On January 16, 2011, 13 million viewers tuned into CBS’“Undercover Boss” to watch Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR, experience the front line in a way he never has. BELFOR, the world’s largest disaster restoration company, has over 6,000 employees in 29 countries. America watched as Sheldon took an emotional journey through the everyday lives of four BELFOR employees.

Disguised as “Tom Kelly,” Sheldon started in Norfolk, Virginia doing demolition with Joe, where he was called a “newbie” and therefore given the honor to remove a dead animal from behind a wall. Sheldon traveled to Denver,Colorado where he met Drew, the carpenter and had a tough time hanging drywall on the ceiling. Next, he met Brenda, the cleaning technician in Indianapolis, Indiana, and cleaned up after a fire. Lastly, Sheldon worked with Jen in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he squirmed through a tight crawlspace and had the most tear-jerking experience of the episode. When Sheldon learned that Jen felt that no one at corporate would know who she was, and that she had to decide which bills to pay because her pay raise from a promotion never went through, Sheldon broke character. “Listen, I’m not supposed to do this, but I’m not Tom Kelly, I’m Sheldon Yellen, the CEO of BELFOR,” he said, as he and Jen embraced.

Since the show, Joe, Drew, Brenda and Jen have been very busy adjusting to their new roles and responsibilities at BELFOR. Appearing on “Undercover Boss” was an eyeopening chance of a lifetime, not only for Sheldon!

Joe in Virginia Beach has stopped all of his side jobs to focus on his new promotion as project manager. In his new role, the task at hand requires much more computer-based technology which is new and refreshing for Joe. Since Joe is already proficient in the production side of the jobs,the technical side of the job is a welcome compliment to his everyday duties. The other project managers at the Chesapeake BELFOR office have been instrumental in helping him learn the ropes and become more active in the office. Joe was also able to pay-off a large portion of his home equity loan. Since quitting all other side jobs, Joe has much more time to spend with his family! He is the Cub Scout master, where he and 65 kids just participated in a pine wood derby! Joe is thankful for the chance to meet and get to know Sheldon and has never been happier with BELFOR.

Although Drew and Sheldon’s encounter together was challenging, it was certainly a bonding experience not many employees get to experience in any company! Drew’s impressive marketing background allowed him to meet with BELFOR’s head of marketing to discuss current initiatives. Additionally, the experience has helped Drew professionally understand really how to achieve his goals. Drew’s bonus allowed him to pay off a significant portion of his student loans and feels alleviated to have such a huge burden lifted from his shoulders. Drew still cannot believe the experience to this day – and since “Undercover Boss,” he feels so much more “love and appreciation” for BELFOR and the person running it. Drew strongly believes there are positives on the horizon for BELFOR and he knows Sheldon will make positive changes now that he has a better understanding of the inner workings of the company. And no! Sheldon did not fire Drew, which is what Drew first though when Sheldon revealed himself in the office! Instead he is even more engaged and active in the BELFOR family than ever before.

America fell in love with Brenda as she so openly showed her true passion for helping and communicating with homeowners. “Undercover Boss” proved how much she genuinely cares about BELFOR and the homeowners who have suffered a loss. Brenda’s bonus allowed her to give 13 children the best Christmas ever. The children were told Santa might not be able to come this year but after the help of BELFOR, Santa was able to deliver Christmas gifts himself! It was the best Christmas memory Brenda can ever remember. Brenda and Sheldon have spoken numerous times and she has since decided to remain true to her passion of working directly with homeowners instead of taking the promotion to become a water technician. Since the show, Brenda has been able to pay off her house and hospital payments, as well as help her son move to Louisiana to pursue his dream job. We are also proud to announce that since the show first aired, Brenda  has passed her testing and is now a certified Water Remediation Technician (WRT).

Jen’s famous quote, “water techs don’t cry” not only pushed Sheldon to reveal his true identity (a first in “Undercover Boss” history!) but also introduced him to one of his newest friends. Jen’s tireless dedication to BELFOR paid off in the end as her retroactive raise helped her to pay bills she was having difficulty covering. Because of Jen’s passion and satisfaction with helping homeowners, Jen is now a teaching assistant and is learning how to become a trainer. Since the show in Jen’s new role, she has more significant responsibilities in training and helping prepare and educate aspiring water technicians. Jen now has the opportunity to pursue her dream and passion of always wanting to be a teacher. Upon returning from a much deserved vacation in Costa Rica with her family, Jen has been busy further entrenching herself in studying to be qualified to become a trainer.

During the time Sheldon spent with these individuals, he learned about many of their personal struggles and how those hardships never stopped them from doing their best work for BELFOR each and everyday. BELFOR employees bring their passion and compassion to every site they are on, dealing with individuals who have lost very important things to them. Sheldon had the honor and privilege to experience the interaction between BELFOR employees and customers first-hand and see how truly remarkable his employees are day in and day out.

Drew lets Sheldon take the lead as they attempt to hang drywall

Joe and Sheldon hard at work repairing water damaged walls.

Sheldon works diligently to remove soot left in a home after
a fire.

Moments before the "big reveal," Jen and Sheldon have a
heart-to-heart conversation.