance professionals from all over the world.

Not only does it offer some of the most comprehensive restoration courses in the industry, but it has also widened the scope of its online educational offerings to include soft skills, management, safety, graphic design and more.

When the pandemic struck, Restoration Technical Institute was perfectly positioned to scale and capitalize on its hard work over the past few years. Restoration Technical Institute now offers hundreds of online classes on their proprietary digital training solution with over 2000 users, as well as 30-40 concurrently running IICRC (Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) classes that take place throughout the year in both in-person and hybrid formats, as well as the occasional special event.

Interactive User Experience

Complete with video, audio, captions and diagrams, Restoration Technical Institute’s online learning courses deliver a dynamic learning experience in a wide range of different modalities.

Engaging

Featuring Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc. employees and experts, its online courses use high-quality photo and video assets to create impactful and engaging learning modules.

Practical

Based on Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.’s expertise and hands-on experience, its courses provide relevant and timely resources for its entire industry.

Comprehensive

Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc. courses utilize a step-by-step approach to ensure that learners take away both the big and the small picture details on their course focus areas.

Authentic

The scenarios and examples are real and authentic — many of them are filmed onsite at Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.’s warehouse and facility.

Informative

Not only do its courses include topics like restoration, cleaning and safety, Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc. also provides industry-focused resources on leadership, management, soft skills and marketing.

Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.’s innovative efforts not only occur on the facility floor, but also within the culture and the actions of the owners and its team. Lisa and Ted take their commitment to their community seriously. They participate on several local boards and communities, weaving their passion for helping others into the fabric of their business.

Members of BFW’s leadership team have formally supported the following organizations over the years:

Its social media team regularly engages with other businesses and organizations in the local community. From liking to sharing to reposting, if the BFW team sees something going on in town, they’re the first ones to be a brand ambassador and shout it out.

And, Clarence Curry III, Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.’s Community Relationship Manager, makes it his business to help the company maintain strong connections to its clients and community. He also ensures that when disaster strikes, Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc. is there to provide help and support. Almost without exception, one of the first needs a community has when facing a crisis is water. BFW donates thousands of cases of water per year for everything from local needs to national and international emergencies. Because they’ve been blessed in business, they believe in paying it forward.

Clarence Curry III — Community Relationship Manager

Clarence Curry III — Community Relationship Manager

Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.’s innovative efforts not only occur on the facility floor, but also within the culture and the actions of the owners and its team. Lisa and Ted take their commitment to their community seriously. Not only do they participate on several local boards and committees, they’ve woven their passion for helping others into the fabric of their business.

Members of BFW’s leadership team have formally supported the following organizations over the years:

Its social media team regularly engages with other businesses and organizations in the local community. From liking to sharing to reposting, if the BFW team sees something going on in town, they’re the first ones to be a brand ambassador and shout it out.

And, Clarence Curry III, Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc.’s Community Relationship Manager, makes it his business to help the company maintain strong connections to its clients and community. He also ensures that when disaster strikes, Berks • Fire • Water Restorations, Inc. is there to provide help and support. Almost without exception, one of the first needs a community has when facing a crisis is water. BFW donates thousands of cases of water per year for everything from local needs to national and international emergencies. Because they’ve been blessed in business, they believe in paying it forward.

Clarence Curry III — Community Relationship Manager

Clarence Curry III — Community Relationship Manager

Average Donation

10 cases

per donation

Recent Local Donation

50 cases

Girls on the Run

Recent Local Donation

96 cases

Conrad Weiser School District

Average Cases Donated

1000+ cases

per year

Innovation on the Horizon

So what’s next for Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc.?

Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc.’s foray into technology, online learning and social media has opened up some extraordinary paths for growth and development. Within the next few years, Ted and Lisa plan to accelerate and expand their training programs nationally and internationally. Thanks to its burgeoning social media presence, the brand has already made a splash well beyond the Greater Reading Area, perfectly positioning them to launch services in new geolocations and expand the reach of Restoration Technical Institute's digital training.

And, when it comes to BFW's in-house services, Ted has a particular penchant for exploring new technology, tools and compounds to enhance its restoration processes. Through connections he’s made at conferences and conventions, Ted has his eye on some extraordinary equipment and proprietary compounds that could revolutionize the health and wellness industry. But that’s a story for another day!

Tucked away in the corner of Muhlenberg off Route 61, most probably wouldn’t have guessed that this Berks County-based business would be making ripples nationally and internationally in its industry. But despite 20 successful years in business, the best may be yet to come for Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc.