ICS Magazine

We're All In This Together

April 12, 2011

Too often, you hear about organizations working against one another, or being self-serving. Well, let me share a few recent instances of the IICRC working with other organizations and associations to advance our industry.

In March, Patrick Winters, IICRC President Patrick Winters and I attended the Restoration Industry Association’s “Industry Working Together” event prior to the association’s annual conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. I, along with representatives of five other industry associations, including the Indoor Air Quality Association, the Association of Rug Care Specialists, the American Council for Accredited Certification and the RIA, participated in a panel to discuss the future of the cleaning and restoration industry and how our organizations can collaborate for the benefit of our members and registrants, the highlights of which I look forward to sharing with you in a future article.

We’ve also worked with organizations outside our core area of cleaning and restoration, such as the American Home Furnishings Alliance. Last summer, the AHFA updated its Woven and Knit Residential Upholstery Fabric Standards and Guidelines to include the IICRC. The newly revised standard contains a suggestion to contact “an IICRC Certified Firm that specializes in upholstery cleaning” when professional care is required. Consumers eventually will be able to find this information on care and cleaning tags on sofas, chairs and other upholstered furniture.

This revision is the result of a working partnership between the two organizations that started in 1998. IICRC past president Carey Vermeulen and Low Moisture Carpet Cleaners Association co-founder Lonnie McDonald have been instrumental in maintaining the partnership over the years. The partnership has included other milestones, including AHFA’s adoption of the IICRC S300 Standard and Reference Guide for Upholstery Cleaning.

We also strive to work with organizations that aren’t as familiar with the IICRC. Last September I had the opportunity to speak at the Vacation Rentals Housekeeping Association’s annual meeting and introduce them to the IICRC. I am currently serving a one-year term as a member of International Section Council for the American Society of Association Executives. I’ve been able to draw on my experience of working with the IICRC to discuss emerging issues and opportunities for associations who wish to work effectively overseas, while also learning what’s worked and what hasn’t for others.

As the IICRC continues to grow, it’s vitally important that we maintain relationships with all relevant stakeholders and influencers. Working together we can make the cleaning and restoration industry stronger, and, ultimately, serve you better.