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By Harrell Kerkhoff, Maintenance Sales News Editor

For the first time ever, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISSA Show North America will be a fully virtual event. It’s scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Monday, November 16 through Thursday, November 19. Organizers have been busy the past few months setting a schedule for what ISSA is calling — The Virtual Experience.

It will include the following programs and events — all virtually: an opening welcome session, interaction with exhibitors, exhibitor thought leadership sessions and product demonstrations, new product gallery, the ISSA General Business Meeting, an innovation awards ceremony, educational roundtables, daily spotlight speakers, over 80 live and on-demand educational sessions and a closing speaker.

According to ISSA, The Virtual Experience will also feature a mix of live and on-demand content available to all registrants through March 31, 2021, making it easier for industry professionals to participate from wherever they are, and at their own pace.

“Our mission statement doesn’t change as we connect as a united industry this November. Every opportunity is still in front of us; it will just look and feel a little different. As we drew closer to the show dates, it became clear a virtual event was our path forward,” ISSA Show North America Group Director Lindsay Roberts said. “We’ve all had to adapt this year, and the ISSA Show is no exception. This industry is resilient and positive. I believe we’ll take full advantage of the new opportunities that lay in front of us in 2020. We’re excited to build something effective and engaging for the industry we serve.”

Registration remains open for the virtual ISSA Show North America. Registrants continue to have options this year, through a virtual format, as it pertains to educational, certification and networking events. Educational programs and networking opportunities are being designed to provide insights into the challenges the industry is facing, lessons learned and how the industry — and the world — will look moving forward.

The Virtual Experience will include:

A Virtual Exhibit Directory, showcasing industry leading companies and their new product innovations;

Virtual Product Showcases and a New Product Gallery, allowing attendees to discover new products and technologies based on company needs;

A robust conference program, bringing together forward-thinking minds, including accomplished professionals, who will share insights on the current state of the industry, emerging technologies, economic trends, future growth possibilities and more; and,

Networking events that spark connections with colleagues via live online chats, webinars and more.

For further information on how to register, pricing and packages, visit issashow.com/register. The ISSA Show North America website, issashow.com, will continue to have the latest information about The Virtual Experience.

New and returning co-location partner events and supporting partners will also be a part of The Virtual Experience. They are: ARCSI, a division of ISSA Conference & Trade Show; IEHA’s Annual Conference and Convention; Building Service Contractors Association (BSCAI); Network Services Company; ISSA Canada; and, the Healthy Green Schools & Colleges.


The virtual ISSA Show North America 2020 itinerary includes three spotlight speaker events over a three-day period. The schedule and ISSA-provided speaker descriptions are as follows:

Jeff Henderson — “If You Can See It, You Can Be It,” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. CST on Monday, November 16. From humble beginnings in south central Los Angeles, to life as an imprisoned drug dealer and then as an award-winning celebrity chef and best-selling author, Henderson is a role model for anyone who needs the encouragement to reinvent his/her life. Since he discovered his passion and gift for cooking in the unlikeliest of places — prison — Henderson has turned his life around. Today, he serves as a voice for self-transformation.

The creator of Food Network’s reality series, “The Chef Jeff Project,” host of “Family Style with Chef Jeff,” and the nationally syndicated series “Flip My Food with Chef Jeff,” Henderson is also a best-selling author. During this presentation, Henderson will reveal his hard-knock yet transformative life lessons and the secrets to rising above and realizing potential.

■ Sarah Thomas — “Breaking Through: My Journey to Becoming the First Female NFL Official,” from 10 to 11 a.m. CST on Tuesday, November 17. As the NFL’s first female official, Thomas will share her journey as pioneer in a male-dominated industry, inspiring others to seize opportunities, succeed and to never give up. Officiating her first NFL game in 2015, Thomas’ hat, whistle and flag are now on display at the NFL Hall of Fame, serving as a testament to the historic achievement. Thomas also made history by being named a down judge for a NFL playoff game.

Thomas was also the first female official to work a major college football game, to officiate a bowl game and to officiate in a Big Ten stadium. She will share insights on overcoming adversity — and the odds — in pursuing a passion while maintaining a work-life balance.

Patty Olinger, executive director at GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council), a division of ISSA; Carolyn Berland, senior scientist/brand innovation manager at Essity; and Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, director at GBAC, will speak on “COVID-19: Where Do We Go From Here?”

The event is scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m. CST on Wednesday, November 18, and will feature the three speakers sharing case studies, personal experiences and key takeaways from the current pandemic. The panel discussion will include a Q and A segment.


Whether looking for new suppliers, distribution or prospective partners, the 2020 virtual ISSA Show North America will provide both formal and informal networking opportunities. Dedicated receptions and events will be offered for first-time attendees, members of ISSA, IEHA, ISSA Canada, and ARCSI. Visit issashow.com/en/attend/events.html for more information. Events include:

Virtual Experience Orientation — It’s understandable that, as new virtual ISSA Show participants, attendees will have a lot of questions regarding show week. The Virtual Experience Orientation, scheduled for 10 to 10:15 a.m. CST on Monday, November 16, will be designed to help navigate the show experience and make the most of the exhibit hall, educational sessions, networking opportunities and more. Veteran show-goers and ISSA staff will answer questions and let attendees know they are available to help maximize The Virtual Experience.

Virtual Roundtables hosted by ARCSI, a division of ISSA — The virtual roundtables, scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. CST on Tuesday, November 17, welcome attendees to spark discussions with industry peers. To kick it off, ARCSI will present the ARCSI Professional Cleaner of the Year Award and the Chairman’s award winners, followed by awards for the best logo, best uniform, best vehicle graphics and best website. The virtual roundtables will begin following the awards ceremony.

Each virtual table will have a preselected moderator who will lead and guide discussions. The event is comprised of three 30-minute sessions, with a 5-minute break between each session.

Featured Virtual Roundtable moderators and their topics are:

Angela Brown, CEO of Savvy Cleaning Training, “What Are Your COVID-19 Protocols/Your Employee Manual Must-Haves Following COVID-19?”;

Curt Kempton, of Symphosize, LLC, “Your Digital Strategy”;

Debbie Sardone, president at Speed Cleaning, “Finding and Keeping the Best Staff”: and,

Tom Stewart, CEO at Castle Keepers House Cleaning, “Your Cleaning Processes: Reaching Efficiency and Accuracy.”

Virtual Lunch & Learn Series (Network/Eat/Learn/Grow) — This series delivers high-quality presentations on topics throughout the commercial, institutional and residential cleaning industries. Each virtual Lunch & Learn allows attendees to relax with their own lunch, learn more about an engaging topic, and ask questions or interact with other attendees.

Opening Plenary: Creating Healthy Green Schools & Colleges — School facility directors will share their experiences responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how existing protocols following best practices allowed for quick and situational adaption. Attendees will also learn the importance of proactive leadership during a public health crisis, how to develop their own processes and best practices to ensure proper staff training, and how to prepare for future emergencies.


The annual ISSA Innovation Awards Program serves as the primary product and service accelerator platform for pioneers in the commercial, institutional and residential cleaning industries.

Every year, companies participating in the ISSA Show North America — and now The Virtual Experience — take the stage to unveil their most innovative products or services in front of the global cleaning industry. Those progressive solutions address key challenges industry professionals are trying to solve in their daily operations.

Along with the recipient of the 2020 Innovation of the Year Award, various category award winners will also be announced, representing the following segments: Cleaning Agents, Dispensers, Equipment, Services & Technology, and Supplies & Accessories.

Winners will be announced during the ISSA Show North America virtual event. They will be selected based on voting that takes place from Sept. 1 to Nov. 17, 2020. Visit vote.issa.com/contest for more information.

Editor’s Note: All times and dates are provided by ISSA and subject to change.

The United Group (TUG)
100 Percent Member-Owned National Sales And Marketing Organization
Maintaining Secure Marketing Agreements With More Than 180 Industry Manufacturers And Service Companies

The United Group® (TUG) is a 100-percent member-owned, national sales and marketing organization for independent B2B distributors and their vendor partners. We maintain secure marketing agreements with more than 180 elite industry manufacturers and service companies.

Elite manufacturers of industrial packaging, janitorial/sanitary, food service and safety equipment and products can enhance their market penetration and profitability by aligning with The United Group as preferred suppliers. As member stockholders, distributors can earn monthly and growth-targeted rebates, access top industry vendors across multiple markets, and take advantage of peer-to-peer networking for business solutions and industry information.


❚ The United Group works to negotiate competitive marketing allowance programs, facilitate alliances between members and suppliers, and responsibly administer rebates from actual purchases to increase profitability for all stakeholders.

❚ Every TUG member owns a single share of stock, regardless of rebate volume or tenure, and is afforded an equal vote and voice in the group.

❚ The United Group’s emphasis on transparency ensures that suppliers and members are free to discuss rebate agreement terms.

❚ TUG’s staff and board of directors operate efficiently to keep expenditures low so members receive the maximum rebate dollars possible.

❚ United Group membership provides members with access to select national accounts and GPO programs through preferred suppliers, as well as many options for affordable and effective e-commerce solutions.

❚ Member committees take the lead in securing new supplier partners, and all voting members of TUG’s board of directors are current member stockholders.

❚ The TUG Treks incentive travel program successfully promotes sales growth for participants and provides a relaxing group vacation for members and suppliers.

❚ The United Group Annual Conference is a powerful vehicle for building business partnerships and industry friendships, as well as a cost-effective means for suppliers to meet with 50-plus distributors over two days.

❚ TUG’s proprietary Conference scheduling system allows both members and suppliers to request table-top meetings of significance in order to initiate or strengthen industry relationships.

❚ The United Group’s affiliations with other non-competing groups — Excell Marketing & Procurement Group, Legacy/GPA, Pride Centric Resources, Office Partners, Select Marketing Group and ISG — benefit both members and suppliers.

❚ Many TUG suppliers provide valuable business services such as payment processing, lead generation and prospecting, fleet management software, network security, ERP system software, and equipment leasing.

The unified, family-like atmosphere that characterizes TUG sets it apart from other industry groups. Our group culture of openness leads to strong distributor/vendor relationships and trust in conducting business, and it contributes to the idea exchange from which member stockholders and suppliers alike may benefit. The United Group is dedicated to promoting strong relationships among members and suppliers for increased profitability for all.

For more information, visit unitedgroup.com.

From Spartan Chemical
The Safe Return To School
Continued Challenges Including Who Should Have Access To Disinfectants

Returning to school in 2020 continues to pose new challenges for schools, their staff, students, teachers, parents and the broader school community. Maintaining a safe and healthy school environment during the COVID-19 pandemic involves a number of mitigation strategies, including reducing the risk of exposure to the virus through a managed program of cleaning and disinfection by trained custodial staff.

In recent days, some people have advocated as an additional or alternative infection safeguard that teachers and students should also be given access to disinfectants to treat frequently touched surfaces such as desks, drinking fountains, sinks and door handles. Spartan Chemical urges caution to those schools, teachers, students and parents that are considering these options, and in particular to any plans that intend to put disinfectants in the hands of students.

Professional cleaning products, including disinfectants, are OHSA-regulated and should not be put into the hands of untrained staff. Under no circumstances should minors be required to use professional OSHA-regulated cleaning products.

Although it is not our recommendation, teachers may apply disinfectants in the classroom if proper procedures are followed and the school district ensures that they conduct OSHA-mandated Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Training with teachers and staff so compliance is properly documented.

In addition, preparing and applying most cleaning and disinfection products also includes personal protection equipment (PPE) requirements. The professional cleaning industry utilizes highly concentrated formulas that can be corrosive to skin and soft tissues (eyes and mucus membranes) and diluted products can still cause “irritation” to skin and soft tissues. All User Prepared Safety Data Sheets recommend use of gloves and eye protection for multiple reasons including protecting the user from contamination of the very pathogen that they are attempting to eliminate.

Disinfectants are EPA-registered pesticides used to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi on hard environmental surfaces. When trying to remove infectious microbes from a surface, proper use of disposable hand protection helps limit the user’s potential exposure to these organisms and possible further transmission.

Spartan also recommends use of PPE as the normal/intended users of our products are trained facility services staff who apply the products continuously throughout the day and are exposed for extended periods of time.

It is the sole responsibility and liability of employers to determine appropriate PPE requirements in the context of how they intend their employees to use the product. All Spartan disinfectants and other products should always be used consistent with their Directions for Use.

For more information about safely reopening schools, download the CDC document, “Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes."

Visit spartanchemical.com.

Next-Generation ERP Designed For Smartphone Viewing
DDI System Introduces Inform Cloud: Mobile ERP Sales Tool For Ultimate Flexibility And Service Anywhere, Anytime

DDI System’s Inform ERP Software is a single-source solution that equips distributors with tools to conquer disruption and deliver an exceptional customer experience. Today, the ability for multi-channel personalization and anytime/anywhere access to your products is what empowers distributors to conquer disruption and increase sales in these changing times.

DDI System’s latest product release, Inform Cloud, is a browser-based mobile version of Inform ERP, and operates on any device, desktop, smartphone, or tablet. Inform Cloud is optimized for mobile and remote sales teams, giving users the freedom to service customers, create and edit quotes and orders, and manage CRM activity from anywhere.

Having valuable ERP details and information streamlined to smartphone and tablet scale gives your sales teams the tools they need to manage business on-the-go. Quickly open dashboards and sales opportunity reports with one-touch access to quotes, orders, backorders, and invoices. Easily access sales follow-ups, customer invoices, sales history and more from any mobile device, giving you the opportunity to deliver unprecedented service and gain a competitive advantage with the tools needed for remote and on-the-go operations.

“DDI software development is laser-focused on delivering technology that drives operational excellence for wholesale distributors,” said Adam Waller, founder & CEO of DDI System. “Inform Cloud is real-time sales ERP streamlined to smartphone and tablet scale. Inform Cloud helps you service customers when you are away from your desk and handles the most essential features including building and editing quotes and orders, checking order status, invoices, sales history and even customer sales performance.”

To set up a personalized tour of Inform Cloud and to see first-hand how Inform's industry-specific workflows and smart technology ERP features gives users the ability to respond to customers with speed and accuracy, utilize data to make informed business and inventory decisions, and manage customer account details directly within your software, visit: ddisystem.com or call 877-599-4334.

From Bullen
Newly Designed Website For Airx Brand

The Bullen Companies has a newly designed website for its Airx Laboratories brand.

“The newly designed website makes exploring the Airx brand, finding product information and keeping up to date with all Airx needs easier than ever, with a sleek new, easy to use website design,” said the company.

Visit airxlabs.com to see the newly designed Airx Laboratories website.

The Bullen Companies is a manufacturer in the floor care, carpet care, and odor control market and has been serving the janitorial supply industry since 1939. Its line of branded products includes: Airx, Truekleen, Clausen, e-clean, SanoVerde, Road Off and One Up, along with hundreds of private label programs worldwide.

“The Bullen Companies has marked a number of industry firsts including:
• First To Market - a patented non-butyl cleaner and degreaser;
• First To Market - an EPA registered sanitized carpet cleaner;
• First To Market - a high speed polishing crème; and,
• First To Market - an antibacterial hand soap.”

To learn more about The Bullen Companies, email sales@bullenonline.com or visit bullenonline.com.

From Aqua ChemPacs
Dissolving Concentrated Foaming Hand Soap Pacs

“A new delivery system is making retailers rethink hand soap.”

“Cleaning product manufacturer Aqua ChemPacs, based outside Philadelphia, has introduced a revolutionary product that will soon roll out into public restrooms nationwide.

“The product, concentrated and dissolving ‘pacs’ of foaming hand soap, costs about eight times less than a traditional single-use cartridge, and requires about 38 percent less gasoline to transport,” said the company.

“Fortune 500 retailers as well as distributors, schools, and health care organizations all trust ChemPacs for cleaning needs (disinfectants, glass cleaners, floor cleaners, carpet cleaners, etc.) Now many of them will add another product to their stack of custom cleaning kits designed for their cleaning requirements.

“This is really a game-changer for a lot of big companies out there. The value that this delivery system brings is extreme,” owner Steve Seneca said of the future prospects of his newest product.

That extreme benefit to their customers has Aqua ChemPacs hopeful that they might win the ISSA Innovative Product of the Year Award at this year’s virtual show.

For more information about Aqua ChemPacs hand soap, visit chempacs.com, where interested parties can understand the product specifications and also request a sample package (note: limited availability).

Expanded Technologies Introduces VersaPull Hands Free Door Openers
Help Prevent The Spread Of Bacteria And Viruses

The VersaPull hands free door opener was developed by Expanded Technologies to open doors easily while reducing the chance of spreading germs. During the current pandemic or any cold and flu season, this door opener is ideal for public restrooms, offices and commercial facilities to slow or prevent the transmission of viruses and bacteria.

“Touching surfaces where germs and bacteria linger, then transferring them to enter our bodies through our faces is one of the primary ways infections are spread,” said Bret Bushey, vice president of sales at Expanded Technologies. “We designed the VersaPull hands free door opener to attach to doors to open them without touching the handle with your hands. We hope that by installing this product on doors, facilities can avoid the spread of germs and bacteria.”

The VersaPull features a universal design and is mounted near the handle for arm operation or at the bottom of the door for foot operation. This flexibility is important for hard to open or heavy doors, because using your foot, in those situations, can be difficult.

Made from strong, durable material, these openers are gentle on shoes and arms, unlike metal door pulls, and are easy to clean. They come with a three-year warranty.

Expanded Technologies has been producing floor, furniture, surface protectors, and other products for hotels, schools, restaurants, hospitals, homes, and offices for over 30 years.

For more information about its products, contact Expanded Technologies at 888-654-7720, or visit the company’s website at expandedtechnologies.com.

RJ Schinner Announces Expansion With A New Location In Hudson, NH

RJ Schinner, a premier re-distributor to the commercial wholesale trade, announces the opening of its 18th branch, located in Hudson, NH.

With the new location opening in late fall 2020, Ken Schinner, RJ Schinner president stated, “We are excited to expand our reach and operational capacities in the Northeast. Our plan has always included adding another location, and with the great success we have seen in our Bethlehem, PA, facility over the past couple of years, we have been able to accelerate the timeline of this opening. We have a lot of faith in Mike Mirarchi and the team he has assembled, and we anticipate getting off to a fast start with this new location.”

Mirarchi, vice president of sales for the Northeast region added, “We are excited with the expansion of RJ Schinner into New England, and have put together a sales team that fortifies our commitment to provide customers a unique product mix, marketing strategies, and operational efficiencies to enhance their businesses.

“I look forward to working with the RJ Schinner team and supplier community in the New England market to develop opportunities, while delivering excellent customer service.”

For more than 65 years, RJ Schinner has been selling non-food disposables to the commercial marketplace through distribution. The company currently has 17 locations servicing the United States.

For more information about RJ Schinner, visit rjschinner.com.

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