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It’s Been a Privilege

Categories: ISSA

By Steve Lewis | December 3, 2021 << Back to Articles It’s Been a Privilege

The recent ISSA Show North America 2021 in Las Vegas was positive proof that activities are getting back to normal. Following a two-year break, it was refreshing to be at the show in person and see industry colleagues, discuss potential business opportunities, and see new, innovative products again.

The numerous educational sessions were well attended, and I believe everyone left the show with something beneficial to take back to their respective companies. After attending the event, I feel even more optimistic about the cleaning industry, and the future appears bright!

With the holiday season upon us, I also can’t help but feel thankful and extremely grateful for the opportunity I’ve had in serving as ISSA’s president. I’m appreciative of all the past presidents and dedicated board members who shared their talents and provided professional leadership, which allowed me the ability to have this experience.

Although the circumstances during my tenure in this capacity have been unique, to say the least, I consider it both a privilege and honor to have served the cleaning industry and ISSA during such a challenging time. Moving forward, I have no doubt that the incoming leaders will be exceptional and propel the organization to new heights. I have complete confidence in the direction of ISSA and would like to recognize the new 2022 ISSA board of directors.

Incoming president, Harry Dochelli of Essendant, will be working closely with the following individuals:

  • Vice president/president-elect: Matt Vonachen, Vonachen Group
  • Executive officer: Scott Stevenson, KleenMark
  • Manufacturer director: Leonard Shutzberg, Americo Manufacturing Co. Inc.
  • Distributor director: Michael Chiappe, California Janitorial Supply Co.
  • Manufacturer representatives’ director: Jay Shearer, J.J. Shearer Corp.

I want to thank the new and returning board members, as well as all outgoing board members, for their dedication and commitment to ISSA.

High on my Christmas wish list this year is my hope that other people, who share the same passion for cleaning as I do, will follow the lead of these individuals and volunteer, in some capacity, to create positive change. Signing your name on the dotted line to volunteer your time and energy isn’t always the easiest thing to do. That’s why Elizabeth Andrew, an Australian politician, was on target when she stated, “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

With that in mind, I challenge everyone who cares about our industry to have the heart to give back. I know if you strive to make a difference in a meaningful way and put yourself out there, you’ll find it every bit as rewarding as I have.

My wish list also includes our businesses being able to hire and retain the type of top-quality candidates our essential industry deserves. Of course, that includes making more positions available for women, minorities, and workers with disabilities, so everyone has a seat at the table, and all voices are heard.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the entire ISSA staff for their professionalism during my term. It’s been a privilege, and I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with each of you.


About the Author.

Steve Lewis is president of ISSA and also of Golden Star Inc., a company with a rich history of manufacturing cleaning-related products. He can be reached at 816-842-0233, ext.143 or [email protected].