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Meet Incoming ISSA President Richard Rones

Photo courtesy of ISSA

During the ISSA Convention in Chicago, ISSA president-elect Richard Rones will begin serving his presidential term.

Rones has worked in the cleaning and maintenance industry for nearly 30 years and currently serves as president of Americo Manufacturing Co., Inc., a manufacturer of floor pads, hand pads and floor matting based in Acworth, Georgia. He is also the 2013 recipient of the Young Executive Society (YES) Industry Special Achievement Award.

Sanitary Maintenance recently spoke with the incoming president about his upcoming term and the future of the jan/san industry.

What does it mean to you to be elected ISSA President?

Being elected as the next ISSA president brings to mind two powerful words: honor and responsibility.  It’s truly a great honor to be selected by the members of the association to lead the board of directors. I look forward to working directly with the ISSA executive director and the rest of the staff to promote and continue to grow ISSA. With the honor of presidency comes a significant responsibility of continuing to add value for the members of ISSA. 

What are your goals as president?

Simply stated, my primary goal is to help increase the recognition and improve the value of the ISSA brand. We will accomplish this, in part, through several on-going initiatives. One is through improved training and certification programs designed to demonstrate the direct correlation between cleaning and health. When we are successful at showing that a cleaner facility offers proven health and safety benefits, then we will see a rise in the value of the products and services offered by our industry as a whole. Other initiatives to further enhance the ISSA brand include forming and strengthening strategic relationships with other organizations and associations that are directly involved in cleaning, health and safety.

What major trends in the cleaning industry do you foresee?

There are two significant trends affecting the cleaning industry. One is the growth in use of information and technology. We’re seeing more development of products and solutions centered on increasing cleaning productivity, appearance, safety and health. With the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, we have become accustomed to instantly sending and receiving information at the touch of a finger.  We’re now seeing a new wave of technology that enables products to communicate information to users and/or work autonomously. For example, we have refrigerators that can tell us when we’re out of milk. Our security cameras can alert us when someone is at our front door. We have cars that drive themselves. We’re beginning to see this incredible technology work its way into the cleaning industry. I believe it will have a profound impact on how buildings are cleaned and maintained in the near future.  

The other major trend in our industry is the growth in nontraditional distribution channels. While some of the alternative channel companies have significant logistical resources and are extremely efficient at moving products when and where needed, many traditional jan/san distributors have product specific expertise and are able to provide value in creating comprehensive cleaning programs that are tailored specifically to a customer’s needs. Being able to do both is what I believe will set apart the successful companies that are poised for growth from their counterparts.

What are you most looking forward to about this year's show?

Given that the ISSA convention and ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show attracts key industry stakeholders such as manufacturers, distributors, independent brokers and end users, it is the perfect venue for launching new products and technologies in our market. I’m looking forward to seeing what innovations will be introduced. 

Why did you originally decide to get involved in ISSA?

My father started our company in 1969, so I literally grew up working in this industry. I initially got involved with ISSA about 16 years ago, when I was asked to serve on the Exhibitors Committee. This induction allowed me to work with other exhibitors, distributors and the ISSA staff to identify ways to improve the organization’s value to jan/san. After many years of building relationships and getting to know the ISSA staff, I began to have a real passion for growing our industry. In 2004, I was asked to run for a board of directors position. It was during that time, that I really began to realize other members shared similar challenges, concerns and interests. I find that ISSA brings together some of the brightest minds and best resources to all those in jan/san. That’s why I originally decided to get involved and the reason I continue to support ISSA.

posted on 8/10/2016