Owner: Dave “ThomKatt” Thompson, email@example.com
Editor: Rachael Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Manager: Brent Williams, email@example.com
THE FACES OF CHANGE.
Sometimes we choose our careers and sometimes they choose us. In 1972 mine chose me. I was in 9th grade and the custodian had an accident which brought the principal to me with a proposition. I took the ring of keys and started cleaning.
In 1982 I became the owner of my own building maintenance service that eventually employed over 50 people. During the next four years our crews maintained the floors in 55 Wal-Mart stores across the state of Oklahoma. We performed nightly service on hundreds of buildings in the Tulsa area until we focused solely on floors. Maintenance Plus provided floor care for several 24-hour grocery store buildings until 1986, when I decided to get out of the services aspect of this industry.
That fall, I drove into St. Louis and interviewed janitor supply distributors as if I was going to start a new janitor service. One company treated me the way I wanted. I went back to them and asked them for a job doing for others what they were prepared to do for me. I have been doing just that for over 24 years, helping others with the knowledge and know-how that I have garnered over the years. Although I was unable to continue my sales career with the same company, New System located in Earth City Missouri, has been a great place to advance my career for over 6 years now and counting.
Thomkatt Creations, LLC was formed in 2006 and through this avenue I now take this ever-changing knowledge and speak to custodial staff, management individuals and salespeople alike across Missouri and outside the “Show Me State”.
In 2007 I put this information together into a workshop format, bringing to the custodian current information without the pressure of a “sales pitch”. The Missouri Association of Rural Education saw that this as a service that could be provided to their membership. Every summer more and more school districts across the state participate in the MARE Custodial Workshops.
In 2008 I had the pleasure of sitting on the committee that formed the Missouri Green Cleaning Guidelines for Schools, which are part of the Missouri State Law. In 2009 the International Sanitary Supply Association certified me as a Green Cleaning Professional. Now with this information in hand, I conduct Green Cleaning Audits to help set a foundation for starting better “Cleaning for Health” programs.
2010 and I am honored to be a part of program that has helped Columbia Public Schools to receive the BEST NEW PROGRAM AWARD for School Districts from the 2010 Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities. This award is sponsored by the American School & University magazine, The Green Cleaning Network, and Healthy Schools Campaign.
2011 and the progress continues with the addition to my career as President and CEO of GCI.
A client asked me some years ago how much experience I had. Then he challenged me with this question. “Are you sure that you don’t have one-year experience that you have used over and over for 20 years?” As I continue to grow as an individual, husband, salesperson, instructor, presenter, colleague and friend I always strive to improve through honest, thoughtful communication.
Cleanliness is the most important aspect of any business or organization. It provides a safe, healthy environment for visitor, employees and patrons. Having been a part of the cleaning industry my entire career, I have seen this becoming even more the truth, as people become increasingly aware of how a business or organization maintains their environments.
My name is Brent Williams. Since my first job as a grounds attendant at Six Flags St. Louis in 1991, I have been a custodian, managed cleaning operations, evaluated cleaning products for organizations, and have been a distributor sales consultant. This has allowed me to see the industry as a whole and allowed me to obtain a different perspective on how what makes cleaning so important.
During these years, I have become a student of the industry. Researching not only products and procedures, but also the effects cleanliness can have on how an organization operates. The science behind what makes facilities not only clean, but healthy, is advancing every day. Staying ahead of the learning curve is my passion. Through education and demonstration, I like to provide a “hands on” approach to what I do.
My name is no longer unusual, so I have to describe or give information that makes me unique. This is not so easy when you have to look back at your life and describe in 50 words or less. Who can do that? Well, I am going to give it a try. I do like to talk, so getting in 50 words or less has been disqualified!
I have reinvented myself numerous times over the course of my life and I am embarking on a new one as I write. As the years go by, you may ponder what your thoughts were at a given time and see if they manifest into “reality” and then you may have an ‘Ah Ha!” moment. This is one of those times.
Since I was a young girl, very young, life was not so easy. To get ahead and to survive, I had to rely on my own instincts and “trust” people. In the working world, that was not so easily given or accepted. You had to earn respect and trust. To achieve this you had to prove that you could do a job to the best of your ability. With proper training you could achieve status and respect of your co-workers and a step up on the “career” ladder. I achieved that status and respect. The steps on the ladder were hard and at times pretty slippery…Falling was like Failure, not an option! After awhile, you find yourself in a position that gives you what you like and you do things to make it keep working…hoping things do not change because ALL looks well! Then that curve ball of life comes rolling in and you are left with some hard choices. Reinvention is the mainstay in my life…to be able to use my instincts and trust of myself to keep positive in the ever changing world of business. That is what brings me to the task at hand.
My background business knowledge is the combined product of work and education. I had to work at an early age to survive, education was secondary. Throughout, I knew that education and skills were needed to succeed. So as I worked at jobs that were not considered exciting they were a “hands on experience” for my future. The service industry is somewhat “under-appreciated”, you are a servant to the public. You are representing the product or service and are required to do your best to fulfill the need. My 20 years in the restaurant business was my work, but it was also my education. I was fulfilling a need and I wanted to do my best. After some careful thinking I took the next step and earned my Associates Degree in Accounting Business Management. Now I had an education to help me and push me into even more challenges.
After a period of time I used my knowledge and education to fulfill several needs and then life turned again! I landed in new territory! Public education, teaching profession, where you teach and instruct others. I never saw that one coming! For the next 8 years I worked as a Para-educator for special needs students at the high school level. This was extremely different and hard and yet, very rewarding. I was given a task which relied on all my learned skills and education. By having these assets and “life” experiences I was able to do my job better and more efficiently. I always made a remark to the students, “When an opportunity knocks on your door, you better answer. They may not come back!” Then I heard the knock, and that is when I found myself making a decision to “open” or “not answer” the door in my life.
When I embarked on this newest reinvention…I knew strongly that this was going to be the ultimate and most challenging of my skills and instincts. I foresaw this opportunity early in my life, when I was a very young girl and now I can have that “Ah Ha!” moment. I have an opportunity to use the skills, experience, and work ethics to help make this new adventure a successful business. I am not alone in this. I give the most credit to my husband. He had a dream and I had the same dream, at a different time in life. We are going to do it together with different ideas for the same result. The questions will be coming and I welcome them all.
Over the years , I have been fascinated by the changes of life around my own inner circle and the world at large…and still I find that life is to be enjoyed and looked as not as a “chore” but as an “adventure”. My grandmother said, “To see the best in life, you only have to look into your heart and trust your instincts, to see the good and make the best of any situation.” That pretty much speaks for itself.
This new adventure is going to be pretty unusual, different from what I am used to. This will be getting me out of my comfort zone, putting what I have learned, knowledge used or not used, instincts, and most of all, TRUST to make things happen. That will be the ultimate job and career!!!!