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ISSA Charities Holds First “Volunteer Day” in Dallas

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

  • Rag Mops Cleaning Service, Inc., Owner Debi Bascue
  •  NeatClean Maids, LLC, Owner Aracele Morales
  •  JV Cleaning Services, Owner Jose Guerra
  •  Buckets and Bows Maid Service, Owner Debbie Sardone


With 40 volunteers, 10 cleaning companies participating, ISSA Charities were able to provide help to 20 cancer patients. “Ideally we will launch this nationwide,” Debbie Sardone told viewers on her Facebook page.


Cleaning for a Reason also sent out a thank you to Bissell, CleanPacs, Quick Trip Movers, Thornhill Catering, and Visit Dallas for all the different ways they supported the day!

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And the Award Goes to . . .

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, November 7, 2018


ARCSI annual Professional Image awards were presented to the winners at the Awards Ceremony at the ISSA Show on Wednesday, October 31. (Pictured from left are Yusef and Zeynep Mehmetoglu, Marlo Kanipe, Debbie Sardone, Karen Gowing, Eugena Bring, Janet Swett, Lisa and Sean Kirkpatrick, and RJ Patel.


Our winners for this year are:

  • Best Logo: Vibrant Cleaning Services, Sean & Lisa Kirkpatrick, Medina, Ohio
  • Best Uniform: Deserved Comfort House Cleaning, Marlo Kanipe, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Best Vehicle: Carnation Home Cleaning, Eugena Bring, Mesa, AZ
  • Best Website: Maid Bright, Yusef Mehmetoglu, Sterling, VA,

ARCSI also recognized the winners of its two major awards – the Chairman’s Award and the Professional Cleaner of the Year Presented by PerfectClean.


The Chairman’s Award



Clean and Simple Cleaning, Inc., Lynnwood, Washington


 In her submission, Stacie Sutton, owner of Clean and Simple Cleaning, wrote of Janet that, “Her loyalty and dedication to her job are without question. She sets high standards for herself and expects them from others. Perhaps most of all day-to-day, we value her sense of humor and her ability to remain calm in the face of catastrophe.”


Accepting the award, Janet said, “I do want to thank you for this award. I love my job and it’s easy to do a good job when you love your job.”



Professional Cleaner of the Year Presented by PerfectClean



Carnation Home Cleaning, Mesa, Arizona


“Karen is always doing everything for everybody else and never thinks of herself even nominating her for this award she was humbled. I believe she would be a deserving recipient of this award,” Eugena Bring, the owner of Carnation Home Cleaning, Inc., told the committee in her submission. During the presentation of the award, Eugena shared several testimonials from Karen’s clients, bringing tears to Karen’s eyes and the audience to their feet.


Still overwhelmed, Karen told the audience that she “felt so privileged that Eugena wanted to nominate her for this award. My customers mean the most to me.”



ISSA Honors Sardone with Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award


Debbie Sardone, CEO and founder of Buckets & Bows Maid Service and founder of Cleaning For A Reason, received the Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award.

The award is given by the ISSA Board to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the cleaning and maintenance industry through their innovation, professionalism, leadership, elevation of industry standards, promotion of the Association’s growth and development, unselfish dedication without personal gain, and emulation of the ISSA Code of Ethics.


“This award is your award,” Debbie Sardone told the audience at the ARCSI Awards Ceremony. “This award represent what all of you have been doing for the last 10 years cleaning homes for cancer patients.”


Hartong Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary with ARCSI


 One highlight of the Evening Roundtables this year was the recognition of Ernie Hartong as the ARCSI Executive Director for 10 years. Presenting was Residential Cleaning Council Chair RJ Patel, who told the audience that without Ernie’s leadership and dedication, the residential community would not be where it is today. With a standing ovation, the audience unanimously agreed with Patel.

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Cleaning for a Reason Recognizes Top Partners at the Show

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Congratulations to Better Life Maids, owners Matt and Angela Ricketts, for being the Top Cleaning for a Reason Cleaning Partner in 2017 for most women served! Owner Matt Ricketts was on hand to receive his plaque from Debbie Sardone at the ISSA Show in Dallas.


The Top 10 Partners for 2017 were:

  1. Better Life Maids, Angela Ricketts, St. Louis, MO
  2. Buckets & Bows Maid Service, Debbie Sardone, Lewisville, TX
  3. Spic and Span Cleaning Services, Heidi Sonnenberg, Virginia Beach, VA
  4. Harmony Clean, Inc., Vicki Brown, Doylestown, PA
  5. Spotless Cleaning Services, Stephanie Velez, Macon, GA
  6. Abseco Cleaning Services, Debra Lee, Lenoir City, TN
  7. Constant Clean, Robert Baidinger, Munster, IN
  8. Maid Brigade of Suffolk, Jennifer LoFranco, Ronkonkoma, NY
  9. Maids and Moore of Travis, Summer Carothers, Austin, TX
  10. Maid-4-You, Inc., Gladys Clayton, Loganville, GA

Cleaning For A Reason is a nonprofit organization that serves all the United States and Canada with its mission of giving the gift of free house cleaning to women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. At this time, there are over 1,200 maid services donating free housecleaning to women who are undergoing treatment for cancer. Since 2006, partner maid services have volunteered their time to clean for over 30,200 women – valued at over $10,000,000.


To find out more about Cleaning for a Reason and ISSA Charities, visit

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Volunteers Needed at the ISSA Show

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, October 11, 2018

Volunteering your time at the ISSA Show is about more than sharing your time. It’s about making new friends, sharpening your leadership skills, and being part of the residential team that puts this show together.


To put it simply, we need your help at the show! Between our education track and the networking events, the show is a massive program and it would not be possible without all of the support from attendees that help us throughout the week.


Volunteer to help today!



Room Captains are responsible for meeting the presenter, making sure the room is prepared for the session, and handling the evaluations.



Volunteers serve as roundtable moderators during our Evening Roundtable event, ensuring that the discussion flows and the conversation is not monopolized.



Our Booth volunteers represent ARCSI, A Division of ISSA at our booth on the trade show floor -- meeting, greeting, and answering questions from potential members.


Volunteer today online or email Erin Lasch at

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Oops — I Need to Change My Title!

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, October 11, 2018

By Sharon Tinberg


I have spent the past three years working in 38 residential cleaning service offices for 5-10 days (#39 will be Dallas in September) across the USA and Canada helping owners implement the C.O.R.E. system of cleaning at their companies. I conclude the week of massive change by presenting a small speech at a full staff meeting entitled “Change, Choice and Champions.” It has been very well received and become quite popular so I thought I would just do an expanded version at the ISSA Show on Tuesday, October 30.


I want to alert you that my title has changed a bit since I submitted the idea to the Show Committee last year. What I am realizing is that, at the show, I am speaking to owners, and possibly managers, not cleaners. My audience has changed and, therefore, so must my title and theme. From an owners perspective the easiest way to handle change is to make the choice not to change. This is a luxury an employee does not have.


Changes don’t just happen. Someone makes a conscious choice to make a change and then choreographs and implements those changes. A proactive owner will be sure the choice is theirs and not that of a disgruntled employee. Before a change can be implemented, however, an owner needs to choose what needs to be changed and how that is going to happen. Then the employee gets to choose how they are going to react to what the owner has chosen to implement. Owners are the sole possessor of the choice privilege which is the catalyst to change. Therefore, when I speak to entrepreneurs my title must be “Choice, Change and Champions.”


The world is so complex and over stimulated that Internet sources estimate an adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day (in contrast a child makes about 3,000). In fact, we make 226.7 decisions each day on just food alone according to researchers at Cornell University. The average working adult makes about 12 decisions before 9 am. I would say if you are a residential cleaning service owner you could perhaps reach 1/3 of your days 35K decisions by 9 a.m.! Whether to fire or not to fire that employee who
made the decision to not come to work today, whether to dump the client who just canceled her service for today for the 4th time in the last 6 visits or just threaten her with a no show fee which will result in her threatening to cancel the service which will result in another decision to make. It’s part of our natural human behavior to make conscious and subconscious decisions on a daily basis. So why is it so hard to do and how can you make more rapid and correct decisions? Choices really are the key to your survival in this
business. Wise choices with defined direction will allow you to do less but accomplish more.


I do hope that you will make the decision to attend the ISSA Show in Dallas (October 29 – November 1) where you will be overwhelmed by a plethora of decisions. Your eyes will be opened to opportunities that will support your business growth that you never even knew existed. Make the right choices; orchestrate the implementation of the necessary changes and you will find yourself living the life of a champion. If you’d like some hints on making the right choices and successful implementation, I’ll see you on Tuesday at 10:45
a.m. for “Choice, Change and Champions!”


About Sharon Tinberg
Sharon Tinberg is a field operations expert in the residential cleaning industry and has spent the majority of the past few years coaching in the office and client’s homes of residential cleaning services in the US and Canada. She is an entertaining speaker who always leaves you with an easily implemented idea to take back to your cleaners. Want some pre-show help? Watch this YouTube video with the Ards from Amazing Maids on implementing a new systematized process for cleaning:

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Why You Need HIPOs to Lead Your Team

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, October 3, 2018

By Jean Hanson

Any residential cleaning company, no matter its size, is only as strong as its leaders. Without capable leaders steering the ship, a business is doomed to sink.


That’s why it’s incumbent upon you – the business owner – to know what makes a good leader. Without this understanding, you’re likely to fall into a common trap—promoting high-performing employees instead of high-potential employees (HIPOs).


Very often, business owners and managers use promotions as a way to reward their most reliable technicians for their hard work. While it’s important that your best cleaners feel valued and appreciated, promoting them to a supervisory role is a mistake if they don’t have what it takes to be a leader.


The skills needed to be a great leader and a great cleaning technician don’t always overlap.


Why does this matter? Bad promotions come at a cost to your business. There’s money spent training the person, lost productivity during their training process, and additional money required to find and train their replacement. Not to mention the potential hit to employee morale; half of employees have quit a job to “get away” from a boss, according to Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager report.


Conversely, research has found a strong correlation between good bosses and employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and revenue. Promoting the best potential employees into leadership roles could boost employee performance by up to 30%, says a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.


When it comes to employee advancement, it’s important to take a holistic view instead of focusing on performance indicators, like cleaning efficiency or effectiveness.


What makes someone a high-potential employee?


These are the people who:

  • Seek out opportunities to expand their skills
  • Enjoy what they do
  • Are in engaged in their work
  • Eagerly take on extra tasks
  • Frequently go above and beyond


They may not be your star cleaners, but they could shine as supervisors or managers.


These are the types of employees who sometimes get passed over for at promotion time, either because they haven’t met certain performance metrics or because they seem overly ambitious and likely to jump ship for a bigger company with deeper pockets. Don’t make this mistake.


Identify these high-potential employees and groom them for leadership positions. Whether you have a formal leadership development program or use ad-hoc mentoring, teach these employees the necessary skills to someday step into a leadership role.


If you can afford to invest in formal leadership development, it can pay off when it comes time to fill supervisory roles. According to the Training Magazine survey, only 58% of companies
that put a low emphasis on leadership development can bring a new leader to high proficiency in less than 18 months, but it jumps to 75% among companies that make leadership development a high priority.


What’s more, cleaning companies without solid leadership-development plans run the risk of creating a toxic business culture. Employees who don’t see a path for advancement or potential to learn and grow, will quickly become unhappy and jump ship. Before long, your company will develop a negative reputation in your service area, making it hard to
find quality employees and (potentially) causing customers to choose other residential cleaning companies for their home.



Each of your employees has different strengths and weaknesses. As the ultimate decision maker for your company, it’s critical that you understand the difference between those who are high performing and those with high potential. Focusing on the latter and grooming them now to become part of your company’s succession plan, is the key to long-term, sustainable success.


About Jean Hanson
Jean Hanson has been in the cleaning industry for 31 years as a cleaning business owner, speaker and certified marketing consultant. She helps commercial and residential cleaning companies grow their business through her online businesses at, and More than 12,000 cleaning business owners have used training and resources from these sites to start, grow and manage their cleaning business. Jean is speaking with Sharon Cowan, CBSE at the show on
Wednesday, October 31


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Leveraging the Right Technology and Platforms for Your Brands

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, September 27, 2018

By Tom Stewart

Running a professional cleaning business now requires an array of technology. 


Virtually every aspect of your company is touched or driven by some innovation that didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago. We may not like to admit it, but when it comes to technology it’s easy for a cleaning business owner to become overwhelmed. Many small business people wear so many hats that it’s difficult to keep up with all the changes. Whether it’s marketing, sales, human resources, operations, or customer service, “there’s an app for that” has become a cliché. The choices are nearly endless. 

I describe below four areas where user-friendly apps can make a big difference in how smoothly your operation runs. I’ll lay out the areas of concern here in this piece and then show you the solutions in my Tech Talk presentation (Monday, Oct. 29th at 3:15 pm) at the ISSA Show North America in Dallas. 

Quality Control
For those of you who started your business with a bucket and mop in your hands, you understand that the moment you hired other people to do the cleaning, you lost some control in the quality of the work. Your clients still expected excellent service. For years the solution was home inspections. The owner, office manager, or field supervisor drove out to homes to spot check the cleaners’ work in person. Nowadays you need a way to visually inspect homes in real time, to conference in the homeowner if required, and to record the inspection.

I’ll show you an app that can do all this, is easy to set up, easy to operate, and doesn’t require your field workers or clients to login.

Tracking Keys
At Castle Keepers House Cleaning we go to great lengths to keep our clients’ keys secure. Trust is the name of our business. When a homeowner hands us the key to their “castle” we make sure we don’t drop it. Some clients trust us with an entry code instead, which we also secure. As the “internet of things” develops, clients will have even more control over who has access to their homes. But for now, most people still have a physical key you can hold in your hand. 

There’s another kind of client that doesn’t just have one home or one key. I coined the term “resimercial” to describe situations where people live (residential) in a place run by a company (commercial). Resimercial clients include property management companies, apartment communities, assisted living facilities, and more. These clients don’t give you a key to every door. They give you a master key, or in the case of a large facility, master keys. 

When your company is trusted with a master key for hundreds of residents, how do you keep it safe? We found an app that is both inexpensive and easy to put in place. Using it assures the client that we are able to track their master keys and help keep their residents secure. In Dallas I’ll demonstrate this app and the small device it is tethered to. It can save your bacon with big clients. 

Voice Communications
It seems like every app and device is designed to make communication more efficient or interesting. We’re all busy people. Getting or sending a message needs to be super easy and super simple. We need something that is less prone to being ignored than email and voice mail—something like the walkie-talkies we carried around as children—on our smart phones. There’s a free app that works like a walkie-talkie, plus has text, photo sharing, and GPS. In Dallas I’ll demonstrate it.

Productivity Software
It’s easy for your team members to get sidetracked, even ones that are self-starters. When there’s too much to do, people become less productive. There are lots of new stand-alone productivity apps out there, but in Dallas I’m going to explore one that combines a wide range of tools and streamlines workflows. It’s an integrated suite of apps that is powerful and fits together, so you’re not left trying to figure out a way to bridge different tools. It’s a software name you’ll know, but like they say in the commercial “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.” 

Every year ISSA Show North America brings fresh educational sessions and offers the camaraderie and professional inspiration that we all need. I hope you’ll join ARCSI members and non-members alike in attending what should be our best convention yet. I hope to see you in Dallas. 


About Tom Stewart
Tom Stewart is the owner of Castle Keepers House Cleaning, the first residential cleaning company to achieve CIMS certification. In 2016, Castle Keepers added branch locations in Greenville and Atlanta. In 2017, Castle Keepers expanded operations to Portland, Oregon and Dayton, Ohio. Tom is a nationally-recognized leader and innovator in the house cleaning industry. He is co-founder and publisher of the online magazine and website Cleaning Business Today. Tom is speaking with Derek Christian at the Show on Monday, October 29.


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Is It Time You Started to Think Bigger?

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Wednesday, September 26, 2018

We had a great Hot Topic Tuesday on Tuesday, September 25 with Alonzo Adams, owner of Busy Bee Cleaning in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and ARCSI Past President. He shared lots of great tips for those serious about growing their business. Here is a highlight:


Question: What was the biggest mistake you made with your business?


 Alonzo: Early on we got away from our Core Values as a company. We focused on the money and took on any customer. Lead to quality problems and other issues. We finally took two steps back. Focused on our Core Values and changed virtually everything we were doing. It was only then that we began to move forward and become the successful company we are today.


 As an ISSA Residential Member, you can download our past Hot Topic Tuesdays from the ARCSI store for free. Alonzo's call will be up soon along with plenty of other great discussions!

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Call for Speaker Proposals for ISSA Show 2019

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, September 6, 2018

Plans are well underway for the 2019 ISSA Show in Las Vegas November 18 – 21.  We are now accepting proposals on topics and speakers for the residential cleaning track. Submissions are due October 5, 2018.




Do you have a topic that the home cleaning industry NEEDS to hear?

How about a presentation that will help small business owners become more successful?

Are you an ARCSI member or associate that has valuable information that can help entrepreneurs in the cleaning business grow their companies?


If you said yes to any of these questions, then you need to submit your speaker proposal to the 2018 Show Committee for consideration. Be sure to check the box for "Residential" on the submission form.




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Why Thinking Big is Not Enough (The truth about Execution)

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Thursday, September 6, 2018

By Alonzo Adams

When a strategy looks brilliant, it’s because of the quality of execution. In 1982 Paul McCarthy told Michael Jackson about the value of a song catalog by Lennon-McCartney that he wanted ownership of during the sessions for their 1982 collaboration "Say, Say, Say.

Michael called his attorney John Branca to obtain the catalog, no matter the cost. In late 1984, Jackson submitted an offer of $46 million. It took a year of bidding against others — including British industrialist Richard Branson. Everything took a long time. Negotiations for the catalog moved at a snail's pace, as the parties debated on the issues of price, warranties and the structure of the deal.

1985 Jackson paid a then-unheard-of price of $47.5 million for ATV's 4,000-song catalog for $47.5 million, becoming the owner of the approximately 250 Lennon-McCartney songs, as well as tracks by Bruce Springsteen, Cher, Hank Williams, Little Richard, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and more.

Michael took ownership of one of the most valuable catalogs in music history. McCartney was not pleased to learn that his supposed friend bought the rights to his songs. The shrewdest move of his 40-plus-year career. Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson never worked together again.

In 1995, Jackson sold 50 percent of ATV to Sony for $95 million, a sale that created the music publishing company Sony/ATV. In March 2016, seven years after Jackson’s death, Sony/ATV agreed to pay $750 million to Jackson’s estate to buy out his 50 percent share of the company.

There are business owners who attend conventions, conferences, seminars, and search Facebook group searching for ideas and tactics. They give their management team notes and handouts from the events and expect their team to implement the new plan or policy as quickly as possible. The owner sits back and hopes the ideas are going to get implemented while never thinking who they are giving the task for execution.

Three things need to happen for successful execution.

  • The goals must be clear for everyone in the company, which are supportive of the overall strategy.
  • You must have a way of measuring progress toward the goals on a regular basis
  • Accountability must be clear for progress

Paul had a great idea, but he wasn’t deliberate in his strategy or execution, and it remains an idea. Michael and his attorney John Branca created a strategy to get the catalog, and the plan was executed.


Like most entrepreneurs, Michael and Paul were visionaries, people who have big-picture thinking and lots of ideas. If you are a visionary, you need an integrator. An integrator is a person who can execute follow through. Someone who removes obstacles and finds a resolution. Integrators have the ability to clarify and communicate the objective, so everyone understands.


See Michael's attorney John Branca is also serves as Co-Executor of Jackson's Estate. He is an integrator who can drive execution. Michael chose John because he understands the process and discipline to get things done. If you don't get the people right, the strategy doesn't matter, and if you don't get the people right, you won't get the execution. Companies can get by with sloppy execution, but there is a price to be paid. To grow your business and be super successful you need to create a culture of execution.




About Alonzo Adams, President, Busy Bee Cleaning Company

Alonzo is one of our speakers this year at the ISSA Show in Dallas. For more on his session, click here.

Alonzo is living testament you can maximize opportunities if you free yourself from limited beliefs. He turned a small cleaning company he started out of his one-bedroom apartment and turned it into one of the most successful independent residential cleaning companies in the world. His company Busy Bee was awarded the Best House Cleaning Company in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine. They are first and only cleaning companies to receive this honor multiple times.

In 2010 he was elected President of the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International. Alonzo's keynote speeches have inspired organizations, business leaders, and associations throughout the country to think big, be courageous, and take chances.

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