In 1985, a young Edwin Stephenson needed a job. His friend suggested he come to work at Servicon. Stephenson had no clue what commercial cleaners do, so he went with his friend one night to watch him work. The next day, Stephenson applied and got the job. His plan was to stay for six months, then move on. Six months later came, bringing with it Stephenson’s first promotion, from frontline worker to crew leader.
“I am a fast learner,” he says. “I realized from the start that there was a lot of potential for me to grow at Servicon, and I was very interested in the work.” Sure enough, less than a year and a half from his start date, Stephenson was promoted again, this time to supervisor.
Today, 36 years and numerous promotions later, Stephenson is a Senior Portfolio Manager for some of Servicon’s largest aerospace accounts.
“Aerospace is different from cleaning other types of facilities,” he says. “For example, aerospace cleanrooms are unique environments. The first reaction when a worker walks into one is, ‘It’s so clean in here! What are we going to clean?’ Cleanroom cleaning requires special training to remove particles in the air and other contaminants you can’t see.”
Stephenson became an expert in aerospace cleaning, but that wasn’t enough for him. He wanted to help others hone their skills, too. So, he created and leads Servicon’s cleanroom training program.
Stephenson is appreciated not only within the Servicon organization, but by its clients as well. “It makes me feel proud when Servicon aerospace contracts are up in three, five, or 10 years, and the client says ‘We want Edwin overseeing the account'” he says. “They make sure this was part of the contract when they renew.”
Stephenson’s leadership skills have not gone untested. “Last year with COVID was one of the most challenging I’ve ever faced at Servicon,” he says. “It was all new to us; we all had fears and concerns. But I was so proud of our team and wanted to show them I was here for them. Teams must see leaders there in the field with them, listening and hearing their concerns and helping them. My goal was to be there to support the team, and I think this tactic was a great success.”
Another form of support Stephenson believes is important is Servicon’s role within the Hispanic community. “Servicon is an important company in an important industry for Hispanic-Americans, especially in California,” he says. “At least 80% if not more of our workforce is Hispanic, which means a lot of jobs.”
Yet Stephenson knows firsthand that there is far more to why Servicon employees stay, many, like himself, for more than three decades. “When I started, I worked for the founder Richard Mahdesian, a very caring person who created the foundation for a caring culture,” he says. “The current leadership has carried on this culture. Servicon is different from any other janitorial company. The leadership really cares. Working at Servicon has been a blessing. It has provided stability for me and my family. It is a privilege to work for such a great company, and I absolutely would recommend working here to anyone.”