Guests: Ms. Reggi Sturns-Kemp
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Ms. Reggi Sturns-Kemp joined forces with her husband to manage and operate Kemp & Sons General Services, a Texas-based, award-winning environmental cleaning company that services contracts in multiple states. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University (College of Business) and The University of Oklahoma (College of Architecture). Under her leadership, Kemp & Sons General Services continues to position itself as the premier solution for entities within the federal government, health care and transportation sectors. Reggi spearheads the company’s philanthropic efforts locally and abroad. Most recently, Kemp has established college fund endowments and scholarships at Texas institutions of higher learning. She is also active in women’s business issues and economic development related to small disadvantaged businesses.
Segment overview: In this health supplier segment, Reggi Kemp, CFO for Texas-based Kemp and Sons General Services, talks about surprising ways hospitals, hotels, and clinics can make you sick and provides tips for spotting and protecting oneself from potential dangers.
Health Professional Radio – Kemp & Sons General Services
Neal Howard: Welcome to the program. Hello, my name is Neal Howard your host here on Health Professional Radio. Thank you so much for joining us here today. In this Health Supplier Segment, we have in studio with us Mrs. Reggi Sturns-Kemp. She’s Chief Executive Officer for a Texas based KEMP & SONS General Services, an award winning environmental cleaning company that services contracts and multiple states, government contracts, hospitalities, facilities as well as healthcare facilities. And she’s here to talk with us today about tips on spotting and protecting ourselves from potential dangers when we’re in places where people gather whether they’re sick or not. Welcome to the program.
Reggi Sturns-Kemp: Thank you very much for having me.
N: Thank you for coming in today. Give us a little bit of background about yourself. You’ve got this award winning environmental cleaning company, is that something that you’ve been interested in your whole life? Or it is something that came about spur of the moment? How did it happen?
R: Well actually both. Me and my husband come from families of entrepreneurs and so when we we’re studying in school, we always knew that we wanted to own our own company. But it ended up being a cleaning company as life will have it. His father started in 1972, so we’re celebrating 45 years of service this year.
N: Thank you very much. We are married in 2000 and from that point on, I joined the team and we’ve been building the organization ever since.
N: You’re here to talk about your company, KEMP & SONS General Services. You just talked about how you got started in everything. We know that when you’re going to the hospital or the clinic, that’s where sick people gather, it’s obvious. But when you’re at the motel, the hotel whether it be luxury high-end or maybe one of the budget variety, you know about some surprising ways that we get sick that many of us probably don’t pay attention to when we were just out conducting business and living life. But in your profession, you’ve learned to kind of notice some things and you’re here to give us some advice.
R: I am. It’s really important, a lot of times when we take vacations or our luxury trips, we are anticipating rest, relaxation. But when you think about an environment that may not be clean, you don’t really have the luxury of resting. Because in order for the hotel industries to do it properly, they have to have the right budget. And often times when we show up, you notice that staffs may work from 8 to 3, you no longer see people work in 24 hours shifts doing cleaning, that’s a problem. That means that they are only working 8 to 3, 9 times out of 10, they’re dedicating possibly 15 minutes per room for cleanliness and that is not enough. Very seldom do you see team cleaning going on. You may see one person cleaning a room which again is another fine to be concerned with. When you have one person cleaning, not enough time to clean, and then if you don’t see the use of different color coding for rags or you’re using the same supplies and chemicals, not necessary chemicals but same supplies like rags and vacuums, you use from one room to the next room then the potential for cross contamination is great.
N: You can prevent cross contamination simply by as you said, color coding rags. Is that something should be standard operating procedure in your profession? Is this something that you notice that most people aren’t doing now?
R: Well you’ll see it done in the healthcare environment, very seldom to use and be at done in the hospitality environment. For years the healthcare environment understood the importance because they are in the business of preventing diseases. But in the hospitality industry, they never thought they had to be in the business of maintaining health and preventing diseases. But the reality is, if it’s not a germ free environment, and that’s not 100%. But we’re talking about a reasonable amount of germs being left … So if you’re in an environment where there’s an excessive amount of germs, then it could cause diseases, it could. And so that’s why it’s really important that the industry as a whole nationwide and global, embrace and understand the importance of maintaining health and preventing the spread of diseases through cleaning. And that’s why we’re in this industry and we’ve seen the industry evolve. So like I mentioned to you before, often times when you think of your career or your aspirations, you don’t necessarily think of it being in the cleaning industry, janitorial or any of that. But everything, every profession has its place. And I don’t believe that people consider cleaning as a profession but it is absolutely a necessity and it should be considered as a professional service that is provided for the health and welfare of individuals.
N: Absolutely. It’s a no brainer actually, when you’re talking about hospital setting, as you mentioned, there in a profession of preventing illness, preventing the spread of germs. And in the hospitality setting, you’ve got a different set of standards but still your responsibility is to your guest. Now you are familiar with government contracts, you deal with the veterans administration, I’m sure yeah?
R: Yes we do, but we have other government contract.
N: Absolutely. Now, being familiar a bit with the VA from a patient’s standpoint, I know that many locations are starting the hospitality services as well so that when a veteran is in the hospital, his family members can stay on site in a kind of a motel setting as a courtesy. Do you find that within your government contracts that some of the same standards apply when you’re talking about the medical aspect and the hospitality aspect, as opposed to in the civilian world where they’re totally separate except for maybe for like Ronald McDonald house if I can go ahead and name them, who’s kind of specialized in that?
R: You can. Well, I will say this, I can’t speak for a government all entities outside of Texas, but we do have the outpatient clinic which is the largest outpatient clinic, I believe that the US government has for better anterior and for Texas. And we also have the equivalence of the Ronald McDonald house in Dallas which is called, ‘The Fisher House’ when it relates to the veterans. We have most of those in from the beginning. We started with both of those facilities from the time in which they open here in the Dallas-Fort area. And they get the specifications that they gave us before we even, as we were beating on that, we’re very strict. They had certain supplies, equipment and chemicals that we had to purchase. There were certain criteria and trained that had to be met. They are holding steadfast to the standards and really going up above and beyond. And each month, there are inspections that are held and I will say that we’ve pass all inspections at both of those locations … They are following the guidelines, … I’m sure they’ve had other challenges but to date, that’s not one of them.
N: You’re based in Dallas Fort Worth, correct?
R: There are corporate offices at Fort Worth and of course we have other contracts throughout the state of Texas, but we also a satellite location in Huntsville Alabama.
N: Great. Do you see anything on the horizon nationally or internationally for KEMP & SONS General Services?
R: Well the goal is like I mentioned before, we believe that it should be considered a professional service. We have a professional training institute that we’re working on at this time. And we hope to do more consulting and speaking so that corporate heads will understand the importance and for them, our approach is to let them know how the risk involves. Because if they don’t adopt a new set of cleaning standards and train in the different manner and understand team cleaning, then they are at risk of losing market share. Loss of competitive advantage, because if there’s an incident that happens, they’re going to lose consumer confidence, and people are not going to want to travel because in all actuality with everything we could do with technology. People don’t have to travel to certain places, they can skype, they can webcam, they can do so many other thing. That’s not something that, that industry, they don’t want the consumer to lose confidence in their ability to keep rooms clean.
N: Can you talk a bit about your philanthropic efforts there at your company? How are you interacting with institutions of higher learning in order to change the mindset as far as the cleaning profession goes as you’ve stated?
R: Well for us, we do things in our community. It’s not just cleaning-related, we understand that everybody is not going to be in this profession. However, we understand that as a society, we have an obligation to the younger generation to teach them work ethics, the importance of work ethics, focus, discipline. So although we may have them come to our organization to do interns, or we may provide scholarships and things of that nature, we realize everybody is not going to be focus on what we’re doing. But at the same time, we know that it is important that what has helped us to build this company in this industry has been focused in discipline in the art of cleaning. If we come across them or we’re interacting through our KEMP Leadership Academy or through a program that we have through university that we may have thinks tanks with, that we offer internships. Yes, they’re going to come to here or we going to give as a result of what we’ve done, but ultimately we want them to be the best individuals that they can be.
N: Excellent. And where can our listeners go online and get more information about KEMP & SONS General Services?
R: They can go to kempandsons.net and they can learn all about us. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and also Instagram.
N: Thank you so much for joining us today.
R: Thank you.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard with Mrs. Reggi Sturns-Kemp, Chief Executive Officer of KEMP & SONS General Services – an award winning environmental cleaning company with service contracts in multiple states across multiple industries. And we’ve been here talking about some of the potential dangers that many of us don’t think about when we’re in the hospitals, in that clinic, or in that hotel room. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm. You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, listen in and download on SoundCloud.