ALLISON PARK, Pa. — Initially conceived as a “think tank,” the America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) Leadership Forum was a series of webinars where industry professionals could gather to share their perspectives during the depths of the pandemic.
Over the course of six months, industry experts from different areas of the cleaning industry gathered via Zoom for a monthly examination of the conditions cleaners were facing and how, as leaders, they were guiding their own teams through unprecedented times.
Now that it’s over — the series ended last month — some of the organizers and panelists have been reflecting on the Forum, as well as speaking about what happens next.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response regarding the Forum,” says Christopher White, executive director of ABC. “We have had more than 1,500 unique viewers between the live event and recordings on our Facebook Page with 856 people attending each forum. We are very proud of our Net Promotor score of 69 for the first five forums”
“The ABC Leadership Forums were great,” says Kevin Marois, owner of Integrity Mechanical. “They brought together experts from all areas of our industry, and we learned how people have adapted to survive in these difficult times.”
Marois believes that, in addition to the steps leaders were encouraged to take at the moment, the series provided something more valuable: hope. “One key thing was the vision that each of these people brought for the future,” he says. “This pandemic isn’t going to be the end of our industry. We heard how people are still moving forward and how they are planning to thrive in this new business environment. One phrase that stuck with me was ‘Changing Lives through Laundry’. We are an important part of society and we have something to contribute.”
The sharing of experience and ideas was the major takeaway for Bill Odorizzi. “The ABC Leadership Forums were so important to our industry in so many ways,” says Odorizzi, vice president of Sankosha USA. ”Getting the chance to hear ideas from such a talented group of our leaders was educational, inspirational, and timely. Every Panelist was so giving with their experiences and shared so many thought-provoking ideas on how to grow their businesses.”
Dawn Marie Crouse, owner of Crouse’s Cleaners, felt gratitude as the series drew to a close. “The feeling I was left with after watching the final America’s Best Cleaners Leadership Forum was ‘uplifted,’” she says. “We are surrounded by such great leaders in our industry! Thank you to those who spoke. It meant a lot to hear what you have done to pivot and change and for the new ideas that have sprung from that. It was also wonderful to hear how important your people and your culture are to your businesses.”
As for the Forum’s future?
“We have been asked to continue the series,” White says, “but we are going to take a pause for a period and, if we do come back, it would be with a new format to keep things fresh. Our 2021 plan for our certified affiliates is in full swing with our weekly check-in video meetings. In these meetings, we will provide focused content to aid our affiliates with their annual strategy goals, new services development, and deployment. We are really excited about our lineup of guest speakers scheduled for these meetings throughout the year who are bringing value and solutions to the business challenges we are all facing.”
To view the archived recordings of all six installments of the forum, visit https://americasbestcleaners.com/leadershipforum/.