How did you get your start in the cleaning and maintenance industry?
I began working in the cleaning and maintenance industry when I was in high school and only 16 years old. From 1973 to 1976, I worked as a third-shift custodian for a large national contractor in the old Eastern Airlines terminal at Logan Airport in Boston. Since I was in school, I could only work part-time on Friday and Saturday, holidays, and full-time during vacations, in the summer and during recess periods. The pay at the time was the main attraction; I made $2.75 an hour and the minimum wage was only $1.65.
I also worked for my school’s cleaning crew part-time and during the summer. I went to a private high school, so my earnings went directly toward reducing my tuition bill. I participated in athletics during most of the school year, so cleaning was a good business to be in, with flexible hours and constant work. The pay was great and jobs were readily available.
In addition, one summer I worked full-time for the Department of Public Works in my town, where we collected trash and cut grass. Never did I envision making a career out of the cleaning business, but here I am today.
What are your current duties?
I am CEO of both Hurley of America Inc. and S3TI, Hurley’s security company. We started Hurley of America in 1998, as a subsidiary of the Hurley Corporation, which is headquartered in Toronto and was established in 1956. I have numerous responsibilities, all associated with leading and managing a 1,000-employee service company in the United States, with current operations in six states.
What responsibilities are the most challenging?
My biggest challenge is the responsibility I feel for the livelihoods of our employees. One of my primary duties is to retain our service contracts and to grow the business, so Hurley of America can continue to provide an opportunity for our employees to grow and to expand their careers; growth and expansion are two big reasons we have been able to internally promote our staff.
What is your favorite/least favorite part of your job?
I find a lot of joy in closing a sale and securing a contract for Hurley of America or S3TI. That accomplishment is what we all strive for in business and how, ultimately, “we win.” Another aspect of the job I enjoy is the “people” side of the business, including our association with different customers and work environments. It’s fascinating to be able to work at airports, colleges and universities, high-tech companies, Department of Defense contract sites, research and lab facilities, athletic facilities, and so on. As I like to say, “They are all the same, but they’re all different.”
In terms of my least favorite part of the job, with our 24/7, 365 days-a-year responsibilities, the business is quite demanding on our staff and their families. Therefore, maintaining a balanced lifestyle can be very challenging.
Tell us a bit about your personal life.
I married my high school sweetheart, June, who is an artist. I have three wonderful daughters and twin grandchildren, a boy and a girl. I have many hobbies, but never enough time! I enjoy flying, thanks to my eight years in the Army piloting helicopters, riding my Harley Davidson, playing drums in a band, playing golf (I’m down to a 12 handicap), scuba diving, travel and most competitive sports.