ISSA Media Editorial Director Jeff Cross talked with Carey Vermeulen, IICRC Instructor and former president, about how he took his company from a one-man carpet cleaning operation to a successful large business.

“I got into the carpet cleaning business in 1980 as the sole proprietor and started doing carpet cleaning, cleaning tens of thousands of square feet in the first few years,” Vermeulen says. In the beginning, Vermeulen was his company’s sole technician as well as the owner/operator, but as his business grew, he began to hire employees.

“I always had a big belief in training and certification,” Vermeulen explains as he discusses getting himself and his staff trained through IICRC certifications. A training class on water damage restoration piqued his interest and gave his business a new focus at a time when not many companies did that type of work.

As his company continued to grow, Vermeulen says he was lucky to become part of the IICRC board of directors, where he served for 17 years developing standards and training for the industry. He also sat on the executive committee for eight years and was elected IICRC president in 2003. “What an honor for me,” Vermeulen says of his tenure. Today, Vermeulen has sold his company and now serves as a full-time IICRC instructor. He is proud to be known as the IICRC “iron man” for having taught the most classes in the industry.

“My whole life that’s what I’ve been trying to do is to raise bar and make our industry more recognized,” Vermeulen says. “Make it so that people recognize the value, recognize the potential to get into this industry and succeed.”

See the full video, “IICRC Profiles: Carey Vermeulen’s Industry Journey,” above.

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