Bases, Benevolence, and Business: The ‘Triple Play’
With ISSA celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year, I began to look back on the history of the cleaning industry, what has helped it to stay relevant and grow over time, and what separates it from other industries as well.
At the crux of this reminiscing, I found myself returning time and time again to the simple fact that ‘humanity’ and ‘compassion’ are the integral parts that make the cleaning industry a beautiful and fine-tuned machine.
And, when looking at this intricate and enduring machine in action, it never hurts to take a closer look at the perfectly aligned cogs that make the community grow and connect seamlessly each and every day. Every pillar of the community, thought leader, and industry expert is part of the grand machine that is the cleaning industry but, when you truly stop to see the roles they play, you simply can’t help but feel amazed and proud to be a part of the legacy that is cleaning in America.
A humanitarian through and through
Mason Tomaino, a prominent figure in the cleaning industry, is more than just a businessman. He is a humanitarian, family man, and compassionate leader in the industry who is driven by his desire to make a positive impact on the world around him. Through his work in the industry and his involvement in various charitable causes, he has proven that success and compassion can go hand in hand.
As such, this humble man seemed like the perfect choice for the second chapter in our ‘Human Touch’ series at Cleanfax. After winning the Ralph Bloss Humanitarian Award at The Experience in Las Vegas last year, I knew his story was one that deserved to be covered not just for his leadership in the industry but also for his charitable efforts across the nation.
A cleaning industry legacy that transcends Mason Tomaino himself
Tomaino’s journey in the cleaning industry began with his family, who taught him the importance of work ethics and integrity. “The one who is the most sincere, reliable, and consistent and works the hardest, chasing customer satisfaction over money, will be a success in the long run,” he says. With this guiding principle, he started his own cleaning and restoration business, and over the years, has become a leading figure in the industry.
As his daughter, Becky Tomaino, explained, “He has helped many individuals in the industry and would volunteer to door-knock with them and walk them through how to start their businesses. He has a tendency to not be able to say no when someone is in need. In fac,t I don’t think he ever has said ‘no’. Which led him to create Mason’s network. He always gave out his personal cell and when it became too hard to answer every call he needed a way for everyone to get their questions answered as quickly as possible. Of course, he would prefer to give one-on-one guidance, but he is only one guy and this is how the network began as a way to get not only the questions he had the answers for answered but to directly link professionals to other professions as well.”
Helping those in need through it all
It’s not just his business success that sets Mason Tomaino apart, however. He has also been involved in numerous charitable causes, particularly those focused on cancer research and support for families dealing with the disease. Losing his mother-in-law to cancer in 2000 and other friends and family to the disease, Tomaino felt a deep desire to help those affected by cancer. He organized benefits and fundraisers to support leukemia research and raised over $25,000 with a beard-shaving event at The Experience in 2016.
Tomaino credits his mother-in-law, Mary Ann Walsh, with inspiring him to give back and do for others more than himself. Mary Ann was known for her love of life and her compassion for others, even in the face of her own illness. Tomaino continues to uphold her values of joy, humor, and compassion, and he sees his customers as family. “Every time I sell to them, it is very important that I help them succeed,” he says. “To me, they are all family.”
Tomaino’s dedication to giving back extends beyond cancer research to other causes, including Toys for Tots, Make-A-Wish, and Gyba for Blue Santa, an annual toy drive. He has also volunteered with the Rotary Club to help build low-income housing for seniors, and he coaches youth sports and helps maintain the fields with his own manual labor.
His daughter also shared, “When he ran a limo company, he would volunteer his services for many charity events such as Toys for Tots and Make-A-Wish. When the local church youth group busses broke down and couldn’t take the kids to camp, he rallied up all the limos in his fleet to take them to camp and of course, the kids arrived on time. He has been and still is volunteering as a Board member of the Georgetown youth sports association where he serves as a director of umpires and ensures the fields are in perfect shape all on his own.”
Building a community and connecting with family
For Tomaino, volunteer work is not just about giving back, but also about building a sense of community and setting a positive example for the youth. “You can network with and meet your neighbors—and the kids need and appreciate having well-kept facilities,” he says. “This sets a good example for the youth.”
Through his work in the cleaning industry and his involvement in charitable causes, Mason Tomaino has become a role model for others in the industry and beyond. His dedication to hard work, integrity, and compassion is an inspiration to all who know him. “If you love what you do, it is not work,” he says. And for Tomaino, that love is not just for his business, but also for the people and causes he supports. At the end of the day, to Tomaino, it all comes down to family, “Everything I do, I do for them. I thank God every day for the family [my wife] Sheila and I have created.”