For the past two decades, countless commercial businesses in Edmonton and area have benefited from AltraCare’s over 150 employees that clean more than two million square feet of retail, professional, industrial and office space daily. It’s an impressive feat, but for founder, president and CEO Mark Ferrara, it’s all about ensuring better health through spotless, detailed cleaning while empowering people.
“I founded the company for a couples of reasons,” says Ferrara. “One was to create a company focused on cleaning for health, and that principle guides us through everything from the type of cleaning agents to the vacuums we use. The second factor was to support, employ and empower people. AltraCare is a company dedicated to our employees. We work hard to train and motivate our people. We form strong, lasting relationships with our customers by giving them value. Also, our proactiveness to our customers is very important. If there are any issues, we fix them right away.”
One of AltraCare’s solutions is the development and deployment of its protection program, EnviroCare.
“When you work in an office you are usually in a closed environment,” explains Ferrara. “You cannot open the windows. Harsh chemicals can build up, irritate the lungs, and spike allergies. Most of the products we were already using were low-scent and certified green.”
AltraCare decided to take things a step further with EnviroCare, bringing together the cleanliness expected by clients with eco-friendly cleaners and high filtration equipment, all certified by third parties such as Green Seal and The Carpet and Rug Institute.
All products and procedures also meet or exceed ISO 9001 quality standards – in fact, AltraCare was the first janitorial company of its kind in Alberta to achieve ISO 9001 certification.
Ferrara says, “I wanted to become registered because I wanted consistency in our cleaning operations. We document the deficiencies and correct them right away before the customer does. A lot of companies have a quality program but with ISO, there’s a third party that comes to our office and audits us to make sure we do what we say. It’s a very expensive process, but worth it.”
Part of AltraCare’s commitment to quality is a focus on the technology that keeps spaces cleaner, especially during the pandemic.
“We use fogging to clean commercial areas that have experienced outbreaks,” says Ferrara. “We bring in our atomizer machine that distributes the sanitizing chemicals in nanoparticles. The fog goes into every crevice including between the keys on a keyboard. It kills viruses and is effective for up to 10 days. In addition to our customers loving this, we’ve signed up new customers because our fogging is so effective.”
Ferrara is passionate about keeping indoor spaces clean through AltraCare, but he’s equally passionate about supporting another clean cause – our oceans. To this end, he’s a firm supporter of 4ocean, the non-profit organization that pulls pollution from the ocean full time while providing education about the dangers of plastic pollution for marine life.
“I love this program! I love the ocean!” praises Ferrara. “The ocean affects every part of our ecosystem. AltraCare’s support has removed 500 pounds of plastic from our oceans. We clean interiors, but this is how we help clean nature.”
AltraCare also supports local initiatives such as Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Whether he’s supporting oceans miles away or helping to keep spaces cleaner and healthier, Ferrara is proud to call Edmonton home.
“Since moving here from the east in 2001 I have always felt that people are respectful and willing to work together. It’s a big city but a small community. We couldn’t be prouder to provide our phenomenal customer service to our great clients and we appreciate them all so much.”
Ferrara also greatly appreciates the company controller, SK Cheah, who he calls integral to the company. Cheah, the former CEO of Warner Music Malaysia, moved to Edmonton in 2012. Ferrara met him in 2014 when he did some work on Cheah’s property. The two talked and Ferrara asked for mentorship, one businessman to another.
“He helped us get from red to black and helped set the direction for the company,” says Ferrara. “As a leader, you want smart people to help you grow. I admire and respect him and his knowledge.”
AltraCare has the products, the technology, and the fogging equipment needed to help create greener, cleaner workspaces. Testimonials from happy customers and outstanding reviews are proof of AltraCare’s first-class customer service. The growing company is poised to purchase a larger home base soon and plans on managing growth while never losing sight of its objective of clean, healthy workplaces and empowering people.
18008 – 107 Avenue, Edmonton, AB
T 780.456.1387 • altracare.com