How did you get your start in the cleaning industry?
I worked in the housekeeping department of a major retail store during high school and have never left the industry.
In 1978, I was approached to manage the department and one of the distributor representatives that called on me took me under his wing.
From that point on, I was hooked, and learned floor care, restroom sanitation, carpet cleaning, marble restoration, etc.
And I’m still learning today.
Tell us a bit about your business.
After spending too many years working in cities all around the United States for other companies, my wife and I decided it was time to go out on our own and L & K (Laura & Ken) Cleaning Services was born.
We started out doing both residential and commercial.
The residential grew into property management for apartments, condo associations and individual home owners.
Our focus in commercial janitorial has been with owner-occupied facilities as opposed to those managed by property managers, and we have successfully integrated our own property management services into the industrial accounts, too.
What responsibilities are the most challenging?
My personal challenge is time management. I tend to get caught up in a project and put others on the back burner too often.
Laura is constantly redirecting my attention back to them.
What is your favorite/least favorite part of your job?
You know, that is a difficult question.
I love this industry and enjoy all the aspects of it. I really enjoy marketing, networking and meeting new people, but that includes meeting our new employees, too.
The least favorite part is the loss of good employees.
I realize that our company is usually a “stepping-stone” for most people as they finish school, get the new boat, pay for holiday gifts and then move on, but it''s tough losing the good ones.
Tell us a bit about your personal life.
I am married for 24 years and have two children, Brittany, 17, and Ken II, 21.
I enjoy the home life when I get the time, spending that with my wife and family.
I also have devoted myself to mentoring other small business owners by working with them through online forums such as the CMM Bulletin Board, Global Cleaning Association and Cleaning Peers and Advisors.