Experts Take the Stage

Take a Sneak Peek at the Speaker Lineup for ISSA Show North America 2019

Experts Take the Stage

For the first time in the worldwide cleaning association’s history, ISSA Show North America 2019 attendees will be able to choose from more than 100 education sessions. Led by experienced industry experts, these sessions promise practical information, ideas, and answers for cleaning industry professionals, including building service contractors, facility managers, in-house service providers, residential cleaning contractors, and distributors.

ISSA, its affiliates, and its partners organized the show’s comprehensive agenda to reflect the continuum of topics identified as top priorities by cleaning professionals. Sessions are organized within six curated tracks: Commercial Cleaning Track, Distributor Track, Green Clean Schools Track (presented by Healthy Schools Campaign), Health Care and Hospitality Track (presented by IEHA, a division of ISSA), Latin America Track, and Residential Cleaning Track (presented by ARCSI, a division of ISSA).

From baseline to bottom line, these ISSA Show education sessions are designed to help participants explore and master important best practices, standards, new and emerging challenges and trends, cost-saving ideas, and more. The following is just a sampling of select education sessions that illustrate the breadth of knowledge and experience available to attendees with an All-Access Pass.

Commercial Cleaning

Savvy management and actionable leadership skills in the face of change are showcased in the Commercial Cleaning Track. Two of the track’s 13 sessions are presented by business strategist Jenean Merkel Perelstein of Cleaning Change Solutions in Flagstaff, AZ. She is known for guiding individuals and organizations to achieve success through proven leadership strategies.

“The more work a leader does to challenge their limiting beliefs — not their behaviors — the more adaptable they become leading in the face of change,” says Merkel Perelstein. In her session entitled A Leadership Guide to Navigating Change, “attendees will learn how to recognize the limitations of their own leadership skills that get in their own way, why it matters, and most importantly, how to improve their leadership achievements and outcomes in the context of their unique workplace culture.”

In the session entitled Million Dollar Leadership, Mike Campion of Grow My Cleaning Company in Phoenix, AZ, will illustrate why success “is NOT about who has the best operations manual, but who can get that operations manual into the hands of the best talent!”

Campion notes that “at the higher levels of the cleaning industry, we tend to compete less over clients and more over talent. The best leaders get the best talent and grow the fastest!” His session will share real-world tools and concepts that will help participants become better leaders, grow their companies, and create and participate in a company that they actually love.

Green Clean Schools

In the session titled How Your Cleaning Program Affects School Air Quality (IAQ), Mervin Brewer of the Salt Lake City School District is among the speakers who will guide participants through the basic mechanics of integrated pest management, illustrating how these steps can be applied to other cleaning processes and procedures to achieve healthier environments.

Green cleaning programs play a significant role in a school’s IAQ, and “it’s not always the chemicals you use,” says Brewer. “It’s more about the process of how you do things that can lead to greener outcomes. For example, we have reduced the use of pesticides in our buildings by 99% and have had no noticeable increase in pest activity!”

Because in academic environments the only thing constant is change, Jodi Krause of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI, is part of the team exploring Emerging Cleaning Challenges on School Campuses.

The presenters will reach beyond traditional products and methods to address unique cleaning situations that result from bad weather, renovations, enrollment trends, and other health and safety issues. According to Krause, “Learning from experience and each other is one of the greatest tools/resources we have.” This session will create “a chance for us to talk about what’s going on in our areas, whom we can learn from, whom we can teach, and what we can do to help each other.”

Health Care

“Improving the cleanliness of health care facilities may be difficult, but it is certainly an attainable goal,” says Katie Pisciotta, an epidemiology and global health researcher at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Pisciotta will present Common Diseases in Health Care Facilities: How Environmental Services Can Reduce Frequency, one of 18 sessions featured in the Health Care Track.

Persistent infectious agents, such as C. diff, Candida auris, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), occur frequently and can spread rapidly in health care facilities—but these contagions can be significantly reduced, if not prevented.

“Understanding the basics of infection control, such as modes of transmission, can greatly improve patient outcomes in health care facilities,” says Pisciotta. “Environmental resilience of common pathogens is a major concern. Adequate education and proper hygiene will allow for continued understanding of proper selection and utilization of accessible cleaning solutions to perpetuate development in the field of environmental


Dina Zemke and her colleague Amanda Belarmino, both of the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, will reveal results of a recent study conducted by their university and published by IEHA, a division of ISSA, in the session titled Hotel Housekeeping Challenges and Solutions.

According to Zemke, “This study examines the experiences of executive housekeepers and housekeeping managers to determine what measures hotel operators can use to improve career satisfaction, commitment, and decrease employee turnover.”

Another noteworthy session in the Hospitality Track’s 13-session lineup is designed to help hotel housekeeping teams recognize the benefits of inspections that measure cleanliness and guest experiences. When an Inspector Calls is presented by Liz Smith-Mills of the Institute of Hospitality and UK Housekeepers Association (Leeds, United Kingdom). Smith-Mills will share wisdom she gained from a previous IEHA conference that she’s never forgotten—“You never get a second chance to create a great first impression.”

Smith-Mills will address the many ways in which objective and independent inspections by industry professionals can help improve operations, guest satisfaction, and customer loyalty.

“Results of an inspection,” says Smith-Mills, can be used “to form the basis for action plans, SMART objectives, and future training plans; share best practices; enable ongoing consultancy and industry benchmarking against competitors; confirm position in the market; and more.”

Spotlight Speakers

Three special sessions span the spectrum of all six curated education tracks. Among these Spotlight Sessions is a panel discussion titled Technology for Tomorrow, featuring thought leaders Phil Duffy of Brain Corporation in San Diego, CA, Jon Hill of LaserClean Systems in Richmond, VA, Brady Watkins of SoftBank Robotics America in San Francisco, CA, and Greg Scott of Service Robotics and Technologies in Washington, D.C.

“This topic is not important for the cleaning and maintenance industry—it is essential!” says Scott.

“Technology advancements are important to the professional cleaning and maintenance industry because the industry is driven by three key metrics—quality, productivity, and compliance,” adds Duffy, “and robotics target all three metrics. Increased precision cleaning and coverageconstancy, a core competency of robotic systems, improves cleaning quality. The autonomous nature of robots frees janitors to perform other higher-value tasks, dramatically improving productivity. And cloud-connected data reporting, highlighting usage times and area coverage, enable janitorial teams to meet and exceed compliance expectations with their clients.”

According to Duffy, “This session will help attendees understand the use-cases and environments that produce the best return on investment for new robotic cleaning applications and give insight into the process changes required to optimize productivity efficiency through automation. The session also will highlight the process management benefits based on usage data available through cloud-connected systems.”

“It’s not business as usual!” says Hill.

“Technology will only continue to become more integrated in our day-to-day lives,” says Scott. “There is a lot out there to consider today and even more to prepare for tomorrow. You don’t need to be an expert in all custodial technologies, but you should be aware of what’s coming and where to turn when you need help or advice on what to do with it.”

Gather Knowledge and Experience on the Trade Show Floor

This year’s trade show presentations and events showcase innovative products and approaches to help cleaning professionals improve the efficiency of their teams and the profitability of their organizations. The Specialty Cleaning Theater, for example, showcases 13 presentations, discussions, and demonstrations exclusively targeted to the unique priorities of health care facilities, residential cleaning companies, carpet care and restoration specialists, and others.

Don Ramsey of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA, will take the stage in the Specialty Cleaning Theater to offer insight on the Dark Side of Pest Control. Ramsey will discuss proactive strategies and best practices for pest control measures that avoid common pitfalls, save money, and benefit both building longevity and occupant safety.

“Colleges, universities, and hotels spend thousands of dollars each year for pest control
contractors,” says Ramsey. “Pests destroy equipment and make living standards unbearable. They can destroy a business’s reputation and cost millions of dollars in the end.”

Other unique learning opportunities on the trade show floor include the Solve for X Theater, International Pavilion, Italian Pavilion, First-Time Exhibitor Pavilion, Startup Village, and the always-popular ISSA Innovation Award Showcase. Partnered with the Innovation Award Showcase is the Innovation Center, a theater area for demonstrations of products with sessions taking place throughout the week.

Visit for more information and to register for ISSA Show North America 2019.


Posted On September 11, 2019

Nan Hallock

Writer and Editor

Nan Hallock served in a senior marketing communications position at the world’s largest association management agency, SmithBucklin, and was one of three founding partners of an advertising/public relations agency in Chicago. Contact Nan at [email protected].

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