Sometimes, all it takes is a rotten banana. That’s what
Chris Martin saw strewn in the alley outside his Pioneer Square apartment that
finally made him say, “Enough is enough.”
Martin left the comfortable confines of his advertising job
to start CleanScapes, a garbage collection company that, since its founding 13
years ago, has gone on to successfully challenge such giants in the industry as
Martin took a one-trick-pony industry and refashioned it in
a way that made sense to today’s customers. He didn’t want a business that just
picked up garbage and went on its way. He wanted a service that would make a
city a better place to live. The first big idea was the Dumpster Free Alley
program, in which he found a way to remove commercial waste bins that had
become fixtures in crowded alleys by offering daily garbage pickup services.
Less noise, fewer trips, less pollution. Everybody was happy. This sort of
progressive thinking led to major contracts with cities such as Shoreline,
Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.
CleanScapes has moved forward with other green initiatives
such as a truck routing system that reduces the number of trips. The trucks
also run on cleaner-burning natural gas. There are recycling programs, daily
streetscape maintenance, on-call emergency cleanups, graffiti removal, pressure
washing and parking structure services, too. And Martin is a listener.
Recently, a CleanScapes driver came up with a new truck design that, when
implemented across the company, reduced collection trips and fuel consumption
by about 50 percent.
President, Garco Construction (Spokane)
Since Tim Welsh bought Garco Construction in 1978, the
company has gone from a one-dimensional, pre-engineered steel building
contractor to a multifaceted and vertically aligned company that can quickly
adapt to the times.
A former company commander in the Army Corps of Engineers in
Vietnam, Welsh knew the value of face-to-face relationships. If a new person
shows up on a job site, Welsh makes sure to introduce himself. He also fuels
relationships by giving to community organizations, particularly those in Spokane,
where he grew up. He volunteers
with organizations such as Gonzaga University, the Spokane Chamber of Commerce
and Associated General Contractors, where he was awarded the SIR lifetime
achievement award for skill, integrity and responsibility in the construction
Because of his personal and professional touch, Welsh has
helped Garco stay strong in an industry that was all but destroyed by the 2008
As for the future, two of his sons are being groomed to take
over the business, and Welsh will make sure that the personal touch Garco has
established will continue long after his retirement.
Chairman and CEO, One Eighty/Leisure Care (Seattle)
Part inspirational speaker, part visionary leader, Dan
Madsen has led his company, One Eighty/Leisure Care, to profitability.
He joined the firm in 1988 as general manager and became its
sole proprietor in 2003. Since then, the business has grown to 45 existing and
developing communities throughout the United States, Canada, India and Mexico.
One Eighty/Leisure Care is a developer, designer and manager
of unique, resort-style senior housing communities. As one of the largest
privately held providers of senior housing, the firm has made it its mission to
dispel the stereotypes that surround senior housing by providing a lifestyle
and level of service and amenities unmatched in the industry.
And this approach coincides with Madsen’s philosophy of
doing right by employees, residents and customers—to affect the lives of
everyone he comes in contact with positively every day. And that commitment is
why Madsen has spoken on behalf of seniors and the senior-care industries
before the U.S. Senate, a host of other industry professionals and college
students across the country.