The IEHA Executive Board presented Michael Patterson with the Margaret Barnes Diamond Award at the recognition dinner.


Chicago recently played host to three, very successful industry events, bringing thousands of cleaning experts to the Windy City. IEHA, Healthy Schools Campaign and ISSA all hosted conferences that proved very beneficial for attendees and the industry as a whole.

IEHA Celebrations

The week started off with the 50th Annual IEHA Conference and Convention, held in the historic Chicago Sun-Times building in the heart of the city. The event offered more than 12 hours of education from leading authorities in the industry, and focused on topics that would improve management skills and help create more efficient operations.

“One of the biggest benefits of IEHA is being able to take part in the educational opportunities,” says Paul Schmidt, CEH, superintendent building/custodial services at University of South Carolina Upstate, in Spartanburg. “Achieving additional CEU’s toward your REH or CEH certificates is an added value.”

Attendees were also provided opportunities abound to network and consult with other professionals throughout a variety of industries.

“The networking at the IEHA Conference was a wonderful opportunity to connect with others that were facing similar challenges, such as budget reductions, organizational restructuring, diverse workforce, new technology, safety and sustainability,” says Ada Baldwin, MREH, director for university housekeeping at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “The input provided by networking provoked new ideas, strategies and achievable solutions. It also gave me a chance to make new acquaintances and long lasting friendships.”

Meeting new people wasn’t difficult as attendance numbers fell in line with the successful shows IEHA has hosted in recent years. And those members didn’t leave disappointed. More than 90 percent of attendees commented that they were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the quality of education and events held. And another 88 percent said they felt it was extremely helpful and relevant to their jobs.

But the event wasn’t without some fun. A special banquet featured a lively happy hour, formal dinner, awards recognition and even a bit of dancing. During the banquet, IEHA honored several individuals who played key roles.

Michael Patterson, MNA, MREH, president of IEHA and executive housekeeper at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, received the most coveted award, the Margaret Barnes Diamond Award. This honors an individual who has continually made outstanding contributions in the industry, as well as IEHA and its advancement over an extended period of time.

Rich Parker, CEH, founder of the Hospital Alliance Association, received the William D. Joyner Special Achievement Award, recognizing a member who exemplifies excellence through achievement.

And finally, a new annual award recognizing individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to helping others through volunteerism was awarded to Harry Kendrick, MREH past president of IEHA. The award is appropriately named the Harry Kendrick Humanitarian Award.

“It was an incredible experience to celebrate our 50th Conference and Convention in the same location where our third convention was held more than 80 years ago,” said IEHA President Michael Patterson. “While our industry looks completely different now, we are honored to continue with the legacy and mission of our organization through our annual conference and convention. We will continue to produce excellent events that really focus on issues relevant to facility management operations. Through education, we advance the industry.”

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