See How We Celebrated 100 Years at ISSA Show North America 2023

ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, is celebrating its 100th year in 2023. We are celebrating this important milestone all year long with glimpses into the history of ISSA and influencers of the industry, monthly member discounts, and an in-person celebration at ISSA Show North America 2023, so be sure to check this page in the future for the latest updates.

Use the hashtag #ISSA100 on social media to share your memories and experiences with ISSA over the last 100 years
and follow along with our yearlong celebration.

John Barrett

A letter From Our Executive Director

100 Years of ISSA and Still Moving Forward

by John Barrett

Wow! 100 years of ISSA. It’s hard to believe and yet incredibly gratifying that our association has thrived for a century. Truly, it’s a big deal and wouldn’t be possible without your continued commitment to our collective mission to change the way the world views cleaning.

Personally, I have worked in the cleaning industry for more than 30 years, and it’s been amazing to see how far we’ve come. ISSA has been a resilient and evolving force in the cleaning industry since its inception in 1923. The association has grown from six founding members to more than 10,500 members in 110 countries today. And we keep moving forward.

As my predecessor John Garfinkel puts it, change at ISSA has been driven mostly by technological advances with information and communications—and the resulting effects on logistics and the distribution of products from the manufacturer to the end user. Consider a handful of the momentous changes:

  • 1991. ISSA went international by actively seeking members outside the United States and Canada. By 2000, global membership grew to 1,000 members in Europe specifically.
  • 1997. ISSA partnered with Amsterdam RAI and rebranded the ISSA Show as ISSA/INTERCLEAN in 1999.
  • 2004. ISSA opened membership to facility service providers, including building service contractors (BSCs) and in-house service providers. Nineteen years later, we have our first BSC president in Matt Vonachen!
  • 2014-2019. ISSA actively acquired/merged with key facility management and end-user entities, including Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine, the Cleaning Management Institute, Cleanfax magazine, IEHA, and ARCSI. Plus, we continued to expand internationally with offices in Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, and South Korea.
  • 2019. ISSA ended our agreement with Amsterdam RAI and subsequently formed our current relationship with Informa, the largest trade show management company in the world, to manage ISSA Show North America and foster a growing portfolio of international shows.
  • 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic raged, the world became more aware of the importance of cleaning for human health. ISSA’s then newly acquired Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC) division rose to the occasion to help businesses reopen safely with the GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation program, which became a global brand nearly overnight and stands 3,000+ customers strong today.

Clearly, your association has certainly flourished in its first 100 years. Not all associations have been so fortunate. In fact, nearly half of all associations in existence prior to the pandemic have dissolved. ISSA is in an enviable position by remaining strong both fiscally and in terms of membership. And with the board’s support, we’ll develop our next strategic plan later this year to ensure we continue down this fortuitous path for the next century and beyond.

As we commemorate our 100th year, let’s make 2023 itself a year to remember. I look forward to celebrating with you when we’re together at ISSA Show North America 2023 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, November 13-16. We’re going to host a party for the ages, and I can’t wait to see you there!

John Barrett
John Barrett
Executive Director, ISSA

ISSA TimelineHistory

 Join us as we look back at a century of accomplishments, milestones, and dedication that has shaped ISSA into the voice of the industry and a tireless advocate for changing the way the world views cleaning. Click here to view the timeline. 

Celebrate Our Industry

All year long we will be featuring the people, products, and companies that have changed our industry in the last hundred years. Read the articles below to learn more.