Because Experience Matters with Jack Hanks

16. Forensic Engineering for Public Claims Adjusting with Special Guests Todd Stern and Chris Courville

February 20, 2023 Jack Hanks
Because Experience Matters with Jack Hanks
16. Forensic Engineering for Public Claims Adjusting with Special Guests Todd Stern and Chris Courville
Show Notes

Jack sits down with longtime friends Todd Stern and Chris Courville to discuss their greatest lessons learned on the journey to establishing their own forensic engineering firms.

Todd Stern spent his entire career in the construction industry. In May 2022, he co-founded Orlo Forensics alongside Patrick Snowden, where they specialize in collapse, fire, flood, hail, wind, and disaster investigation and design. They’re brought onsite to complete investigations and compile reports to be submitted to insurance companies, contractors, or attorneys.

Chris Courville is the owner and CEO of United Environmental LLC, a mold remediation, air quality testing, water mitigation, and emergency response company established in October 2018. The team at the interior damage consulting firm brings 40+ of combined experience to the table.

Listen in as Todd and Chris give their thoughts on the lack of professionalism and accountability that was unfortunately quite prevalent in the mitigation industry when they got their start at the turn of the century.

Too many professionals focus overwhelmingly on getting the sale over hitting key metrics with a view to keeping the company healthy. In other words, they take on claims with the intention to “win the battle, lose the war”, which may lead to short-term financial gain but a bankrupt business in the long term.

Todd and Chris also share how they’ve been navigating the challenges of running their companies with those of keeping their personal relationships healthy. Asked about the keys to creating a legacy business, the pair talk about the importance of staying high-touch every step of the way and passing on client-focused values to the next generation.

 A Glimpse of What You’ll Learn:

  • [04:01] An introduction to Todd and Chris
  • [12:45] Building a legacy business
  • [18:08] Todd and Chris on the lack of professionalism in the industry when they got their start
  • [23:46] The value of focusing on the little things over the outcome
  • [27:05] Implementing The Art of War into business
  • [34:02] The importance of time management and establishing a routine
  • [41:53] Managing healthy personal relationships in the mitigation industry
  • [48:40] The most satisfying thing about the business
  • [54:29] Passing on a legacy company
  • [58:10] Advice that Todd and Chris would give their younger selves

Memorable Quotes by Our Guests:

  • “If you surround yourself with good people and good mentors, you’re going to be successful. It’s bound to happen. You’re bound to get your break.” ~Chris
  • “More money has not made me any happier.” ~Todd
  •  “If we don’t go into work every day and work on these claims as if we’re going to war, then we’ve lost. It’s a mindset thing.” ~Todd
  •  “If you’re only as good as your next check, that’s a shitty way to run a business.” ~Chris
  • “Our profession demands our attention. If you don’t give it the attention it deserves, it can crush your life.” ~Chris

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