Speaker Bios

Dick Wagner

Dick Wagner has served the Restoration industry for over 23 years, providing disaster recovery services and specialized consulting to clients nationally. Wagner brings expertise in Structural Drying, Environmental Inspection, Remediation, and Fire and Smoke Restoration, Contents Inventory and Pack-out. He spent the first three years of his restoration career teaching Insurance Adjusters on how to audit personal lines claims for potential fraud.

His primary coaching and consulting services specialize in providing one-on-one sales guidance for contractors since 2006. A key part of that coaching is to shorten the learning curve for contractor sales teams – helping them expand into commercial disaster projects without being dependent on agents, adjusters or program work!

He is well known nationally for PREP™ – (Priority Response Emergency Plan) and has helped hundreds of contractors implement this commercial Sales program into their restoration business.

RAMP IT UP NOW – His exclusive sales program – is focused on helping residential contractors move into the commercial arena serving the large-loss disaster needs of commercial end-user clients without using agents, adjusters and TPA’s.

Dick serves on the National Board of Directors of the SCRT as VP of Chapter Development, and he is also on the executive board of Donate4Kids Foundation – a non-profit foster children program in Florida. He is also a Florida State appointed Guardian ad Litem as a foster child advocate. Dick lives in Southwest Florida with his wife of 33 years.  

Bill Giannone

Bill Giannone brings a world of knowledge and experience to the CREST Network, where all of his talents and expertise are yours for the taking.  Bill spent over twenty-five years on Wall Street, where his great talent with numbers and instant analysis made him one of the market’s most successful traders.  Over the last decade, Bill has taken those skills and applied them throughout the restoration industry, helping scores of companies on hundreds of projects and assignments.  Bill’s ability to see the vision, create the path, and drive success is unmatched in our industry. 

Bill has performed a multitude of functions in his time in the restoration industry.  Out in the field, Bill has been one of the most trusted and relied upon experts for commercial restoration projects, providing unequalled administrative and financial guidance and direction during the loss.  Further, his real skill set showed in his ability to produce accurate, full invoices for services on hundreds of commercial losses- and then support the restorers in getting paid!  In the office, Bill has served as CFO, COO and CEO of many restoration companies, involving himself in the everyday activities of these companies.  Finally, Bill has provided personal coaching for dozens of restoration clients in all corners of our country, guiding owners and their teams to greater heights.

​Along with Bill’s involvement with CREST, he also serves as Treasurer of the Society of Cleaning and Restoration Technicians (SCRT), the premier trade association in the industry.  He is also a founding board member of the National Organization of Restoration and Remediation Professionals (NORRP). 

Coaching has been a part of Bill’s core for his entire life.  Bill spent nearly thirty years coaching youth sports, from T-ball through high school.  He also served as a youth counselor at his church for nearly 20 years.  His passion for helping others realize their full potential is something special, and The CREST Network is glad to have Bill.

Scott Tarpley

Scott is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Disaster Equipment, Inc. and The Drying Team, Inc. which are both international leaders in the restoration industry. For more than 35 years, Scott has serviced property owners, and restoration companies with insurance losses with outstanding success. In his years of leadership, the companies have grown from performing local residential work to assisting other companies with the drying and equipment needs both nationally and internationally. He loves his career and working during catastrophic events.

Scott offers more than thirty-five years of proven experience in the property restoration industry. Throughout his career, Scott has managed multiple large-loss commercial projects including a $4.7 million-dollar loss for the Bay St Louis School District following severe damage from Hurricane Katrina, the Bridgestone – Firestone Corporate Headquarters located in Nashville, Tennessee more than $1.1 million dollars, the Warwick Mall Rhode Island $2.9 million flood loss, the South Lake Tahoe personal residence of Charles Schwab and hundreds of other commercial projects. The scope of his expertise has spanned virtually all aspects of the cleaning and restoration industry. In 2001, the International Society of Cleaning Technicians awarded Restoration Specialist, Inc., now known as The Drying Team, Inc., as Top Firm of the Year and Bridgestone Firestone awarded the company for the “Outstanding Efforts in the Repair and Renovation” of the Bridgestone Firestone Corporate Headquarters.

Scott is continuously involved with demonstrations in the product restoration industry. He continually works with educators and equipment manufacturer to develop new and better processes in the industry. Scott is on the technical advisory committee for Development of the Commercial Drying Specialist Course for the IICRC. Scott also served on the Board of Directors for Mid-South Professional Cleaners Association and is currently on the NORRP Board of Directors.

Technical Expertise

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)

  • Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT)
  • Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician (UFT)
  • Journeyman Textile Cleaner (JTC)
  • Master Water Restore (MWR)
  • Master Fire and Smoke Restorer
  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician (FRST)
  • Water Damage Technician (WRT)
  • Odor Control Technician (OCT)
  • Carpet & Repair Installation Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying (ASD)
  • Health & Safety Technician (HST)
  • Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT)
  • Served on Technical Advisory Committee (Developed Standards for Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS) Certification)

Misty Jones

Misty Jones offers more than 20 years of experience in the property restoration and disaster equipment rental industry. Throughout her career, she has obtained experience in all aspects of her organization including setting up drying equipment, managing commercial losses, driving trucks, fire restoration, contents cleaning, payroll reporting, training and education, managing rental property and rental accounts, accounts receivables, accounts payables, bank reconciliation, inventory, evictions, DOT regulations, and marketing and sales. The last 8 years, Misty has advanced to Senior Project Manager on commercial and large loss projects all across the nation.

As our Senior Project Manager, she is responsible for project restoration completion, supervising staff, meeting daily and weekly goals, auditing invoices, working with project managers for proper job documentation, corresponding with customers, and handling the collection process.

Misty has taken her knowledge into teaching and training other restoration companies on documentation and getting paid. She is an instructor for RTC, Crest Network, and STOP.

Outside of her career, she is a devoted wife, a mother of three boys, and has a love for animals. She enjoys being a sports mom and supporting her boys during motocross season.

College Education

General Associates Degree – CCC Business Management Courses – CSCC

Career Certifications

WRT / Water Restoration Technician – IICRC

AMRT / Applied Microbial Remediation Technician – IICRC ASD / Applied Structural Drying Technician – IICRC

FRST / Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Technician – IICRC HST / Health and Safety Technician – IICRC

OCT / Odor Control Technician – IICRC CCT / Carpet Cleaning Technician – IICRC

UFT / Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician – IICRC

Notable Courses

Vortex Drying School – Chuck Dewald

Large Loss and How to Get Paid – Restoration Training Center Water Strategies – HW3

Partners for Success – Jon-Don

Advanced Water Damage Restoration – Joe Dobbins

Jason Kitts

Jason Kitts has had a storied career in our industry.  Jason entered the insurance restoration sector with a background in the construction industry. During Hurricane Ike in 2008, Mr. Kitts scoped and wrote more than $30 million in Xactimate estimates for several local public adjusting firms.  After returning from hurricane duty he became a Public Adjuster.  In order to develop more knowledge of mitigation and remediation, he got involved with a local franchise.  Within several months, Jason was able to increase profit margins by more than 20 percent.  This led to Mr. Kitts starting his own company and purchasing several territories during his years in operation.  During his successful ownership, Mr. Kitts was appointed by the franchise group to be on several committees covering Large Loss, Field Training and Technology.  During his time with the franchise group he became the most published franchisee in trade magazines and websites, as well as winning multiple “Project of the Year” awards.  His company has deployed to every major hurricane since 2008.

In 2017 Jason opened Catastrophic Cooperative.  Catastrophic Cooperative provides professional emergency mitigation and remediation support for disasters of all sizes, including equipment rental, onsite assessments, and joint venture partnerships with companies that need assistance on projects.  His “boots-on-the-ground” experience, from production and logistics to negotiations with the owner, carrier and third parties has proven to be a great value to restorers everywhere.

Tabatha Smith

Tabatha has spent 22 years, the majority of her career, in the water damage restoration industry. She is currently the Director of Marketing for The Drying Team, Inc., dba Disaster Equipment, Scott Said, and the Restoration Training Center. Her expertise in the industry includes many areas: being a certified water and mold technician, accounting assistant, sales manager, health representative, and a large loss account manager. She still helps with multiple tasks within her organizations such as training, logistics, mobilization, travel agendas, tradeshow coordination, and team member education.

However, logistics and other “behind the scenes” tasks become Tabatha’s priority during catastrophic events such as area floods, tropical storms, or hurricanes. This includes mobilization of up to 145 tractor trailer loads of drying equipment at once.

College Education

Bachelor of Science in Business Management & Marketing – UOP Associates Degree in Nursing – CSCC

Career Certifications

WRT / Water Restoration Technician – IICRC

AMRT / Applied Microbial Remediation Technician – IICRC ASD / Applied Structural Drying Technician – IICRC

Notable Courses

Vortex Drying School – Chuck Dewald

Large Loss and How to Get Paid – Restoration Training Center Water Strategies – HW3

Partners for Success – Jon-Don

Advanced Water Damage Restoration – Joe Dobbins

Rhonda Edwards

Rhonda just recently joined the restoration industry about
two years ago to continue working in business development.
Although she is fairly new to restoration, Rhonda is
experienced in starting and growing businesses, as she even
ran her own business for 15 years in child day care. Her fresh
“go-getter” attitude is just what the position she is in now,
was missing.
Rhonda has been able to expand her skills the last 2 years.
She joined The Drying Team, Inc., Disaster Equipment, the
Restoration Training Center, and #ScottSaid where she
wears several hats such as Leader in Business Development,
Travel Coordinator, Primary Assistant to the CEO, and Event
Planner and Coordinator. With about 25 tradeshows and
events a year, and crews who work across the nation
regularly, Rhonda can handle upwards of 300 hotel rooms or
other sleeping accommodations at once should the need
arise such as during a major storm event all while
maintaining her normal day-to-day duties. She works flawless
under pressure to get the job done.
Outside her career, Rhonda is an adventurous mom of 3
boys and a grandmother to two adorable children. She
enjoys camping, concerts, and floating the creek with
friends. She has a great sense of humor who others love to
be around.

Notable Courses
Chuck Dewald Structural Drying – Chuck Dewald
Large Loss and How to Get Paid – Restoration Training
Center
Next Level – Reets Drying Academy

Justin Willits

PCG Consulting – COO & Lead Building Consultant / Partner

Justin grew up in the construction industry. He began his construction career working for his fathers company at a young age and developed into his Father’s main project manager. His father owns a multi-faceted Commercial and Residential construction company and has been a General Contractor for over 35 years. That’s where Justin learned first-hand how to build a structure from the ground up – by doing it himself. After branching off from his father’s company, Justin owned and ran his own construction business for several years before entering into the building consulting industry in 2007.

Justin has been assisting Contractors, Attorneys, Insurance Carriers, and Policy holders as a contractor and consultant for over 18 years and brings a wealth of knowledge to each client he serves.

Justin began specializing in understanding how to properly estimate a loss in the insurance company’s software “Xactimate” while working as a restoration contractor beginning in 2002. Justin has expanded that understanding over almost 2 decades and now is accustom to handling large complex losses all over the United States. Justin is one of about 300 level III certified Xactimate experts in the nation and his expertise in presenting complex multi-million dollar insurance estimates has provided his clients peace of mind knowing they have a great expert on their side. Justin has been certified as a Federal court expert on estimating and pricing in multiple cases. Justin specializes in Large commercial and industrial losses many of which far exceed $1,000,000.00 in Structural damages.

Justin is also OSHA 10 certified.

When he is not working, Justin enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife, Sarah, and their two gorgeous daughters, Isabella and Kate. Justin is also very involved with Church Ministry and currently sits as a volunteer board member for First Priority Global Ministries.

Curtis Phillips

PCG Consulting – General Counsel / Partner

Curtis received his bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from Campbellsville University while also playing football from 2000-2004. He then went on to earn his J.D. from the University of Memphis in 2007 and obtained his law license that same year. Since that time, Curtis has devoted his practice to assisting property owners, managers, insurers and contractors through his expertise in first party insurance claims. By advising PCG’s clients regarding the continually changing field of insurance and claims preparation/management, PCG is able to keep up with the most recent changes in the law – giving PCG Consulting an edge over other consultants and claims managers. Curtis is also licensed as an Xactimate Level 3 Expert. When Curtis isn’t helping PCG’s clients, he enjoys spending time with his wife Stefanie, and their three children, Eva, Vincent, and Victoria.

Jake Holt

PCG Consulting – President of Sales / Partner

Jake has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. His desire to help folks recover from their loss led him to the field of claims consulting. As one of the founding partners of PCG, Jake heads up our sales division. He spends time educating people about the claims process and the positive difference that can be made when utilizing the expertise of PCG’s consultants. In his spare time, Jake enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Suzanne, and his four wonderful children.

Harvey Cohen

Hcohen@itsaboutjustice.law

After graduating from Stetson School of Law, Mr. Harvey V. Cohen was employed by the State Attorney’s Office.  As a state prosecutor, Mr. Cohen handled thousands of criminal cases. He conducted over 40 jury trials, executed extensive motion practice, and conducted countless depositions. Later, Mr. Cohen branched out as a solo practitioner without staff or associates. He has since grown his firm to over 20 attorneys and 70 employees.

After the numerous hurricanes in Florida in 2004 and 2005, Mr. Cohen represented homeowners who suffered hurricane damage to their homes. Mr. Cohen has literally handled thousands and thousands of insurance claims. Mr. Cohen is known throughout the state of Florida and nationwide as the go to attorney for cases as it pertains to the restoration industry.

Cohen Law Group are great supporters of the community. Mr. Cohen is very involved with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and many other charities including:

Mr. Cohen also collaborates with the consumer advocate office regarding insurance issues and consumer protections. Mr. Cohen fights on your behalf to protect your rights as a contractor, small business and homeowners from insurance companies. Mr. Cohen will continue the fight because It’s About Justice!

Taylor Cates

Burch, Porter, Johnson, PLLC: Taylor Cates’s practice includes an array of litigation matters in both state and federal courts, including commercial litigation, real property disputes, and tort claims, including serious automobile accident matters. He also represents clients in intellectual property matters, including trademark and copyright infringement litigation and the protection of intellectual property rights. He has been a frequent speaker on intellectual property topics, as well as developments in media and defamation law. Mr. Cates joined the firm in 2002, after having practiced with a litigation firm in Nashville for several years upon his graduation from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Keith Culley

Keith Culley is a Senior Executive General Adjuster with York Risk Services Group, now part of Sedgwick.  Keith concentrates on first party Commercial Property claims involving “big-box” retail, major construction, heavy and light manufacturing, railroad, commercial and residential real estate management, energy and renewable energy facilities and cyber/terrorism events.  In the course of his 29 years, Keith has worked with major insurance carriers and independent firms as a Property Adjuster and AVP of Property Claims in New York and Bermuda.  He has worked on regional, national and worldwide global catastrophic events, and has traveled to more than 20 countries on 5 continents assisting with various complex property claims. 

Keith received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY and his Masters in Disaster & Emergency Management from Touro University International.  Keith has presented at various industry seminars and conferences and is an Associate Member of the Loss Executives Association (LEA).  In his personal life, Keith is a member of the USA Triathlon Association and is volunteer baseball and basketball coach in his hometown of Old Bridge, NJ.

Mark McLaughlin

Mark McLaughlin brings more than 20 years of experience in the property restoration industry, both as an employee and an owner.

He has held every position in the disaster recovery business: carpet cleaner, technician, production manager, operations manager, and large loss project manager. In addition, he was a General Manager with a large regional company with offices in multiple states.  

For the past 10 years, Mark has been specializing in large loss and commercial claims, working on many losses after major storms in other regions of the country.

Several national restoration and environmental organizations have included Mark on the roster of speakers, with Mark presenting topics including the subject of mold remediation. He is also a published author on the subject.

Mark has always placed a priority on education and holds the following certifications:

  • PLAN Certified Appraiser
  • ASHE Health Care Construction
  • IICRC ASD
  • IICRC WRT
  • IICRC FSRT
  • IICRC OCT
  • IICRC HST
  • Asbestos Supervisor
  • Biohazard Technician
  • Certified Lead Renovator
  • State Hazardous Materials Technician
  • RIA MRT (Mold Remediation Technician)
  • RIA MRS (Mold Remediation Supervisor)
  • RIA CMP#27 (Certified Mold Professional)
  • Hydrolab -Sewage Remediation
  • Hydrolab -Specialty Floor Drying
  • Hydrolab -Commercial Wall Systems Drying
  • Dewald Vortex Drying School

Sara Raley

Sara Raley, MWR, MSR, MTC, RRP, FL Certified CBC & MRSR
Vice President, Restoration Practice Director – Insurance Services – Global
Sara Raley is an expert in large commercial catastrophic losses resulting from hurricanes, flooding, fire, and
mold. Her technical consulting emphasis has been in the cleaning, restoration, and construction industries both
domestic and abroad and has extensive experience in both private and government sectors for over 38 years.
Sara’s wide ranging background includes building diagnostics, appraisal, clerk-of-the-works, initial investigations
and thermal imaging, project management, reporting, needs assessment, resource allocation and logistics,
office & field operations, development of drying strategies and structural drying, scoping & estimating, moisture
mapping, inventory control and equipment monitoring, document drying, third-party verification, job
documentation and invoicing, forensic auditing, project research, approved in 12 states as a CE instructor, and
professional presentations & reporting.
Sara has been involved in many national disaster events, since Hurricanes Charlie, Frances & Jeanne in 2004,
including hurricane events in the Caribbean, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New
York, North & South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia; floods in Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri,
Tennessee and Rhode Island; and major fire losses in California, Florida and Kentucky as well as multiple Polar Vortex claims.
As a volunteer, Sara served as a Contributor for the ANSI/Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration
Certification (IICRC) S500 – 2015 Water Damage Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage
Restoration – 4th Edition.

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