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Henrik Slipsager - Undercover Boss

Thoughts From "The Boss" - ABM CEO Henrik Slipsager

People who know me might wonder why a man who doesn't like to follow a script, rarely watches reality television and by no means yearns to be a media star would agree to appear in the second season of one of CBS network's most widely watched television shows - Undercover Boss.

The answer is simple: It wasn't about me.

What I saw was an opportunity - an exceptional opportunity for me to work side-by-side with some of the extraordinary people who truly are the ones that make this company work. Frankly, I believed that going "undercover" would help "uncover" for me and others who watch the show the dedication, pride and client focus of the employees who work on the frontlines at ABM. I think that dedication and pride came through loud and clear in the ABM episode. The featured frontline employees were outstanding. Perhaps my own frontline work was a little less so.

At ABM, our employees often work behind the scenes - making marquee properties shine while staying "green"; ensuring that major maintenance systems run efficiently and cost-effectively; managing parking services for millions of people working, shopping and visiting venues throughout the country; and meeting the critical security demands that help keep client facilities secure and their tenants safe.

We have been behind the scenes and at the service of our clients for more than 100 years. Whether their business is health care or education, financial services or manufacturing, airports or commercial real estate, our employees take pride in meeting our clients' distinct facility solutions needs day in and day out.

In fact, what brings this Company of more than 100,000 people together is our pride - in the work that we do and the people who do it. That pride has been the cornerstone of our strength through more than a century of service.

I have always had enormous admiration, respect and pride in the men and women of ABM. Going undercover and working side-by-side with our frontline employees - through the course of a tough day's shift - brought it home to me in a way that I never could have imagined.

Ultimately, the experience reminded me once again what a privilege it is to be "The Boss" at this great Company.

Peter Gal

Peter Gal is a Window Cleaning Supervisor. Based in Chicago, Peter joined ABM in 1996.

Peter takes us back to ABM's roots. In 1909, the business that would grow to become ABM began when a man with a mop, a broom and bucket offered to clean the windows of San Francisco merchants. Today, Peter performs window cleaning throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, home to some of the largest skyscrapers and most spectacular architecture in the country.

In the modern era, when window cleaning takes place literally in the skies, Peter effectively combines service with safety - for his crew, for himself and for the facility. Peter braves the heights and the elements, using state-of the-art equipment and safety techniques to do the job with quality and care.

"I know there is risk involved in the work of window cleaning, but I also know there is a job to be done and done well. My role is to ensure that we deliver high-quality service to our clients while never compromising on the safety of the crew. Not everyone would take on the task, but I am so proud that we do - and the way we go about doing it. I think the Boss saw that ABM's oldest business is still in good hands."

"I have a fear of heights. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would find myself scaling the side of city skyscraper to clean a window, but I did. I overcame my fears not only because Peter is a great teacher, but because I always felt completely safe under his direction."

Kenny Vargas-Garcia

Kenny Garcia is a Shuttle Bus Driver at Tampa International Airport (TIA). Since his time with "Edward" (a.k.a. "Henrik"), he also has become a Trainer and, recently, was promoted to Assistant Supervisor. Kenny joined ABM in 2007, when the Company's Parking Division, Ampco System Parking, took responsibility for managing all of the transportation services at TIA.

One of more than 150 ABM staff managing parking services at the sprawling airport, Kenny is a standout performer. He treats his shuttle with great care, including bringing his own "Kenny Kits" of air freshener and a broom to make sure that his vehicle is clean, comfortable and customer-ready. He manages to make countless trips throughout the airport while making each passenger and each trip something special - with his warm greetings, clear directions and customer care. A great teacher, Kenny is sharing his customer service, leadership and other skills with his colleagues in his role as a Trainer at TIA.

"My family taught me since I was a little boy to take pride in what you do and to always strive to be better; don't compromise. I try to bring that attitude to my job every day. I know if I push myself, as I was taught to do, I will not only be the best person I can be, but will do more good for our customers and the Company. I can make a difference."

"Kenny is a star. His personality, passion and pride in his work truly shine. It was clear from the moment I set foot in his shuttle that keeping up with Kenny would be a challenge. I certainly learned a few things (though not nearly enough or quickly enough by Kenny standards) while on the job. While I won't be trusted with my own shuttle anytime soon, I am so glad to know that we exceptional customer-friendly people like Kenny in the driver's seat."

Maria Dedvukaj

Maria Dedvukaj began her most recent stint with ABM in 2006. Today, she is a Foreperson, a key player in the janitorial services ABM provides at 7 World Trade Center in New York.

Maria is a visible and popular figure around 7 World Trade where ABM's client, Silverstein Properties, recognizes her larger-than-life personality and relentless focus on quality cleaning and care. She routinely greets and engages tenants and fellow employees alike as she moves from one floor to the next in the 52-story building - always remembering names as well as the small details that make a difference. Maria gets to know the client well and their service expectations even better.

"You have to take pride in the work that you do. I think of myself as not simply cleaning a restroom or vacuuming a floor but as someone who is making this a better place to work each day for everyone at 7 World Trade. I know if I focus on my job, they will be better able to do theirs. I love my work - it's the people that make the difference."

"Maria's passion and pride in her work were truly outstanding. As she walked the halls, I was impressed with the warm relationship she has with so many of the tenants - everyone knows Maria and she gets to know everyone. But when it came to the work at hand, she was all business. It was hard for "Edward" (a.k.a. "me") to keep up as Maria "encouraged" me to pick up the pace and to sweat the details. I knew if everyone could hold up to her high standards, our client would truly be well-served."

Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson joined ABM in 1997. His most recent role in ABM Janitorial Services is as a Freight Operator, operating and managing the freight elevator at 7 World Trade Center.

Larry likes to call his freight elevator his "office," which is one reason why he keeps it spotless. Larry greets, guides and assists all those who enter his office through the course of countless trips up and down the 52-floor complex each day. With his soft-spoken and warm personality, Larry is a well-known figure at 7WTC. He has been with the client and many of his ABM colleagues for a number of years.

Larry worked for ABM at the former World Trade Center site during September 11th. That was ABM's largest client account at the time, with more than 850 employees. The Company lost 17 employees during the attacks. Larry feels a special bond with his colleagues and to those times. At 7 World Trade Center - the last of the towers to collapse on September 11 and the first to be rebuilt in 2006 - Larry sees it as an opportunity to carry on the work and the spirit of his colleagues.

"I am blessed to be today at 7 World Trade Center, especially when many of my co-workers never made it here. I will never forget that day or the work we did together at the World Trade Center. We had something special there - as a team - and those of us who survived feel that connection still today. Every day that I come to work, I take a extra pride in knowing I am carrying the torch for those who were not as fortunate as I was. I work a little harder for them, too."

"I was really moved by the experience of working with Larry. He is a warm, caring person who doesn't just see himself as a person at a job, but as someone who is part of something larger. When he spoke of his experience during September 11, it was clear how deeply he cared about his colleagues and what pride he took in continuing the work of the ABM "team." I know that Larry feels fortunate to be where he is today. Well, after spending time in Larry's "office," I recognize how fortunate ABM to have Larry on the job and on the team."