Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Get to know... Lori Powell

September 19, 2010
How did you begin your career in the cleaning industry?

My career in the cleaning industry began in 1995 when the church I was attending hired me.

My duties not only included the cleaning of three churches, but also inside and outside maintenance.

In 1998, when my husband retired from the California Fish and Game Department, we decided to move closer to our family. I applied for and got a job with the City of Henderson, NV, as a custodian.

I started the position in September of that year, and applied for and received a promotion to supervisor one year later, at which time, the custodial staff reported to the facilities maintenance supervisor.

With the growth of the city and the custodial department, it was necessary to create a new position to oversee the program.

The custodial supervisor position was announced in September of 1999, and after applying, testing, and interviewing for the job, I was offered the position.

Tell us about your current job.

Currently, I have 19 custodians and one custodial coordinator working for me. Together, we service 17 facilities, or approximately 865,500 square feet.

The buildings we clean and maintain include City Hall, the emergency services facility, the justice facility, community police sub stations, the local animal shelter, and maintenance facilities in outlining areas.

I schedule all cleaning of facilities, assist with the business plan and budget process, write contracts for window washing and contract cleaning, and oversee the contractors.

As a certified forklift instructor, I also teach forklift safety and certify employees.

Which sites/responsibilities are the most challenging? The most enjoyable?

The most challenging site is the new City Hall, a beautiful, five-story facility with terrazzo tile throughout. It is a very maintenance-intensive building.

The most enjoyable part of my job is the people I work with. I have some great people who work for me, which helps make my challenging job rewarding.

How do you spend your free time?

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and my two children: Sarah, 12, and Orrin, 9.

I also have many pets, including horses, mules, goats, chickens, turkeys, dogs, birds, cats — E-I, E-I, O. Yes, I do live outside city limits.

I actually commute to Nevada from Arizona, where I enjoy horseback riding, hunting, fishing, camping, and anything else outdoors.