Temporary Accommodations was founded in 1996 by Aaron Wilson, to serve the insurance industry and its displaced policyholders. What began as a small startup with a few entrepreneurial friends, has grown into one of the largest providers of temporary housing services in the insurance industry. For more than twenty years, TA has made a name for itself by providing the fastest, most convenient, cost-effective and comfortable temporary housing available.
After growing up in Denton, North Carolina, Aaron was accepted into the NC State University School of Design. He had learned design and woodworking from his father, who worked in a local furniture factory, but he also learned that the integrity of his crafts mattered the most to his customers. Aaron began college with a passion for design but realized that his real passion was in being an entrepreneur.
Graduating from NC State with his degree in Economics, Aaron worked as a Sales Representative for both a furniture rental company and corporate housing company. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck the southeast as a powerful category 5 hurricane. Thousands of families were displaced, and the idea to provide relocation services to insurance adjusters began forming in Aaron’s mind. Four years later, Aaron moved to Atlanta, GA, got his realtors license and began contacting insurance adjusters to offer his expertise.
Two of Aaron’s closest friends were overwhelmingly supportive of his dream and would become instrumental in establishing TA as a successful business. Tommy Chapman graduated from UNC Charlotte with his degree in Civil Engineering. His persistence in paying attention to details earned the loyalty of every customer. Chris Baldwin was a Systems Coordinator for Coca-Cola, and worked at Troutman Sanders, LLP, before joining TA as our VP of Technology. He created databases and perfected processes for TA.
In 1998, an F2 tornado struck Atlanta and did more than $100 million worth of damage. TA assisted dozens of families and their adjusters in navigating the relocation process. The adjusters were so impressed with the detail-oriented service they received; TA was given the opportunity to become a national vendor for one of the largest insurance carriers in the US. After just two years in business, the team truly began to grow, and Aaron moved the TA headquarters to a new office building in the Lindbergh neighborhood of Atlanta.
Hurricane Katrina was one of the first major catastrophes TA mobilized for. Shortly after it was safe to travel to the area affected by the storm, TA took rental furniture to the area. One of the biggest challenges for TA is locating housing after a catastrophe when the supply of housing decreased, and the demand increased. To respond to this challenge, TA began partnering with mobile housing companies in strategic areas of the country. In 2006, TA also innovated the relocation process by partnering with national hotel chains to provide displaced policyholders with same-day accommodations.
Soon after our Catastrophe Response Team began responding to disasters, TA brought Dr. Raymond Shelton on board to assist with employee training. Dr. Shelton is a Fellow, and Director of Professional Development, with the National Center for Crisis Management, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Each new class of TA CareTAkers is trained in how to handle traumatic stress when they begin working at TA. Dr. Shelton also leads Continuing Education courses for Insurance Adjusters, sponsored by TA.
In 2009, Temporary Accommodations hired Mike Leslie as our Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Mike had previously worked as the Vice President of Sales for Loomis Fargo Company. His expertise helped TA sign our second national account, and required TA to begin hiring across all departments to keep up with the needs of our clients. One of the employees hired during this time was Joseph Tate, a recent graduate from Methodist University who had interned with TA while completing his degree in finance and economics.
Joseph worked in both our hotel and accounting department before being promoted to Vice President of Finance in 2016. As new companies entered the temporary housing market, TA began negotiating better deals with major hotel chains, and offered discounts to loyal clients. Joseph also helped streamline our processes at TA, allowing us to increase the level of service we provided our customers, without increasing our costs.
Temporary Accommodations released TA ClaimTrak in 2011, which was the first real useable technology platform designed for property adjusters to track and manage their temporary housing claims online. Chris Baldwin continued to develop this technology, and integrate it with existing TA databases to provide adjusters real-time notifications as their policyholder’s housing requests were processed. Shortly after the release of TA ClaimTrak, TA signed the largest insurance company in America as a national account.
Our partnerships continue to be of vital importance to our team. TA has continued to provide adjusters with exemplary service, while using our Catastrophe Response Team to respond to crisis such as the Camp Fire, Hurricane’s Florence and Michael, as well as major tornado outbreaks in the south and Midwest. In 2019 TA expanded its headquarters for the third time in three years. We also released TA ClaimTrak 2.0 and revolutionized reporting capabilities for adjusters and insurers nationwide. The CareTAkers at TA consistently get to welcome new teammates to our Atlanta headquarters as we grow, from the small startup fueled by three friend’s shared vision, to a pillar of strength for insurance carriers facing disaster.