Peninsula Small Business Talk

from the Peninsula Executives Association

Flower

Posts Tagged ‘Ambassador Services’

Carpet and Stone Cleaning Done Right with Albert Ong, Ambassador Services

Albert Ong, Ambassador Services, is very proud of his son, Jonathan, who often visits at PEA and helped with the presentation.  Jonathan has been accepted into the Air Force and will soon be attending San Jose State.

Albert, too, had a military career.  He went to military school and attended CSF.  He also got a Business Administration degree from San Francisco State.  After graduation, he became a grocery manager.  He was eventually dissatisfied with this career and began a business cleaning offices.  He spent more and more time on this work, gradually becoming a cleaning work-a-holic.  In 1995, when the cleaning business started dwindling, Albert added a stone cleaning business to his offerings.  The stone cleaning business has been a great addition because it takes more knowledge and skill to clean stone than to clean fabrics.

Albert warns that there are a lot of people in the carpet cleaning industry who use unfair business practices to obtain customers.  These business owners do things like bid low on a job and add on charges afterwards or use low-quality cleaning products for the job.  He says that for example, there are a lot of ways to make a floor shine and only a few of them result in a long-lasting shine.  Some cleaners will use floor wax to make a floor temporarily shiny or spray acid on the floor.  Albert does not recommend either of these techniques, even though they are in widespread use.  Spray acid changes the surface of the stone and can make them prone to cracking.  Wax creates a temporary shine at best.

The best method for shining stone floors is honing the stone (which is a form of grinding) following by polish and sealer.  Albert uses a high quality sealer and says that cheaper products also only give a temporary shine.  He keeps eight different types of sealant in stock for use depending on the needs of a particular job.  For small cracks, Albert recommends airplane glue rather than epoxy.

Albert is often asked to fix a job botched by one of his competitors.  At times, though, it is the product itself that presents the challenge.  Albert says that he has been seeing black granite countertops that come from China installed in customers’ homes lately.  The granite was injected with something in China to cover up small cracks.  When the stone is honed, the injected product is honed away and the crack shows.  The customer who sees this thinks that the honing process caused the crack when it really only revealed a crack that was already there.

Albert and Ambassador Services reputation has grown to the point that he has customers who call him who want his product recommendations only or want to use his invoices for submitting to an insurance company.  He now charges $150 for an estimate, to be applied to the future job.

January 2012 Success Stories Round-up!

PEA businesses are starting 2012 off well!  Congratulations on everyone’s successes this month.

  • Bette Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting thanked Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving and Terry Pebbles, Optimum Floors.  Terry put in a beautiful hardwood floor for a client and All Reasons not only moved the furniture out for the installation, when they moved it back in they put on anti-scratch pads.
  • Dan Ingerman, Wemorph said that they just worked on designing a set for a TV show.  The TV show is based in Palo Alto and Dan will be talking about sustainability.
  • Larry Hassett, Hardware Stores took a car that needed body work to Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody. He wrote a positive review for Scott’s web site, which entered him into a drawing.  Larry won a Flip Video camera, which he likes a lot.
  • Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management had a great year last year.  Arborwell had great growth last year especially in Southern California.  Jon had a great year personally and thanked PEA for contributing to that.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler was in New York last week and wanted to report that the Christmas holiday season was good for them.  She thanked everyone at PEA who helped make that possible.
  • Richard Phillips, Advantage Career Solutions, says that this has been a good year so far for his clients.  One just signed off on a job as an IT Director with a pay raise.  Another was hired with a sign-on bonus at PayPal.
  • Albert Ong, Ambassador Services signed a big contract with Stanford.  He immediately had to go in with one day’s notice to clean carpets before a Saturday event.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc., said that December was a record month for them, especially in the Palo Alto and Los Altos stores.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Robin Azevedo, McRoskey Mattress Company for sending the most interesting new client in several years.  She also thanked Darnel Rogan, Saber Roofing for a lead on a job in Atherton.
  • Shawn McMillan, Connoisseur Coffee thanked everyone for the orders over the last week.  It has been 13 months since the fire and he is now hoping to re-open in a few more months.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage says that in doing her business tracking at the end of the year, she saw that 25% of her business came through Yelp.  Anyone who doesn’t have a Yelp profile should be working to correct that.
  • Darnel Rogan, Saber Roofing thanked Bob Rosenberg, GR8WORK Builders, Inc. for a lead on job in Portola Valley.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail for the beautiful detailing on her car.  She also thanked Laurie and Larry Moore, Larry’s Autoworks for going over her car (one of the things she bought at the Holiday Auction).
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery said there is a good reason why you haven’t seen her at the meetings lately – she is moving the Nature Gallery to a new location in Los Altos.  The new address is 296 State Street, Los Altos.  She plans a Grand Opening on February 10.  She also reported that January was her best January in 25 years of business.  She thanked Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler for sponsoring her in PEA and suggesting the Los Altos location.  She thanked Dave Dove, Cassidy Turley BT Commercial, for helping her negotiate the lease in her new location. Finally, she thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services for the help with the plants.
  • Larry Moore, Larry’s Autoworks thanked Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management for the beautiful job they did on their trees.   The neighbors came over and complimented the job.  Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services, for coming over and taking piles of redwood chips from their tree trimming project.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons thanked Dan Ingerman, Wemorph for the new Seniors Seasons sign-on-a-stand.  This solves an upcoming problem of needing to be in two places at once, thus needing a second banner.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist announced that last Wednesday was her last in San Mateo.  She is now only going to her San Mateo office on Mondays.  While she feared that her patients would be unhappy about this change, she got positive responses from them.
  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors thanked Angelo Izzo, California Business Opportunities for his help investigating a business opportunity.

December Success Stories Round-up!

PEA rings in the new year with our last Success Stories Round-up of 2011!

October/November Double Feature- Success Stories Round-up!

  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors said his open house went well.  He turned his workroom into a showroom for the event.  He thanked Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for getting a seemingly impossible-to-remove stain out.  He thanked Skip Gould, San Mateo Daily Journal for handling the ad and was glad to see a few PEA members there.  He had flooring covering by Terry Pebbles, Optimum Floors also included in their presentation.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc said that the Footwear, Etc. owner just had a big event at the Sheraton Palo Alto.
  • Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic had a success story for Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail.  Jeff was voted best auto detailer in the Bay Area by 95% of his customers.
  • Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for the smooth installation of a new heater while he was gone.
  • David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties is celebrating his 30th year as a PEA member this month.
  • Maureen Clark, Clark Associates thanked Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for the great job cleaning her carpets.  She also thanked Roger Bolgard, Jackson & Miller for the referral.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Curtis Lane, Lane Cleaning Services for help with a recent client.  This was a fast turnaround job with 24 hours notice and the team did a great job.  She also thanked Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing for yet another computer rescue.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler thanked Werner Rogmans, Stanford Floral Design for the flowers for her mom.  She also was modeling a new line of Italian gold jewelry.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist thanked Albert Ong, saying that Jonathan Ong, Ambassador Services cleaned her 20-year-old couch and it looks like new.
  • Susan Scott, Expressions Salon thanked Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage for all the work on the new loan.  She was thrilled to get 4.12%.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for the great job his plumber did.  She also thanked Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic, saying that the laser treatment has really been helping her knee.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist reported that the current issue of Gentry magazine has a beautiful picture of Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio has started a Facebook page called Startling Statistics in which he features some of his previewed graphics.  Go by and check it out on Facebook (and don’t forget to like his page).
  • Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto thanked Larry and Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks for their recent help.  Her car was just past warranty and she took it to them.  Larry felt that the dealership ought to fix the problem and gave them a call.  In the end, the dealer did fix it at a savings of $750 to Karen.
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery celebrated her 24th year in business last week.  She is also showing some of the work of a local artist in her gallery who works with organic, natural stones and silver.  This artist has become very well known during the years that Carol has worked with her and now has pieces in 62 galleries.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services for fixing her garden.  She also used the crew at Arborwell (thanks to Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management) to remove a tree and did some shopping at Mollie Stone’s Market.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage thanked Susan Scott, Expressions Salon for her long-overdue (as she described it) haircut.
  • Shawn McMillan, Connoisseur Coffee says that they began construction on rebuilding the Connoisseur Coffee building.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs thanked David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties for the receipt of a shipment of Smilin Dogs jackets.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler says that the Stanford Mall gets tour buses from time to time.  She recently had a visit from some Asian gentlemen who purchased four Rolex watches with cash and flew back home the next day.
  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors will be demonstrating some of his techniques to students from Cañada College.

September Success Stories Round-up!

PEA had another great month!  Stay tuned for next month’s Success Stories Round-up!
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management and the crew for the great clean up job at her house.  She also thanked everyone who came to her estate sale in Woodside.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler thanked Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing for the new (to her) car for her niece.  She needed a good mileage commute car and is very happy with what Mike found for her.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio said that his neighbors liked the paint job that Duane Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting did at his house so much that they are hiring them to paint theirs.
  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks thanked Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing for his help getting them back online after a server change.
  • Kim Tucker, All Reasons Moving announced that they are now certified California movers.  This is a new program and they are one of the first to become certified.
  • Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management says that the day before Labor Day he turned his car over to Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing to sell.  By the day after Labor Day, he already had a buyer.  Mike has lists of buyers looking for specific kinds of vehicles and may be able to easily match you up.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… says that she is seeing some more corporate events.  She did an event for 3,000 people for Tesla last weekend.
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery was back last week from a buying trip.  She has returned with a large dinosaur bone from the Badlands and a butterfly-shaped table made from geodes.
  • Sue Ballew, Skytrekker Aviation took her car to Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody for some body work.  She was very happy about the body work but even happier that he polished her headlights.  She didn’t know what she was missing.
  • Albert Ong, Ambassador Services got a new contract to maintain some awnings at Stanford University.
  • John King, Keller-Williams Realty has been handling a rental property belonging to Dr. Al Butner, Honorary Member. Preparing the property for new renters involved PEA members Duane Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting, Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors, Curtis Lane, Lane Cleaning Services, and Susan Hamilton, VTF Services and it is already leased.

Jonathan Ong, Ambassador Services is Ambassador of the Month

Jonathan Ong, Ambassador Services, has been elected to become Ambassador of the Month for September.  This is a prestigious honor given out by the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to Jonathan for his hard work and dedication. ‘Ambassador’ Services now has a new meaning!

August Success Stories Round-up!

It’s that time again… time to celebrate successes in August!

July Success Stories Round-up!


Another great month for PEA businesses!

  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures is having an estate sale in San Francisco at the home of the late Milton Marks, a former California senator.  She also thanked John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers, who is helping her with a case of a bad fall at a previous estate sale.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler recommended Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail on an Internet group and found he was also recommended by two other people.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs announced that he just signed a five-year lease on a nearby building.  Smilin Dogs will be expanding into the 5,500 square foot space soon.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… was away and thanked Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody for fixing her car bumper and Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for cleaning her carpet while she was gone.
  • Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving said that June was a record month for them and their busiest ever.
  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks attended an automotive group conference and was surprised (but pleased) to find that they made the cover of the group’s magazine.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons thanked Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving for helping her clients move to Sunrise.  She thanked Cheri Jackson, Older Adult Care Management for her help, too.
  • Rick Rosensweig, Morgan Stanley said that Jonathon Ong and his employee did a great job on the carpet while Albert Ong, Ambassador Services was gone.
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery is excited about re-launching her web site.  The address is www.nature-gallery.com and she invites everyone at PEA to check it out and to visit her store at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler thanked Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing for handling a long distance deal and Robin Azevedo, McRoskey Mattress Company for an endorsement.  She just returned from New York City as the new Chairperson of the Jewelers of America.  She also announced that Gleim was designated Best Jeweler in the County Almanac.

May Success Stories Round-up!

Let’s take a minute to celebrate some PEA members’ successes from the month of May!

  • Albert Ong, Ambassador Services had a great success at the beginning of May.  A stone supplier was so impressed with the job that Albert did that he called a friend to recommend him.
  • Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic is very happy with the progress of his office remodeling project.  The new design is giving the whole office a new energy and the phones keep ringing, too.
  • David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties reports that there has been an uptick in business lately with seven active referrals from a recent presentation.
  • Bob Rosenberg, GR8WORK Builders, Inc. participated again this year in Rebuilding Together day.  He and Duane Asbra, Pro-Staff Painting, Terry Pebbles, Piazza Pebbles Floor & Window Covering, and Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing (along with other Rebuilding Together volunteers) worked on a home in East Palo Alto, transforming it in one day.
  • Brad Brown, Brown Financial & Insurance Services was uncomfortable at his desk.  Was it just that he’s getting old?  Good news – Susan Hannah, Ergo Works can make it better (even if part of it is that you are getting old).
  • Albert Ong, Ambassador Services thanked Werner Rogmans, Stanford Floral Design for flowers that he said were unbelievable.
  • Maureen Clark, Clark Associates thanked Randy Mills, Pioneer Services for the outstanding job he did cleaning the windows at their home.  The clean windows give her a new outlook on life.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Paul Kraus, Goodco Press for the new business cards.  She just finished a fundraiser that included a fashion show.  Due to rain, they did everything in a tent and a good time was had by all.