In this issue of “Getting to Know” we are featuring IKECA President, Kathy Slomer. IKECA is a nonprofit organization that is committed to fire prevention and life safety by promoting kitchen exhaust cleaning to a higher standard.

My parents, Rick & Jan Paulat started Kool Kleen Inc. 30 years ago and I came aboard 12 years ago.

Even though I was not in the business initially every time we had dinner at my parents’ house or we were out with them the conversations were always about the business. When they asked me to join them I was excited for the opportunity to work with them and learn this crazy industry and what a ride it has been.

Our employees, even though they drive me crazy at times at the end of the day I am glad that we are able to provide good jobs for them so they can support their families. It’s great to hire a young man and watch him grow into a strong employee and take on leadership roles.

I think the most frustrating part is to walk into a restaurant or facility only to hear, “We haven’t been cleaned in years.” Because we are so versed in the standards and codes you wonder how does this happen, don’t they worry about the safety of their employees and customers?

A customer asked one of our techs to save the grease he scrapped from their system, she left a huge pot for him to put it in. He felt the need to call me at 3:00 am and ask if that was ok and of course, I said no because he had sprayed chemical! She was upset the next morning when I explained to her why we could not do that. I asked her what she wanted it for and she said it was not my business. In hindsight, I probably did not want to know. Needless to say, I would never eat there.

Someone stole one of our vans in a snow storm and left tracks that led the police right to his house two blocks up. (This was before GPS.)

Code enforcement! Wouldn’t it be great if NFPA 96, C-10, and I-10 were the accepted standards across the country and that exhaust systems were inspected on a regular basis?

Join IKECA, we have been proud members for 23 years and it has helped our business tremendously.

Be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to run with them, always think outside the box.

Most definitely, with the add-on services we can provide our customers with Omni’s products, it has helped grow our business financially and at the same time bring the establishment to code.

In my next life I want to come back as a zoo keeper lol, I love animals of all kinds. Wait, that’s what I’m doing now with the 2-legged version!

Hands down my mom’s macaroni and cheese, best around!

My favorite book, The Day the World Came to Town, a wonderful true story about the goodness in people. Favorite movie, I am a sucker for any chick flick.

I love to be outside, especially on a fall day hiking in the woods near our camp and then enjoying the campfire with family and friends. The simpler the better, I love to unwind without electronics.

If I had nickel for every time I had a drink with the IKECA gang, I’d be a billionaire.