Proposed ISSA/ARCSI merger presents opportunity to expand its membership while maintaining its values. – by Tom Stewart

I’ve been in the house cleaning business for over 20 years. When I started there was no good way for owners of house cleaning businesses to network. There was no social media, and the only trade associations or industry publications were for commercial cleaners. I remember getting my trade journals in the mail and flipping by ads for floor machines and wax strippers, looking for anything that might apply to my residential business. I remember wondering if there were other companies out there that had the same problems and concerns that I had. It was a lonely business.

The Planting of a Community

That all began to change in 2003 when I had the opportunity to be one of a small number of residential cleaning business owners to start a trade association for our industry. Our vision was “To unify, develop and promote the world’s most successful residential cleaning companies.” What started then has become what we know as ARCSI today.

Over the years ARCSI has made amazing strides towards realizing this vision while developing a culture where its members deeply care for each other. I might be biased but I believe that residential cleaning business owners are caring people, and that is at the heart of what makes ARCSI special.

Nourishment for the Years Ahead

In little over a week ARCSI members will have the opportunity to approve a merger with ISSA. ARCSI will maintain its name and its office in Columbus. Its current staff will still be there to serve its members. In addition, ISSA will provide additional staff and resources to expand upon its extensive list of programs for the benefit of ARCSI members in areas like training, education, certifications, political action, and consumer awareness.

ISSA will also dedicate resources to help ARCSI recruit new members, not only from the 25,000 house cleaning companies in the US but also internationally through its foreign offices and trade shows.

Staying True to Our Roots

I expect the membership of ARCSI to grow, but by the nature of our business our new members will still have the same values, sense of community and caring that ARCSI members have always shared. ARCSI will always be a family, but through this process we will be able to pursue our original vision of unifying, developing, and promoting the world’s most successful residential cleaning companies while better meeting the future needs of our members.

Ernie Hartong and John Barrett, CEOs of ARCSI and  ISSA, sum it up in this video:

Tom Stewart and his wife, Janice Stewart, are co-owners of Castle Keepers, the 1st  residential cleaning company to achieve CIMS certification. Tom is a nationally-recognized leader & innovator in the house cleaning industry. He is co-founder and publisher of Cleaning Business Today.

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