- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Joe Atwood
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Choosing a reliable restoration contractor after disaster strikes is crucial, and luckily North Carolina residents can turn to Showcase Restoration (Showcase). Showcase continues to be the leader of insurance restoration contracting for the North Carolina Sandhills since the company was founded in 1979. Showcase has remained a local, family-owned and -operated company, equipped with a team that considers its work crucial to the community. Clients can rest assured that when disaster strikes the Showcase team will be standing by to restore not just the contents and structure of a home or business, but also a sense of security.
Showcase operates from a head office in Fayetteville, N.C., and also maintains the Advanced Contents Processing Center just a few miles away, where a building’s contents can be safely processed, restored and stored.
Fayetteville is also home to Fort Bragg and Showcase takes pride in being both a locally owned and veteran-owned business. “In a transient community like Fort Bragg, people get rotated every three or four years, but we’re the hometown folks,” asserts Wayne Etowski, president of Showcase. “My father founded the company when he left the service in 1979, and I was born at Womack Army Medical Center.”
Showcase started out as a combination of real estate and general contracting, and the team gradually got into the insurance restoration business. The real estate and general contracting divisions were eventually spun off, leaving the Showcase team to concentrate all of its efforts on the growing insurance restoration business. The company employs roughly 35 professionals to work on both commercial and residential restoration projects.
Showcase generally sticks to serving clients within a 50-mile radius of Cumberland County, working directly with insurance adjusters and claims specialists. Showcase understands the devastation property owners feel after suffering a major loss, so the team provides around-the-clock disaster response services to stop damage from spreading.
Part of the Family
With over 30 years of industry experience, Showcase has come to be one of the premier insurance restoration companies in the area, backed by an A-plus rating with the Better Business Bureau and the Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) network. Members of DKI – the largest national disaster restoration contracting organization – are held to the highest standards of quality, transparency, integrity and accountability, meaning membership is contingent upon the prospective company’s good standing in the community and capabilities.
Affiliated companies undergo continual training and recertification and must be able to provide the gamut of DKI’s services, which includes storm damage restoration, mold and environmental remediation, reconstruction and repair, smoke and fire damage restoration, as well as content pack out, storage and restoration. DKI member companies are also part of a family of affiliates, so when disaster strikes and one member’s resources aren’t enough qualified help is only a phone call away.
“We have a lot of resources in-house, but it’s just as important to have strong relationships with those you work with,” asserts Etowski. “When a tornado tore through the area in 2011 we were able to have another DKI member come down with extra tractor trailers, generators and equipment for us to use. It really made a difference.”
A family of EF2 and EF3 tornadoes was recorded in the area, with one tornado touching down in Fayetteville destroying at least 150 homes, according to the National Weather Service.
The Showcase team quickly posted important updates to the company website and sprang into action to begin boarding up houses, putting up tarps and shrink-wrapping whatever could be salvaged to get the community back to normal as quickly as possible. “The day after the tornado was a Sunday, but we reached out to one of our partners and had six pallets and probably 500 tarps delivered the very next day,” adds Etowski.
Investing in the Community
An outpouring of thanks and appreciation soon followed from the community, but the Showcase team made sure to give credit where credit is due. “I would be nothing without the people I work with,” admits Etowski. Showcase invests heavily to train and provide professional development opportunities so employees go out into the field prepared to handle disasters of all magnitudes with confidence, empathy and the expertise needed to help disaster-stricken clients make informed decisions.
Depending on the scope of the work, Showcase employees will serve as both project managers and general contractors, leaving any specialized trades for the expertise of a network of trusted subcontractors. Showcase has remained cool, calm and collected in recent years even as general contractors flood the industry in lieu of sluggish new construction elsewhere in the state. “Seems like everyone who owns a hammer is in the restoration business now,” jokes Etowski. “The reality is that they just don’t have the equipment, expertise or the reputation to really compete though.”
In fact, Etowski maintains that the biggest impact the economic downturn has had on Showcase’s business has been a slower than usual processing of the team’s certification with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, stemming from a spike in interest.
Here Today, Here Tomorrow
The increase in competition has hardly kept the Showcase team from staying busy, though. Major highlights from recent projects include completing $90,000 worth of work in just five days for a private school in the area that suffered significant loss from a fire. “The school had to be back up and running as quickly as possible, or would risk losing part of its funding, so we had crews on-site repairing the damage 24 hours a day,” adds Etowski.
Showcase also completed work for a large manufacturing company that produces material used for baseball jerseys. “A fire started in one of the air conditioning units of the building and it really smoked the place up,” expands Etowski. “We moved in crews to work 24 hours a day for two or three weeks, and when we had finished the job our customer admitted that he could hardly tell the difference between our employees and his. They felt that the job was completed professionally and efficiently with minimal business disruption.”
The mild 2012 winter made business a bit slower than usual, but Etowski hopes to expand the company in the next few years, possibly through the acquisition of a similar company. In any case, Showcase Restoration will continue to set a strong precedent for expertise, empathy and responsive service in the insurance restoration industry, solidifying the company’s place as a pillar of the community.
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