SERVPRO receives chamber's top business award
While many businesses engage in occasional philanthropic endeavors, Kathy Linderman, the owner of SERVPRO of Tigard/Tualatin, takes it one step further, making sure her company is constantly planning the next charitable event or community activity.
That ranges from an annual toy drive at Doernbecher Children's Hospital to sponsoring the City of Tigard's Movies in the Park Summer Series.
With that in mind, the business — which includes the SERVPRO of Beaverton — recently was named the 2018 Tigard Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, an award that recognizes a business that has made in-depth contributions to the Tigard community by being active, involved, interested and enthusiastic about the city.
Linderman has owned SERVPRO, which specializes in cleaning and restoring properties that have suffered fire, smoke or water damage, for the last 27 years.
She and her late husband Walt (the family has lived in Tigard since 1991) began their business in their home. Today, she's joined in the company's daily operations with the help of her daughter Angie.
With water mishaps involving appliances being one of the most frequent issues the company has to deal with, Kathy said she often has to reassure sheepish homeowners that her company can help, answering their most common question with the response, "Oh yeah, we cover stupidity."
To date, the company's largest water cleanup has involved frozen pipes at Lewis & Clark College some years back.
"They had a five-floor water damage (event) during finals week," recalled Kathy Linderman, about a dorm that got drenched.
In addition to cleaning up after natural or manmade mishaps, the company also does mold cleanup and graffiti removal. Crews often are dispatched to clean up urban camp sites as well, Linderman said.
SERVPRO also is involved in the grim task of crime scene bio-hazard clean-up efforts.
Along with operating a busy office consisting of 33 employees constantly on the go, SERVPRO's casual and friendly Tigard office is dominated by the presence of three very active pugs — Rudy, Padfoot and Dobby.
And hanging proudly on Kathy's office wall is a rug with the company's logo, a gift from her son who previously served in the Peace Corps in Turkmenistan.
The business is in a 37,000-square-foot warehouse at 16490 S.W. 72nd Ave., where 27 of the distinctive green SERPRO vehicles can be found parked.
In many of the cases involving fire or water damage, employees will pack up the contents of a home or business and ship them back to the SERVPRO warehouse where they are cleaned, and sometimes put through an ozone process that removes the smell of smoke before they are returned to clients.
For books and documents, a dehumidifier is used to get pages back into top shape.
Angie said the firm once completed a large mold clean-up operation at Nike in the company's archives section where they saw such things as an Olympic torch and representations of every shoe the company has ever manufactured.
With 1,700 franchises nationwide, several years ago both Kathy and Angie wanted to make sure their SERVPRO franchise was covering all the addresses in their respective territories (as well as making sure other franchises weren't encroaching on their territory). To that end, they set out to make a map, gutting an old Thomas Guide map book and meticulously lining up each page to connect with the continuation of the corresponding street, forming a mega-map that covers an entire back wall of the business.
"It took us a day," recalled Angie, who graduated from Tigard High School, of the cartographic endeavor.
Meanwhile, SERVPRO of Tigard/Tualatin/Beaverton is the only woman-owned restoration and mitigation facility in the state, Kathy pointed out.
Regarding the company's charitable endeavors, Kathy said they have been involved in the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Toy Drive for the last four years.
What that entails is renting out a theater each December and inviting agents and families to a movie night, politely asking them to bring a toy along.
"After the movie event, we take the toys up to Doernbecher," said Kathy. They often end up with 15 to 20 boxes of toys.
Also, from 2014 to 2017, SERVPRO Tigard/Tualatin sponsored the Tigard First Responder 5K, which benefited the American Red Cross.
In the past, Angie has been team captain and Kathy a co-captain for the annual Relay for Life, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.
"My husband died of cancer and I'm a breast cancer survivor," Kathy said.
Meanwhile, the company sponsored the recent Tigard Movies in the Park Summer Series, which also included a school supply drive, and also sponsored Tigard Farmers Market Farm to Table Dinners in the past.
On Friday, April 27, SERVPRO Tigard/Tualatin and SERVPRO of Beaverton, along with other Tigard volunteers and businesses, will be honored at the annual Tigard's 2018 Shining Stars Community Awards Gala set from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Washington Square.
The event has a "masquerade" theme along with a silent auction, dinner, awards ceremony, dessert dash and more.