MAIDPRO AND ECO CARPET PRO
Small business takes care of its employees and the community
by Kymberly Bach
Lily and Neil Carson, owners of MaidPro and Eco Carpet Pro have based their company on a few core beliefs; providing excellent customer service, taking care of their employees by offering competitive pay and great benefits, and by giving back and paying it forward in their community. By focusing on those core values their business has grown and provides over 100 jobs for the Hampton Roads and Williamsburg areas.
Those core beliefs, along with their generous spirit, have led the Carsons to start a local program named The Gift of Clean. “By working closely through the American Cancer Society we have provided over 120 free cleanings to local cancer patients over the last few years. Our goal is to provide 500 by 2025. It has been such a huge success we have expanded into two other groups of deserving individuals,” Lily explains proudly. “The Hampton Roads Military Relocation Team reached out and asked if we would include Gold Star families and Purple Heart recipients as well.” Gold Star families have lost a loved one when they made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and Purple Heart recipients are those that have been wounded in combat.
Ellie Duarte plays a key role in Lily’s program. A professional Patient Navigator for The American Cancer Society, Ellie helps patients and family members with the mountainous and often confusing insurance forms and bureaucratic problems that tend to accompany cancer treatment. “I was happy to volunteer my services to Lily,” Ellie says. “This is such a wonderful thing she is doing, and it gives me the opportunity to give some of my clients some really good news. For a cancer patient, good news is something they really need to hear as often as possible.”
Many of Lily’s employees are single mothers and The Gift of Clean program has also turned into a great way for employees to be able to participate in the process of helping and sharing. Keyana Wilkinson, who has worked for MaidPro for more than three years, was chosen to work at the home of the first cancer patient in the program. “Meeting these brave people in person gave me a whole new perspective,” Keyana shares. “I really feel like I am doing something very important to help them. Many of the workers have very little money to donate to charity, but working in this program gives us the same feeling as being able to donate a million dollars. It’s a great feeling!”
Born in China in a small northern village in the Gobi Desert, Lily had no idea she was poor until she went to college. Through perseverance and determination she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in mechanical engineering. Though an arduous task, Lily was granted a visa to the United States where she attended Purdue University and received a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering.
New to the United States, Lily took in everything around her; the sight of a squirrel or other small animal running around, or the small apartment that seemed so large to her gave her a sincere appreciation for America’s freedoms and culture. It became her dream to become an American citizen, and in 2009 her dream became reality. “When she took her oath of citizenship, they gave her a small commemorative American flag and we celebrated by going to a Tides baseball game. Lily proudly waved her American flag all evening with a huge smile on her face,” Neil remembers fondly. “It was one of the proudest moments of her life.”
Although Lily worked for several large corporations, it wasn’t until she was pregnant with her first daughter that she decided to start focusing on building a family business that could provide a busy mom free time and flexible schedules. A MaidPro franchise seemed like the perfect fit.
Born in Oklahoma, Neil spent most of his childhood in Iowa. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of Iowa along with his Master’s of Business Administration from William and Mary’s Mason School of Business. After spending 20 years working in the IT field, he joined Lily in the family business. His extensive experience of working alongside many military members makes Neil very proud to be a part of such a great community.
“Our PROs undergo intense training and background checks.
They each must pass a final exam
by cleaning my own home.
If they meet our strict standards,
then we allow them to
clean our clients’ homes.”
At MaidPro, customer service starts with the very first phone call and contact. A Customer Service Consultant will ask pertinent questions so as to understand a potential client’s preferences. An estimate is given over the phone and a cleaning is scheduled. Upon completion, a survey is emailed to make sure the standard of high quality has been met. Lily also has in place several levels of management involvement and communication with her clients to ensure complete satisfaction.
“Our PROs undergo intense training and background checks. They each must pass a final exam by cleaning my own home. If they meet our strict standards, then we allow them to clean our clients’ homes.” Lily explains smiling.
Licensed and bonded, Lily’s employees take great pride in their work. “Many of our PROs are single parents and some found us when they were going through personal transitions or difficult situations. We provide them with flexible, rewarding work they feel proud of, can benefit from financially, and also have the possibility of advancing to leadership roles within my organization.” Lily continues, “In addition, I have worked very hard to make sure that my employees are well taken care of by offering them retirement benefits with matching contributions, profit sharing, and health insurance.”
MaidPro offers cleaning services and schedules that will fit any budget. From a spring cleaning to a weekly or monthly scheduled cleaning they can accommodate even the busiest of schedules and priorities. Eco Carpet Pro includes any carpet and area rugs, grout, and even furniture cleaning and the environmentally friendly products they use are child and pet friendly.
MaidPro and Eco Carpet Pro have won several local business awards. MaidPro has been voted the Gold Winner ten years in a row by the Virginian-Pilot Best Of category of Home Cleaning Services and a six time Super Service Award Winner by Angie’s List. Eco Carpet Pro has been awarded a Gold Award in Best Carpet Cleaning Service by Daily Press Readers’ Choice Award, has been selected “Best of” four times in the Virginian-Pilot, and was chosen four times for Angie’s List Super Service Award.
Lily’s generosity, loving attitude, and warm nature have a positive effect on all those around her. “Today, we are proud to be a team of passionate professionals who make homes shine in Hampton Roads and Williamsburg,” she says. She provides so much more than clean homes; she provides compassion for her fellow human beings.