Protech Construction Renews Franchise Membership with DKI

February 26, 2016 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced that Protech Construction of Arcadia, Calif. has renewed its franchise membership with the DKI network.

By continuing its DKI franchise membership, Protech Construction will continue to utilize DKI’s 24 hour call center, its claims tracking technology, and other tools to enhance its ability to serve its insurance and corporate customers. Protech Construction also gains access to DKI’s training seminars and workshops to ensure they remain abreast of all changes in this rapidly evolving industry.

“We are delighted that Protech Construction will continue to be a part of the rapidly growing DKI network,” Dan Cassara, DKI’s president.  Protech Construction’s commitment to quick response, superior workmanship and outstanding customer service reaffirms DKI’s position in the marketplace as The Source for Quality Restoration.  We look forward to continuing our rewarding association with Protech Construction.

Company president, Jarrett Brownis pleased Protech Construction meets DKI’s high standards for continued Franchise Member, as DKI has always stood for excellence in the industry.  The opportunity to work in partnership with other quality firms in the DKI network has allowed Protech Construction to expand their scope of services, introduced them to new markets and has helped ensure their continued success.

In addition to being able to use DKI’s technology and training capabilities, Protech Construction can also continue using the DKI branding in its marketing efforts, participate in its various co-op programs, and leverage DKI’s corporate marketing efforts.

Be Prepared for a Workplace Shooting

Feb 26, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

In response to the recent news in Hesston, Kansas, are you and your employees prepared for a potential workplace shooting? We never hope for a disaster, especially a fatal one. Yet, it’s important to always be prepared for the unexpected. Follow the tips below.


  • Hold a workplace shooting safety course as part of your safety meetings. Make sure all employees are aware of what to do in a situation.
  • Identify all of your exits (including second story windows). If the shooter is blocking one, you may need a back-up option.

Note: It is best to allow your employees to find their own escape routes/hiding places, as to not expose these to potential shooters.


  • Remove your shoes if they prohibit you from running quickly.
  • Do not stay to collect your belongings. Leave them behind.
  • Call 911 when it is safe to do so.
  • If you have your mobile phone on hand, silence it.


If you cannot evacuate the premises, find a hidden location where your intruder/gunman is least likely to discover you.

  • Shut and lock or blockade the door.
  • Do not block yourself in a way that restricts you from moving.
  • Remain silent.

Additional Tips:

  • Do NOT try to be the hero. Get out as quickly and safely as possible; don’t wait for others to follow.
  • When the police arrive on scene, follow their instructions.
  • Do not attempt to move those who are injured.
  • 98 percent of shooting attacks are carried out by a single perpetrator. If you can avoid the area where you hear gunfire, you are usually safe.

DKI Prepares 10,000 Meals for Families in Need

February 24, 2016 – On Saturday, February 20, DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, helped prepare 10,000 meals for starving children at Insights 2016’s sponsored Feeding Children Everywhere: Hunger Project.

FCE is a non-profit organization that travels to areas throughout the world to share awareness about feedinneedworld hunger and assemble healthy meals for families in need. Meals packaged at their Hunger Projects are distributed throughout the United States and internationally.

From 1:30 PM until 6:00 PM ET, all Insights 2016 Property Restoration Conference and Trade Show attendees were invited to volunteer and help package 10,000 meals to be distributed to food pantries, hospitality centers and educational facilities around the local Osceola, FL region.

Several DKI corporate and DKI member company employees arrived early to Insights 2016, which officially kicked off on Sunday, February 21 in Kissimee, FL, to assist with the hunger project. Alongside other Insights 2016 attendees, they wore hairnets and worked as a team in two assembly lines to package, weigh, secure and box bags of lentils, white rice, Pink Himalayan salt and dehydrated vegetables. Through this signature lentil casserole or soup, families are provided with sufficient protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals for a healthy daily diet.

Through their dedication and collaboration, the team of approximately 15 volunteers completed the 10,000 packaged meals in less than two hours.

“It is people like DKI who make it possible for us to make a tangible difference and change stories all around the world. From our FCE family and those that we serve, we thank you,” said the team of Feeding Children Everywhere.

If you are interested in learning more about FCE or hosting a Hunger Project of your own, please visit

About DKI

DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at

About Feeding Children Everywhere

Feeding Children Everywhere is a social charity that empowers and mobilizes people to assemble healthy meals for hungry children. With a commitment to those they serve, they provide the healthiest meal possible for children and families around the world. Today, thousands of volunteers come together at Hunger Projects with the same purpose that started it all– to share love, hope, and make a difference around the world. To learn more, visit

About Insights
Insights, “The Business of Restoration,” began in 1996 as a small trade show, comprised of the finest contractors in the industry. It is now one of the industry’s largest and highest caliber conferences, featuring some of the most beneficial training courses, world-class speakers, incredible networking opportunities, and the most extensive trade show and exhibition floor in the property restoration industry. To learn more, please visit or contact [email protected]

Empowering Employees

Feb 18, 2016

Guest Blog By: David Romano, Benchmarkinc Founder

Finding and retaining productive long standing employees in the restoration industry has never been more challenging. Millennials, who now make up 34 percent of the workforce, require a rewarding working environment, or they will opt to go back to school or job hop until they find their perfect employment match.  All job boards are reporting a record high number of employers looking to fill positions and a decrease in the number of applicants.  And, highly competitive pay for qualified candidates is at levels well above what they were pre-recession.  So, what does all this mean?  It means that in order to avoid having to pay recruiting companies top dollar to poach your next great employee from your competitors, you need to focus on making the ones you have happy.

Information on empowering your employees is highly available, but applying these more “corporate” strategies to a small business environment needs a bit of interpretation.  Outlined below is a hodgepodge of beliefs of some of the top strategists, modified to be more relatable to a small business owner.  The goal is that after adopting a fair amount of these practices, you will realize a real difference in performance, satisfaction and turnover.

  1. Start with a Clear Strategic Vision

Give your employees something to get excited about, and to actively work toward. That something is the company’s vision statement.  It describes where the company is, where it’s going, and how it’s going to get from point A to point B.

  1. Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page

Make sure individual work goals are aligned with those of the company.  Employees who are able to connect their efforts to the overall work of the company will find it much easier to make decisions that are in line with the organizational vision.

Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager found that at least two-thirds of employees who strongly agree that their manager helps them set work priorities and goals are engaged. The more engaged employees are, the more productive they are.

  1. Clearly Define Roles

People who don’t know what they are supposed to do can’t do it very well. Additionally, they need to know their boundaries, so they don’t step on others’ toes or create inefficiency through redundancy. Establish specific roles and responsibilities with employees so all are clear and can work together cooperatively.

  1. Remove Roadblocks and Provide Assistance

Eliminate any hurdles – organizational policies, practices or habits – that may keep employees from feeling or acting empowered. If they are struggling to improve due to policies and procedures, the only options are to concede to the current system, risk becoming a non-follower, or seek employment elsewhere where they can be successful.

  1. Don’t Babysit

Giving up control and empowering your team can be a terrifying experience for many leaders. You might feel compelled to watch their every move, but by doing so, you’re actually impeding his or her ability to grow. Give your team some space, trust them, and you might be impressed by what they’re able to achieve.

A leader who is constantly looking over the shoulder of employees is little more than a babysitter. Give your employees reasons and opportunity to stretch out on their own and even lead others. They may stumble, but they’ll learn a lot and build the respect of their colleagues while preparing to be future leaders themselves someday.

  1. Fling The Door Wide Open On Information

Not sharing information is the most disempowering thing you can do. A study by George Mason University showed that, apart from interesting work and appreciation for work well done, a feeling of being “in on things” tops the list of what many employees want. Sharing information ensures that everyone on the team understands the critical issues and essential tasks required for success.

  1. Foster Open Communication

So many companies are built on top-down communication from management. Employees in this environment feel there is no purpose in taking a stand, since they have no direct channel and don’t feel they’ll have an impact. As a leader, you may have clear direction and more experience, but that doesn’t invalidate feedback and ideas from people on the front lines. Give employees structured ways to make their thoughts, feelings and observations known easily and regularly.  Help them understand that their input is valued even if you decide to go a different way. Make sure you acknowledge them for sharing, and reward valuable input that helps the company.

  1. Let Employees Make Decisions

Nothing kicks employees’ personal power into high gear more than having a voice in the decision-making process when it comes to areas that affect their work. The people who are best qualified to make decisions about customer issues, for example, are often those closest to the customer. But, even your best employees will inevitably make some wrong decisions. If that happens, you need a culture that says to employees, “Fix it. If you can’t fix it, elevate it and we’ll help you fix it.”  Fear is the antithesis to empowerment. Eliminating the fear of making a mistake is one of the keys to truly empowering people.

  1. Give Them Flexibility

Okay, so you might be used to gripping the steering wheel really tight while directing your team. It’s time to let your employee drive. Sit down with your team and explain how much flexibility they will each have within a task. Don’t leave it open-ended – give them some parameters to work with so that they’re not overwhelmed with options.

  1. Tell Them How They’ll be Measured

The worst thing in the world is doing something, and not knowing if it made a contribution. You can’t become better unless you know how you’re measured.  Every time you hire someone you must have an honest conversation about what that person’s responsibilities are and how they’ll be evaluated.

  1. Require Accountability

People need to know when they are meeting expectations and, more importantly, when they are not. No one will maintain accountability if they don’t understand the consequences of failure. And, if they see others not being held accountable, they will see little need to make the extra effort for success. Be consistent and diligent in your measurement and rewards so employees are motivated to do their best.

  1. Present New Challenges and Opportunities

It’s important to challenge your employees so they can demonstrate and achieve their full potential. For example, you might notice that your marketing person tends to rely heavily on driving the same route talking to agents and adjusters – challenge them seek other outside opportunities and go beyond their comfort zone.  If you’re out of ideas, sit down with each member of your team and ask them what types of experiences would help them grow professionally.

  1. Encourage Safe Failure

Many employees, by their very nature, are risk-adverse.  That’s why they are employees and not entrepreneurs. If they work in an environment where the boss is always correcting them before they have a chance to execute, they will constantly look for approval before taking action or, worse, simply avoid any new or dynamic action. Give employees the opportunity to try new things in a way that doesn’t put the company in danger.

  1. Appreciate Their Efforts

Yes, it’s true that people get paid for the job, but the best employees don’t work at your company just for the money. Empowered people need a greater level of satisfaction than simply financial stability. They need to feel that leadership appreciates their contribution and values their participation. Don’t be shy about finding ways to say, “Thank you,” or celebrating the good things your employees do. If they have to ask how they are doing, you are doing your job poorly as a leader.

Empowering employees is fundamental to the success of your business.  Great leaders should be focused on improving the business through innovation and diversification instead of trying to have their fingers in all operational aspects.  Much more will get accomplished if the people paid to do their jobs are empowered to do so, believe in what they are doing, and when required, get the support they need from their leadership team.

Treatment for Workplace Burns

Feb 9, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

As we learned last week, workplace burns injure roughly 5,000 Americans each year, so it’s important to take the proper precautions to prevent these types of calamities. However, accidents happen; it’s essential to know how to treat a burn, should something occur. Workplace burns must be treated immediately, but the type of burn will determine the proper course of action.

Thermal burns

This type of burn most commonly affects the skin, resulting from too much exposure to the sun’s rays, scalding hot liquids (grease or boiling water) or steam, open flames, hot objects or explosions.

Electrical burns

These occur when an electrical current travels directly through the body, such as from touching a functioning electrical socket or wire, falling into electrified water, or being struck by lightning. Take immediate action; shut off any power if applicable, and call for medical help. Do not touch or move the person in case he is still in contact with the electrical current.

Chemical burns

This is often a more severe type of burn, when skin or eyes come into contact with acids or corrosive materials that eat away at the skin tissue. These can be caused by industrial cleaners or other chemicals used in laboratory and manufacturing workplaces. The symptoms may include itching, skin irritation, blistering, pain, numbness, difficulty breathing and blurred vision. Take action immediately. Remove contaminated clothing or accessories with your gloves, and seek medical attention. Rinse the affected area with cold water to remove any excess chemical, then cover with a dry, sterile gauze or bandage.

First or Second Degree Burns

These burns are the least severe, affecting only the first one or two layers of skin, but can still be very painful. Apply cold water for several minutes to cool the burn and relieve the pain. Do not use ice, ointments, or lotions as these can cause further damage. Then, cover the burn with a clean, dry gauze or bandage to prevent infection. See a doctor if you see signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, oozing or fever, lightheadedness.

Third Degree Burns

These are severe and may need emergency attention. Seek medical help and apply loose dry, sterile gauze or nonstick bandage. Don’t soak in water, or use ointments, ice or butter. Also, be aware the person may go into shock; lay them flat with their feet elevated.

Burn Awareness Week Reminders

Feb 1, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

According to OSHA, fires and explosions in the workplace injure more than 5,000 American workers each year! Workplace burns account for approximately a quarter of all serious burns.

This week, National Burn Awareness Week, is the perfect opportunity to remind your employees of fire and burn hazards in the workplace, and the proper techniques to prevent these threats. Burns can be damaging, not only to a person’s appearance, but also to their health, affecting their level of work performance and natural lifestyle.

Make sure to discuss all potential burn hazards with your staff and create a plan of action should a dangerous situation occur. Keep in mind the following points while training your employees on safety.

  • Depending on the work performed, use the proper equipment, make sure your employees are trained how to use it, and wear appropriate protective clothing.
  • Keep open flames away from walls and flammable materials.
  • Store and handle chemicals correctly. Ensure warning labels are displayed noticeably.
  • Have a first aid kit on hand, and make sure each employee knows where this is kept.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher easily accessible in each facility, and train your employees on proper usage.
  • Create an escape plan and ensure each employee knows it and their designated role, if necessary.