Stage podium with lighting, Stage Podium Scene with for Award Ceremony on golden Background, Vector illustration

The Simon Institute, an ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer Organization (SDO) for the professional cleaning industry, presented the 2021 Cleaning Industry Awards during a virtual banquet held Aug. 10-12. The awards recognize the top individuals and performing custodial programs in the cleaning industry.

“Cleaning workers are the most important players in building operations. It is estimated that 2.5 million people in the United States earn their living as janitors, custodians and housekeepers. They work through their shift each day or night with little or no recognition. Most of the time they are invisible to the building occupants. They are the eyes and ears of a facility. The contribution of a cleaner is to maintain a healthy and orderly cleaning operation. This has been even more evident during the last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Simon Institute Executive Director Alan Bigger at the symposium. 

The awards presented for 2021 included: 

Outstanding Cleaning Worker — "They do an exceptional job each and every day. It is a privilege for us to honor them. Each nominee will receive an Outstanding Cleaning Worker Medal and a commemorative booklet containing their name and the nomination description submitted by supervisor or manager," says Bigger

Outstanding Cleaning Worker Nominees were selected from two different universities. From Michigan State University, the recipients include:

  • Kayla Cutting
  • Paula Duncan
  • Jenna Gonser
  • Jody Marble
  • Rielda Normandin
  • SanJuana Perez
  • Casey Serr
  • Julian VanDyke

From the University of Texas at Austin, nominees include:

  • Jesse DeLeon
  • Roberto Montes
  • Martina Moreno
  • Enez Prieto
  • Nathan Sanchez
  • Curtis Simpson
  • Sergio Villarreal

(OS1) Green Certified Awards — “Achieved by organizations who recognize the inter-connectedness of the indoor and outdoor environments. Organizations adopting an approach to reducing environmental harm which have been benchmarked as a best practice. They can document daily contributions to sustainable practices and have submitted to the rigorous third-party audit of their cleaning process,” says Bigger. “These are (OS1) Users that demonstrate leadership in offering a healthy, safe and environmentally responsible method of cleaning. During this pandemic year, third party audits have been limited or curtailed. There are two buildings that were able to submit to an (OS1) Process Audit evaluation. 

The two qualifying facilities earning the distinction as (OS1) Green Certified Programs of Excellence were: 

  • The University of Texas at Austin Administration Building
  • Facilities Complex Building 1

Rookie Award 2021 — “Things are tough for Rookies during the transition. In the past year the COVID pandemic has prolonged or delayed implementation of the (OS1) process in buildings. Activity may have even been curtailed. Rookie organizations have attended Janitor University and conducted Boot Camp training classes,” says Bigger. “Old familiar tools are removed and replaced with ‘prescriptive’ tools and methods. (OS1) Rookies will experience forming, storming, norming and… at long last… performing. One organization was determined to move forward and continued to implement and transition to (OS1) during this pandemic year.”

The 2021 Rookie Award recipient: Texas Tech University

(OS1) Touchstone Award 2021 — "In the (OS1) universe, a touchstone is a means of determining what a process should be. The highest standard that applies to a definite rule, principle or measure of consistent quality. In (OS1) a Touchstone is a ‘gold standard,’” says Bigger. "Over the past 25 years, it has been an amazing journey for this organization to demonstrate significant and steadfast contributions to (OS1). They are a constant. They provide a 'gold standard' for all organizations who choose to participate in the (OS1) process."

The 2021 (OS1) Touchstone Award recipient: The University of Texas at Austin.

For more information on the symposium, click here