by Bo Josetti and Ty Eubanks / Published January 2020
2019 has been a very productive year for the Power Washers of North America (PWNA)! We have been working extremely hard this year to develop our online testing, relaunch our new website, grow our industry relationships, and enhance our board and staff.
President—Empire High Rise IWCA Certified, OSHA 10, First Aid & CPR Certified
Jorge started Empire High Rise, a window cleaning service in Kansas City, MO. Though still young, he has quickly become a leader in the window cleaning industry. He enjoys working out in his spare time, and he spends the majority of his free time with his daughter. Jorge has a passion for high-rise cleaning and safety. He would much rather be on the side of a building than in the office any day of the week. Jorge is a Director of the IWCA (International Window Cleaners Association) as well as a trainer and consultant for Expert Safety Services with Michael Draper. Expert Safety Services is a fully insured company providing safety, training, and consulting to the window cleaning and power washing industries.
PWNA hired Michael Draper of Expert Safety Services as our Director of Safety and Compliance. He has been working to get our testing re-worked and improved to meet our changing industry. He also ensures that the PWNA offers the best safety training in our industry as SAFETY is a key priority for the PWNA.
Through Draper and the BOD’s efforts this year, we will be launching, in January 2020, online certification classes. Throughout the next year, we will be launching various online classes that will allow our members continuing access to our education rather than just once a year at our annual convention. This will also make it easier for our members to get their staff educated without incurring all the travel costs that are associated with attending a convention.
Christian Militello started his business 18 years ago always operating as a painting and power washing company. Whether it was washing the “wrong way” or “the way painters wash,” he and his company still pressure washed.
About six years ago Christian learned about soft washing and low pressure washing with bleach, so he added a J-rod, injector kit, and some bleach, water, and soap and started to wash the right way with that same pull-behind machine. Now employing a total of 19 people, which includes two office personnel, two estimators, four full-time pressure washers, and 11 painters, he has no plans for stopping. With the addition of a salesman, he wants to direct more of his attention to the pressure washing side of his business.
Since Christian was added to the national Painting Contractors Association (PCA, formerly Painting and Decorating Contractors Association) board of directors last year, he already has the experience and know-how of being on a board. He has also served and is still serving on the education committee for the PCA, where he assists with education for the national trade show and seminar.
The PCA board has recently come out with a best practice trade series and is attempting to form a health care program for PCA members. We are also coming up with an apprenticeship program, which we hope will obtain national certification.
Christian has a passion for education and sharing the information that has made his business flourish. He also has a passion for his employees, bringing a humble, personal mentality to his company. He hires good, moral people and trains them on the rest of their responsibilities; sets goals to achieve higher levels within the company; and provides health care, paid days off, and retirement, with all in place or soon to be in place with the company.
Christian is the proud parent of Sophia, Enzo, and Luca and is married to his beautiful wife and business partner Angelina.
The value in being involved with both industries is limitless.
In 2019, we also added three new members to our board of directors. Christian Militello, Jorge Aguilar, and Eric Tower all bring experience and a strong passion for our industry to the service of our members.
Marie Reinsel joined our team in August 2019 as our new Executive Director. She is a retired finance executive with more than 25 years in auditing, controllership, cost management, and program management. Marie has been volunteering for the PWNA for the last five years, so she brings an in-depth knowledge and understanding of our inner workings and what our members want.
PWNA has been working all year on redesigning and improving the look, speed, and feel of our website. We want our members to find the information they are looking for with ease on our new website.
PWNA is designing our new website to more efficiently handle registration, membership renewal, member benefits, and convention attendance. The new website will also make it easier for our vendors to access our members and to provide new products and benefits. We are planning to launch the new website on January 1, 2020.
Traveling the country at an early age while working special events in a management role for the auto industry, Eric Tower fell in love with Southern California. In his mid-twenties, he dropped everything and moved to Orange County, CA, from his hometown Fenton, MI, to pursue the “California Dream” and become an entrepreneur. With the cost of living so high, he lived in a van for a year while building California Pride Window Cleaners to a sustainable point.
While California Pride is still evolving, it has grown into the offerings of flatwork power washing, kitchen exhaust cleaning, and window cleaning for the commercial market. Based out of Irvine and serving all Southern California counties, California Pride’s primary focus is specialized cleaning services that pertain to fire prevention, safety, and health.
Today, Eric enjoys immersing himself into the power washing industry, dabbling in real estate, watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, and enjoying all that life brings his way.
PWNA has grown our relationship with other trade organizations in 2019. We attended the Huge Convention in Branson, MO. At our booth, we were able to talk to many people with interest in our industry and our organization. Several new members signed up and several vendors committed to attending our annual convention in Charleston, SC, this past October 2019.
PWNA hosted the International Window Cleaners Association (IWCA) at our annual convention this year. We will be attending their convention in Savannah, GA, on Jan. 23–25 and will have a booth set up to let people know about our organization. For any members who would like to become certified, we will also be teaching our flatwork class at their convention.
PWNA held a mid-year session and board meeting in Reno, NV, in June 2019. We were at the Peppermill Resort, where our 2020 convention will be held Oct. 22–25. We had a board meeting and also taught several of our certification classes. This was an opportunity to showcase our future convention site and to provide some training to our West Coast members prior to our 2020 convention.