Recent Community Posts

2020 Yearly Recap

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 2020 Little League team. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is proud to sponsor youth activities in the community.

There’s no doubt that 2020 brought a year of challenges and change, trials and tribulations. And for far too many a time of grief and sorrow. A year that has taught us that the only thing you can really plan for is the unexpected and the need for agility and resilience. In March there were ripples that turned into a tsunami of change. Watching the community come together to ensure that we have done our best to keep citizens safe, connected, and well has been humbling. The tragic reality of the pandemic will eventually end, and we will get through it. We must endure. With that said, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the opportunities that we were still able to help with in the community during these difficult times.

It’s become clear that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t going away any time soon. We are thankful that local youth were still given the chance to participate in several sporting activities. Changing some rules and guidelines allowed them to be active and play together. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is a proud supporter of youth baseball and soccer. In July of this year our Little League team won the season championship! Way to go boys! While they were unable to play, we also sponsored an Okoboji little league team. We hope to see you this spring. I was personally able to watch the U10 SERVPRO soccer team each Saturday morning play their hearts out. Your hard work and determination did not go unnoticed!

As a sponsor of the Spencer Tailtwisters and the Spencer Tigers each fall we take off the green and orange to throw on our purple and gold and cheer on the football team! This fall make sure you stop by our table at halftime to pick up some SERVPRO gear! 

While our marketing staff was working from the office most of the spring and summer they brainstormed ways to give back to the men and women who keep our communities safe. We had the opportunity of cleaning and sanitizing vehicles for the Iowa State Patrol District 6 team, Arnolds Park Police Department, Okoboji Police Department, Spencer Police Department, and the Clay County Sheriff Department. Thank you for all you do! 

In late August and early September we are able to “drag” the boss and our marketing team away from their desks for a Friday of fun in the sun while participating in the 2020 Great Okoboji Lakes Finale Golf Tournament held at Okoboji View Golf Course, and the 39th Annual Spencer Chamber Golf Fundraiser held at the Spencer Golf & Country Club. We are already counting down the days till next year’s events. 

This past year has shown us more than ever that our communities are littered with more heroes than we imagined. From local departments who respond at a moments notice when a disaster strikes at your home or business. The local law enforcement agencies keeping our communities safe from harm. The local EMS crews who work countless hours saving those in need. We owe these men and women a debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. What better way to pay that debt than to offer them a day of fun on us. With that in mind SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes created a First Responder Golf Outing. With the help of our sponsors we were able to invite 17 teams from the area and provide them with a fun filled day of golf, food, and fun! Each team that participated was awarded with cash and gift prizes going back to their departments. We are looking forward to hosting this event for years to come and we can’t thank you enough for all your support! 

With October being Fire Prevention Month, we put together a gift pack that consisted of a dual sensor smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. Each year we are happy to help out a family in need. If you haven’t already, make sure to find us on Facebook to participate in future drawings. 

As 2020 was coming to an end we wanted to do our part in making sure that every child is able to have a happy birthday and a present to make them smile on their special day. We were honored to donate to the Upper Des Moines Opportunity Kids Birthday Room. Thank you to the staff that helped us make this happen! 

As we head into 2021 we want to thank all of our customers for letting us help you with all of your fire, water, mold, sewer backup, COVID sanitation, and commercial needs. We hope to provide you with the best experience possible. Cheers to health, happiness, and prosperity in 2021 from all of your friends at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Delivers Groceries

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of two of the SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes marketing vehicles. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is giving back to the community of Spencer now offering grocery delivery to help high-risk people stay home.

SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has partnered with the Spencer Hy-Vee to offer grocery delivery service to the elderly and high-risk citizens in the Spencer community.  The delivery service is available Tuesday and Thursday beginning Thursday, April 30th and running through Thursday, May 14th

In order to take advantage of this service, the customer needs to contact SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to set up a delivery time that works best for them.  Once a delivery time is confirmed the customer will need to place their order using the Hy-Vee Aisles Online service and upon checkout put the delivery time and note that SERVPRO® will be delivering the order.  A SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes representative will then deliver your groceries to your doorstep.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the SERVPRO® representatives will wear gloves and masks when delivering your groceries and will only drop the groceries in the garage or on the doorstep so as not to spread germs. 

SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes owner Ryan Brooks stated “The community has done an excellent job working together to help reduce the impact of the virus and this is our way to give back to those in need.  We are one team fighting this and its amazing seeing the community come together to help those in need.”   

The May 14th cutoff date may extend, it is contingent on the orders from the governor as we progress through the month of May.  Orders are limited to the first 20 orders per day.  To establish your delivery time please call SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379.

Free Continued Education Opportunity

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

The two-part seminar will take place at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center on Friday, April 6 from 8:00AM until 5:00PM.

SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes, a local cleanup and restoration company, announced today it will provide a free continuing education (CE) credit opportunity for Iowa insurance agents and adjusters. The two-part seminar will take place at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center on Friday, April 6 from 8:00AM until 5:00PM. A light breakfast, lunch and happy hour will also be included.  The CE courses will provide Iowa insurance professionals with information to better service their customers.

The first class will take place from 8:00AM-12:00PM and will cover Auto & Home Policy Exclusions (4-hours credit). The second class will follow from 12:00PM-4PM and covers Agent’s Guide to Claims, Principles & Practices (4-hours credit). The classes will be taught by Todd Davis an independent insurance agent with Davis Agency Insurance based in Peoria, Illinois. He has 30 years of experience as an insurance agent and is licensed to write Auto, Home, Life, and Health insurance policies in Illinois. Continuing Education credits will be awarded to licensed agents and adjusters in the State of Iowa.

Class size is limited, so SERVPRO is asking those interested to RSVP by calling their office at (712) 262-4379 or online here.


Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,600 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.   # # #

A Year of Firsts

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for your friends at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

This year has flown by for all of us at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes. It has been quite a learning process, but also a time to celebrate a lot of firsts!

Lathe and Ryan took ownership of the Spencer and Estherville franchises in November of 2016 and since then it’s been a whirlwind. They attended new franchise trainings, franchise management courses, and the SERVPRO Industries annual convention. Most importantly, they became certified through The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) providing a higher level of competency in our field of business.  

Previous owner Doug Corcoran stayed with Lathe and Ryan for a full year after they purchased the business to help as they got their feet wet (pun intended) in new franchise ownership. Our staff was proud to celebrate with Doug as he retired this year and thanked him for the 40+ years he served Spencer and NW Iowa while building a highly successful business to invest in. Doug was able to celebrate a first as well, his first Thanksgiving not spent on-call!

Not long after we got through the “frozen pipe season,” a hurricane named Harvey made it’s way over Houston, Texas and left a wave of destruction in it’s path. Thanks to the foresight of Lathe and Ryan, they had purchased a commercial desiccant dehumidifier – one of the firsts in Iowa and we were able to take a crew and the new equipment to Houston to help in the clean-up.

In the meantime, they began to actively search for additional employees to help manage fire and water-loss projects and marketing of the additional services they were now able to provide. In August, they hired our first Sales Manager, Sue Loring. Shortly following, they hired our first Project Manager Chris Abram and lastly Marketing Manager Vanessa Moore. As business continued to increase, they began hiring more production crew members and we currently boast a payroll staff of over 15 full-time employees.

With the increase in business Lathe and Ryan found themselves able to provide full health, vision, dental benefits and retirement matching for their staff – a first for the local franchise.

But that wasn’t it for a year of firsts! Our crew was able to provide the Spencer Fire Department with a slew of Dalmatians to comfort children in auto and fire incidents. We were also able to provide a family in need with a smoke detector and fire extinguisher. (We hope to continue and expand these traditions in the upcoming years.)

And, earlier this month, we hosted our first continuing education event for area insurance professionals – with over 65 participants in attendance in December. And finally, we hosted our first After Hours event boasting 50+ in attendance.

As our year of firsts comes to an end, we wanted to write another first. A year of accomplishments, hard-work, tears and sweat, but also a perfect time to say thank you to all our new and returning customers, without you none of these firsts could have happened.

But most importantly, as our busy season is soon upon us, please consider donating locally to the Red Cross, or through another organization who helps families who have been made vulnerable by fire, water or storm damage.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank You Spencer!

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Thanks to all who attended for making the evening a successful one!

Our crew would like to extend a warm thank you to all those who attended our Business After Hours on Tuesday evening.

It was great to meet each of you and it warmed our hearts that so many of our past water and fire clients made it a point to swing by on such a cold evening! We understand there were a lot of Christmas activities the evening of our event, so it was extra special that over 50 folks walked through our doors!

We hope that you enjoyed the delicious food prepared by our friend, and past water damage client, Eve Freeman as well as the desserts made by our own crew member, Carol Bernardy. We can’t forget to mention that our Sales Manager Sue Loring spiced up the evening with her SERVPRO green spiked punch!

We all know that food and beverages are always the heart of a great event and these awesome ladies knocked this one out of the park!

We also wanted to take the time to thank Bill Campbell, Becky Fear-Hatting and Mari Lu Larson of the Spencer Chamber of Commerce for always serving as the central nucleus to employers in the city of Spencer and working with us to put this event together!

Again, thank you everyone for making the evening a successful one for our business. We appreciate the support that Spencer and the surrounding communities have shown us!

Successful CE Seminar at The Okoboji Commons Hotel

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes hosted a CE seminar at The Okoboji Commons Hotel at the Iowa Great Lakes.

On Friday, December 1, 2017, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes hosted a CE seminar at The Okoboji Commons Hotel at the Iowa Great Lakes.

The seminar was led by Todd Davis. Todd is the owner and operator of the Davis Agency Insurance in Peoria, Ill. Todd was licensed and started his insurance career at age 15 by working for the family agency in the office. After attending Bradley University, with a major in Mechanical Engineering (later returning for a degree in Marketing and Public Relations), Todd re-entered the family agency with his father. In 1985, Todd became a partner and then purchased the agency in 1992.

Todd teaches classes in Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Minnesota for organizations including the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (IIA of Illinois) and the Independent Insurance agents of Wisconsin (IIAW).

Over 65 area insurance professionals attended the free seminar where they learned about ethics and various types of insurance claims relating to mitigation. 

About Our CE Courses

SERVPRO offers both credit and non-credit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters and Real Estate professionals. The CE courses provide you with information to better service your customers.

These programs are designed to improve the knowledge of your staff regarding emergency mitigation. 

Here are some of the CE courses that are offered by SERVPRO

  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
  • Restorative Drying for Water Damage
  • Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar
  • Biohazard Cleanup
  • Ethics

Continuing Education Courses (CE) are available twice a year through SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. To be informed about upcoming course offerings, please email

What's Our Sales Manager Doing This Week?

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

The Okoboji Commons Hotel features 77 guest rooms, a restaurant, meeting room, courtyard, retail area and beach front on East Lake Okoboji.

Sue, our Sales Manager, has been on the road for the past week delivering invites for our December Continuing Education seminar to area insurance professionals. The two-part seminar will take place at The Okoboji Commons Hotel on Friday, Dec. 1 from 8:30AM to 4:00PM. Insurance agents and adjusters will receive up to seven continuing education credits.

We are especially excited to hold our classes at the beautiful Okoboji Commons Hotel, which is coincidentally a past commercial water-loss client. The Parliament Room, in which the seminar will be held, is a gorgeous room with unique lighting and a bar that will be the backdrop for our light breakfast on the morning of the seminar.

Our team has also been working with culinary-trained Chef Jeremy Nepple and Okoboji Commons Hotel owner Kristi Leigh to put together a delicious lunch that will be included during the day’s activities.

Our team is excited to end the day of classes at The Commons Tasting Room, which is anything but common! The beautifully decorated cottage features thoughtful crafted cocktails and small bites – an uncommon tasting experience. We will have their mixologists creatively craft and design each cocktail for our guests!

It is no wonder that insurance professionals in northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota are eagerly reserving their seats much more quickly than we had anticipated! Our seminar is already half-full, and we couldn’t be any more grateful for the response we’ve had, and interest shown in this event.

If you would like to reserve a seat for yourself or your team of insurance professionals, there is still a little time left! SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes will be taking registrations until Friday, Nov. 17.

We will plan a Continuing Education event twice a year so if you would like to be included on upcoming class notification please email  

Fire Safety Tips during Fire Prevention Week

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

It is important to test your smoke alarms monthly.

We have compiled a list of fire safety tips to keep you and you family members from becoming one of these deadly statistics. 

  1. EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR ON EACH LEVEL Smoke detectors are available for purchase at any hardware store and most retail stores. A smoke alarm is inexpensive protection for you and your family. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm can double your chances of survival in a fire Test it monthly, keep it free of dust and replace the battery at least once a year. Never remove the battery or disable the smoke detector. Smoke detector themselves should be replaced after ten years of service, or as recommended by the manufacturer.

  2. PREVENT ELECTRICAL FIRES Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas. Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or replaced.

  3. USE APPLIANCES WISELY When using appliances follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the home.

  4. PORTABLE HEATERS Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away. Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread. Never cleanout wood stoves or fireplaces unless you are absolutely certain the ashes are cool. Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities. Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only after the heater has cooled.

  5. PLAN YOUR ESCAPE In the event of a fire, remember - time is the biggest enemy and every second counts! Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames. Practice an escape plan from every room in the house and know two ways out. Designate a meeting location away from the home, but not necessarily across the street. For example, meet under a specific tree or at the end of the driveway or a front sidewalk to make sure everyone has gotten out safely and no one will be hurt looking for someone who is already safe. Designate one person to go to a neighbor's home to phone the fire department. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to open doors that are hot. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Teach children not to hide from firefighters. If someone is missing, tell the firefighters. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.

  6. NEVER LEAVE MATCHES OR LIGHTERS IN REACH OF CHILDREN Children under five are naturally curious about fire. Many play with matches and lighters. Tragically, children set over 18,900 house fires every year. Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching your children that fire is a tool, not a toy. 

  7. NEVER LEAVE CANDLES BURNING UNATTENDED Candles should be used under the supervision of an adult. A candle is an open flame, objects in close proximity could become involved in fire should the candle fall over. Although candles may give off a pleasant aroma, they are dangerous and should only be used while someone is occupying the room.

  8. SMOKING Smoking is not only hazardous to your health, it can have deadly results in the form of fire. Never lie down or smoke in bed. Always dispose of ashes in a safe manner, by waiting a day to dispose of them or by making certain that they are cool.

  9. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS A fire extinguisher when used properly can adequately extinguish small amounts of fire, keeping a small fire from becoming a large one.

Information obtained from U.S. Fire Administration and New Jersey Association of Realtors.

Refreshing Changes at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

The team from Boji Builders painted our official SERVPRO colors onto the walls.

The next time you stop in at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes, you may notice some changes in the office. This week we spent some time deep-cleaning, organizing and putting up a fresh coat of paint. With all hands on deck, we kept the phone lines open, completed off-site jobs, and got the office in order.

Before the team from Boji Builders began painting our new official SERVPRO colors onto the walls, Kevin, our Production Manager, made sure they were wiped down and prepped using our SERVPRO All Surface Green Clean. 

Then, former SERVPRO of Spencer owner, Doug Corcoran, helped get our carpets looking like new with one of our truck-mounted hot water extraction equipment machines. The extraction unit is designed to apply cleaning agents to attack soils and then the residues are flushed away using a hot water rinse that is removed with a “wet” vacuum machine (an extractor) all powered by our truck’s powerful engine. For those tough spots, Mike, our production technician spot-treated them with our specially formulated Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean. It’s PH neutral, biodegradable, contains no phosphates, solvents, dyes or fragrances and is truly a “one product does all.” The carpets were then left to dry overnight and were ready for our new office furniture the next day. 

Thanks to Tracy Small and Ryan Pratt at Spencer Office Supplies, new modular desks were moved in – complete with electronic lifts for standing/sitting options for our staff, plus office chairs that allow for personalized adjustments.

We hope that you make a detour sometime to come say hello and see the exciting changes our new owners Lathe Toft and Ryan Brooks are making.