Military Makeover with Montel® selects Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More for St. Pete Home

By Diane Bedard Posted on May 18, 2023

See how a local construction firm turned a 1940s St. Petersburg house into a custom home for the Mitchell family in the hit television show, Military Makeover with Montel® on Friday, May 26 at 7:30 am on Lifetime TV.

Barrett Rivera grew up in Brooksville. He graduated from Hernando High School, as did his brother, Alex. Barrett joined the U.S. Army out of high school. After three years, he returned home, got his master’s degree, and served another five years in the Florida National Guard.

He is a straightforward man with a warm, generous energy and a great smile.

Along the way, Barrett Rivera discovered his gift for being able to visualize spaces. He loves to create things and help people. He accrued over twenty years of experience in the construction and remodeling field.

Alex Rivera is quieter, but steady as a rock and just seems to appear when help is needed. Together, these two brothers began Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More in 2015 with a single truck and a dream. Today, their company has more than ten trucks and 40+ employees.

Barrett runs the construction division and Alex runs the electrical division. Erin Carter-Harvey runs the office after several years of doing estimates in the field. The company is licensed and certified throughout the state of Florida, and in October of 2022, they got a call from one of their flooring suppliers about the television show, “Military Makeover with Montel®.”

Barrett (L) and Alex (R) Rivera, brothers and owners of Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More. Image courtesy of Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More.

The flooring company needed installation help to complete the fall makeover for the Maney family in Melbourne, Florida. Could Rivera’s come across the state and help out? Barrett said yes immediately, and Rivera’s team took on the job.

“Apparently, the Military Makeover team was so impressed with our fast, efficient work and our team that they contacted us to do an entire spring home makeover for the Mitchell family in St. Petersburg,” Barrett said.

Military Makeover
Montel Williams poses with Robin Starritt and Rachael Lang Fischer, two of the many volunteers on the project (L-R). Image courtesy of Toni Martin.

Military Makeover with Montel®

Talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams, a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, leads the Makeover team’s mission. Military Makeover with Montel® offers hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones.

Each home makeover season tells the story of a veteran’s family which includes their military service and sacrifice, the home in its present condition, interviews with the family about their lifestyle and wishes, followed by the home transformation, and – best of all – the reveal.

This special series enlists conscientious designers, contractors, landscapers and home improvement professionals to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country.

jennifer Bertrand
Jennifer Bertrand is the show’s designer. Image courtesy of Military Makeover with Montel®.

Jennifer Bertrand is Military Makeover’s designer. Prior to becoming to the show’s cherished designer, she is also known for HGTV’s popular series Design Star. Jennifer says, “Having grown up on military bases, the child of a USAF Colonel, I love helping veterans giving the veterans a breath of fresh air in their homes with the help of our amazing team and volunteers.”

art edmonds
Art Edmonds is the show’s host. Image courtesy of Military Makeover with Montel®

Art Edmonds is Military Makeover’s co-host since the inception of the show. Art says, “I love hosting Military Makeover because I get to see firsthand the impact it makes on our veterans’ lives. Helping to tell their stories has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.”

Intrinsic to each Military Makeover is a team spirit that permeates the introduction of the people and businesses that contribute to the gift of a remodeled, up-to-date and safe home for the military family selected each season. Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More was a perfect fit for a full remodel for the future show.

riveras flooring kitchens & more ribbon cutting
The Rivera’s team in front of their Brooksville location at their 2022 Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. Image courtesy of Rivera’s Flooring Kitchens & More.

Rivera’s is a family-owned and run general contractor with a US Veteran at the helm. Their motto is “Your BEST experience with a contractor”, and that bold claim is what the Rivera team seeks to attain with every job. The Mitchell’s home makeover was no exception.

Montel began his professional career in the United States Marine Corps, becoming the first black Marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School to then go on to graduate from the United States Naval Academy. Williams earned a degree in general engineering and a minor in international security affairs, serving in the military for 22 years. Montel is a passionate advocate for veterans, education, and health. He relishes the opportunity to give back to his fellow veterans through Military Makeover.

About the Mitchell Family

Staff Sgt. Mitchell served fourteen years active duty with roles that included: Abrams Armor crewman, Mobile Gun System Gunner/Commander, Recruiter, Platoon Sergeant, and Instructor. He joined the US Army in 2002, at the age of eighteen.

While on deployment in Iraq, Matthew’s vehicle drove over an improvised explosive device (IED). The intense explosion and its aftermath left him with a traumatic brain injury, as well as injuries to his hand, hip and back. Matthew was awarded a Purple Heart for his service and sacrifice; but still lives with the physical and emotional scars from the incident.

He is now a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and is married to his high school sweetheart, Sarah, a legal recruiter and attorney who works from home.

They live in St. Petersburg, Florida with their two-year-old son Luka, and their family was selected to be on the Season 34 Military Makeover airing on Lifetime TV at 7:30 am et/pt on the following dates:

  • Episode 1 – May 26th & June 1st
  • Episode2 – June 2nd & June 8th
  • Episode 3- June 9th & June 15th
  • Episode 4- June 16th & June 22nd

The Mitchell Family’s Home Remodel

With Barrett’s military service background and the team approach that Rivera’s takes in each of their jobs, including having tradesmen employees instead of subcontractors, the company was quick to donate their skills and time to creating the perfect home for the Mitchells.

“At Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More, we take pride in offering the highest-quality customer service and state-of-the-art materials, design, and installation techniques,” Barrett said. “We use employees instead of contractors because it gives us more control in delivering what we promise.”

Two sides of the street were lined with Rivera’s trucks and volunteers. Image courtesy of Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More.

When the time came to go to St. Petersburg in March and get the work done, Rivera’s had a lot of help from local friends, employees and businesses. In fact, the volunteers lined the street that the house was on!

With this group of committed individuals and a common goal, this crew was able to create the home of which the Mitchell family dreamed in terms of safety, comfort, convenience and style. It was a great deal of work contributed to by a caring community, turning the home around within a week.

Check out the magic that our hometown contractor was able to do, with a lot of help from their friends and how happy the Mitchell family is with their Military Makeover.

Watch Season 34 Military Makeover with Montel® airing on Lifetime TV at 7:30 am et/pt on the following dates:

  • Episode 1 – May 26th & June 1st
  • Episode2 – June 2nd & June 8th
  • Episode 3- June 9th & June 15th
  • Episode 4- June 16th & June 22nd
Erin Carter-Harvey, Barrett Rivera, and, is that Jenn? Image courtesy of Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More.

For more information, visit And if you need any remodeling or new construction up to three stories, maybe you want to give Rivera’s a call. Their number is 352-848-3636. Their website is Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens & More | Brooksville, FL (



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