ISSA announces five 2023 ISSA Achievement Awards Honorees; annual awards program recognizes cleaning industry professionals

Sample article from our Tissue & Hygiene

October 20, 2023 (press release) –

ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, is proud to announce the 2023 ISSA Achievement Awards honorees. The annual awards program recognizes cleaning industry professionals who are committed to driving the cleaning industry forward through their positive contributions in their business and beyond. These five honorees will be recognized November 14 during the Spotlight Event: Then, Now, Forever | Celebrating 100 Years of ISSA at ISSA Show North America 2023, which takes place November 13-16 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

“As ISSA celebrates its 100th anniversary, it’s important to recognize the dedicated and passionate individuals who have championed not only our association but the cleaning industry as a whole,” said ISSA 2023 Board President Matt Vonachen. “Congratulations to this year’s Achievement Award honorees. I look forward to celebrating their accomplishments with them in person next month in Las Vegas.”

The 2023 Achievement Awards and their recipients are:

  • The ISSA Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who, in the opinion of the ISSA board, deserves recognition for substantial contributions to the advancement of the industry and/or to ISSA over a significant period of time. This year’s recipient is former ISSA Executive Director John P. Garfinkel. For more than five decades, Garfinkel has been an influential force in the cleaning industry. As ISSA Executive Director from 1991 to 2015, he was instrumental in championing many of the initiatives that have bolstered membership and established ISSA as the leading association for the cleaning industry worldwide.
  • The Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award, reserved for individuals with at least 10 years of outstanding service to the professional cleaning industry, will be presented to Ilham Kadri, founder of the ISSA Hygieia Network and current CEO of Solvay, a Belgian multinational chemical company. Inspired by her grandmother, Kadri has been a tireless promoter of women in the cleaning industry. She founded the ISSA Hygieia Network during her previous tenure as CEO of Diversey to develop a network to provide tools and support to help women achieve their full potential.
  • The Manufacturer Representatives’ Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes individuals who support manufacturer representatives, the industry, and ISSA, will be awarded to Keith Angel, former president of Angel Cotton Associates. Over the course of his 30-year career, Angel participated in countless manufacturer product and advisory committees, and led his agency to become one of the largest in the country. During his time as the ISSA Manufacturer Representative Council Chair, he was instrumental in developing the Manufacturer Representative Scholarship that continues to provide opportunities to the next generation of reps.
  • The ISSA NextGen Rising Star Award in Honor of Jimmy Core acknowledges emerging leaders who make positive contributions to their organizations and the industry. Travis Caldwell, director of sales, government at Imperial Dade, will be honored for his commitment to educating building service contractors and food service contractors engaged in government work on the intricacies of operating and maintaining proper compliance. In addition, Caldwell serves as an engineer in the U.S. Army National Guard, swiftly responding as one of the initial responders in the aftermath of significant national disasters.
  • The ISSA Hygieia Network Rising Star of the Year recognizes a woman who has made significant achievements and demonstrated consistent upward mobility in her career within the industry. Elizabeth Hawver, Essity Vice President of Omnichannel, Wholesale & Office Distribution, was chosen by her peers for her impressive career trajectory and outstanding achievements within the cleaning industry.

Join ISSA in celebrating these five Achievement Awards recipients at the Spotlight Event: Then, Now, Forever | Celebrating 100 Years of ISSA on Tuesday, November 14, at 9:15 a.m. PST at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Register now for ISSA Show North America 2023 here. For Las Vegas hotel and travel discounts, visit

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