Society of Cleaning
& Restoration Technicians

303 White Oak Dr., Wilmington, OH 45177

800-949-4728 | F. 513-829-4140

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The Experience - $50 Savings on Full Registration


Have You Registered for The Experience Conference in Clearwater Beach FL on April 18 – 20, 2013?

ICRA Members can save an ADDITIONAL $50 BUCKS on Full Registrations!!!

Enter discount code CL1350 when registering online at to receive an extra $50 off your full registration!  Good for ICRA Members Only, Expired April 1st, 2013.

Jeff Bishop - 50 Years of Industry History!

50 Years of Industry History 1946 – Bishop Laundry and Cleaners founded in Dothan, Alabama by E.E. Bishop, Sr. 1952 – Bishop Laundry purchases Albany Laundry Company in Albany, Georgia, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. As a child laborer for my father, I begin my “career” washing trucks and sweeping floors for 10 cents per hour. Every spring break, summer and holiday, like many of my peers, I had a part-time job, as the son of the boss (SOB) doing whatever no one else wanted to do. Carpet in those days was a luxury and most was loose-laid. We would go to homes in the spring, move the furniture, roll up the carpet and pad, move the furniture back in place; clean and store the rug all summer while people used cooler hard floors; return the rugs in the fall, move the furniture, lay out the pad, roll out the clean rug on top and replace the furniture – all for 8 cents per square foot! 1957 – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) decides that broadloom carpet is durable enough to be used as a primary floor covering in homes covered by 30-year mortgages. The days of the major rug cleaning plants were numbered, as the industry began a transition from loose-lay rugs to tacked broadloom carpet installations, and carpet cleaning began transitioning from in-plant to on-location cleaning. early ‘60s – attended my first National Institute of Rug Cleaners (NIRC) convention in Chicago as a boy, where I had the privilege of hearing Cecil Treadway, Armin Dohanian, Merle West and Jim Kashishan discussed rugs and rug cleaning. A visit to Oriental Rug Cleaning Company in Dallas, TX, hosted by the Amirkhan family, was priceless and inspiring. 1971 – Fresh out of Vietnam and with the nation at full employment, I followed the course of least resistance and took a “part-time” job with my father’s carpet, upholstery and rug cleaning firm in Albany, Georgia. 1972 – We rapidly expanded into fire and water damage restoration, and building services. Early on, I converted our company from shampoo carpet cleaning to “steam” cleaning using the Steam Power unit (3-gallon fill and recovery capacity!). Dirty water is sellable! I attended my first two-day carpet cleaning course sponsored by Chemspec (founded in 1968) and taught by its founders, Bob Hughes and Dan Savanuck. Guest speaker, Gene Bates, demonstrated the Bates 1511 ($1511 price), and later built the Big Red truck-mount powered by a 50-HP Perkins diesel. With a Big Red, a cleaner no longer competed: he merely drove to his competitor’s place of business, flung open the truck’s doors and intimidated his competitor out of business! And if there’s a grandfather of steam cleaning, it’s got to be Dick Maplesden and his wonderful wife Jackie. They ran a first-class one-couple operation in Los Angeles while I was trying to build a dynasty. He proved that a small and profitable operation could be highly rewarding and he gave more back to his industry through AIDS (later ASCR, now RIA), than he ever received from it. In the early ’70s, I attended a two-day carpet inspector course taught by Ned Hopper, Technical Director of The Carpet and Rug Institute, followed by a two-day carpet manufacturing course taught by Reg Burnett in Dalton, GA. Visited J&J mills with the tour led by Jim Jolly, J&J President. During this time, I purchased my first real steam cleaning machine from Certified Chemical and Equipment Company, Cleveland, OH (Joe Conway; Herb Harpham). While operating the unit in my plant (thank goodness!), all the welds on the unit’s frame failed simultaneously due to sympathetic resonance (vibration) and all the mechanical components fell to the floor! Later I purchased a truck-mount from Certified, which I eventually sawed in half and converted to propane heating, since the fuel-oil burner refused to perform. I attended my first carpet cleaning course taught by Ron Toney for Ed York’s Fiber Cleaning Schools of America (FCSA), followed by a week-long spotting and bleaching course at the National Institute of Dry Cleaners taught by Howard “Pappy” Reeves. I shadowed Martin King, father of modern industry fire restoration, for two days in Silver Springs, Maryland. Sat under Martin, Major Long and Dr. Steve Spivak, as they lectured on cleaning and restoration procedures at the AIDS Convention in Atlanta, GA. It was there that I first met Ed York. Ed was filled with ideas and concepts, many of which were partially formed. He rapidly established Blue Ribbon Carpet Cleaning, Steam Services Associates, Fiber Cleaning Schools of America (FCSA), the Society of Cleaning Technicians (SCT), the IICUC and Disaster Kleenup. With the help of his gifted and patient wife, Wanda, and the industry talent that was drawn to Ed, many remarkable technical and marketing ideas became a reality. Neil Atkinson was one of the first Executive Administrators of the IICUC during the Ed York era. During those days, if I didn’t like an exam question, I’d simply call Neil and we’d make the revision on the fly with no committees to complicate matters, since there was only one IICRC-approved instructor. Neil was “the IICUC” in those days and he remains a major industry contributor today. Among Ed’s most talented recruits were Lee Pemberton and Tom Hill. For decades Tom has operated the IICRC management company founded and originally administered by Kenway Mead. When the IICUC (later IICRC) board came up with multiple ideas, whether good or ill conceived, Kenway and Tom both had a habit of saying, “We shall make it so!” Few will ever understand or appreciate the time and treasure poured into the IICRC by Kenway Consultants, Inc. (KCI). And what can one say about Tom’s “right-hand man,” Lindsay Barlow? She rides herd over recalcitrant Board members, instructors, and registrants alike. She a primary player who, “. . . makes it so.” 1974 – After trying to build a dynasty while spending my father’s retirement, I decided to move to Dothan, Alabama to start Bishop Clean Care, a diversified cleaning and restoration firm. Under Ed York’s FCSA banner, I taught my first IICUC-approved Carpet Cleaning Technician class with Glenn Twist, former OK legislator and Technical Director of SCT. The course covered carpet/upholstery cleaning, carpet repair, water restoration, management, marketing and sales – all in 2½ days! 1975 – At the request of Ed York, I taught the industry’s first fire restoration course with Tom Hill in Philadelphia, PA. Tom and I would present for a couple of hours, and then retreat to our hotel room to figure out what we’d be teaching next. I purchased an 8000 ft2 facility for expansion; rolled up the warehouse door on Monday after moving in and thought to myself, “Bishop, what have you done?!. The following Monday, after filling the warehouse with furnishings from a major church fire, I rolled up the same door and thought, “Bishop, you’re a genius!” If you build it, they will come . . . 1977 – Clean Care Seminars, Inc. separated from Bishop Clean Care. During the early ’80s, Mike Lynch became the President of the IICUC. It was under his leadership, and with considerable political wrangling through North Carolina Senator, Jesse Helms’ office, that the IICUC became a non-profit corporation, changing its name to IICRC. October, 1986 – Attended the World of Carpet convention at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart where DuPont introduced StainMasterCM-branded nylon carpet. The StainMasterCM marketing effort was so huge that the Merchandise Mart hired police officers to direct traffic on the escalators! There, I met Bill Doan who, in January, 1987, retained me to teach DuPont employees about professional spotting and cleaning. Seems that StainMasterCM wasn’t really bullet-proof after all. Over the next decade, Bill went on to work with IICRC’s Tom Hill to establish a DuPont Cleaner Referral Service, causing the ranks of Certified Firms to swell from some 2000 to over 4000. Bill tirelessly promoted cleaning as an essential link in the “carpet value chain,” which includes: fiber producers, manufacturers, specifiers, retailers, installers, and chemical and equipment manufacturers. 1988 – I met two women from Chattanooga, TN, Ruth Travis and Ginger Kachline. Didn’t know much about the technical details of cleaning, but boy could they sell! Their company motto was, “Owned and operated by women who care!” which Ruth’s father modified to: “Owned and operated by women; who cares?” Travis went on to become multiple-term President of ISCT and later, she followed Dane Gregory and Carey Vermeulen in the mid-2000s as the first female President of the non-profit IICRC. She provided no-nonsense leadership, and among many other accomplishments during her Presidency was the completion of the IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Standard in 2006. 1991 – While attending a SCT convention in Tampa, Florida in April, a group of cleaners were approached by Ned Hopper, CRI Technical Director, and Bob Cannon with the Dixie Group. “We need an industry Standard for cleaning; if you don’t write one, we will.” Since I could think of no one less qualified to write cleaning industry standards than a bunch of manufacturers, I excerpted two chapters from my book, “More Answers about Carpet Cleaning” and that became the basis for the industry’s first standard. IICRC S100, as it was titled, was peer reviewed by the IICRC Certification Board and became the first “industry standard,” which was completed and printed by the CRI by October, 1991. 1994 – Claude Blackburn convened a group of water restorers at his old tin building in Burlington, Washington to discuss a water restoration standard. Among the attendees was Dr. Mike Berry, Deputy Director of the U.S. EPA. Mike pointed out that, if we didn’t write an industry standard, the government would write one for us. And, he went on to say, “You don’t want the government to write your industry standard!” The first S500 was written in 1994, with formal objections from ASCR leadership; later withdrawn, to their credit, when the industry response was overwhelmingly positive. During the mid-90s, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) was becoming a major issue in the minds of Americans. In 1994, with a government grant, Drs. Mike Berry and Gene Cole began a study of 20 buildings in Denver to characterize their IEQ. Soon after, Dr. Berry convened a group in Chapel Hill, NC at the University of North Carolina’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center and began a world-class study on Total Building Cleaning Effectiveness, which later was published and peer-reviewed in the Journal of Environmental Health. Under Berry’s leadership, cleaning has evolved into science. 1997 – If Claude Blackburn and Lloyd Weaver are considered the fathers of the water damage restoration industry, then Chuck Dewald and Larry Carlson (Phoenix Equipment) are the fathers of water-restoration science. That east-Tennessee redneck, Dewald, came up with the brilliant idea of turning air movers around and point them toward the most difficult materials to dry – walls and frames. Well, of course! Chuck built the first water restoration “flood” house and began teaching restoration science, confirmed by tangible results, rather than just theory. Carlson worked with Dewald to introduce LGR dehumidifiers, while Kurt Bolden brought us the HydroX extraction unit. 1999 – The IICRC S500 water restoration standard was revised under the leadership of Larry Cooper and Claudia Ramirez, with editing by Jim Holland and Jeff Bishop. 2000 – IICRC VP Travis demands that Carey Vermeulen’s committee complete an Upholstery Cleaning Standard. Since the world didn’t end on Y2K, the entire standard was written by three of us in my office on January 2-4, 2000, and later peer-reviewed by the IICRC Certification Board by spring, 2000. Carey went on to become the second Canadian President of the IICRC, preceded by Eric Rottmeister and later followed by Paul Pearce of England. 2002 – Volunteers (Bishop, Bolden, Costa, Dobbins, Dewald) met at Shaw Technical Services in Dalton, under the leadership of Carey Mitchell and Ruth Travis, to conduct the SCRT Water Extraction Efficiency (WET) study. This added to the body of water restoration science by demonstrating that modern extraction equipment could remove up to 97% of water from both carpet and cushion. 2003 – Back in 1999, an idea of a consolidated industry convention was floated by a group of associations. However, in 2003, under the capable leadership of Larry Cooper (Meetings and Events/Textile Consultants), Connections Convention and Conference became a reality. Before that time, industry vendors supported about 15 conventions annually - for the most part, speaking only to each other. “Connections” was the water-shed event that changed all that. After the first convention in Las Vegas, SCRT donated their venue in Florida, and Connections Conference was born. Of course, Cooper didn’t make all this happen by himself. He’s fortunate enough to be married to Trina – the brains of his outfit – and a wonderful and supportive group of family, friends and volunteers. 2006 – IICRC, with the hard work of countless industry volunteers, publishes ANSI/IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. 2011 - The International Cleaning and Restoration Association (ICRA) is established by seven international and regional trade associations. 2012 – IICRC moves toward completion of two additional standards: IICRC S600 Carpet Installation Standard, Chaired by James Mullins of Shaw Industries, and IICRC S800 Carpet Inspection Standard, Chaired by Bill Doan and Lew Migliore (LGM Services). In 2013, “Connections” is being re-invented by the International Cleaning and Restoration Association (ICRA) with the leadership of Cooper and company as “The Experience,” opening in Clearwater Beach, Florida in April of this year. Well, after all this rambling, two sayings are prominent in my mind (and I paraphrase): “If we don’t learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it,” and “We all stand taller because we stand upon the shoulders of those who came before.” The cleaning and restoration industry has a robust, colorful and downright amazing history. It was built upon the shoulders of one altruistic volunteer after another. Few industries can boast of such rapid and remarkable progress. And I’ve just touched the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Time and creeping senility prevents me from giving credit to the accomplishments of myriad volunteers who have elevated the quality of life for all industry participants. [Bishop is a 41-year veteran of the cleaning/restoration industry. He is an internationally recognized author and trainer, and he serves as an IICRC, SCRT and ICRA volunteer.]

Berks Fire Water Restorations - US Chamber Regional Finalist

Release Date: Feb 15, 2013Contact: 888-249-NEWS


U.S. Chamber Selects Seven Regional Finalists for 2013 Small Business of the Year Award

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today selected seven regional finalists for the 2013 DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club®.  Each will be honored during America’s Small Business Summit, April 29 – May 1, in Washington, D.C., where a national winner will be announced and receive a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber.

“These small businesses are living examples of the power of free enterprise at work in our economy. Through their hard work and talents, they are enriching their communities, expanding opportunities for others, and fulfilling their own dreams,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “We salute these regional finalists for the vital contributions they make to our economy and our society.”

The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award honors businesses that excel in the areas of staff training and motivation, community involvement, customer service, and strategy. One finalist from each of the seven regions was selected out of the 100 Blue Ribbon Award winners. The winner will be announced at an awards luncheon on April 30.

“Small businesses remain one of the very best examples of service and leadership through the unique economic opportunities they create,” said Charles Redfield, executive vice president of merchandising for Sam’s Club®. “These award winners are successful because they reflect the values of their customers, and we are proud to honor their commitment to the communities they serve.”

The 2013 finalists, listed by region, are:

  • Eastern: Pet$aver Healthy Pet Superstore - Russell Herman founded Pet$aver Healthy Pet Superstore in Rochester, NY in 1993 after a veterinarian-recommended diet cured his dog’s flea problem. He realized most owners, like himself, are unaware of what they are actually feeding their pets and wanted to offer the best pet foods and supplies.
  • Great Lakes: Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. - In 2000, Ted and Lisa Lavender combined constructional and mechanical know-how with insurance experience to open Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc. in Reading, PA. The company offers restoration and reconstruction services for damaged residential and commercial properties.
  • Midwest: Superior Service Center - Founded in 1982 in Eagan, MN, Superior Service Center is a full service automotive facility, that offers both mechanical and collision repairs with state-of-art equipment. Superior Service Center works with both vehicle owners and insurance companies to provide the highest quality service and maximum convenience.
  • Northwest: Rich Duncan Construction, Inc. - In 2002, Rich Duncan founded Rich Duncan Construction in Salem, OR, with just $5,000. The company specializes in interior and exterior remodeling, renovation, new construction, and tenant improvements for retail and commercial spaces.
  • Southeast: Rapoport’s Restaurant Group- Known for its award-winning restaurants and sandwich shop, Rapoport Restaurant Group was founded in Boca Raton, FL, with the opening of Henry’s in 2000. President Burt Rapoport expanded the group to include Deck 84, Bogart’s Bar and Grille, and E&J’s Sandwich Shop, with Burt & Max’s scheduled to open this spring.
  • Southwest & South Central: Larsen Dye Associates Architects - Founded in 1995 in Irving, TX by Rick Larsen and Phillip Dye, Larsen Dye Associates Architects is a commercial architecture and interior design firm. The firm specializes in healthcare, religious, industrial, institutional, and commercial architecture and design.
  • Western: Praetorian Group - Founded in 1999 in San Francisco, CA, Praetorian Group is a leader in online public safety and security. Praetorian’s twenty-five websites deliver expert content, mobile solutions, and online tools to over 2.5 million public safety professionals each month. The company’s properties provide cutting edge resources and mission critical information allowing public safety professionals to better protect their communities.

To learn more about the summit, visit

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 34 percent over traditional retailers. To learn more about Savings Made Simple®, visit, and look for Sam’s Club on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and our Mobile and iPad® Apps.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

IICRC to Be Featured on "Designing Spaces" Airing on Lifetime Television


IICRC to Be Featured on “Designing Spaces™” Airing on Lifetime Television  

“Creating a Healthier Living Entertainment” segment highlights Certified Firms  

(Vancouver, Wash.) January 2, 2013 – The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) announces it will be featured on the show “Designing Spaces” airing on Lifetime. The segment “Creating a Healthier Living Entertainment” will air on Jan. 4 and Jan. 31 at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT. The segment highlights the importance of choosing a professional, IICRC Certified Firm.

The IICRC partnered with “Designing Spaces™” to showcase to U.S. consumers how IICRC Certified Firms stand out from the competition. The show’s one million viewers provided an ideal opportunity for the IICRC to increase awareness and serve as a voice on behalf of the industry.

“Designing Spaces™” is the signature home improvement television series that travels all over the country redefining and redesigning space. The show provides real-life solutions to real-life problems for homeowners, representing a resource of learning and a trusted name in home remodeling, home decorating and home design that viewers know and respect.

“In this segment, the IICRC discusses professional carpet cleaning and its role in creating a healthier indoor environment,” said Hank Unck, chair of the IICRC Marketing and Communications Committee. “The show positions the IICRC as the leading resource for consumers looking to find reputable, professional and knowledgeable cleaning, inspection and restoration services.”

Rachel Adams, the president of Indoor Environmental Management, Inc., serves as the on-air spokesperson for the IICRC.  Word of Mouth Carpet Restoration, a Fort Lauderdale-based Certified Firm, represented the IICRC by demonstrating how a certified, professional firm cleans.

“Filming this segment helped me think about the IICRC from a different perspective, the consumer perspective,” said Adams. “Carpet cleaning technicians and companies are not all the same and it’s very important for a homeowner to know the difference in order to make an educated decision.”

Once the segment airs, it will be available for IICRC Certified Firms to download and use in their marketing materials.

“As a Certified Firm, we understand how important it is that consumers understand what it means to hire an IICRC certified professional,” said Eric Vander Wiede, owner of Word of Mouth Carpet Restoration. “This segment is one step the IICRC is taking to help promote our certifications.”

Tune into “Designing Spaces” on Jan. 4 and Jan. 31at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT.

About the IICRC

The IICRC is an international, ANSI-accredited standard-development organization (SDO) that certifies individuals in 20+ categories within the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. Representing more than 54,000 certified technicians in 22 countries, the IICRC, in partnership with regional and international trade associations, represents the entire industry. The IICRC does not own schools, employ instructors, produce training materials, or promote specific product brands, cleaning methods or systems. To know if a technician has received proper education and training, consumers should look for the cleantrust patch and logo, the service mark of the IICRC. For more information, visit


ICRA Respone to Hurricane Sandy


October, 30, 2012

Restoration Association Response to Hurricane Sandy

The International Cleaning and Restoration Association (ICRA) has created a consumer website to help property owners recover from flood waters as a result of Hurricane Sandy and to help understand the restoration process.  

When returning to your home after a natural disaster, you need to be alert to various health and safety hazards that might exist. Flood waters can contain sewage related organisms, chemicals, organic and non organic soils and debris. As water remains in contact with your home and contents, molds can begin to grow. Animals and insects can present additional problems. Power to your home may or may not have been shut off. Electrical hazards are a major concern when working in a wet damp environment. If you have gas fired appliances that are operating, combustion gases may not be properly vented from the structure and can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or fire. For more information on how to restore your home after a flood, protecting yourself from electrical hazards, personal hygiene during flood cleanup, food and water safety go to

To learn more about restoration and disaster preparedness, go to

To find local qualified International Cleaning and Restoration professionals, go to


About the International Cleaning and Restoration Association

The International Cleaning and Restoration Association is a nonprofit organization of cleaning and restoration firms serving the United States and Canada.

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  33. SCRT Monitor Now in Full Color
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  35. Double your investment as an SCRT member when you join WFCA
  36. S100 Ready for Informal Public Review
  37. NEW Website underway!
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