We’re proud to announce the 30th anniversary of Services magazine. MediaEdge knew Services was something special and much more than just a cleaning magazine. It is truly a valuable tool for building service contractors to share information and learn about the newest products, issues, and events in industry.
What better way to commemorate this special anniversary than with four industry veterans who played a large part in the genesis of this publication. A big thank you to the following gentlemen who took the time to tell us how Services transpired and offer their thoughts on how the magazine has progressed: Gary Penrod, a 40- year BSCAI member and owner of Gary Penrod and Associates, a consulting firm based in Hilton Head Island, S.C., that specializes in providing business advisory services and merger and acquisition intermediary assistance to firms engaged in the building services industry; Dick Ollek, CBSE, who has been in the cleaning maintenance industry since 1963 and who is a published author and owner of Consultants in Cleaning, LLC in Camdenton, Mo.; Wayne Simmonds, chairman of FBG Service Corp., a commercial cleaning and building maintenance company based in Omaha, Neb. that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010; and Jim Harris, Sr., who founded Janitronics Facility Services in 1972, a comprehensive facilities services company with offices in Albany, N.Y. and across the Northeast.
Gentlemen, what do you recall about Services magazine over the past 30 years?
Gary Penrod: There was no magazine until 1980. I was on the committee that developed the magazine. It had been a newsletter, and I was involved in the transformation from a newsletter to a magazine.
Dick Ollek: Yes, I remember how it started almost like a “news bulletin” and then gradually turned into a “real magazine.” I also remember the lengthy discussions at board meetings in the 1980s as we tried to decide if we were really in the magazine business.
I remember working with Bob Simanski, the editor for a period of time, and how he tried tirelessly to turn me into a magazine writer, but finally gave up and just said, “Send me the article and I’ll clean it up.” Funny how his version of my article and my version were so different. He was a brilliant writer and I really did enjoy working with him.
Jim Harris, Sr.: I recall the meetings that created the publication. There was great discussion about the name. Walter Cook, the executive director, came up with the name— Services. The leadership was made up of risk takers and glass half-full thinkers. We had no concept at the time if it would be cost effective; we simply expected positive results and a lot of hard work.
Wayne Simmonds: As a long-term member and an officer for many years, I have been involved in watching closely the changes in the magazine. As I recall, it was a way of spreading our educational programs to all the membership. I still support that mission and would like to see more educational content with stories centered around current topics.
How has the magazine changed over the decades?
Jim Harris, Sr.: It always seems relevant and out on the edge.
Gary Penrod: Over past 30 years, the magazine has improved over what it was. I have noticed the magazine has improved. It’s as good a trade magazine that I see.
Dick Ollek: We have seen it become more of a periodical now that it is published less than monthly. It has also taken on more of a slick, real magazine look but with less pages than in the past. Another thing that has developed over the years is that the articles tend to be shorter and that, I believe, is a sign of the world we live in today. Everyone is busy and wants their information now and fast. With shorter articles we can get that and then contact the author if we want more information.
What information do you find interesting in Services?
Wayne Simmonds: [I enjoy reading] information about the successes and challenges of our members in day-to-day operations [so] we can all learn from each other.
Gary Penrod: I would like to see it a little less theoretical. Lately there are more articles with issues that are more timely. It seems to me that there used to be a lot of “how to clean” articles in the past, and not so much now. It’s a useful vehicle for members.
Dick Ollek: The articles that are written by BSCAI members always pique my interest the most. These are the people that are living the industry day-to-day and can tell you what is “really” going on. Whether they are talking about products that are working or technology that is working for them, I always read [these articles] because there is no theory there, it is usually fact. I am also always interested in seeing new members that have joined BSCAI since the last publication. I like to send them a note and welcome them to the association.