Cleaning & Restoration Industry News

Connections Shines Through in Dark Times

December 12, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

The critics were out in droves prior to the 2008 Connections Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, Sept. 24-26. “Attendance will be down,” they said; “The buyers won’t make the trip,” they said; “Everything is trending down” and “I don’t know what they’re going to do,” they said.

What they did was quite simple: they opened the doors and welcomed 3,000-plus attendees to a trend-bucking event that for all appearances seemed to indicate a strong, resilient core in the cleaning and restoration industries. No industry is impervious to downward swings and outside influences, but the Connections Events again showed an ability to attract a vibrant, engaged cross-section of the industry determined to succeed.

Beyond the trade show itself, the three-day event saw numerous speakers, seminars and educational events dispensing advice and expertise tailor-made for a challenging economic environment; highly sought-after advice, judging from the attendance.

One of the many highlights of the Connections Convention is the Industry Awards Banquet. The 2008 Industry Connections Award, presented to “an individual, company or group that has forged connections and partnerships between the cleaning and restoration industries and other industries” went to LMCCA co-founder and executive director Lonnie McDonald. 

The Connections Kenway Mead Leadership Award for “an individual, company or group that has displayed vision, leadership and tireless energy on behalf of the cleaning and restoration industry on a regional, national or international level” was presented posthumously to industry icon Bob Wittkamp, while the ICS Cleaning Specialist Ralph Bloss Humanitarian Award, an award that “honors members of the floor care industry whose compassion, self-sacrifice, leadership and creativity produce significant and outstanding benefits for mankind,” went to Karl F. Bohr of Best Karpet Klean in Cleveland, Ohio.

The evening also saw the presentation of a new award from the IICRC: the Cy Gantt Award, recognizing “individuals who have made significant long-term commitments to the overall inspection, cleaning and restoration industry.” The inaugural award was presented to its namesake, long-time industry figure and honorary IICRC board member Cy Gantt.

The Connections Events are a collaborative effort that would not be possible without the cooperation and vision of 13 different industry associations: the AWCC; the CCINW; the CFI; the FIO; the CRCII; the LMCCA; the MSPCA; the SCRT; the NEIRC; the NYRCI; the TRSCA, and the PCUCA.

The 2009 Connections Conference and Exhibition will be held in Clearwater, Fla., May 14-16. The Connections Convention and Trade Show will return to Las Vegas, Sept. 9-11. For more information go to

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.


Don't underestimate the value of a good Internet marketing plan. In fact, if you do this right, it's not uncommon to see ROI along the lines of 30-to-1. Here's a look at 27 free and low-cost tips that you can begin implementing within your cleaning business today to drive more business.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine


2014 August

The August issue of ICS features stories on carpet mold, good training, marketing for cleaners, traffic lane cleaning, and cool products.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Social Media

Social media is a good way to regularly keep in touch and interact with current clients and reach potential ones. What social mediums do you use in your cleaning/restoration business?
View Results Poll Archive


Get Paid! book cover
Get Paid! (ebook)
Over 30 authors – over 40 articles…from attorneys, contractors, consultants, instructors and others, both inside and outside the restoration industry. R & R, C & R and Cleanfax, opened their archives and gave us the best they had, other chapters were created just for the “Get Paid!” book and its readers. And every one of them has ideas for how to get paid what you are owed.

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.pngcrc logo