We had a chance to sit down with Jodie Thompson, CEO of Mister Sweeper, to talk about the custodial industry and the environmental impact of street sweeping.
Please excuse any typos, this is a hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey Guys, welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. We’re going to continue to bring you CEO’s that are doing interesting things, that are growing wealth for their family, that are doing things, good things, for the society. And we just absolutely love entrepreneurs. I’m your host Matt Register. This is my business partner George Walden. Jay Curry had to step out for a moment. He’s going to join us here in a little bit. George what do you think, sir?
George Walden: Well, we hear all the time that we should be more environmentally conscious. Interestingly enough I never would have associated the environment with a truck vacuuming up a street. However, apparently it’s a very real issue for our society and we’re about to talk to Jodie Thompson who is president of Mister Sweeper.
Matt Register: Absolutely, guys in the mean time get your calls in 844-814-8144, is our 24 hour call in line. We’re going to get those experts in here to get those questions answered. Also monitor #TBR on Twitter, a lot of ways to get in touch with us. Jodie Thompson President of Mister Sweeper. Jodie Welcome. Welcome to the show sir.
Jodie Thompson: Thank you very much.
Matt Register: So tell us about Mister Sweeper. What do you do and who do you do it to.
Jodie Thompson: Well, we really just do our part to clean the environment. You know, property managers, business owners call us to come out, usually in the middle of the night, and clean their properties. Make them shine.
Matt Register: Well, and so this is not only landlords, property owners but this is municipalities as well right?
Jodie Thompson: That’s right.
Matt Register: You do work for them. And so tell me a little bit about that business because it’s… you work predominately at night and it’s something that I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of. You know somebody does clean all those parking lots, right? It’s not something that most people have a whole lot of visibility of.
Jodie Thompson: Yeah. You know basically we have a lot of municipalities that we work with and they have residential streets which have to be swept during the day. But then commercial streets are swept mostly at night. And you know the majority of cities contract out for the larger streets. But we also handle a tremendous amount of parking lots. We have about a thousand parking lots that we go into each and every night and change trash bags, blow off sidewalks. You know, sweep curbs and corners and just, you know, generally tidy up the property. So it looks nice and fresh for their customers the next day.
Matt Register: Well and that’s part of it. Right? Making sure that it looks nice and fresh. The other part of it is the storm water runoff is a problem. And especially you know it’s a real problem in the Houston metro area. It’s a bigger problem down there than it is up here in the Dallas area but it’s still a problem. Tell me a little bit about that problem and what it is you guys do to address it.
Jodie Thompson: Well there’s all kinds of pollutants. Obviously people can see the trash and the debris, the cigarette butts, the candy wrappers, whatnot. That’s pretty usually readily apparent but it’s all that kind of what we call the fugitive dust that people will track in. It just kind of collects in the parking lots. And obviously if we get a rain, that rain flow takes that fugitive dust and takes all those pollutants and puts it down into our water system.
Matt Register: So what does that do to a municipality in terms of cost, in terms of, you know, why do they care about that, right?
Jodie Thompson: Well, I mean the federal government requires them to, you know, regularly sweep their streets to remove those pollutants and they have goals that they have to meet. And obviously a study was done recently that, you know, the number one solution for reducing pollutants in streams and whatnot is street sweeping… so parking lots sweeping. So that’s obviously a blessing for us.
Matt Register: Well and the more regulation that comes up, because promising regulations will not going down. The better it’s going to be for you guys. Now this is not a small operation. How many vehicles have you got? You have a tremendous amount.
Jodie Thompson: We have a lot of vehicles. We have 115 pieces of equipment. We have about 50 sweepers, about 10 power washing units and then just a lot of excess pieces of equipment.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what. That’s why I love the United States of America. I’m not sure I fully understood that was even a thing. And here is a very nice mid-market business blown and going as a street sweeper. Congratulations to you. Somebody wants to get in touch. What’s the easiest way for somebody to get in touch.
Jodie Thompson: We’ve got an easy number 214-688-4444. They can look us up on the Web site www.Mistersweeper.com and you have to spell out Mr, M I S T E R.
Matt Register: Yeah. It’s mistersweeper.com. We’re going to have the link as well on Texasbusinessradio.com. If you drive and can’t take notes. Not a problem. We’re going to have it right there on the website. Jodie Thompson President of Mister Sweeper. Jodie thank you very much for joining us.
Jodie Thompson: Thank you for having me.
Matt Register: All right. We’re going to go to a break guys and pay a couple of bills. We’ll be back right after this. Don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.