ISSA Show North America 2019 Recap


LAS VEGAS—November 22, 2019— ISSA Show North America 2019 kicked off Monday with featured speaker Marvelless Mark Kamp, who gave a drum-accompanied motivational presentation comparing business success to a rock star. The annual show brought together the entire cleaning and restoration industries for a week of education, networking, and live product demonstrations, as well as recognition for some of the year’s most innovative products.

Day 1

Monday featured educational sessions and workshops on topics like green cleaning, human resources, infection control, and sustainability.

Yolanda Wilson-Patterson from Georgetown University gave a presentation on “Epidemiology and Environmental Services,” which looked at how infections spread and provided best practices for disease control within healthcare facility management. Jeffrey Butler, a millennial generation expert and technology speaker, spoke on “Managing Four Generations in the Workplace.” His presentation focused on dispelling generational stereotypes while providing strategies to help workers of all ages communicate and collaborate effectively.

Day 2

Tuesday’s events featured the opening of the exhibit hall floor, the ISSA General Business Meeting, more educational presentations, and the ISSA Hygieia Network Awards Reception.

ISSA General Business Meeting

At the ISSA General Business meeting, Executive Director John Barrett provided updates on recent changes within ISSA, including the agreement with Informa Markets to take over management of ISSA Show North America, a push for better industry data analysis, and a goal embrace diversity at all levels of the organization.

Executive director of ISSA Charities Mike Gies reported on donations and service from this year: 5,000 cancer patients received home cleanings through Cleaning for a Reason, more than 1,000 mentors and mentees joined the new mentorship program, and more than $4 million was awarded to more than 1,000 students.

Several awards were also presented during the meeting. This year’s distinguished manufacturer award was presented to HOSPECO Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bill Hemann. The Rising Star Award—in honor of Jimmy Core—which recognizes emerging industry leaders under 45, went to Alexey Pak of Home Depot Pro. Finally, Matt Vonachen, president of Vonachen services, presented the Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award to his father and mentor, Jay Vonachen.

As the meeting concluded, 2020 ISSA President Ken Bodie officially took the reins from 2019 ISSA President Paul Goldin. Goldin gave a farewell address and recognized ISSA board members before turning the meeting over to Bodie who promised to do his best to fill the shoes of his predecessors. At the close of the meeting, Bodie officially opened the trade show floor.

Trade Show Floor and Education Sessions

issa show north america 2019 session crowdThousands of attendees visited the trade show floor at ISSA Show North America 2019, which featured hundreds of exhibitors and showcased companies from all sectors of the cleaning industry. Live demonstrations took place in multiple specialty pavilions on the show floor, including the Specialty Cleaning and Restoration Pavilion.

Tuesday’s educational sessions included ISSA’s CMI certification workshop “Key Elements to Superior Carpet Care” taught by ISSA Editorial Director Jeff Cross. In the Specialty Cleaning Pavilion, “How to Clean and Maintain the Latest Floor Coverings provided attendees an in-depth look at weak spots and causes of flooring failures. Other sessions looked at digital innovations in the cleaning industry, taught the basics of water damage restoration, and more.


 ISSA Hygieia Network’s Awards and Networking Reception

The ISSA Hygieia Network is an ISSA Charities program dedicated to the advancement and retention of women in the cleaning industry. The organization’s fifth annual Awards and Networking Reception on Tuesday honored Diversey and an employee of GOJO Industries.

The Hygieia Member of the Year Award, which recognizes an industry professional or company that has made a significant contribution to the cleaning industry, was presented to Diversey, for its support of women in the workplace and dedication to the values of the ISSA Hygieia Network organization.

The Rising Star of the Year Award, open to women aged 45 and under who have made achievements and demonstrated consistent upward mobility in their career within the industry, was presented to Wendie Manion, commercial sales director, GOJO Industries. Manion was selected for being an inspirational leader and role model for women across the industry, as well as her passion for championing causes that impact women.

Day 3

Wednesday at ISSA Show North America 2019 was another packed day of exhibit hall demonstrations, business-building presentations, education sessions, and networking opportunities. Spotlight speaker Brady Watkins, head of commercial automation at SoftBank Robotics, gave a presentation on the benefits of automation and robotics in the cleaning industry.specialty cleaning theater

During Wednesday’s education sessions, Tim Shea, managing director of Piper Jaffray, and Mark Herbick, CEO of Pursant LLC, discussed selling, merging, and acquiring companies, pointing out that 60% of industry distributors are over 50 and nearing retirement, but only 10% of the younger generation wants to take over the business for their parents. This leads to a market primed for buying and selling.

At the Innovation Pavilion, attendees learned about resilient flooring and the new technology that allows facilities to extend the lives of some types of floors with a specialized paint process. At the Solve for X booth, Griffin Smith taught attendees how to manage their reputations and grow positive reviews that bring in business. Additionally, the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) continued its Technical Fire Restoration Summit on Wednesday, which was co-located with ISSA Show for the first time, allowing attendees to visit the exhibit hall and network with ISSA Show attendees.

State of Labor

On Wednesday afternoon, ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft gave a State of Labor presentation that covered how the industry is dealing with labor shortages and the various labor-related policy proposals at the federal, state, and municipal levels, including minimum-wage laws, overtime, criminal justice reform, and immigration. Many businesses in the cleaning industry report challenges in hiring, retaining, and affording high-quality workers. ISSA continues to monitor the labor-related trends and issues that are generating these challenges, such as record-low unemployment, an expanding economy, and government policies.

Day 4

As ISSA Show North America 2019 closed the book on another successful week, technology took center stage during the Innovation Showcase where robotics experts discussed the future of technology in the cleaning industry—both positive and negative—during the “Technology for Tomorrow” panel.

Jon Hill of LaserClean Systems, Matt Willis of SoftBank Robotics America, Greg Scott of Service Robotics & Technologies, and Phil Duffy of Brain Corp. joined ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute’s (CMI) Brant Insero to provide insight into changing technology like floor robotics and drone cleaning and address questions and concerns from the audience. In response to a question about recent reports that robots and autonomous equipment would grow by 25% over the next two years across all industries, Scott pointed to the growth at ISSA in recent years as an indication of what’s to come in the cleaning industry.

He said, “Five years ago at this show, there were two robotics companies…A keyword search of this show’s guide bring us 22 companies…If that trend continues, we’re going to out-perform that 25% growth rate.”

Thursday also featured a session on tackling pest control in facility management. Don Ramsey, housekeeping manager and pest control specialist for Virginia Tech, gave attendees tips on developing an effective pest control program in their facilities, including best practices that extend the life of a building and keep occupants safe.

ISSA Innovation Award Program

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the ISSA Innovation Award Program featured 42 entries in five categories. The category winners were selected by cleaning industry professionals over the past three and a half months of online voting at The 2019 winners are:

The category winners and other Innovation Award Program entries were on display all week at the ISSA Innovation Showcase.

On Thursday, the winner of the 2019 ISSA Innovation of the Year Award was announced: Entry®, a chloride-free de-icer product from Secure Winter Products, claimed the prestigious award. The winner was selected based on both the results of online voting by industry professionals and evaluations from a panel of industry-expert judges.

“Congratulations to Secure Winter Products for taking home the top spot in a crowded field of compelling innovations,” said ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “As the worldwide cleaning association, ISSA is proud to recognize Secure Winter Products, the honorable mention recipients, the five category award winners, and all of the entrants for truly embracing ISSA’s mission to change the way the world views cleaning with their amazing advancements.”

For more information about the Innovation Award winners, including this year’s honorable mention recipients, click here.

If you missed this year’s ISSA Show, don’t make the same mistake in 2020. Put ISSA Show North America 2020 on your calendar today.

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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