Michael Hosto spent much of elementary school on a farm in a small town called Farmersville, MO. In middle school, Michael moved to St. Louis, MO, where he later found a love for writing and became a leader on his high school newspaper. Upon graduation, he enrolled at the University of Missouri to study Journalism. While in college he realized that his true passion resided in learning to build businesses; so he changed degree programs and embarked upon his passionate pursuit of an education in business and leadership that still continues to this day.
Shortly after college, Michael began his career in the fire damage restoration business with industry leader, Paul Davis Restoration. In the late 80’s, he began to rise up the ranks before eventually getting noticed by the CEO for his success in creating relationships with non-traditional business referral sources. During this time he also became an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer and built strong relationships within the local chapter. Together with chapter officials they designed a program to provide emergency structural stabilization services to local fire victims that were not previously available.
After many enjoyable years with the Paul Davis Restoration organization, Michael went on to start his own fire damage restoration company. Years later, he sold that company to an employee and a local insurance agent and went on to work for a large, Washington, DC-based, international disaster recovery organization. Although he found this large scale disaster work exciting, the overwhelming travel requirements made him return home to his roots in the fire damage restoration business. It was then that he started another restoration company in St. Louis, MO, along with a childhood friend.
The competition was well established within the local claims community and the business initially struggled to gain acceptance. In order to compete he found it necessary to once again focus his energy on developing highly productive, alternative referral sources of large fire and water damage restoration projects.
The result of this was 1-800-BOARDUP. Together with a team of highly committed and uniquely talented people Michael has created an amazing organization of thousands of disaster recovery professionals that service the needs of victims of catastrophe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, across all of North America. Yes, emergency structural stabilization services such as board up and roof tarp are provided, but the comprehensive victim service offerings go much deeper.
Michael and his team have created a better way, a better way for fire departments who are committed to providing drastically improved services to their community. A better way for claims professionals, who put the needs of their insured above all else. A better way for fire restoration companies, who seek independence from the constraints of traditional models. A better way for fire victims, who would be left standing in their front yard dazed and confused or worse yet, left to the opportunistic vultures that prey on these poor unsuspecting souls.
Michael developed a trusted leadership team comprised of top notch talent and, together with the 1-800-BOARDUP team, they assist other high integrity organizations who share our commitment to help victims of disaster. Although 1-800BOARDUP is a for-profit enterprise, its true success is measured by its ability to effectively serve those in need and will never be measured in dollars and cents alone. 1-800 BOARDUP is committed to a higher purpose and the road less traveled. All 1-800BOARDUP business decisions are based upon its unwavering commitment to its core principles and values; those principles and values are never influenced by money, profit or growth. 1-800BOARDUP is selective when choosing who to work with because the company views working relationships as commitments and places the highest value upon opportunities to work with those who share its values and its commitment to doing what is right in all circumstances.
Michael believes that high performance people can work anywhere they choose, in any market conditions. Due to this, 1-800BOARDUP has created a culture that attracts and retains high performance people because it requires high performance people to continue its growth.
Character and work ethic are the most important assets to advance in this organization.
Michael and his team created the 1-800-BOARDUP PuMP process to help the company’s leaders manage the performance of employees and engage them in their efforts toward achieving the organization’s vision and mission.
PuMP is aligned with 1-800BOARDUP’s core value that states “We always seek a better way
- Through collaboration, innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness
- With continuous improvement in systems, training, teamwork, and individual action
- Through obsession with our Local Service Partner’s and First Responder’s success and satisfaction by providing a rewarding and engaging work environment where talented, high-performance people can thrive”
The PuMP is comprised of its five facets:
Employees become engaged when their organization maintains focus on a vision for success, and when their everyday work is aligned to the goals of the organization. The 1-800-BOARDUP Core Competencies are aligned with the Vision, Mission and Core Values of the organization and are the linchpin to various talent management practices throughout the employment lifecycle.
Professional development activities can significantly improve the engagement and performance of employees and the organization as a whole. In order for development activities and assignments to be impactful and create career-best experiences for employees.
In order to effectively manage employee performance, leaders must have regular performance feedback sessions with each employee. The frequency of these sessions is up to the discretion of the leader and employee based upon the work being done. 1-800BOARDUP utilizes rewards and recognition to reinforce desired behaviors and celebrate successes on a consistent basis.
Being part of the 1-800-BOARDUP organization is not just a job, it is lifestyle. This is a high stakes, high pressure business. There is a lot on the line. When one is operating at this level, where rapid fire decisions are often demanded, and the pressure rarely subsides, mistakes can be made. 1-800BOARDUP’s culture accepts this reality and encourages people to step up and be accountable. To own their mistakes, fix them to the best of their ability, and then to move on.
Michael has created a culture where challenging the status quo and challenging the CEO are not only acceptable, but required.
Michael’s focus is on leadership development for himself and the teams he serves. He is focused on creating a culture where leaders can emerge and high performance people can flourish. Most of the team at 1-800-BOARDUP can recite Michael’s credo.
“We must always be the best in the business in every market we serve. Not a little better, but noticeably and remarkably better”, says Michael. “Not some of the time, not most of the time, but every single time a fire department puts their reputation on the line and calls upon us to serve the needs of the communities we serve.”
He continues, “To accomplish this we first had to create a culture that attracts and retains high performance people at every level. To succeed we had to create an exceptional work environment, because high performance people can work wherever they choose, in any economic conditions. And we need them here because we have mountains to move.”
The thing that excites Michael the most about 1-800-BOARDUP is helping entrepreneurs grow their business, but deep down inside he is really driven about helping victims in their recovery process. His goal has never been to make the highest profit, but to make the highest impact on people.
Michael has created a culture of passion, and a passion for service. 1-800BOARDUP deeply believes in its brand and the strategic value it represents. 1-800BOARDUP strives to emulate the culture, principles, and values of the fire service.
Michael has ensured that the team at 1-800BOARDUP are Go Givers, not just go getters and that people are always placed before profit. When difficult decisions need to be made, they do the right thing. They engage meaningfully in the communities they serve. They give willingly, without regard to “What’s in it for me? They achieve this through compassion, sincerity, and generosity.
1-800BOARDUP is focused on building lasting partnerships by recognizing that relationships of trust are everything … PERIOD. By honoring all commitments: Say what you do, do what you say. By embracing the principle that “our Strength is in our Unity.” By seeking to improve the lives and careers of all stakeholders.
1-800BOARDUP always seeks a better way for its customers and staff through collaboration, innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness. 1-800BOARDUP focuses on continuous improvement in systems, training, teamwork, and individual action. 1-800BOARDUP is obsessed with their Local Service Partners’ and Fire Departments’ successes and satisfaction.
1-800BOARDUP realizes that its success will come by providing a rewarding and engaging work environment where talented, high-performance people can thrive. It is only through establishing great culture based upon enlightened leadership that this will occur.
Michael now resides in Atlantic Beach, FL, with his wonderful wife and three adorable children. He works in 1-800BOARDUP’s Jacksonville Beach satellite office, where he can watch the dolphins and sharks feed from his desk.