ARCSI Marks a Milestone with Its 20th Anniversary New!

Categories: ISSA

By Erin L. Lasch, CAE | February 21, 2023 << Back to Articles ARCSI Marks a Milestone with Its 20th Anniversary

It all started over a discussion in Dallas in 2003! That’s all it took. It’s a common theme, a conversation with like-minded individuals with a common goal in mind to come together to form an alliance. In this instance, a group of residential cleaning company owners recognized a need for something bigger — a way to provide community, education, and more. This inspired them to form a new association for residential cleaners.

“Twenty years ago, running a house cleaning business was lonely,” said Tom Stewart, owner of Castle Keepers House Cleaning and president of ARCSI in 2006, shared. “You wondered, ‘Am I the only person doing this?’ The new association provided a way for us to connect.”

Perry Phillips, entrepreneur and cleaning company owner, started the original association, the Association of Residential Cleaning Professionals (ARCP), in 2003. That same year, ARCP also formed an alliance with ISSA. The name was officially changed to the Association for Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) in 2006.

“I was a part of ARCSI (formerly ARCP) in its founding year. I had the honor of serving on the founding board of directors and later serving as ARCSI’s first female president [in 2007],” shared Debbie Sardone, owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service. “ARCSI created the only network where cleaning business owners could come together and share ideas, problems, and solutions.”

The founding board of directors for ARCSI included some very prominent members in the industry today, who shared the vision for an association to bring connection and community to their under-respected industry. The founding board of directors for ARCSI were:

  • Alonzo Adams
  • Richard Crow
  • David Kiser
  • Perry Phillips
  • Debbie Sardone
  • Brenda Schwery
  • Tom Stewart
  • Richard Wilson.

Sardone mirrors the sentiments of so many who found the new association for residential cleaning companies a game changer in the industry. “Something happens when you leave your local bubble of successes and failures and you connect with other cleaning business owners from every region of the country. You quickly discover that most of the challenges are the same no matter where your business is located. Having a community of like-minded cleaning business owners to talk to has been cathartic to my growth and the most valuable part of the membership for me.”

“It’s difficult to find others who understand what you are experiencing as a residential cleaning entrepreneur, but not when you’re part of a welcoming, supportive community like ARCSI,” said Jeannie Henderson, current chair of the ISSA residential cleaning council. “The relationships I’ve been able to build and the sharing of ideas with other ARCSI members have made me a better business leader and helped my business grow.”

ARCSI’s founding board of directors also made a wise move in creating an alliance with ISSA, beginning with co-locating at the annual cleaning convention. Ultimately ARCSI merged with ISSA, cementing its position as part of the worldwide cleaning association.

“ARCSI has connected us with so many helpful experts in the cleaning industry and provided education opportunities we couldn’t find anywhere else,” Henderson said. “Especially at the start of the pandemic, ARCSI helped us navigate through all the information to establish a plan and to safely provide jobs and service to our communities.”

As ISSA reaches its 100th anniversary, ARCSI is proud of its 20 years of events, education, growth, connection, and community. Throughout 2023, we want to celebrate our volunteers, our leaders, our founders, and our members. Membership illustrates your pledge to excellence and your commitment to professionalizing the industry that has served you well. Check out the latest in ISSA Today and at as we share the stories that have shaped the industry and how you can celebrate your membership.


About the Author.

Erin Lasch is the ARSCI program manager for ISSA. She has worked with ARCSI since 2014 and oversees the residential cleaning programs, services, and events at ISSA. She can be reached at 224-534-5061 or [email protected].