Pete Consigli – A Conversation with the Restoration Industry’s Global Watchdog

Air Date: 7-17-2015|Episode 376


This week Pete Consigli will be in Pittsburgh and sit down with the Z-man and to have a retrospective conversation about their longtime relationship that has spanned almost 4 decades…

Full Description:

This week Pete Consigli will be in Pittsburgh and sit down with the Z-man and to have a retrospective conversation about their longtime relationship that has spanned almost 4 decades. Radio Joe will join them back at Studio C for a show which could be characterized as “Restoration Confidential”. It will be personal, insightful, controversial at times but most of all come from the heart with a spirit of setting the record straight on many of the industry’s misnomers and folklore! Listen in as 2 of the industry’s most well known and colorful personalities sit down to reflect on their professional life together as they come to the realization that in their twilight years there is still much to be done and their “work” is still in progress! Join us for a peak into Consigli and Zlotnik’s Restoration Journey with a destination yet to be realized.

IAQ Radio listeners know Pete as a friend of the show and the Global Watchdog who helps recruit guests and support their interviews that address issues facing the restoration industry. The recent passing of  industry icon Marty King who founded the original restoration industry trade group in 1971 leaves Pete and Cliff as the only remaining honorary members of RIA.

Next year Pete and Cliff will celebrate 2 milestones with RIA’s 70th Anniversary Convention in March and the 20th anniversary of Summer Camp in August. As IAQ Radio listeners may know, this past March in Dallas IAQA inducted Pete into its Hall of Fame for his work with Joe Lsiburek’s legendary Building Science Symposium known as Summer Camp. What most listeners don’t know is that Cliff was there with Pete for the first Summer Camp in 1996 as the 2 invited representatives from the restoration industry! Tune in this week as Pete and Cliff talk about the milestone events that helped shape the industry that you know today and give IAQ Radio listeners an insiders view on how, why and when things happened!

Pete and Cliff will sit down at the “kitchen table” and have a retrospective  conversation for part 1 and after halftime delve into the most pressing issues the industry faces today. During the round-up Radio Joe will press Pete and Cliff to share their vision for the future of the industry with IAQ Radio listeners. LEARN MORE and listen live this week for one of the most unique IAQ Radio shows ever!

Z-Man’s Blog:

“A Heck of A day”

James Thomas Anthony Valvano (March 10, 1946 – April 28, 1993), nicknamed “Jimmy V”, was an American college basketball player, coach and broadcaster.  During his tenure as head basketball coach at North Carolina State he won the 1983 NCAA Basketball Tournament. He gave a memorable and inspirational speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards just eight weeks before succumbing to cancer.

Inspired by Jimmy V’s ESPY speech, Pete Consigli made several references to it during his interview today on IAQradio. According to Jimmy V in order to have a full day, we must think, laugh and emotionally be moved to tears. Pete and the late Jimmy V have in common, an Italian heritage, passion and their emotive and expressive nature.

To listen to Jimmy V’s inspirational speech, use this link:

When I introduced Pete as master of ceremonies of The Inaugural Water Loss Institute Conference in 1996 in Oakland, California I chose to introduce him by the letters that spelled out his name. While writing this blog I decided it’s time to do it again.

G. Global Industry Watchdog galvanizing, generosity, gentle, giving


Passionate, protective


Tenacious, tireless

Emotional, expressive


Consultant, contagious, calculating (restoration estimator), caustic, calling, capable, catalyst, caring, courageous

Overbearing, organized

Networker, no one networks better than Pete.


Intuitive, intense

Gracious host and executive chef of Summer Camp. Gifted writer

Loud, you’ll often hear him before you see him, loyal


IAQradio listeners, please welcome my good friend and colleague Pete Consigli.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

  • The word “Consigliere” (from which Consigli is derived) Latin consiliārius is Italian for counselor or adviser and entered mainstream American vernacular in 1972 when the movie Godfather was released.
  • Pete chronicled his 40 years of experience in the specialty cleaning and disaster restoration business.
  • Pete and the Z-Man first met in 1977 at a pre-RIA Convention in Florida.
  • Pete was a good student of the cleaning and restoration industry, who learned his technical lessons well and mastered his craft.
  • Pete an avid reader of business and personal improvement books, applies lessons learned from both in his consulting practice and in life. Pete is a consultant to groups, associations, contractors, company CEO’s and other consultants.
  • Pete has an uncanny and great memory for events, dates and places.
  • When you ask Pete what time it is, he can be very entertaining as he often first tells you how to build a clock.
  • Passionate about his friends, food and the industry in which he has decided to earn his livelihood.
  • Over the course of his career, Pete never sought the limelight preferring to work behind the scenes which is where he has done much of his best work.
  • I appreciate loyalty; Pete can be loyal to a fault.
  • He has an innate sense of fairness which is for him both a gift and a curse, similar to his uncanny memory for details!
  • Pete promised that it would be a full interview filled with thought, passion, emotion and some laughter and he delivered on the promise.

Superiority of a non-reimbursement model

To me its common sense that volunteers who pay their own travel and other related expenses in conjunction with association service would be more committed to serve organizations than would volunteers in which groups pay the expenses. As long as the group could afford to do so, the IICRC has paid for the travel, food and lodging expenses of volunteers. The group also provides stipends for some officers and other key positions.

In my analysis the RIA is far from perfect and has made more than their share of mistakes; RIA volunteers have always paid their own expenses.

IICRC, the “dark ages”

For several years the terms of Pete and Z-Man coincided on the IICRC board of directors. The Z-Man coined them the “dark ages” when association volunteers exerted their power and influence to become paid consultants “the dark side” with quickly escalating annual contracts. During that time the IICRC was not inclusive and not collaborative. During that time the IICRC was openly antagonistic and hostile to other groups. The IICRC refused to grant reciprocity for other group’s training programs. I liken the group’s “Instructors & Schools Committee” to a corrupt teacher’s union where cronyism abounds and barrier to competition is the norm.

IICRC, the “age of enlightenment”

A strong reform movement within the IICRC is trying to restore collaboration and relations with other groups and to repair the remnants of old damage done.

Legacy and Vision for the Future:

Pete has shared a “Mission Impossible” vision with some select industry insiders as part of his efforts to facilitate collaboration between RIA and IICRC to unify the industry for the greater good of all its stakeholders. These efforts have been received with mixed reviews due to special interests, myopic thinking and a fear of change in Pete’s opinion. Why the IICRC and RIA are not working together for the greater good is a mystery and makes no sense to many. A case could be made that RIA is the IICRC’s largest stakeholder in terms of, what other single industry entity has more certified firms and technicians, buys and/or supports more IICRC products and initiatives than the members of RIA and those industry organizations strategically aligned with the RIA? Anyone who takes a close look as an honest broker at what the two organizations stand for should come to the realization that it is apparent both organizations have much more in common than they do differences.

Mission Impossible?

The mission involves and will require leadership, team building, overcoming challenges, persistence, integrity, open-mindedness, inclusiveness, tolerance, patience, treating people with dignity and respect, creative collaboration and finally reverence and honor for your history and traditions.

If you accept this mission, the industry will be rewarded with 10 things + 1 really big one to have:

  • A unified Global Voice to deal with issues and threats affecting the trade, profession and business of cleaners and restorers
  • A Place where under one tent the industry and all its stakeholders can meet twice a year to focus on their education and growth
  • A Vehicle to differentiate and disseminate best practices for technical and business issues affecting the profession
  • A Means to partner with academia, government and the scientific community to validate the profession and business of cleaning, restoration, remediation, reconstruction, inspection and maintenance from research, quality control and marketplace surveys
  •  Industry “owned” locations for practitioners of the trade to come see and appreciate the industry’s historical roots, understanding where they came from by paying respect to the Founding Fathers and Trail Blazers who toiled the fertile soil
  • The Assurance and Confidence you wish to have with customers of the products and services the industry provides that improve the quality of life and give a peace of mind to those who require  these products and services
  • The Respect and Credibility you cherish and yearn for from those who often burden the bulk of the cost to pay for the products and service the industry provides that includes a wide range of 3rd party payers
  • Companies who will be able to hire and compensate people (including veterans of our armed forces) who will make a living for the occupation they choose as their livelihood, thus supporting their family, buying a house, planning their kids future, in return they will give back to the industry
  • An Industry where graduates from institutions of higher learning with a degree in the profession will be desired and sought after
  • A Place for those who pioneered a path for the profession will know when it is time to pass the baton of stewardship so they can retire knowing they gave everything they had to “Make it Better”
  • A Time when they will know the Promise they made to themselves and each other has been fulfilled and their legacy can be entrusted to the next generation who will take the industry to place they never thought possible for those who will stand on their shoulders to see higher and further just like they did for those who came before them!

In the Final Analysis:

(At the time of this printing the information below was taken from website’s and/or generally accepted by the organization’s printed materials)

RIA’s Mission Statement is to: “Provide Industry Leadership, Support Science and Promote Best Practices for Cleaning and Restoration”

RIA’s Member Motto is: “We Make it Better, We Promise!”

The IICRCA’s mission is: “To be a global voice for the inspection, cleaning and restoration related industries by uniting allied organizations through education, advocacy, research and networking services to the membership”

The IICRC’s Purpose, History and Values are:


The Mission of the IICRC is to establish and advance globally recognized standards and certifications for the inspection, cleaning, restoration and installation industries.

The IICRC serves as an independent, certification body that sets and promotes high standards and ethics, and advances communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC also ensures that when consumers hire a clean trust-Certified Firm or technician, they have hired experts who will provide reasonable assurance that work will be completed in accordance with the industry’s “standard of care.”

 History: Over 40 years of building trust

Formed in 1972 by Ed York, originally founded as the International Institute of Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Inc. (IICUC), the now Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) are recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource. Overall there are currently more than 53,000 active certified technicians, many with multiple certifications, and more than 6,000 Certified Firms around the world.


Respect – We will treat everyone we encounter in our interactions through the IICRC in the same manner we would wish to be treated.

Responsible – We will work to assure that the obligations and stated goals of the IICRC are met in a timely fashion.

Integrity – We will establish and maintain a culture characterized by honesty, high values and exceptional standards of conduct.

Excellence – We will accept nothing less than the best in leadership, quality and service.

Expert – We will continue to build the IICRC’s reputation as the leading authority and source of professional knowledge in the industry.

Some sage advice to think about!

  • “Know where we started, where we are, where we are going to be? Are we willing to work for it?” Jimmy V Valvano
  • “Keep dreams alive in spite of a problem.” Jimmy V Valvano
  • “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” Jimmy V Valvano
  • “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Teddy Roosevelt
  • “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
  • “Get your facts straight first, before you try to distort them!” Mark Twain
  • “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana
  • “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities!”  Sir Winston Churchill
  • “Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.” Teddy Roosevelt

Pete promised that it would be a full interview filled with thought, passion, emotion and some laughter and he delivered on the promise.

Today’s Music: Godfather Theme, Mission Impossible Theme, and YouTube

Thanks for listening to this week’s extended episode of IAQradio!

Z-Man Signing Off


What are the first four spoken words in the movie Godfather 1?


“I believe in America”