We had a chance to sit down with Rachel Sanchez, CEO of Prestige Maintenance USA, to talk about the history of her business and about the custodial industry as a whole.
Please excuse any typos, this is a hasty transcript.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to the Show, I’m your host Matt Register, here as always with Jay Curry. Tell you what guys, we have 800 CEO’s in the same room today. At the Vistage Executive Summit in Dallas Texas at the Irving Convention Center, at Los Colinas, in Irving Texas. If you are in the Dallas metro area and you’re trying to grow your business. You want to become a better CEO. If you’re not here, you’re wrong. This is the place to be. We have service providers, we have CEOs and we are telling their stories today. We have some very amazing CEOs we’re going to be able to bring. What do you think?
Jay Curry: Oh, I gotta agree. I tell you it… I just love it. There’s so many stories. There’s so many angles and success. And Rachel is going to talk about a second generation. And there’s a lot of stuff in this. Our listeners could get a lot out of this.
Matt Register: I got it. Questions? Twitter, TBR, #TBR. Go to the Web site. Texasbusinessradio.com. Send it to us on an e-mail or 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line, get your question in there. We’re going to jump right into it. Rachel Sanchez, CEO of Prestige Maintenance USA. Welcome to the show.
Rachel Sanchez: Thank you, thanks for having me.
Matt Register: So tell me about Prestige Maintenance. What exactly do you do and who do you do it to?
Rachel Sanchez: So, Prestige Maintenance USA is a nationwide janitorial company. We service many big box retailers. Fortune 500 clients and we’ve been in business for 41 years and have 3000 employees.
Jay Curry: Forty one years?
Rachel Sanchez: Yes.
Jay Curry: Wow.
Matt Register: So… yeah that’s what we are talking about very briefly during the break. We’re not talking a small scale janitorial company. We’re talking about 3000 employees all over the country. And you specialize in big box retailers.
Rachel Sanchez: Yeah, that’s correct.
Matt Register: And when you get those guys, you get them everywhere they are. Right?
Rachel Sanchez: That’s right. So, it definitely is something that catapulted our growth as a company because we didn’t start large. We started very small.
Matt Register: And nobody does, right? To start, you do your best and grow. You do what you think is right. Next thing you know 40 years later. You have 3000 employees, right?
Rachel Sanchez: Absolutely.
Matt Register: A couple of things that we were, you know, when we were talking during the break. Couple of things very interesting that stuck out to me. One of them is… tell me about your family because this was founded by your parents.
Rachel Sanchez: It was.
Matt Register: So, tell me the story about how the company was born and how it transitioned to you and your brother.
Rachel Sanchez: OK, so it was 1976 my parents were in the fruit and produce business. They lived in Orange County, California and decided to move and go to Florida. And they stopped in McKinney, Texas to visit friends. They had a friend that was in the janitorial business. He was cleaning some local businesses in McKinney, Texas. And said “hey I want to get out of it. If you guys are willing to do it. I’ll sell you my accounts for a good price”. And they said “you know we really see an opportunity here”. and the janitorial industry is seen as an unprofessional one. And their goal at that time was to bring professionalism to the industry. And they named the company Prestige Maintenance at that time and then years later as we expanded outside of Texas we added the USA. But I’m always amazed at their vision that they had forty one years ago. And I think that we’ve definitely stayed true to that and have brought professionalism too.
Jay Curry: By the way, they never got to Florida, right?
Rachel Sanchez: They did not.
Jay Curry: They started the business and been ultra successful.
Rachel Sanchez: Oh yeah, they are way ahead of everybody, right.
Matt Register: So, talk to me about it because at some point in the life cycle of a company and as an entrepreneur they realize that, okay, it’s time to step back. It’s time to transition. When did that happen? And you have a brother that’s involved in the business too.
Rachel Sanchez: Yes. My brother Jason is our chief operations officer. So, really the business is in both of our blood. Because times were very different back then, so it was not uncommon for them to bring my brother and I to the job site with them. And so, you know, my mom’s got pictures of me in the swing and, you know, I was a baby and they were cleaning. And then as we got older and we got old enough to actually help them, we did the cleaning. So, I’ve worked in various levels throughout the organization. And ,you know, started myself dumping trash and cleaning toilets and just worked my way up.
Matt Register: And next thing you know, your the CEO. Yeah, that’s right. That’s Well… God bless America, that’s what it’s all about. Right? It’s, you know, hard work and smart work. Absolutely. I think the opportunity is here, right?
Rachel Sanchez: Absolutely.
Jay Curry: So we were talking earlier. Before we came on. About you were in all these states and all these counties and regulations and everything’s different. I mean that’s got to be a huge part of your company is just keeping track of all that.
Rachel Sanchez: It is, it is a lot to keep up with. And I think that’s why there’s that special niche of, who are those companies out there that can invest in that and who can be in compliance with that. Because when we think about who our customer base is. Minimizing their liability is so important. And so for them to be able to go to companies like Prestige, where they feel confidence in our compliance and is something that’s really critical.
Matt Register: Well. We do recently have a new president and a new administration that came in. And we do have a lot of talk, maybe not quite a lot of action yet, but a lot a lot of talk about an overhaul of the immigration system. Your workforce is a heavily immigrant workforce.
Rachel Sanchez: Correct.
Matt Register: So, talk to me a little bit about… because I’m sure you’re paying attention to what’s going on. Right? It greatly affects you and your business. Talk to me about what you think is going to happen and what are you doing now. To prepare yourself for that. Because it could have a significant impact on your employees.
Rachel Sanchez: Right. Well something that’s really important to us and we really focused on this starting a couple years ago, was how we recruit and really expanding our pool of candidates. And so a couple years ago we went to an online system for our recruiting and our on boarding.
Matt Register: OK.
Rachel Sanchez: Which is something that’s not really common in our industry. And so what it has done is just really, you know, we went from say maybe 100 candidates for a certain job to a thousand candidates. And so being able to pull from an expanded group has been helpful. And I think it will be critical going forward as well.
Matt Register: Well, no doubt. I guess, you know, we’ll see what happens with it. And you know hopefully it won’t have a negative impact, right? On your business but it will certainly have an impact.
Jay Curry: A challenge for sure.
Rachel Sanchez: Yeah.
Matt Register: Yeah. Got it. So, what’s the easiest way for somebody to get in touch. Should they have, so you know, I own a big box store. I want to… I want to know more.
Rachel Sanchez: So, yeah, our Web site is wwwprestigeUSA.net. You can reach us on our 800 number 800-321-4773.
Matt Register: Got it. PrestigeUSA.net. Rachel Sanchez, CEO. Prestige Maintenance USA. Thank you for joining us.
Rachel Sanchez: Thank you for having me.
Jay Curry: Great story.
Matt Register: Absolutely. Great story. Guys, we’re just getting warmed up. We’ve got more coming up right after the break. We’re going to pay bills. Don’t go anywhere. We’ll be right back.
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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.