With the ISSA convention coming up in September 2017, would like to share this article I wrote about the show last year. It was published in SERVICES Magazines.
Back in 1923, Alfred Richter, who founded what was then known as the National Sanitary Supply Association, said the reason he formed the organization was to provide a meeting place of successful distributors, drawn from various metropolitan cities, [which allows them to] exchange ideas that would be beneficial to all. Now known as ISSA, the International Sanitary and Supply Association continues to provide an annual gathering place for JanSan distributors.
However, in the 1990s and early 2000s, things began to change. I worked at ISSA at that time and I witnessed first-hand some of what was happening.
Key members of the Association believed that for the organization to grow, prosper, and become more relevant to the entire professional cleaning industry, it had to open its doors to building service contractors (BSCs). I remember seeing the Association turn to advisory groups, both within and outside the organization, to help them with what was, at the time, a fairly agonizing decision. Many members of ISSA were very opposed to opening the doors to cleaning contractors. They wanted it to be for manufacturers and distributors only. Others thought it was in the best interest of the Association to open its doors.
Other stories of interest: