This year’s ARCSI President’s Award Winner started out just one year ago as a first-time and part-time cleaning technician.
“I love working for Julie. I love working for this company. I love helping customers. I take great pride in making sure customers are happy and that they’re getting taken care of in a way that reflects the Refresh Your Nest brand.” – Lisa Raymond

Lisa Raymond is the Operations Manager for Refresh Your Nest, owned by Julie McAdoo and serving the Tampa Bay Florida area. Lisa is the 2014 ARCSI President’s Award recipient and will be attending this year’s convention; she will be recognized at the ARCSI President’s Reception on Thursday evening at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, FL.

When did you start with Refresh Your Nest? What was your entry job?

I started in August of 2013. I had just moved to Florida a year prior to that, and I wasn’t looking for a job. But when I saw Julie post for new cleaners, I thought it might be nice to go back to work part time. I’d always had office jobs before, but thought I’d take advantage of my master housewife skills as a professional cleaner. I started out working a couple of days a week; then it moved into every day. And then it moved into every day, all day – full-time.

Then one day, Julie mentioned to me that she could make better use of her networking activities if she had someone to help her answer the phones and schedule clients, she could spend more time growing the business, so I started spending an hour here and there in the office each day. From there, I just kept asking “what else do you need done?” And Julie gradually transferred a lot of the day-to-day tasks to me. Then one day, Julie and her family had to go out of town to manage a family emergency, so that became my trial-by-fire. That’s when I truly became the Operations Manager.

What is your job role today? 

I came from an administrative background, from office manager to branch manager to regional manager in construction and retail; in fact, while I worked for construction companies, I had contracted for construction cleaning, so I had a good bit of experience from all aspects of a service business. I had a strong reputation for leading failing stores back to profitability, so that was really a great feeling.

My favorite part of working in retail was my customer interaction, which I didn’t really have managing the staff scheduling for construction project. I was good at what I did, but I like this job with Julie at Refresh Your Nest because I’m able to incorporate the customer service skills with the administration skills and it just makes me beyond happy.

Today, I’m a full-fledged Operations Manager, so my responsibilities cover:

  • Manage the office and phones
  • Bid jobs over the phone
  • Handle customer concerns
  • Manage day-to-day, paperwork, computer logs
  • Manage my crews: supplies, paperwork, keys
  • Handle employee concerns: call-outs, time off, reschedules
  • Run the employee pipeline from hiring to orientation and training all the way through discipline and firing
  • Handle billing and payroll: invoices and payments, work orders, bookkeeping, timekeeping
  • Get out the newsletters and keep our social media outreach going

It’s a lot, but there’s a business to run, so I keep myself focused on the business goals and strategy.

Julie focuses on the networking for new leads and local relationship and researching new opportunities in marketing, systems to help our operations run more smoothly, policies that shape the culture of the business, the things that keep me afloat. 

You know, I do a lot of the paperwork and day-to-day things, but without Julie I couldn’t do it on my own.

What are your goals for yourself in the company?

Right now we’re servicing the Tampa Bay area from one office. My goal – and it’s Julie’s goal as well – is to be able to expand. And instead of just me overseeing the one office, I would like to get people into my position in this office and other offices in the surrounding area. So I would manage them as they manage their crews and day-to-day operations. That’s our goal, our strategy for becoming a $1M+ cleaning business.

CBT: As your award includes attending the ARCSI Convention, what are you most looking forward to experiencing at that national event?

While not my first conference or seminar, the ARCSI Convention will be the first national convention I have attended – in any of the industries I have ever been in. I’m most looking forward to getting to as many guest speakers and presentations as possible. I like to see how other businesses are doing things because it drives ideas for our own. It’s hard to make it to that $1M+ revenue goal and have multiple locations when you don’t know what’s happening throughout the industry, or without being able to gain feedback on ideas from others who have tried them. You know, I don’t have a really strong marketing background, so I’m looking forward to learning more in that area, so I can be a better help to Julie.