Men of Influence: Mark Cedar

May Edition 2021 | See it at Las Olas Lifestyle Magazine

What single accomplishment are you most proud of, and why?
I am most proud of growing my commercial cleaning company,
AK Building Services, from a small, local business to a mature,
state-wide company. I started my professional career as a CPA in a
cut-throat, corporate environment. Against all odds and advice, I
followed my dream to be my own boss. The leap from corporate cog
to entrepreneur took incredible courage, self-reliance and financial
hardship. I have no regrets and never looked back.

What keeps you up at night?
Owning a commercial cleaning company during the pandemic
is what keeps me up at night, specifically the tremendous
responsibility of keeping our customers and frontline workers
healthy and safe every day. Even with best laid plans, I never know
what tomorrow will bring. The phrases PPE, touch points, kill time,
and disinfecting loop repeatedly in my head. Also, of course the
state of the economy stays heavy on my mind.

Who was your inspiration and role model?
My grandfather “Gramps” was my inspiration and role model.
Gramps instilled in me that there are no limits on what you can
achieve with focus and hard work. He started a small children’s
clothing manufacturer in Montreal and grew it into a global
business. I learned a lot from watching him.

What is the best advice you have ever received? And who gave
you that advice?
A few years ago, my then eight-year-old son was asked a question
in school. His reply: “I may not know the answer, but I am willing
to learn!” The teacher was so taken that she shared his response
with us. So true and impactful, I hung the quote up in my office as a
reminder that no one has all the answers, but it is our willingness to
learn that allows a person to excel in life and business.

 

MARK CEDAR
PRESIDENT
AK BUILDING SERVICES
561-471-8817 | mcedar@akbuildingservices.net
WHO’S WHO MEN OF INFLUENCE

Is Your Office Covid Clean? Want Employees Back to Work?

February 2nd, 2021 | Posted on Lifestyle Media Group

Cleaning Companies are the hidden heroes. 

Nobody likes dealing with the cleaning company, and until COVID hit you probably did not care who was scrubbing your toilet.  If you still do not care, you should. 

As the virus continues to thrive, every day is a tireless battle to keep your employees, customers and clients safe and back to work. Hiring a professional cleaning company for your workplace could make the difference between a healthy space or a health hazard.  Sure, hiring a friend’s cousin to clean is less expensive, but as the expression goes “you get what you pay for.”  Enhanced cleaning protocols are essential for safely running a business, and if you are not advertising that to your customers you are still living in 2019. 

Here are a few tips from AK Building Services on why you should hire a professional cleaning company: 

Fabuloso smells good, but it does not get the job done. Cleaning and disinfecting with the right products are half the battle when killing viruses, germs, and bacteria. Janitorial companies have access to commercial grade cleaning products, which are more powerful and cost-effective.

Would you rather work in a clean, healthy space or a dirty one?  You know the answer.  Starting your day fresh and clean not only makes you feel better and more productive, but also lets you breathe easier knowing that the bathroom door handle is not teeming with viral muck.  

What happens if your cleaner cannot clean?  It means overflowing trash and sticky faucets.  With a professional company there is always a back-up team; you are never left in the lurch.  Imagine a customer or client walking into a dirty office. What does that say about you and your business? 

On the job injury. Unfortunately, it could happen, and with an uninsured cleaner that’s on you.  With a fully licensed, insured company you are protected. 

Be a hero and call AK Building Services for your company’s cleaning needs.

Shari Cedar

Vice President

AK Building Services

Cell: 917.533.4886

Office: 561.471.8817

www.akbuildingservices.com

COVID Cleaning Resolutions

 
Shari Cedar

January 1, 2021 : See The Article at lmgfl.com >

2021 has finally arrived. Here is a new resolution to add to your list: root out 2020’s grit and grime, and give your office and home a deep clean to kick off the year right. Do not wait for the proverbial “spring cleaning.” Get it done now; the benefits are well worth the effort.

Some tips from AK Building Services:

Clean Space = Healthy Space

While COVID is front and center, do not forget you still can get “regular” sick. A deep cleaning will rid your space of dust, dirt, and other allergens that may be lurking beneath.Cleaning your office or home with a quality disinfectant can kill up to 98% of the germs.

Clean Space = Productive Space

It goes without saying that when you are in a fresh, clean, and clutter-free environment, you will be more productive. Without clutter, the brain is able to better concentrate on the task at hand. Added bonus: kids who are in virtual school will also benefit from a clean and tidy environment.

Clean Space = Welcoming Space

Even with social distancing, we have all found ways to come together, both socially and professionally. A dirty home or office is off-putting, whereas a clean space is inviting and welcoming.

Clean Space = More Control

There is an intangible feeling we get when an area is clean. A satisfaction that makes us feel in control of our lives. It may be intangible, but it is empowering.

Make your resolution now for a clean and healthy start to 2021. Call today and let AK Building Services handle all of your commercial cleaning needs. You won’t regret it.

Shari Cedar

Vice President

AK Building Services

Cell 917.533.4886

Office 561.471.8817

www.akbuildingservices.com

Media Group Lifestyle

 

Clean is not only cool, it’s also critical for event planning success

December 3, 2020 | See the post at corporateeventnews.com

As 2020 draws to close, COVID-19-weary event planners are looking towards a fresh start, a reboot for 2021. Whether planning for a conference, meeting or trade show, there are plenty of things to do beforehand to let your guests know they are walking into a clean and healthy environment. While there is no silver bullet, keeping proper cleaning protocols in place will help keep your event safe and secure. Clean is not only the new cool, it is critical for success.

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting is an important part of reopening that will require careful planning. It is essential to let your attendees know that you have gone above and beyond to create a solid cleaning and disinfecting strategy so they can focus on your event and not worry about germs.

Here are a few tips to consider:

First and foremost, identify potential “transmission areas” and high touchpoints.
Walk your venue to identify all potential “transmission areas.” These are high-traffic areas with a large concentration of attendees like reception areas, stairwells, bathrooms and elevators. Then concentrate on high touchpoints, such as door handles, elevator buttons, handrails and light switches. These areas will need extra attention for disinfecting. Also identify and uncover any areas that cause hidden problems, such as a lack of trash cans.

Keep a schedule and loop.
Once you have identified potential “transmission areas,” create a detailed schedule for wiping down and disinfecting them. Cleaners should “loop” their designated areas several times a day. There is no exact formula for how many times a day/hour an area should be disinfected, but a good guideline is to consider square footage versus traffic. For example, a very crowded event may have a cleaner assigned to a busy restroom to continually wipe down door handles, toilet flushes and faucets.

Plan for a break in the chain.
When the pandemic first hit, everyone felt the supply chain buckle. First, it was cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), then toilet paper, then hand sanitizer and so on. Given the recent spike of global infections and lockdowns, you must prepare for another brake in the chain. Plan well in advance to secure and receive your PPE and janitorial supplies, even if you think they will be readily available. It only takes one news report to send people into a buying frenzy.

Training staff is key.
While cleaning seems intuitive, it is not. In a pre-COVID world, a spray and wipe did the trick. That’s no longer true. Most people do not realize that cleaning and disinfecting are two different processes. Both work together for the magic to happen. Cleaning removes dirt and dust; disinfectants reduce or eliminate pathogens that could cause illness. Clean first, disinfect second.

It’s all in the kill time.
A quick spray and wipe is a waste. Disinfectants need time to do their job; they do not work instantly. To be effective, disinfectants need to sit wet on a surface (aka contact time) for a specified amount of time. For example, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes need four minutes of contact time. Each product is different; read your labels.

Electrostatic spraying.
No matter how often an area is manually cleaned, humans have limitations. Hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, like the back of door handles, can be missed. To complement your disinfecting regime, consider a nightly electrostatic spray treatment. An Electrostatic Spray System is a powerful, efficient and reliable method to ensure all surfaces (front, back and sides) can be properly disinfected and sanitized. The superior “wrap around” coverage provides better protection against the spread of illness-causing germs.

Meetings and events support more than 10 million jobs worldwide. Let’s do our part to keep everyone safe and get live venue employees back to work as we begin the road to recovery. Having the right cleaning policies in place is a crucial element of any event venue looking to restart its business.

Read the Article

Holidays are Here: It’s Kill Time

 December 1, 2020 : See the article at lmgfl.com

Now is not the time to slack off, especially with a spike in COVID cases and flu season upon us.  This is the time to slow down and do things right.

You probably have heard the term “Kill Time” thrown around.   Both the KILL and TIME have equal weight here, because you can’t do one without the other.  Kill time refers to the amount of time it takes to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses. These nasty guys don’t die instantly.  We are used to doing things quickly, but when it comes to disinfecting you have to slow it down.

Here are a few tips from AK Building Services:

• SIT WET. Remember to let your disinfectants sit wet before wiping. This is essential for a disinfectant to effectively kill germs. Every product’s contact time varies, check your labels.  Wipes are great  because they leave a surface wet after wiping it down. If you spray and immediately dry a surface, the germs can live!

• SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE. A toilet flush handle can be home to as much as 83 bacteria per square inch and an office toilet seat about 295 bacteria per square inch.  If you rush over high touch points when disinfecting, you aren’t winning any points here. Slow it down so you methodically wipe the entire surface.

• REMEMBER HAND HYGIENE FROM YOUR PRE-SCHOOL DAYS. Take your time when washing your hands.  Those valuable seconds make a huge difference.  Think about all your touches…refrigerator door handles, microwaves, coffee pots, door knobs, phones, bathroom faucets, light switches.  These are mega germ magnets.

So slow it down and don’t be afraid to kill this holiday season. In this case, it’s OK.

Shari Cedar

Vice President

AK Building Services

Cell 917.533.4886

Office 561.471.8817

www.akbuildingservices.com

 

Is “Clean” the new “Sexy”?

November 1, 2020 | See the post at Lifestyle

I am willing to bet that before COVID-19, you never thought you would be so excited to get your hands on a case of wipes.  Times have certainly changed. With Florida entering the final phase of reopening, janitorial services are a crucial component for every business to ensure a safe and healthy environment. Cleaning is finally cool. 

Your business appearance is important. That hasn’t changed, but in many ways it is even more vital in the COVID era. A neat appearance reflects how clean your facility is beneath the surface. A strong first impression shows your business not only looks clean, but IS clean. Today, health and safety are everything. People are judging establishments by their appearance and want to feel secure (meaning germ free) in their surroundings.

Some tips from AK Building Services:

C & D Makes Magic Cleaning and disinfecting are two processes. Both work together for the magic to happen. Cleaning removes dirt and dust; disinfecting reduces or eliminates pathogens that could cause illness. Clean first, disinfect second.

It’s all in the kill time A quick spray and wipe is a waste. Disinfectants need time to do their job; they do not work instantly. To be effective, disinfectants need to sit wet on a surface (aka contact time) for a specified amount of time. For example, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes need four minutes of contact time. Each product is different, read your labels!

Forget the A list In 2020 it’s all about being on the N List. The EPA’s List N: Disinfectants to fight Coronavirus. List N names every disinfectant approved to kill COVID-19. Not all products are created equal.

Microfiber cloths rock. They are amazing and I can not live without them. Microfiber can remove unseen microbes, like bacteria, viruses, and germs from your counter tops and other surfaces.

Following these tips can make you sexier…or at least a cooler cleaner.

For more tips go to www.akbuildingservices.com

12 Tips to Answer the “How Clean is Your Seat?”

October 22, 2020 | See the post at smartmeetings.com

In the past, commercial cleaning has traditionally been outsourced and not really thought about. Now, janitorial services are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Every business needs to put a cleaning plan in place, rather than just handing it off.

While pandemic related legislature changes continue to be made, event planners and venues need to stay aware to properly prepare for live events.

Here is what to look for:

Stronger Cleaning Protocol

Hotels have increased the intensity and frequency of their cleaning regimes. Some are upgrading their cleaning solutions to hospital-grade products or using new technology like electrostatic sprayers.

Shari Cedar, VP of AK Building Services, a commercial cleaning company based out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, says electrostatic sprayers are giving large spaces a germ-free start, a clean slate SO TO SPEAK. She explains similar to how lint sticks to our clothes, a disinfectant sprayed with this tool is electrostatically charged to wrap around surfaces that could be missed with a manual clean. Not only this, but they are incredibly effective at killing germs, bacteria, and viruses.

“Let your attendees know that you have gone above and beyond to create a janitorial strategy for cleaning and disinfecting your meeting space. This way they can focus on your event and not worry about germs.” Says Shari Cedar.

Commercial cleaning companies already focus on high touch areas, but they will now be hyper-vigilant. For example, door handles, light switches, remote controls, reception and registration areas, and bathrooms will be getting extra attention. Ms. Cedar also suggests that day porters be used during the event to stay on top of DISINFECTING THROUGHOUT the course of events. While they may add to the cost, they are well worth the peace of mind.

Being Proactive

It’s important to know how many people are expected to attend the event, how large a space is needed, and what is in the space. “Less is more” will be a new mantra as hardwood floors and curtain-less windows will be easier to clean.

Ms. Cedar recommends walking through the flow of the event to determine what may be high touch areas and to uncover any areas that could cause hidden problems, such as a lack of trash receptacles, or where they could be easily overflowing with paper waste like tissues or paper towels.

Ask the venue what their cleaning protocol is and if it fits with your expectations. Make sure the cleaning supplies being used are effective and  EPA approved to kill COVID-19. In addition, the janitorial staff must have the proper training to make sure the products are being correctly applied per the manufacturer’s specifications. Proper “kill time” (the time the product must sit on a surface to ensure bacteria and viruses are eliminated), and ventilation are important for safety.

Cleaning and disinfecting are two different processes and both need to happen. Cleaning removes trash, debris, dirt, and dust while disinfecting focuses on reducing or eliminating pathogens that could cause illness. Manual cleaning should be done every evening, and if the budget allows, the application of the electrostatic disinfecting spray is recommended as a fresh start each day of the event.

Personal Protection Equipment

All staff, whether event staff or cleaning crews should be prepared with the proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Additionally, if you will be providing PPE to participants, be sure to have a sufficient supply including a back-up supply. This can include gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial soap. Supplies may be limited, so plan ahead.

As hotels prepare to host events, and live events once more begin to schedule, we expect to see more shifts in how venues, event planners, hospitality, janitorial, and attendees come together to make changes for the greater good of health and safety.

Q&A: Janitorial Company Talks Business During A Pandemic

6/16/2020 | See it at CleanLink.com

The following is a question and answer interview CleanLink.com held with AK Building Services, a Florida-based provider of janitorial services.

CleanLink (CL): How have you seen the tone change toward commercial cleaning as a result of COVID-19?

AK Building Services (AK): Prior to COVID-19, there was not a great appreciation or value for what commercial cleaning offered and the complexity of cleaning. It simply wasn’t a thought in most people’s minds. Most businesses focused mostly on their facility’s appearance and left disinfecting to bathrooms or medical-level facilities. 

CL: Cleaning for appearance has probably been the most common goal businesses have in hiring a building service contractor. Do you think the appearance of cleanliness will be more or less important than it was before once this pandemic ends?

AK: Appearance is always important. That hasn’t changed, and in many ways it’s even more important now. A “clean” appearance is reflective of how clean your facility is beneath the surface. A strong first impression shows your facility not only looks clean, but is clean. In today’s world, people are judging how safe (meaning germ-free) a space is by its appearance. It’s critical to convey to the public that your business is pathogen-free and safe to work with.

CL: What’s been the most difficult thing about cleaning essential businesses during the pandemic and why?

AK: Cleaning essential businesses during the pandemic has been a challenge for a few reasons. The biggest challenge by far has been managing the customer’s fear. Customers who never asked questions about cleaning protocols and disinfectants before are now asking a lot of questions and are truly afraid. They are under incredible pressure to keep their employees and customers safe while running a business. We are helping educate customers about how to disinfect and clean products. Our processes haven’t changed dramatically, but our communication has increased in order to help our customers operate with full confidence. 

Also, every job scope has changed. We have always disinfected restrooms, but now clients are changing their cleaning scope to include full medical-facility-level disinfecting of the entire facility. We’ve worked hard to stay on top of each customer’s needs to help them stay ahead of this. 

The other big challenge in the past few months during COVID-19 has simply been managing supplies. Just as most consumers had trouble getting cleaning supplies, many commercial cleaners fought to get the supplies they needed to help keep essential service spaces clean. We were able to keep EPA-approved disinfectants on hand, but we had to work hard to make sure that our supplies were managed in a time when there were many unknowns in the supply chain. 

CL: Given your experience cleaning universities do you see classes resuming on many campuses this upcoming fall semester? If so, how do you think your jobs will change cleaning these campuses?

AK: Universities and schools will have to have a more rigorous approach to janitorial scope, with more frequent cleaning, disinfecting and day porters. They will be forced to expand their cleaning protocols in order to operate and keep their students safe. 

CL: You currently have a lot of businesses who you didn’t work with before asking for your cleaning services. Have there been any businesses that you’ve been surprised to see ask for cleaning services?

AK: We’ve seen a lot more home owners associations requesting daytime and outdoor cleaning services for pool areas. Prior to COVID-19, many HOA’s handled cleaning in house, now they are stepping up their cleaning protocols. This is encouraging to see how people are making a conscious effort to open up safely. 

CL: In speaking with customers, what is the number one concern they have regarding cleaning for COVID-19?

AK: “Are you using EPA-approved disinfectants to kill COVID-19 and even if it’s approved, is it safe for people?” That is the number one concern from customers regarding cleaning for COVID-19. Everyone is worried about what is being used to disinfect, then they are worried if it’s safe, and then they are worried whether it will damage the electronics. The next concern: “Are you disinfecting enough?”

CL: How do you expect COVID-19 to change the way you do business in the future?

AK: Now AK Building Services is disinfecting beyond just restrooms. Moving forward, everyone will have the same medical-grade level protocol. Disinfecting will be part of everyone’s job scope. For example, pre-COVID many offices only focused on vacuuming, dusting and trash services. In the future, spaces like this will include regular disinfecting, as well as the normal cleaning services we’ve done in the past. 

CL: Have you received much more respect and praise from the public since you began cleaning against COVID-19? If so, what are the people saying?

AK: Absolutely! Since the onset of COVID-19, customers are looking to us as their trusted partner to help them reopen safely and serve their own customers. We’ve become their trusted source to help educate them on COVID-19, CDC guidelines and disinfecting. They are so grateful that they can get the PPE they need, and disinfecting supplies. This whole experience has strengthened our relationship with our customers and helped us build long-term trust in the community. 

Janitorial services are a key part of every business. It’s not an afterthought or a nice thing to do; it’s a crucial component of any business in any industry. In order to be successful, cleaning must be a priority. 

What to look for from hotels when booking a live event after COVID-19 Lockdown

June 3, 2020 | See the post at AmericanMeetings.com >

In the past, commercial cleaning has traditionally been outsourced and not really thought about. Now, janitorial services are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Every business needs to put a cleaning plan in place, rather than just handing it off.

While pandemic related legislature changes continue to be made, event planners and venues need to stay aware to properly prepare for live events.

Here is what to look for:

Stronger Cleaning Protocol

Hotels have increased the intensity and frequency of their cleaning regimes. Some are upgrading their cleaning solutions to hospital-grade products or using new technology like electrostatic sprayers.

Shari Cedar, VP of AK Building Services, a commercial cleaning company based out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, says electrostatic sprayers are giving large spaces a germ-free start, a clean slate SO TO SPEAK. She explains similar to how lint sticks to our clothes, a disinfectant sprayed with this tool is electrostatically charged to wrap around surfaces that could be missed with a manual clean. Not only this, but they are incredibly effective at killing germs, bacteria, and viruses.

“Let your attendees know that you have gone above and beyond to create a janitorial strategy for cleaning and disinfecting your meeting space. This way they can focus on your event and not worry about germs.” Says Shari Cedar.

Commercial cleaning companies already focus on high touch areas, but they will now be hyper-vigilant. For example, door handles, light switches, remote controls, reception and registration areas, and bathrooms will be getting extra attention. Ms. Cedar also suggests that day porters be used during the event to stay on top of DISINFECTING THROUGHOUT the course of events. While they may add to the cost, they are well worth the peace of mind.

Being Proactive

It’s important to know how many people are expected to attend the event, how large a space is needed, and what is in the space. “Less is more” will be a new mantra as hardwood floors and curtain-less windows will be easier to clean.

Ms. Cedar recommends walking through the flow of the event to determine what may be high touch areas and to uncover any areas that could cause hidden problems, such as a lack of trash receptacles, or where they could be easily overflowing with paper waste like tissues or paper towels.

Ask the venue what their cleaning protocol is and if it fits with your expectations. Make sure the cleaning supplies being used are effective and  EPA approved to kill COVID-19. In addition, the janitorial staff must have the proper training to make sure the products are being correctly applied per the manufacturer’s specifications. Proper “kill time” (the time the product must sit on a surface to ensure bacteria and viruses are eliminated), and ventilation are important for safety.

Cleaning and disinfecting are two different processes and both need to happen. Cleaning removes trash, debris, dirt, and dust while disinfecting focuses on reducing or eliminating pathogens that could cause illness. Manual cleaning should be done every evening, and if the budget allows, the application of the electrostatic disinfecting spray is recommended as a fresh start each day of the event.

Personal Protection Equipment

All staff, whether event staff or cleaning crews should be prepared with the proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Additionally, if you will be providing PPE to participants, be sure to have a sufficient supply including a back-up supply. This can include gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial soap. Supplies may be limited, so plan ahead.

As hotels prepare to host events, and live events once more begin to schedule, we expect to see more shifts in how venues, event planners, hospitality, janitorial, and attendees come together to make changes for the greater good of health and safety.