Experience and expertise: ServiceMaster helps put businesses and lives back together

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15 November, 2018 By Johnston Farrow

With great power comes great responsibility. 


Yes, that’s a quote from the pages of Spider-Man (RIP Stan Lee), but it’s hard not to recall it when speaking with Brad Hollibaugh. He is the friendly, neighborhood co-owner of a Houston ServiceMaster Restore franchise along with his wife, Linda, in addition to acting managing director of the regional ServiceMaster Recovery Management brand.


His business deals with the important job of helping put lives back together, cleaning up after any type of damage to a home or business property following an emergency or disaster. ServiceMaster is separated into two distinct entities: ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Recovery Management. ServiceMaster Restore works mostly in residential, ServiceMaster Recovery Management, aka SRM, deals in large-loss commercial. 


Brad and Linda Hollibaugh


“ServiceMaster Restore deals with broken pipes, toilet overflows, a kitchen fire, or mold in their house,” Hollibaugh said. “On the SRM, or commercial side, buildings have the same issues that houses do but on a much larger scale – sprinkler heads pop and flood the building, they have small electrical fires that turn into problems, they have broken pipes, and mold.”


ServiceMaster’s trademark yellow vehicles are most visible following major weather events when homes and businesses are in serious need of attention. Hollibaugh recently got back from the Carolinas where his team worked on disaster remediation following Hurricane Florence. ServiceMaster also played a huge part in the recovery following Hurricane Harvey in Houston, including the Kingwood and Humble area.


“It’s busy 365 days of the year, but it’s really busy when we have what we call a catastrophe, or cat, or mini-cat,” Hollibaugh said. “A mini-cat would be something like flooding in Baton Rouge or a tornado going through some place like Oklahoma or Missouri.”


Hollibaugh has been rolling up his sleeves with ServiceMaster for over 35 years, residing in Kingwood since 1989. After starting in environmental services in the healthcare division of the company, he purchased his very own franchise in Houston in 1992. Soon, he owned and operated franchises in eight Texas cities, including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Austin.


Kingwood Village Estates after Hurricane Harvey Flooding


In 2010, he was selected to be managing director a ServiceMaster Recovery Management regional office and he sold off all but the Houston franchise to focus on his new role. He now oversees complex disaster response and commercial clean-up across a large portion of the southern U.S.


“Now I operate a large ServiceMaster franchise here, but also run the SRM brand that covers Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi,” Hollibaugh said. “So I have commercial responsibility for national and regional accounts, then also supporting the ServiceMaster Restore franchises in those areas.”


For Hollibaugh, it’s being able to assist those who are facing some of the most stressful moments in their lives, coming to grips with their devastated homes and businesses. He may hire hundreds of workers following a huge event like Hurricane Florence for large-scale clean-up, but each one comes out feeling like they positively contributed to getting people back on their feet. 


In other words, it’s great power and great responsibility with a great emotional pay-off.


“You get to learn their stories and it’s a nice thing to be able to help people who are otherwise helpless,” Hollibaugh said about his customers. “Most of our guys come out of those situations with big smiles because they see that they shined a light at the end of the tunnel for people that are in dismal situations. I really enjoy that.”




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Written by

Johnston Farrow

Johnston Farrow is also a columnist for Houston's CultureMap and has been a journalist for over 15 years, covering everything from news, entertainment, sports and more.

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