Bearded man smiles for photo with another man
Dan Weltin (left), current Sanitary Maintenance editor-in-chief, visits with Kurt Melzer, vice president of operations for NASSCO and reader of the magazine.

After 45 years in the media business — 30 of those as CEO — Wisniewski decided it was time to retire. This past January, he sold Trade Press, along with its multiple brands, including Sanitary Maintenance, to FORUM MEDIA GROUP, a family-owned media firm based in Germany. 

“FORUM is a company that is known for its excellence, mirroring our own firm’s reputation for market leadership and quality,” said Wisniewski at the time of the sale. 

Although they are no longer a part of the jan/san industry, the three former publishers of Sanitary Maintenance and owners of Trade Press clearly left their mark on it. In appreciation of their tireless efforts, ISSA has recognized each of them with industry distinctions. Both Harry and Bob Apple received the Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award, while Bob Wisniewski was honored with the Young Executive Society Special Industry Achievement Award. 

For 75 years, Sanitary Maintenance has been the market leading publication for jan/san distributors. The original vision of Harry Apple has lived on through its subsequent owners, editors, sales representatives and publishing support staff. 

Sanitary Maintenance magazine still exists because it has never lost sight of its mission. That mission is to help the jan/san distributor respond to the ever-changing nature of business,” said Wisniewski in a 2013 article.

Committed To Product Coverage

Staying up-to-date on new products is critical to a distributor’s success. Sanitary Maintenance has always looked for ways to keep distributors informed about the latest innovations. Over the years, coverage has included articles on new product developments, entire issues devoted to floor care, carpet care and restroom care, and special product sections. 

“New products stimulate excitement — they create new opportunities for sales,” said Bob Apple in 1975. “They provide distributors and their salesmen with something new to talk about and demonstrate. They give end users new reasons to spend money from ever-tightening budgets.”

Sanitary Maintenance debuted its What’s New issue in 1975, which featured products only from the last 12 months. After its publication, nearly 10 percent of the country’s distributors requested to receive more information about these products. The success of this first installment led to more than 30 What’s New sections over the years. However, this wasn’t the only large product section Sanitary Maintenance published each year. Seven years earlier, the magazine began running a product showcase following the ISSA convention, a practice that still continues 40 years later. 

Since product fads can come and go, Sanitary Maintenance shifted to promoting the best and long-lasting products with its Distributor Choice Award, which debuted in 2014. Through this award program, distributors have the opportunity to pick their favorite products, based on myriad reasons, such as being the best selling, highly recommended or most innovative. 

previous page of this article:
Keeping With Commercial Cleaning Trends