December 14, 2023 / Esther Choy

Family-owned restoration uses leadership storytelling in new book about mergers & acquisitions

Chicago, IL  — When storms, fire, or disaster strike, ATI Restoration will now be able to help more families and industry rebuild. The nation’s leading family-operated restoration company has completed its ninth acquisition in 2023, increasing its reach into more than 60 locations across the U.S.

To celebrate this milestone, ATI Restoration is publishing a new book, Confluence. The book affirms the company’s family values of personalized attention, compassion, and empathy — not only in their restoration work, but in their acquisitions as well. The company’s founder and senior executives wanted to share the story of the first 5 restoration businesses to be acquired by ATI — from the seller’s perspective.

Jeff Moore, President and son of founder Gary Moore, explained: “There’s tons of mergers & acquisitions books that could teach you the ins and outs of a transaction or how to prepare and how to exit it. But honestly, I think the hardest part is the emotional rollercoaster. It’s the decision to sell. It’s what it’s like to tell your employees.”

The Moore family brought in Esther Choy of Leadership Story Lab to interview and document the perspectives and journeys of the first 5 owners to sell their businesses to ATI Restoration.

“When you hear of mergers & acquisitions, the first thing that anyone ever thinks of is people losing jobs. But our story was different. It’s been a really positive experience,” noted Moore.

“Because the Moore family had to go through a similar soul searching experience themselves, they stand at the ready to empathize with the challenges potential sellers are facing,” remarked Esther Choy, CEO of Leadership Story Lab and the organizational biography who wrote Confluence.

Without sugar-coating their journey, the five owners share why they decided to sell and how the process of acquisition ensured that their employees would have a safe and valuable career ahead of them. Confluence uncovers why selling their businesses to ATI Restoration has been “an amazing journey,” as Jim Bronson, owner of J&M Restoration described it.

ATI Restoration plans to use the book to help prospective owners understand the landscape of M&A, but also to help onboard the new employees they’ve gained through the acquisitions.

Restoration is a unique line of work. It’s physically exhausting and emotional — meeting with clients who are in the middle of distress and disaster. Most family-owned restoration businesses liken their employees to family members. For that reason, owner Jeff Bronson also “describes the process of selling akin to grieving over a loss.”

Sellers, like Bronson, want to ensure their extended family members, their employees, will be well taken care of. Confluence assures sellers of that with intimate gestures that show ATI Restoration treats its employees like family.

“Storytelling is important to all work. We’re trying to create an amazing culture, trying to keep people, trying to create a legacy and longevity for employees. Being able to share the story makes the difference. Knowing that history, the legacy and the culture could be the difference in them leaving and not,” shared Moore.

The book is now available through ATI Restoration.

About ATI Restoration

Established in 1989 by Gary Moore, ATI Restoration is the nation’s largest family-operated restoration contractor. Headquartered in Anaheim, California, ATI specializes in restoration, environmental, and reconstruction services following natural and man-made disasters with an unwavering commitment to customer service. As a family-operated business, ATI approaches each disaster recovery with personalized attention, compassion, and empathy.


About Leadership Story Lab

Leadership Story Lab is a storytelling coaching, consulting and training company that uses classical storytelling techniques to serve modern leaders, giving leaders and teams the tools they need to implement a storytelling culture that improves internal and customer-facing communication, forms strong business partnerships, and brings a clear sense of purpose to their organizations.

Esther Choy

Esther Choy founded Leadership Story Lab in 2010 to help others leverage the art of storytelling to create extraordinary opportunities.
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