Chicago Veteran Backs His Company's Service with Military Values
When you name your business Veteran Air Cleaning Service, you know you’re going to have uphold a certain reputation.
Owner and U.S. Navy veteran Joshua Zajac said he was very aware of that when he chose the name for his highly rated air-duct cleaning company that he started in February 2013 in suburban Westmont, Illinois.
“Integrity, discipline and attention to detail are all so important in the military,” Zajac says. “When we were starting our business we knew those were the things we wanted to bring into it. Having ‘veteran’ in the name means we know we have to live up to those values. We don’t want to do anything to disrespect that name.”
Doing it the right way
The reviews left for Veteran Air Cleaning Service are evidence the company is delivering on its name. In just 18 months, customers have used words like “honest,” “courteous,” “hard-working” and “thorough” to describe their experiences with Zajac and partner Karl Schleitwiler.
“We just like to do things the right way,” Zajac says. “We take the time to explain the work we’re doing to all of our customers. It might take a little longer, but it’s important that our customers understand what it is that we’re doing.”
Zajac enlisted in the Navy shortly after graduating from Hubbard High School on Chicago’s southwest side in 2001. After serving for three years on active duty as part of the Navy’s Seabee construction force, Zajac entered the reserves. He was called to duty in 2006 and completed a 10-month deployment to Iraq.
“My grandfather served in World War II,” Zajac says. “So for me joining the military was about tradition and about finding a way to give back to my country in some way.”
Zajac left the military in 2011 after about 10 years. He spent some time getting an education and he and partner Schleitwiler spent about 18 months developing a business plan.
Even though his Navy days are behind him, Zajac still finds ways to continue to serve. Veterans Air Cleaning Service regularly donates work to local veterans organizations, and recently provided a free air duct cleaning at the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton.
“We’re a small company. We’re not making millions of dollars, but we’re still trying to give back in any way we can.”