By Matt Ellis
If you happen to see Sandino Cifuentes on Roberts Street outside his East Hartford office, chances are he may be looking to the north.
“You can see Springfield,” Cifuentes says of the Western Massachusetts city just 25 miles up Interstate 91. “That’s the next milestone for 2014.”
You could say Cifuentes has been looking north since he started working for Premier Maintenance—one of the AffinEco companies—eight years ago. The company gave him the title of vice president/branch manager and the challenge of developing the Hartford market, north of Premier’s headquarters and primary footprint.
“I’m proud to say over the last seven years the Hartford area has tripled for us,” said Cifuentes, who is quick to credit his team and the AffinEco way of doing business. “You try to set the bar high so you can instill a culture of quality on all levels: site supervisor, site manager, area manager.”
“One of the keys to Sandino’s success is his ability to mentor and develop his staff. He creates a level of respect and dependability with the staff, and that carries forward to his clients,” said AffinEco Managing Partner Michael Diamond.
Sandino Cifuentes emigrated from Guatemala after college. He and his girlfriend—now wife—settled in Lynn, Massachusetts to begin careers and a family. He worked his way up the ladder at two large commercial cleaning companies before coming to work at Premier.
As he’s developed new accounts around Hartford, Cifuentes has also developed AffinEco’s reputation for quality service and industry-leading green-cleaning techniques. “We have great customers and they have come to know and appreciate the work we do. I try to have customers for life—that’s the aim.”
“It’s not surprising he believes in having customers for life,” said Managing Partner Paul Senecal. “Sandino is dedicated to maintaining a high level of service, and his customers recognize that.”
Frank Cepero, Senior Vice President of Operations for AffinEco, agrees. “Sandino understands it’s critical to satisfy external and internal customers, and does this extraordinarily well,” he said.
As 2014 unfolds, Cifuentes will keep looking north, but once he establishes a presence in Springfield, he says his gaze will shift east. “Worcester is right down the road from Springfield. We are making some inroads there as well. I think the future is great for this company.”