6 Questions for Dane Gregory
1 | Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Dane Gregory. I am the national sales manager for Carpet Cleaner America and have held several positions with larger cleaning entities in the industry. I am a past president of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) board of directors.
I also instruct several IICRC certification classes and was the task force chair for developing the IICRC Stone, Masonry, and Ceramic (SMT) course to teach certification classes for technicians who want to learn about stone, ceramic, and porcelain tile for cleaning and resurfacing. I love to lead the classroom, whether online or in person, to help give back to the new technicians just starting in the industry.
2 | How did you first get started in the industry?
I saw in a newspaper article that a shopping center was being built in the downtown area of my small town and decided I would start a company to clean that mall. Everyone I talked with told me I would not get the contract, but I did. When a change happened in a large janitorial account, we pivoted full-time into carpet cleaning.
3 | Who in your life impacts you the most?
While I have had the privilege of having several important mentors in my life, the most important has been my wife, Barb. Having her support for all the decisions I’ve had to make and being totally on board with the new lifestyle that business ownership brought to our family and the ups and downs of the early years has been amazing. She was a shoulder to lean on and a true partner to help grow our young business and, at the same time, a young family.
4 | If you could have dinner with one person from history, who would it be, and why?
Probably someone like John D. Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie. Someone visionary like that. I am always inspired when watching a business documentary on the History Channel about business leaders who could see something that did not exist and create a business out of thin air. The amount of wealth they brought to our country through the creation of completely new industries is astounding.
5 | What music, movies, or books have inspired you?
I read biographies like Iacocca, my first favorite book. I enjoy learning from people who inspire others to do great things. One of my favorite movies is A Knight’s Tale, a story of a person who changes their outcome in life by doing whatever it takes to show what is truly in his heart. I love it when the underdog wins when the deck is stacked against them.
6 | What personal philosophy of life motivates you the most?
Simply put, “Nobody cares, work harder.” I used to be one that made excuses for failures. In 20-plus years of being an on-ice official in hockey, I learned how to make quick decisions and own up to the mistakes when they happen—how to take a set of rules, whether you agree with them or not, and apply them without emotion or an agenda. Working with high school and college athletes and their coaches prepared me for a life in the business world of moving on when you make a wrong decision and try to correct the next one.
The one thing I have learned from my almost 40 years in the industry is there is more than one correct answer to most business operation systems.