Restoring structures … and lives
Cleaning with care
Carpet cleaners are not often known for their community-service efforts. But Cleanrite-Buildrite, a locally owned disaster-response cleanup company, has taken its commitment to customers affected by tragedy—and the agencies that help those victims—to the next level.
“We provide a service, but we also provide much more,” said Bob Battezzato, the company’s marketing director.
Battezzato is referring to the demanding nature of the disaster-response industry, a field that’s marked by daily unpredictability and, sometimes, extreme sadness and loss.
“The physical structure can be replaced, but the victims don’t know what to do, they don’t know where to go,” he said.
That’s when Cleanrite-Buildrite’s relationship with nonprofits like the American Red Cross become so important. It’s the carpet-cleaning company’s strong partnerships with disaster-response agencies—which provide victims with the things the cleaning company cannot, such as food and water and a place to stay—that sets it apart from its competitors, said Martha Griese, CEO of the North State’s Red Cross chapter.
“[The company is] just always there to help, not just with their employees who volunteer, but also through what they donate,” she said during a recent phone interview.
Battezzato formed the partnership with Griese a few years ago after he identified the emergency-assistance organization as a natural affiliate. “We get together on the human side and make sure all the victims are taken care of,” he said.
That care and concern for victims is also demonstrated by the company’s 100 employees through the time they spend volunteering at events including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and attending benefit dinners for police and fire departments, Battezzato said. Employees also participate in benefit golf tournaments, the Salvation Army’s Stuff the Truck event and the March of Dimes fundraiser, a parent-education and research initiative that aims to prevent birth defects, to name a few.
In March, the company is sponsoring the annual Real Heroes celebration at Manzanita Place, an American Red Cross event that recognizes individuals for charitable efforts.
“We’re not an open checkbook, but we do what we can,” Battezzato said sincerely.
Cleanrite-Buildrite was founded as “Cleanrite” in the mid-’70s by Verne Andreasen, a Chico resident and family man who felt a strong connection to his neighbors. Years later, his son Dan came on board and expanded the business to Redding, where Dan noticed a growing need for the company to add construction and restoration to its list of services.
Soon, the company added “Buildrite” to its name, and today its services range from Persian-rug cleaning and crime-scene cleanup to remodeling projects and plumbing. The company has also added branches in Yuba City and Sacramento.
Dan has continued Verne’s charitable mission and keeps company morale high by hosting an annual companywide family picnic in Durham and showing gratitude through gestures such as buying each employee a Thanksgiving turkey every year.
“What kind of boss goes out a buys a turkey for every single person?” asked Battezatto, who worked at a large corporation for 15 years before making the move to Cleanrite-Buildrite. “He invests in the community, he invests in his employees, and it betters everyone.
“We try to hire local people who also understand they will be expected to have that type of attitude,” he continued. “And that overall philosophy helps in the service business.”