A Southside-based damage restoration company is now in the hands of the manager credited with guiding its recent surge in growth.
Jeremy Ford is the new owner of RVA Restoration, a 6-year-old Midlothian-based company that provides mitigation services for residential and commercial properties damaged due to fire, water, mold and storms.
Ford purchased the company, which he joined in 2015, for an undisclosed amount in late June from its previous four owners. They included Shane Burnette, who brought Ford into the fold after building his house when Burnette was a partner with Perkinson Homes.
Now with homebuilder Schell Brothers, Burnette and his business partners, including brother Brian Burnette, sold the company after Ford expressed interest in buying it during a renegotiation of his employment contract.
Burnette’s stepfather, Mike Chaney of James River Exteriors, started the company in 2011 with Rob Thompson, now a member of the Chesterfield County School Board. Burnette said selling the business to Ford was the right thing to do given his performance as a manager over the past couple years.
“To his credit, he had really taken ownership of the place,” Burnette said. “He’s built a great company culture; he’s got a good group of people that work for him. He’s quadrupled the business in a year’s time, and done so making a profit, which is not easy to do when you’re a young company.”
Ford said RVA Restoration has grown in annual sales from about $50,000 in 2014 to $240,000 in 2015 – when he and his brother, lead estimator Mike Ford, joined the company and changed its name from FireKleen. It jumped to $2.5 million in 2016 and he said the firm is on track to reach $5 million this year.
Ford said his prior experience as an insurance adjustor and manager with Travelers Insurance gave him a unique perspective for the job, though he needed some convincing from Burnette on the business management part.
“I’d never run a small business. I’d never even looked at a profit-loss statement before,” Ford said. “He was like, ‘That’s the easy part. I can teach you all of that. But what I need is someone who understands insurance restoration, emergency response and emergency damage, and that’s the stuff you’ve been doing for 15 years.’
Ford said his goal is to continue growing RVA Restoration as a major local player in the disaster-damage mitigation market. The company operates out of an office at 835-B Grove Road, off Midlothian Turnpike just west of Courthouse Road. It has nearly two dozen employees, in addition to his brother and controller Kacie Moore.
He said his largest competitor is Servpro. Other competitors include Chesterfield firm Virginia Restoration Services, Innsbrook-based Professional Restoration Services and Powhatan firm Wilton Construction.