Kevin Chwala and his wife Christina are the co-founders of Omni Containment Systems LLC. Before that he spent many years in the industry in various capacities. We cornered him, shackled him to his chair, and tickled him until he was forced to answer our questions.
Since 1985, 31+ years.
Commercial ventilation cleaning and maintenance was still the Wild West back then and there was not a lot of competition so it was more or less name your price. So basically, great money.
Building relationships with customers, vendors and employees and watching the business grow because of it.
Vampire hours! Working nights and sleeping days! I haven’t cleaned a hood in 15 years and I’m still on a crazy sleeping pattern.
Talking the police out of arresting me and the crew as robbers after they spotted us on the restaurant roof at 3:00 AM.
When cleaning restaurants in downtown Chicago, asking panhandlers for money before they had the chance to ask us. Works every time! They don’t know how to respond!
One wanted me to clean all of his baffle filters for free, even though it took longer to do that than the ventilation cleaning. It was even listed as an extra service on the quote! Well, guess you can’t blame him for asking!
To make service crew leaders accountable for leaving tools at the job. I was always a softie for employees who busted their butts all night, but were occasionally careless.
Follow through with the promises you make to your customer and always deliver more than you say you will. (This does not necessarily mean clean baffle filters for free!)
I used to be a Chippendale model.
Pizza from Village Pizza in Carpentersville, IL.
Playing in the mud on four wheelers and drag racing really fast cars.
A nice summer day riding the Harley with my wife.
Yeah, if you have an idea for a business or a product, go for it before someone else does it first.