Vonachen deflects a lot of the reasons for VSI’s success onto the people who have helped him along the way, but those same people are all quick to point out what Vonachen has brought to the company.

“Matt would say the learning curve was a lot steeper than it felt like from the people working with him,” says John Austin, CFO for Vonachen Group and another long-time employee from the Professional Maintenance days.

Both Woods and Austin, holdovers from Professional Maintenance, say Vonachen’s distributorship background helped the company better identify product trends and negotiate pricing with vendors and suppliers.

“We all in this business use distributors to get our cleaning products,” says Bruce. “For a BSC, he had extreme knowledge of how that industry worked, the good and bad of it.”

Vonachen’s previous experience in M&A from his time at AmSan also gave him an advantage, says Bruce, who leaned on Vonachen when applying those strategies to his own business.

Meanwhile, Vonachen has continued to refine his business strategies and expand Vonachen Group. Following the purchase of DSI, he realized he couldn’t learn what he needed to about the BSC industry while also running mergers and acquisitions. He also realized M&A wasn’t worth doing unless the prospective acquisition had a similar company culture, which made finding the right prospects all the more difficult.

So VSI laid low for a few years and then in 2014 began working with a third-party acquisitions firm. Since then, Vonachen has purchased three companies: Marinette, Wisconsin-based Accent Building Maintenance in 2014; Wausau, Wisconsin-based K-tech Building Maintenance in 2016; and Madison, Wisconsin-based Specialty Services of Wisconsin Inc. in 2016 (which was merged with Accent Building Maintenance to form Accent Specialty Services), bringing them all under the umbrella of the new holding company, Vonachen Group.

Today, Vonachen Group has offices in seven states across the upper Midwest and operates predominantly in 44 different cities. When Vonachen came on board in 2008, the company was about 20 percent of the size it is today, he says. Vonachen Group has also expanded its list of services to include healthcare cleaning, various specialty services and logistics, which includes forklift operation, tool setting, data entry and more.

When he left AmSan in 2008, Vonachen says he was looking for a family business environment. Although VSI wasn’t necessarily the family business he had always envisioned leading, he has come to find it is exactly what he had been seeking.

“It wasn’t a business that I was in love with,” says Vonachen. “What I often tell people is that it’s something that I fell in love with.”

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Vonachen Services Is Born