Picture of bearded man who is smiling

When Harry Apple founded Sanitary Maintenance in 1943, his purpose for the magazine was to aid distributors and their sales reps, and keep them informed about modern methods of cleaning. This would make them “Sanitation Engineers — men capable of analyzing the needs of their customers, recommending the proper materials and training the maintenance supervisor.”

Harry’s vision lived on through his son, Bob, as well as future owner Bob Wisniewski. That same commitment continues today through our current CEO Jeff Schenk, and new owners FORUM MEDIA GROUP

But one person can’t do it alone — it takes a team to ensure a legacy survives for 75 years. Leading this team has been a small group of editors dedicated to upholding Harry’s values. 

People like A. Ward Drill, Sanitary Maintenance’s original managing editor, who also helped oversee the magazine’s predecessor, Brooms, Brushes and Mops. For more than 30 years, Drill made sure the “interests of the readers came first.” 

Remarkably in Sanitary Maintenance’s 75-year history, there has been only about a dozen chief editors. In 2007, I joined this exclusive club.  

For more than 10 years I’ve managed this publication with respect for its readers and the industry they work in. I’ve worked tirelessly to identify industry-changing trends, report on the latest product innovations, and help distributors improve their salesmanship and profitability.  

I never had the privilege of meeting either of the Apples, but I’d like to think they would admire where Sanitary Maintenance is today. We’ve adapted to reach readers not just in print, but also on the internet, in their email inboxes and, at times, with video and even through virtual events. 

I’m proud to have had a hand in steering Sanitary Maintenance for so long and promise to continue carrying on Harry’s vision. 

Please enjoy this special look back on the past 75 years honoring Sanitary Maintenance, its readers, advertisers and the entire jan/san distribution industry.