During the decades that followed, Sanitary Maintenance retained its position as the leading trade magazine in the industry, supplying its readers with articles on management issues, salesman training, new products and industry trends. Throughout it all, SM continued to showcase the events and accomplishments of the growing association, devoting issues to previews and wrap-ups of the NSSA national and West Coast conventions, as well as publishing a monthly section for association news and notes. 

“Sanitary Maintenance is an important publication for the industry and for ISSA. The cooperation between us has been excellent over the decades,” says ISSA Executive Director John Garfinkel. “The magazine has made great strides in bringing professionalism and knowledge to the industry.”

In addition to magazine coverage, in 1951 SM began publishing a “Who’s Who” brochure for the NSSA’s annual convention and trade show, an event that by this time was drawing people by the thousands. The booklet highlighted each vendor by listing key personnel attending the show, the exhibitor’s booth number and the type of products on display. The free booklet was an indispensable resource for navigating the chaotic floors of the convention hall for 30 years. 

As the association grew up, it also began to grow outside of the United States, and in 1966, NSSA evolved into the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA). Over time the industry became more sophisticated, moving extensively from a product-centered business to focusing on facility solutions, says Garfinkel. 

“Over the industry’s history, distributors and manufacturers were looking to publications and associations primarily for business contacts, product information and efficacy details,” he adds. “There will always be new distributor sales representative entering our market so it is important that, in addition to their association, they have quality publications which keep them informed on industry changes and provide valuable technical and sales tips.”

Passing The Torch

When Harry Apple retired, his son, Robert Apple, took over his post. But the senior Apple’s influential stand in the sanitation industry was never forgotten. In 1977, Harry Apple was made an honorary member of the ISSA for his many contributions to the industry. That same year, at the ISSA convention in New Orleans, Apple was honored with the first Industry Distinguished Service Award (later renamed the Jack D. Ramaley award) following a moving tribute highlighting his 65 years of service. 

“I know I was fortunate, perhaps it was fate, that I ended up in the publication field where you can bring together people of such divergent industries, ideals and merchandising methods. It was very rewarding to be able to help unify them in one association with a community of interest in a common cause,” said Apple upon receiving his honorary membership. 

His son followed in his footsteps by winning the celebrated Jack D. Ramaley award in 1989. 

In 1988, Robert J. Wisniewski, along with fellow employee Bob Arens, became the new owners of Trade Press. Having been a part of the company — and SM — since 1973, Wisniewski ensured that the publication lived up to its original standards. 

“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,” says Wisniewski. “Even though the publication has been provided to distributor business owners and key managers at no cost, our editors through the years have taken their responsibility to tap into the experts and tell the business success stories that would provide genuine value to these distributor executives.”

When Wisniewski took over as owner, ISSA Chairman of the Board Jerry W. Barnes wrote Sanitary Maintenance to say, “The act that the new owners have long been associated with both the publication and the industry gives the industry confidence that they will maintain the same high standards and serve us well in the future.” 

Further backing up this statement, ISSA honored Wisniewski with its Young Executive Society (YES) Industry Special Achievement Award in 1992. 

By this time and into the new millennium, the industry was again riding the influx of change. Besides the rise of consolidations taking place within the industry, ISSA began to witness the industry’s potential and reach. To better reflect this transformation, the associated extended its membership to cleaning service providers and changed its name and tagline to “ISSA — the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association.”

To reach these new members, Sanitary Maintenance’s sister publications Contracting Profits and Housekeeping Solutions became the official end user publications for ISSA from 2005 to 2010. The “ISSA Reports” section in these publications highlighted association programs, new members and upcoming events. 

“As the community and the market has matured, the entry of Sanitary Maintenance’s sister publications — Contracting Profits and Housekeeping Solutions — has been consistent with ISSA’s own evolution,” Garfinkel says. “It is critical that the magazines in our field, as well as the ISSA, help bring awareness to the community about the importance of cleaning and the financial benefits it can generate for building owners and managers.” 

Today, through magazine pages and its website CleanLink.com, Sanitary Maintenance continues to share ISSA’s updates and accomplishments alongside cleaning trends, industry changes and business best practices. 

“If Harry Apple were alive today, he would want Sanitary Maintenance magazine to be of service to the industry and its constituents. He would want them to receive information when and where they want it,” says Wisniewski. “SM will continue to evolve as it needs to be of service to the industry.” 

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Sanitary Maintenance and ISSA Trace Partnership Back To Association's Origin