ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, announced the winner of its Excellent Idea Contest, a competition to find the best solutions to common business challenges.
Investor Kevin O’Leary, host of TV’s "Shark Tank", chose the winner, Teresa’s Family Cleaning, for its multipurpose utility apron. The company and its founder and president, Teresa Ward, was recognized during the ISSA Excellence Awards Luncheon, held Friday, Oct. 23, during ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2015, which took place Oct. 20 through 23 in Las Vegas. 
“It just goes to show that you don’t need a large business to be successful,” O’Leary said. “You don’t need to be overly complicated to win. You just have to solve a problem for somebody.”
O’Leary chose from four finalists for the Excellent Idea Contest, including Diversified Maintenance, GDI Omni, Inc. and Scoles Floorshine. O'Leary said he selected Teresa’s Family Cleaning entry as the winner because the apron concept was simple and easy to understand.
Teresa’s Family Cleaning’s entry was a multipurpose utility apron made of a comfortable, durable, easy-to-clean material that is both effective and economical. After developing and then putting the unique apron into use, Ward and her co-creator, Maria Reitano, went a step further by selling the apron to others, which helped the company cover its investment. 
“Thank you to ISSA and Kevin O'Leary for giving us the opportunity to enter—and then the amazing honor of winning the Excellent Idea Contest. Maria and I are just so completely humbled and honored for such an amazing recognition,” said Ward.
ISSA Director of Industry Outreach Rosie Rangel also congratulated Teresa’s Family Cleaning. 
“The 2015 ISSA Excellent Idea Contest proved the old adage that necessity is the mother of invention,” said Rangel. “When a small company sees a problem and doesn’t wait for someone else to come up with a solution, it just underscores that cleaning professionals are leaders in innovation.”
The Excellent Idea Contest was open to all attendees of ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2015, including members of ISSA’s co-location partners: the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI), the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (CETA) and IEHA. Teresa’s Family Cleaning is a member of ARCSI.
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