Featured as one of Paul Davis’ “20 Women of 2020”, April Kleeschulte is the Content/Laundry Manager/Master Restorer at Paul Davis Restoration of Southwest Missouri.
When did you start working for Paul Davis?
I started working with Paul Davis on May 11, 2005.
What were you doing before that?
I worked for a small mom and pop shop in Springfield, Mo. I fell in love with the profession, and the owners of this restoration business gave me the perfect start to my new career. They educated me and shared their knowledge that led to me craving more knowledge about the profession. They taught me to write estimates, as well as endless other things about our industry. At that time, my biggest goal was to become a Master Restorer. And I started to pursue that goal. I set out to take every class that I was able to. Shortly after being employed there, I became a certified Water Technician, then soon after I became certified in Fire, Smoke, and Odor. These certifications were a great foundation that set me on a path to success in the industry. Once employed with Paul Davis, I wanted to help and be a part of our location doing great things. I wanted to be a part of hitting goals, making us bigger and better than ever before. I wanted to contribute to that growth, and I believe I did.
How did you get the job you have now with Paul Davis?
I felt I was outgrowing the mom and pop company. The Paul Davis logo and marketing on vehicles is what drew me in. One day, I happened to be driving behind a Paul Davis logoed box truck. I called the number on the truck and asked to speak to the GM. Luckily, I was able to get an interview the next day. That was my new beginning. It was the opportunity for professional, as well as personal growth that I was so attracted to. With already having several IICRC certifications under my belt, I was confident and excited and knocked the 3-hour interview out of the park! The following day I was offered my first position at Paul Davis. I already knew I loved the industry, and I already knew I could make a difference at Paul Davis, and the best part of it all was that it put me in a position to acquire that personal and professional growth that I had been yearning for. I have a true passion for helping others. I loved being “that” person who could make a difference in someone’s life. I cared, then and now.
Give us 2-3 paragraphs of your duties and what a day of doing each one of those would look like.
I started at Paul Davis as a technician. At the time I started, it was a very small company, there were only two other technicians employed. I came to Paul Davis as a certified technician, and I had a huge desire to share my knowledge. I wanted to educate. I became a supervisor and did train new employees. I was with Paul Davis for about 4 years when we were bought by the current owner Roger Fredstrom. I must say this was an absolute breath of fresh air! Roger has helped us become the front runner our company is today. I have witnessed extraordinary growth. I am part of that. I am so proud of what we have accomplished. My personal growth has taken off at this point and I continued to become educated. I was able to take more IICRC classes and did accomplish my goal; I am a Master Restorer. I worked very hard to be better than other companies regardless of what position I was in, water, fire, trauma. I have worked hard in all these areas however, my passion was content. I loved the fact that I could make such a difference in handling the content. It’s not the fact that you are bringing back an item that is is sentimental and irreplaceable to a homeowner, but bringing back those memories that were so special to them; and the memories are what made that item so important. While still focusing on the content division, the growth continued. I continued to grow and develop how we do things. I became a Production Manager, helping run the water and the content areas. I was still working as a technician many times and scheduling, writing estimates, and training. While a Production Manager, I was able to develop what we call training modules. I use these modules to train new employees.
I am now an Associate/ Estimator, as well as Division Manager over the content and laundry. My days are very busy and sometimes very long. I go to the losses and sign them up. I walk through the homes with the homeowners and find out what is important to them so that we are better able to serve them. This could sometimes take hours. What I am trying to accomplish at this time is to better know them. Learn what is important to them. I look around the home and try to pay attention to what I see.
I have the estimate to write once we have signed the job up. I have to schedule the contents team to be there to pick up rush laundry. I have to schedule that laundry to be processed. I have to schedule the pack out of content once the rest of the laundry has been picked up. I then forecast out the length of time it will take to pack the loss and schedule the move. Once the move is completed, I then communicate that with the Project Manager so they can jump in and take it from there. I then schedule the content cleaning and once we have finished, I again communicate with the PM and schedule the move back. I work with the adjuster on the estimate. If corrections are needed, I make those. I create all the reports for the adjusters and the homeowners, everything from Photo Reports, Presentation Reports, as well as Total Loss Inventory Reports. I work with the homeowner and the adjuster to make sure the total loss inventory is complete and understood. I often meet with the homeowner to explain the reports and go through the inventory to be sure it is complete and add things that need to be added.
Family info and how it relates to your job and daily life (if you want).
I am a mother of 3 extraordinary children and blessed to be the grandmother of 5. I’m married to a wonderful man. We now have 11 total family members and hopefully, that number will continue to grow. I wanted a good life for them all, as any mother/grandmother/spouse does. I knew that with hard work, diligence, and an opportunity, the sky was the limit at Paul Davis. My family has been extremely supportive, and very tolerant of the endless hours I am away from home helping others. They are my encouragement to become successful.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I want to continue to grow our company. I want to continue to train technicians to grow their careers here.