Published May 2022
Editor’s Note: Cleaner Times is excited to present our second Women in the Pressure Washing Industry feature. Though many men and women have provided important contributions to the pressure washing industry, our May issue will highlight and give attention to just a few of the many women who have made significant contributions. As you read this issue, please say “thank you” to all the women who give back so much of themselves for the good of the pressure washing industry.
Annetta began working at Cat Pumps directly out of high school. Hired part-time to process sales leads, Annetta saw her responsibilities increase as the company grew. She quickly became a go-to wealth of knowledge for everything from customer service and order facilitation to process training and product troubleshooting. Her work philosophy is to “provide personal service to each customer and build relationships.” Annetta notes, “I just like helping people,” reflecting on the most rewarding part of 35 years at Cat Pumps. She enjoys the Minnesota outdoors by fishing, bow hunting, and kayaking in her free time. When asked about her future, Annetta says, “I can’t imagine doing anything else—Cat Pumps treats us great, and I love what I do and the people I work with.”
I spent over 20 years between management in the hospitality industry and the legal field before joining Front 9 Restoration in its infancy. The company and my role within it have grown tremendously over the last 14 years. The satisfaction that I have at being an integral part of this company’s growth, with their high standards and ethics, has been beyond fulfilling. The Front 9 team is a perfect balance of dedication, creativity, and camaraderie. Not everyone can say they are “proud” to be associated with the company they work for, but in my case that is exactly how I feel!
Pamela has been with Suttner America Company since March 2017. As the graphic designer, Pamela creates all of our marketing materials and manages social media. In addition, she is a team player in supporting other areas of the company. She is a hard worker and pushes her creative ideas to new heights.
Outside of work, Pamela loves to travel around the U.S. with her husband, attend Wisconsin Badger and Iowa Hawkeye sporting events, and practice photography.
I have been involved in the pressure washer industry since 1984. In the beginning of PowerClean, the education classes were attended by very few women. I have worked in every aspect of the business—selling equipment, parts, and chemicals; servicing of equipment; HR; PR; AR and AP; buying computer equipment; setting up accounting and inventory systems; building websites; marketing; and always providing good customer relations. In August 2021 our lives changed when Richard Bowers passed away. The legacy of RJ Bowers still lives on with a new saying, “What would Richard do?” I have attended almost every Power-Clean, and served on the CETA board of directors as the treasurer, CETA board of trustees for the Education Foundation, and Women of CETA. This demanding and fascinating industry has enriched my life deeply.
After 20 years of working in the power washing industry, it’s not the changes Denise Browning, customer service manager at EnviroSpec in Homerville, GA finds notable, but it’s what’s stayed the same. “It’s the people in this industry—they’re awesome,” Denise said.
Denise coordinates distributor meetings, manages client relations, and loves her work.
“The people I work with are like family. We stand behind our products and we help any way that we can. We have real relationships with our customers. Even in our association, Power Washers of North America, the members support and help each other,” she says.
Mary Cantolla works for Comet Pumps, a brand of Valley Industries, in Paynesville, MN. She started working for Valley Industries in 2007 and is a part of our customer service team. Mary is driven to tackle new challenges, provide solutions, and deliver the best possible customer experience every single day. Mary finds her role to be quite exciting and engaging. She places significant importance on developing strong relationships with customers, distributors, and employees; this aligns strongly with Valley Industries’ core values.
With her 15 years of experience, Mary has shown great dedication and passion and can always be counted on to go the extra mile.
She is the true definition of a team player. Her love for exercising, traveling, and spending time with family always keeps her on her feet!
I started in the pressure washing industry in the early 2000s, selling pressure washing services to commercial and property management clients. I became the marketing director for the UAMCC in 2014 and executive director in 2016. The most lovable task while working for the UAMCC was to meet and help contractors from around the country. I joined Front 9 Restoration because of Craig’s mission to create a product for contractors that is safer and more reliable. He also has a firm belief in helping fellow contractors through amazing customer service and ensuring they understand proper chemical safety and product use.
I became the office manager at Cleaner Times magazine in April of 2021. Though new to the industry, I have learned so much in the past year. My background is in banking and finance, so this has been an incredibly fun change of pace. I enjoy collaborating with different companies within the pressure washing industry and learning how to help meet their individual needs. Be it providing a Pressure Washers’ Guidebook for training, locating archived articles to provide valuable information, or assisting with a simple billing issue, I am always eager to help. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and spoiling my three rescue dogs.
Sara Doudrick has a keen attention for detail, and that serves her well personally and professionally. As customer service manager for Veloci Performance Products in Burnsville, MN, Sara leads a team dedicated to paying attention to every detail related to customer accounts. Her team oversees critical functions for the company, handles direct interaction with customers, and possesses deep product knowledge. And, considering that Veloci has more than 2,500 pressure washing parts and accessories, there are a lot of details!
“I truly enjoy working with the Veloci dealer network,” Sara says. “Since we communicate with them daily as we confirm orders, help with end-user troubleshooting, and answer product questions, we get to know them and understand their business. We learn something new about the cleaning industry each and every day.”
Sara has been with Veloci for more than four years and during that time has worked to innovate and improve Veloci’s policies and processes to maintain its excellent customer service reputation.
When she’s not at work, Sara puts her detail-oriented nature to work as a conservationist, spending her free time combing local lakeshores for broken glass and trash. Details make a difference!
What I love about my work: Every day we get to provide solutions for hard-working people across this continent in all types of industries. The applications are endless and interesting. Partnering with companies that are creating innovative products from the ground up is always an honor to be a part of. There is a lot of science involved, and I love that I learn something new every day. If you call us, we will go to work for you.
My interests outside of work: My time is mainly consumed with my two amazing kiddos, my friends, and my plants. I love exploring new places in the world and being outside doing absolutely anything, especially next to water. I am typically on my kayak or some sort of a boat, with a fishing pole, most any given summer weekend.
Ann is the “voice” of Lease Consultants—if you’ve called their office, you’ve most likely spoken to her! She started with LCC fresh out of college and has been a part of the bedrock of the company ever since. As an account manager, she enjoys working with both the equipment dealers and their end-user customers. She is proud to have helped implement many exciting updates during her time with LCC, including the recent launch of EquipMoney.com, their new financing platform. She credits her long time in the finance industry to her mentor, Steve Brooks (founder of LCC).
Claudia Hirschochs, an Army veteran, brought her military skillset and German work ethic to Vector Chemicals back in the 1980s and took over as president in 2000. Her business philosophy is to provide the highest quality products and outstanding service to every customer, which is why so many of them have been doing business with Vector for over 30 years. She loves the challenge and process of developing new, environmentally friendly products while helping to support and grow local businesses in the Ohio valley.
A nature lover, she enjoys hiking, biking, photography, and especially gardening.
Mikaela is the director of customer experience for StoneAge Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of tools and automated equipment for industrial cleaning services, and its subsidiary, Breadware, an internet of things (IoT) solutions product development firm. Serving as StoneAge’s global training director and WJTA’s hydroblaster training committee chairperson, Mikaela played an integral role in developing these organizations’ training and certification programs. Through training, Mikaela has helped industry professionals adopt best practices globally and improve operator proficiency, while also bringing greater tradesmanship recognition to the industrial cleaning industry. She has applied her passion for complex problem solving and team leadership to develop engaging educational solutions that advance safety, productivity, and profitability for industrial contractors and plants worldwide.
Working 27 years at Coxreels, Maria comes to work every day energized and positive! She enjoys her job as she obtains gratification from helping others, and her role enables her to do just that. She enjoys and appreciates her work environment in that management allows her to work autonomously with minimal pressure from the top.
Maria, also being a naturalized citizen, wants to express her love and admiration for the USA and for the military heroes who have spilled blood for our liberties and freedoms. “I love this country, and I take great pride in working for a company that manufactures in the United States.”
Before joining the PowerJet Pressure team, Cathy was self-employed, so she knows the key to a successful business—excellent customer service! Because of this, she loves interacting with customers and seeing the satisfaction they get with their PowerJet machine. On top of customer service, Cathy loves the supportive team she works with at PowerJet. “My co-workers are always willing to help, creating a great working atmosphere.” When asked about the best advice she ever received, she said, “My mother would always tell me, ‘You can do any-thing you set your mind to!’ That is something that has always stuck with me.”
“Hungry for excellence” best describes Melissa. Her hard work, unparalleled passion, and customer-first mindset are what always drive her departments at full throttle. Melissa has been with BE Power Equipment for only two years, but her positive impact and results-oriented approach have been a key driving force to our company’s success. She challenges those around her as she holds herself to the highest standards of professionalism and continual improvement. Her fresh perspective and focus on communication have improved many of our procedures, which has elevated our customers’ buying experience and service levels.
Patty was born and raised in the quaint little village of Lowellville, OH, where she now lives. Patty joined the Vector family in 1993 as a receptionist, but with hard work and diligence she became Vector Chemicals’ customer service manager. Patty has developed long-lasting relationships by taking the time to understand every facet of a customer’s business, allowing her to give them the very best service available. Her passion in communicating with customers and meeting their every need is an invaluable asset to the company.
As a proud Italian-American she enjoys family, food (cooking), and fun, which includes playing bocce.
Cheryl started Udder Tech Inc. in 1994. At the time, she was dairy farming with her husband as well as working off the farm. It started with a Towel ToteTM designed for dairy farmers, but in the past 28 years, Udder Tech has grown to offer a wide variety of items for different industries. The unique thumbhole sleeves on the waterproof jackets are great for power washing, along with our waterproof bibbed overalls or waterproof pants. Cheryl designs new products and assists with quality control. She enjoys volunteering at church and spending time with her seven grandchildren.
I’ve worked in the construction industry for over 20 years, and my passion is helping others to realize their full potential. I love working in this particular industry because we are all out to do our best and provide as much assistance and support as we can to help everyone’s business grow. Our mentality is “Everybody Wins,” which includes us, the manufacturer, all the way to the homeowner. And that’s why I do what I do because I know it has a hugely positive effect on the quality of people’s lives. What more could a woman ask for?
From our beginning days in 1971, I have been active in the business continually. Just because other women weren’t doing those jobs never bothered me. I enjoyed the challenges, and I was blessed to have a good mechanical aptitude, so I attended the distributor meetings when I was the only woman there as a distributor. I was able to learn most of the mechanical aspects of the equipment, but I left the electrical to John. I told him I preferred to get my curls from the beauty shop instead of a hot wire. I have worked in all aspects of the business, from office, parts, and sales to management. We always felt the more we both understood about the business, the more secure our livelihood would be if one of us was unable to continue for whatever reason might come. Praise God that never happened except for short durations of illnesses in the last 50 years. The time spent together with family and understanding each other’s challenges were a great blessing, we feel. I cannot overemphasize the blessing of having the additional time with our son during the 41 years God let us have him with us. He died suddenly of a heart attack in 2013 at the age of 41. Working with him daily virtually all his life provided memories I will always cherish.
Theresa has played a major role in the development of Royce Industries’ growth from a home-based company to an industry leader with offices in five major cities. She has attended CETA’s PowerClean event 28 of the past 31 years. She has volunteered for numerous CETA committees as well as participated in “Women of CETA” since its inception, where she has been an integral part of organizing activities. Theresa states, “I love spending time with the women of our industry.”
In 2010, Theresa created Endless Glow, a business providing various health and beauty needs, and is currently serving as the director of operations for Lacrosse Force, a lacrosse organization in Las Vegas.
Theresa has been married to her high school sweetheart, Calvin, for 31 plus years, and they have enjoyed raising their four sons along with all the excitement that goes with parenting.
Angie Farley Thurman has served as President of Farley’s Inc. since 2018. Farley’s Inc. is a family-owned manufacturing company set in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Angie grew up in the business since its inception in 1979, including working in the office and learning the business during her high school years and summer breaks. Angie earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Northeastern State University. She then moved to central Oklahoma and taught reading to junior and senior high school students. During this period, she acquired her master’s degree in Education from Oklahoma State University. In 2012 she returned to Farleys Inc., as her parents, Bob and Ethelyn Farley, well respected individuals within the pressure washing industry, were ready to retire and transition the family business to Angie’s leadership.
After 20 years in the industry and holding various positions, Alexis has become a “wonderful resource for industry questions” for her customers and coworkers. She is always willing to assist others and help THEM succeed. Alexis is strong willed and loves having the perseverance to overcome any obstacle that has been put in front of her by being creative and thinking outside the box for customer solutions.
The best advice she was ever given was to take the job with Nilfisk. When not working, you can find her with her two boys; Mitch; and their chocolate lab, Cooper; or working on “therapy” through refinishing furniture.
Charlene Yarbrough acquired Cleaner Times magazine from her brother, David Hunt, in January of 1990. For 28 years she owned and published Cleaner Times until October 2018, when she handed the reigns to her daughter, Dana Yarbrough Johns. Entrepreneurship, combined with her love for reading and writing, proved a perfect fit for publishing. She learned journalism and publishing by way of hard work, long hours, and hiring dedicated and loyal employees. She established herself in the pressure washing industry as being honest and fair and developed a good reputation for thoroughly covering industry news throughout the years. In 2006, Charlene was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented by CETA for a lifetime of pioneering, dedication, commitment, and service to the pressure cleaning industry.
Ebony often says not to take anything for granted and that you have to earn it. She joined Steamericas as an office assistant, which practically put her in the middle of operations of a small, young company at that time. With street smarts and full of charms, she quickly proved herself to be more than what she was hired for. Fast-forward 11 years, and she manages dealer relationships as well as the entire operations at Steamericas. She has her way of building relationships with even the most difficult customers, turning negative situations into opportunities.
Her love for traveling and trying new things keeps her thinking outside the box.