As a journalist, Dan Weltin has covered the professional cleaning industry for the past 17 years. Chiefly, he is the former editor-in-chief of Contracting Profits, the official publication for members of Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI). "We provided the association an outlet to inform its members about new member benefits, association activity, and industry events, as well as share the stories and experiences of individual BSCAI members," he noted, during a recent interview. Weltin is the former editor-in-chief for Sanitary Maintenance magazine and a former editor on CleanLink.com.
For his efforts, he is a past recipient of BSCAI's 2018 Industry Service Award. We indeed sat down with Weltin recently to discuss his years covering our industry, his favorite stories, and what the next stage of his career holds. What follows is our chat:
BSCAI: What did winning the Industry Service Award mean to you?
Dan Weltin: It was a testament to all the hard work everyone at Contracting Profits has put into our partnership with BSCAI these past four years. I was among those who helped forge the partnership between BSCAI and Contracting Profits, and it's rewarding to know our efforts have resonated so much with association members.
My first industry event 17 years ago was a BSCAI Annual Convention. It was extra special to me that at my last event — BSCAI’s Contracting Success Conference — I got to receive the Industry Service Award. It was a fitting end to my career in the cleaning industry.
BSCAI: What were the key accomplishments on your part that garnered you the honor?
DW: We work hard to be a resource for building service contractors. We strive to educate our readers and give them the information they need to perform better and change the often negative perceptions of this industry. BSCAI is a like-minded organization and was a natural partner.
Contracting Profits is a member of this association, too, and we want to see it succeed. We are always looking for ways to help BSCAI spread its message and attract new members. When BSCAI and its members advance, so does the entire cleaning industry.
BSCAI: When you win something like that, is there added pressure afterwards to live up to the award? Has it encouraged you in a positive way moving forward?
DW: I have always put pressure on myself to make Contracting Profits the best publication in the industry. We can always make things better, so I have continuously looked for ways to improve it. I know this mindset is shared by incoming editor-in-chief Corinne Zudonyi.
BSCAI: Looking back on your time as editor of Contracting Profits, what are you most proud of?
DW: I am only the fourth editor of the magazine, and I’ve been at its helm for more than half of its existence. I've worked hard to make Contracting Profits the best publication in the industry because its readers deserve it. That's why every time a reader says they learned something because of Contracting Profits or tell me they enjoyed reading about a colleague, those are my proudest moments.
BSCAI: What do you consider the biggest story or trend that you and your staff covered?
DW: One of my favorite projects was the BSCAI 50th anniversary special section. It was a lot of fun to sort through the archive photos and documents and interview so many past presidents. Also, the current events of today with coronavirus and influenza show the importance of cleanliness and hand hygiene. Over the years, we have covered SARS, MRSA, swine flu, norovirus, and many other outbreaks and scares. Janitors have a direct impact on the health of building occupants. I know I certainly have changed my health habits since working on Contracting Profits. We need to keep reminding people that cleaning is more than shiny floors and empty waste baskets. It's about preventing illness.
BSCAI: Was there some advice given to you early on in your career that has really stuck with you?
DW: Years ago I wrote an article about a community college that tried to create a curriculum for janitorial managers and supervisors. While working on this story, it became apparent that there was no formal education for this industry. Different associations and consultants offered their own certifications and training materials, but there wasn't one unified standard. To help fill this void, I made it my goal that Contracting Profits could be seen as an information resource to educate and advance building service contractors in this industry.
BSCAI: What's ahead for you? What is your next challenge? You are transitioning to the facility management side of the business, yes?
DW: In addition to the cleaning industry, Trade Press Media Group has publications, websites, and trade shows in the facility management industry. That group's longtime editor is retiring later this year, and I will be stepping in to oversee brands such Building Operating Management magazine, Facility Maintenance Decisions magazine, and FacilitiesNet.com. I know there are challenges ahead of me, but I am excited to bring the same dedication and passion to this new industry and look forward to meeting and connecting with my new readers.