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The Remarkable Impact of Gary Goranson

A look back at the career of a trail-blazing entrepreneur with a heart as big as his accomplishments

On May 19, 2015, cleaning industry pioneer Gary Goranson passed away after dedicating more than 50 years of his life to achieving success in many different areas of cleaning, including sales and distribution, mobile cleaning, house cleaning, and coaching/consulting.

The first Lifetime Achievement Award, developed by Sharon Cowan, CBSE, Patrick Irwin, and Richard Wilson, was presented to Camille Goranson on behalf of the cleaning industry.

On behalf of all of us whom you have enriched, through business mentoring, training and personal counseling, we express gratitude for your endless dedication, guidance, wisdom, and setting the benchmark of excellence in the Residential Cleaning Industry. With heartfelt thanks, and in recognition for your decades of devotion, we present you this Lifetime Achievement Award 2015.

1964: started his first business, aged 21 years, as a Canadian-based direct sales distributor for vacuum cleaners

1971: led ColoramaTV store chain to be the largest Magnavox dealer in Canada within 2 years

1974: became the Magnavox Regional Manager, accounting for 25% of all Canadian sales just within his last 6 months with the company

1976: founded Tidy Car, a mobile car polishing and detailing service, with 100 mobile operators within a few months of launch

1977: franchised Tidy Car and had assets in 38 countries by 1980 

1980: featured in The Entrepreneurs: Twelve Who Took Risks and Succeeded, along with W. Clement Stone, Mary Kay Ash and 9 other industry leaders of their day. His chapter explored his creation of TIDY CAR, which he founded in 1976 and built into a worldwide company of more than 2,000 franchises in 38 countries in just four years.

1988: retired and sold the Tidy Car empire, now known as Ziebart Tidy Car.

1991: founded WorkEnders, Inc., to show budding entrepreneurs how to start a business with a modest investment and grow it into one doing several hundred thousand dollars annually.

2015: retired from WorkEnders, Inc., and HouseCleaningBiz101.com and is selling inventory at a steep discount.

A Man of Integrity

“As one of the pioneers of our industry, Gary was actually one of the first people I called when I became Executive Director of ARCSI. He provided me much insight into the residential cleaning industry. His white paper “A Word of Caution to House Cleaning Price Shoppers” has been added to our website. It clearly explains to consumers the advantage of hiring a professional.” ~ Ernie Hartong, CEO, ARCSI

“I’ve known Gary Goranson since his Tidy Car days in the 1980s. He’s a man of conviction. He takes a solid stand on what he believes in and acts on it. He’s a man of integrity. If Gary Goranson says he’ll do it, you can count on it. He’s a friend of the common man and woman. His businesses have been created to support individual workers and entrepreneurs in making their lives easier, their success quicker and their businesses more solid and dependable. The world is a better place because of Gary Goranson.” ~ Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE 

“Gary was the first person to give a serious and comprehensive treatment to the business side of the cleaning industry. To this day, Gary’s work is used by thousands of cleaning companies all over the world. If there is ever a Mount Rushmore for people who helped professionalize the cleaning industry, Gary will certainly be on it.”  Tom Stewart, Publisher, Cleaning Business Today

“Gary has been such an inspirational industry leader.  I’ve recommended his training products to my consulting clients for years because of the quality and value his program offers. Gary served on the Cleaning For A Reason International Committee for a year and was instrumental in helping our nonprofit form policies regarding international outreach and expansion. I’ve called on Gary for professional advice many times over the years and consider him a mentor and friend.” ~ Debbie Sardone, SpeedCleaning.com

“Gary Goranson contacted me nearly 15 years ago when he and two partners were in the process of starting a cleaning service franchise. They knew business but not cleaning, so I signed on as the cleaning “expert.” There was quite a cleaning learning  curve, but when Gary decided to learn something he would work nearly around the clock until he mastered it. 

Gary set about creating his WorkEnders program to teach existing and start-up cleaning services how to succeed in the residential cleaning service business. He is one of the most influential people ever in the burgeoning housecleaning residential industry.  He has surely earned his retirement. I have a feeling that if anyone called him with a cleaning question, even in his retirement, he would have as much time as it took to help.” ~ Jeff Campbell, Founder of Speed Cleaning

Updated: Gary Goranson died on May 19, 2015 among his closest friends and family. His last public online post was made to his group on LinkedIn thanking everyone for their well wishes for his retirement, which he had announced on May 7, 2015.
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