In 1930, a New York native by the name of Margaret Barnes had the foresight to professionalize the cleaning industry through education and sharing of best practices. She did so by launching what is known today as IEHA (formerly the National, then the International Executive Housekeepers Association).

The association was well received by industry professionals, and members from all areas of the country joined the ranks. It wasn’t long before the group decided that a meeting of all the members was necessary. This meeting, which would eventually become an annual convention, provided networking and education that was previously unavailable.

“It’s pretty amazing to think that in one of our earliest conventions, Eleanor Roosevelt was the keynote speaker,” says Michael Patterson, MNA, MREH, president of IEHA.

Reminiscing about the last 50 conventions is important because, as many wise historians have stated, you must be willing to look back at your past in order to keep moving forward. And IEHA has made many strides forward.

“IEHA has gained some incredible momentum over the past year, and we’re only at the starting line of where we hope to go,” says Patterson.

Part of that momentum includes this year’s Annual Conference and Convention, taking place Oct. 23 to 25. IEHA is headed to the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North in downtown Chicago to celebrate 50 years of meeting excellence.

The event is offering more than 12 hours of education from leading authorities, which will help members become better managers and run more efficient operations. There will also be opportunities abound to network and consult with other professionals throughout a variety of industries.

“We’ve always got an excellent line-up of speakers and education that caters specifically to individuals who manage (or aspire to manage) cleaning departments. So attendees can expect to learn new information, tips and strategies that help improve the way they manage a department. They can also expect to have a little fun,” Patterson promises. “We’ll host a welcome party, a reception and a banquet — so you’ll see our members breaking out their best dance moves from time to time.”

IEHA has a rich history and years of successful offerings, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. In the last 12 months, association membership has doubled and a focus on educational offerings has grown to an all-time high.

“Hands down, we have the best education and certification program for cleaning professionals, and we’ve made those offerings more accessible to individuals who want to take the next step in their cleaning careers,” says Patterson. “There’s a lot of excitement within IEHA right now. It’s a great time to get involved.” 

For more information about IEHA, visit www.ieha.org.

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IEHA Conference Schedule Of Events