Above and Beyond: A Profile of Marlo Woolcott
Winner of the BSCAI 2018-19 Building Service Employee of the Year
Each year at its annual conference, BSCAI honors the industry’s best with the Clean Awards. The program recognizes excellence in the field across a number of categories, including Building Service Employee of the Year award.
This award honors the individual whose job performance, civic involvement and family role best exemplify qualities found in superior custodial employees. The 2018-19 Building Service Employee of the Year, Marlo Woolcott of ESS Clean, Inc., certainly met these qualifications and more.
Woolcott has been with ESS Clean for 10 years, and prior to that he served in the trucking industry for 38 years as a driver, training supervisor and shipping manager. Although his current role is largely “behind the scenes,” according to testimonials from colleagues, he is an integral part of the team who keeps things running efficiently and smoothly – all with a good attitude.
“We always throw a little humor into our work,” Woolcott explains. “It just makes things less serious and helps us to not be stressed out all the time. To me, it's just a comfortable environment to be in.”
For others at ESS Clean, Woolcott’s easy-going nature is appreciated and helps keep things afloat. “When times get a little crazy, Marlo is the voice of reason,” says Paul Taylor, CEO of ESS Clean. “His composure, combined with experience, keeps us on track. His dry sense of humor keeps us on our toes and lifts our spirits when we are down. His precision and order help make our unpredictable business simple.”
But it’s more than a good attitude that makes Woolcott employee of the year material. His colleagues note that he is reliable, rarely needs direction and is willing to take on a challenge, even if he doesn’t have answers right away.
“This past year, one of our goals was to clean up our inventory to make our processes more efficient and our counts more accurate,” Peggy Tobin, ESS accounting and inventory specialist, recalls. “Marlo was willing to do whatever it took to help get the job done. He was an intricate part of changing the process and making improvements.
“We had great success with the changes, making our physical inventory counts a much less time-consuming process and helping maintain what products we are using,” Tobin notes. This ultimately made accounting more accurate, and Woolcott’s assistance also helped bridge her gap in cleaning product knowledge. “He does it all with a smile and makes it look easy!”
Woolcott has been an asset from day one, which his colleagues note in the award submission sent to BSCAI. He was quick to identify areas where the warehouse needed the most assistance and as a result, the company has been able to decrease the overhead of their warehouse. They note this kind of behind-the-scenes work is what every company needs to become a leader in the field.
Outside of ESS Clean, Woolcott is a father of five and a grandfather to 16. He is active in his community, too. He and his wife Marsha, married for 41 years, have helped cook and serve Christmas dinner for the last nine years at First Christian Church in Champaign, Illinois. Every other Sunday he can be found as a greeter at his church, as well.
Whether at work or lending a hand in his community, Woolcott is a team player and big picture thinker. He shares this advice for those in the BSC industry or those new to the profession: “You have to get along with other people and you have to listen to other people and take direction. Then you can branch out, once you get comfortable and familiar with the job. Give yourself a chance to develop a liking for it. You will develop as you go along with time and experience.”
Regardless of experience or time in the field, all BSCs can learn from Woolcott: being the “best” has less to do with individual skills, and more to do with how you use your time and talents for the betterment of the group.