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DuctPro founder announces winner of Dryer Duct Cleaning contest held at Rock Financial Showplace in southeast Michigan

October, 2008

BIA Fall Home Remodeling and Design Expo - October 10-12, 2008

Safety King, founding company of DuctPro, is an air duct cleaning company, the largest and oldest in Michigan, but also provides other related services to their customers. One of those related services is dryer duct cleaning, to reduce the amount of lint buildup in the duct that carries clothes dryer exhaust to the outside air. This build-up of lint is a distinct fire hazard and the sad truth is that each year many lives are needlessly lost and a great deal of property is destroyed by house fires that start in clothes dryers due to lint build-up.

At this year's Building Industry Association Fall Home Remodeling and Design Expo, held October 10-12 at the Rock Financial Showplace in southeast Michigan, Safety King ran a Dryer Duct Cleaning contest. Employees Marcus Palazzolo and Chris Nevens collected the completed entry blanks at the show and then drew a winner: Tom Gilbert of Ferndale, MI. He will be receiving the free Dryer Duct Cleaning - a $105 - $150 value - in the next few days.

Rock Financial Showplace

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DuctPro founding company receives recognition for MDA fundraising

End August, 2008

Maria Donadio Golf Classic, held on June 19, 2008

Every year since its inception in 1995, Safety King, the company that founded DuctPro International, has participated in a southeast Michigan MDA fund raising effort known as the Maria Donadio Golf Classic. This year, 2008, was no exception, and the outing raised over $66,000. Counting this year's contributions, the Maria Donadio Golf Classic has passed the $1,000,000 mark in funds raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Safety King has received the certificate of appreciation shown below for their role in making this year's outing a success.

08 MDA fundraising certificate

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DuctPro founding company makes the News!

Article in the Detroit News on Safety King's new DuctPro franchise opportunity
Thursday, August 21, 2008, The Detroit News, Local Spotlight
http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080821/BIZ/808210329

AIRDUCT FIRM OPENS DOORS TO FRANCHISING
Utica company has perfected a business model that will be offered throughout U.S.
Karen Dybis / Special to The Detroit News

As it approaches its 40th anniversary, Michigan-based Safety King is looking to expand by franchising its business model throughout the United States.

Known locally for its red trucks, the air-duct cleaning company hopes to have more than 50 franchises within the next two years, said founder and President Michael S. Palazzolo. DuctPro truck hookup

The new franchises will go under the name DuctPro International. Safety King will still operate around Metro Detroit as an arm of the DuctPro company, said operations manager Michael J. Palazzolo.

"It's a natural evolution," said Palazzolo, who also is the founder's son and the brains behind the decision to offer the DuctPro franchise. "For years, we've been training people, handling the marketing and selling equipment. ... All of the pieces finally fell into place."

An ideal franchisee is someone who is mechanically inclined and has a penchant for customer service, Michael S. Palazzolo said. The initial franchise fee is $25,000 and there is a $50,000 territory fee for an exclusive territory of 250,000 households.

Franchisees also will receive training at the company's headquarters, customized marketing and sales programs and the use of the DuctPro brand, including its 800-number in each franchise market.

To jumpstart the franchising program, DuctPro is offering potential franchisees discounts of up to 35 percent for veterans as well as people who have been downsized by the automotive industry.

Michael S. Palazzolo founded Safety King in 1969. He was working for a heating and cooling company that did air-duct cleaning on the side, and he saw the potential to open a business that focused solely on duct work.

People clean their ducts for a variety of reasons, Michael S. Palazzolo said. Older houses tend to need it because the ducts can accumulate dust, dirt and other debris. Newer homes often need duct cleaning to remove any construction materials in the ducts, such as drywall dust and the like.

Safety King quickly set itself apart from the competition, using unique techniques like a small camera to show homeowners and commercial clients a video of what it looks like inside their ducts before and after a cleaning.

"If you're coughing and sneezing, your ducts could be the reason," Michael S. Palazzolo said.

While its service may be more expensive than its rivals, Michael S. Palazzolo said that Safety King trucks have better suction power than most. Also, their employees are certified through the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, the Duct Cleaners Network and the Indoor Air Quality Association. DuctPro's future franchisees also will be certified through these same associations, Michael J. Palazzolo said.

Safety King and DuctPro also offer other services, including dryer-vent cleaning, air duct inspections and airduct sanitizer treatments.

"Our company goes to great lengths to keep people and their homes safe," Michael S. Palazzolo said.

Karen Dybis is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

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A DuctPro Company Attends DCN Convention in Indianapolis

Safety King in southeast Michigan, founders of DuctPro, attended the 5th Annual Duct Cleaners' Network Conference in Indianapolis and pronounced it A Win at Indy!

The Duct Cleaners Network (DCN) hosted its 5th Annual Conference August 1-3, 2008, at the Holiday Inn at the Pyramids in Indianapolis, IN. With a focus on business networking between high quality service and equipment providers coupled with peer to peer hands-on training, the programs and events were well received. Over 45 business owners attended the full conference, and all conference sessions had a 100% participation level. Sessions covered topics such as turning your business into a machine, confined space entry, creating employee manuals, and successful marketing in a down economy.

Day two of the conference was held on-site at Mite-E-Ducts/Control Tech of Zionsville. At their campus, Alan and Clay Winters facilitated several hand-on demonstrations including UV lights installation and service, zoning techniques and encapsulation. The attendees were treated to a lively and interactive keynote presentation by Mrs. Toni Cooper.
DCN Convention 08
The Duct Cleaners Network has already announced plans to hold the 6th annual event at the same location in August 2009. Exact dates will be announced shortly. The DCN's mission remains promoting interaction among its members at reasonable costs. All events are held at family friendly properties. In addition to the networking and educational programs some members even use the network to cooperatively participate in large projects together. To support true networking, DCN hosts a lively Discussion Forum. DCN members also have access to a comprehensive business audio library. More information about this exciting network and their upcoming events calendar can be found at the website, www.ductcleanersnetwork.org.

 

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"The King" meets Jack Canfield

September 18, 2007

Michael S. Palazzolo, founder of DuctPro, and several friends were guests at a speaking engagement featuring Jack Canfield. Jack is the co-author of the incredibly successful “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and is featured in the movie “The Secret.”

Mike & Jack

As one of Michael’s personal heroes and a like-minded “positive thinker,” Jack teaches the Laws of Attraction and the power that they have in our lives. Those who know Mike have heard him enthusiastically spreading this message and how it has changed his life for the past twenty-five years. The presentation, as expected, was wonderful!

Michael invites you to contact him about realizing the Power of Attraction in your life! mike@ductpro.com

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Glenn Haege (Master Handyman) visits DuctPro

September 6, 2007

As a proud sponsor of Ask the Handyman with Glenn Haege on WJR 760 AM, DuctPro hosted a visit from the man himself during our weekly technical meeting on September 6. Glenn shared stories from his radio show and lessons learned from other visiting with the “front liners” of the companies he promotes. Likewise, the technicians illuminated pertinent industry news and shared their own experiences from the field. After the formal meeting took place with the technical staff Glenn came out to the shop area to see the fleet off for the work day. He took the time to pose for a few pictures with the staff and meet each technician personally. Afterward the office staff had some time to interact with and communicate their experiences to Glenn. If anyone wonders why Glenn seems to personally know all the contractors he accepts as sponsors, it’s because he really does. DuctPro thanks Glenn Haege for taking the time to visit our operation and to meet our most valuable asset, our people.

Haege in Shop

Haege with Techs

Haege with Techs 2

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DuctPro at 2007 Home Improvement Show
Macomb Community College Expo Center, Macomb, MI

February 16-18, 2007

Operations Manager MJ Palazzolo, Supervisor of Shows and Exhibits Marcus Palazzolo and Technician Chris Nevens were all there mingling with the crowd and answering questions. One of the smaller shows that DuctPro participates in, the 2007 Macomb Home Improvement Show provided a more intimate setting and more time with each person who was interested in DuctPro's services. Even owner Mike Palazzolo made an appearance to the delight of those who have known him for years and enjoy his knowledge and expertise on his industry.

Home Show

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DuctPro at 2007 Home Improvement Show
Rock Financial Showplace, Novi

January 26-28, 2007

Marcus Palazzolo, supervisor of conference and convention exhibits was out proudly representing DuctPro again this year at the Novi Home improvement show Jan 26-28. He had one of our monster trucks on hand so interested attendees could see firsthand what the most powerful vacuum truck available on the commercial market looks like. Marcus answered many, many questions from participants. His pleasant demeanor seemed to set them at ease and encourage even more questions.

All this of course was aimed at once again showing our shared community why DuctPro is the best investment they can make in HVAC duct system cleaning.The event was a success and DuctPro looks forward to returning next year. Also at the show but not pictured were Technicians Matt Moscone and Chris Nevens along with Operations Manager Michael J. Palazzolo.

Show 3Show 1Show 2

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Safety King at 2006 NADCA Convention

March 4-9, 2006

DuctPro sponsors NADCA’s 17th Annual Meeting and Exposition. Held in Dallas, Texas, the “2006 Indoor Environments” meeting was one of the most successful to date. Sponsored by DuctPro, attendance was robust and the programs were informative and powerful, yet focused and concise.

Below, a view of the beautiful Dallas skyline.

Dallas

New initiatives in training and certification were introduced and the standards for member companies continue to be raised. A hot topic of discussion was a new member designation exclusively for those companies that guarantee certified ASCS personnel on every jobsite, something DuctPro has done for years.

Below, DuctPro President Michael S. Palazzolo has the honor of introducing the keynote speaker George Hedley.

Mike & George

After the keynote address it was off to the exhibit hall where Michael spent hours promoting the healthy growth of the organization as well as that of the industry as a whole. “We continue to distance ourselves from the cheap, untrained companies of the past. The public is becoming more aware of the disservice these ‘blow-and-go’ companies can do to an uninformed consumer. The evidence has become overwhelming that it is imperative to hire only trained, licensed, and certified companies equipped with the best tools. And this only makes sense. If we demand the highest standards from those we hire to clean our teeth, repair our cars or care for our pets, why wouldn’t we demand the same of a company servicing the systems that control indoor air quality for us and our families?”

Symbolic of DuctPro's dedication to the trend toward higher industry standards, Operations Manager Michael J. Palazzolo, below, accepts the first place award for new member sponsorship.

Big Money

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New Corporate Headquarters Opens
DuctPro HQ
We're proud to announce the Summer, 2005 grand opening of our new corporate headquarters building on the corner of 22 Mile Road and Ryan Road in Utica, MI. The complex consists of a 10,000 square foot training facility/garage and an adjacent 4,000 square foot office building.

This new building replaces the former headquarters building, a turn-of-the-century farmhouse. “It was a question of space, really,” says the owner, Michael S. Palazzolo. “We had seriously outgrown our former quarters. Plus, we needed more space to maintain and service our fleet of twenty Power Vacuum Trucks between jobs. We also needed more space to support our training programs. We continuously train our own NADCA certified technician team and we also offer technician and marketing training to other companies, some from as far away as Indonesia and Australia.”

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Handgun Found In Duct

Not long ago, two of our Technicians, Gene and Dave, found a loaded pistol inside an air duct while doing a residential cleaning. Here is Gene's report.

"In the beginning of the procedure, Dave cut a one-inch hole in the duct work. When withdrawing his drill bit, he saw that there was aluminum foil and shredded paper caught in the bit. Dave called it to my attention and said “Gee this is gonna be a dirty one.” Dave then cut a four-inch hole in a different part of the duct and noticed that objects were visible in the duct. He said it looked like it was more aluminum foil. He extracted several foil wrapped packages. Inside the packages were various documents including tax returns and what appeared to be copies of criminal records. We brought this to the attention of the customer and she assured us we could just leave it all on the table in the basement because she found it interesting and wanted to look through it.

I began brushing the interior of the ductwork as usual. As I did so, I noticed the brush did not seem to be rotating normally. I began retrieving my brush from the duct work and I could hear that something was definitely being dragged down the main trunk line. I pulled the brush out of the ductwork and saw the object, which was wrapped in insulation and masking tape. It was obvious from its shape that it was a handgun.

I immediately called it to my partner’s attention and then alerted the homeowner. She called the police and an officer arrived before we had finished the duct cleaning. The officer took the gun for disposal, along with the bullets it was loaded with.

We finished our work, thanked the customer and the officer and started our truck to embark on the next stage of our mission to save the world…one house at a time. Who knows what could be lying in your ductwork?" [end of Gene's report]

Our Technicians have become pretty blase about things that are found in ductwork. Nobody seems to be surprised anymore. That's understandable, though. Here’s a partial list combed from our records: soiled diapers, two diamond rings, magazines hidden away by teenage boys, diaries written by teenage girls, used hypodermic needles, immigration papers, and lots of money. The money thing is pretty amazing. We have found Pesos, Rubles, Francs, Yen, Kroner, Duetchmarks, Lira, Confederate Dollars, over a trillion dollars in play money and, once, $8,000 in coins. Apparently, lots of people who want to hide things think of an air duct as a likely spot. Dixie cups, beer cans and the occasional builder’s lunch don’t even raise an eyebrow. Our owner, Mike, has a personal favorite, though. A brand new clarinet in the case. The home owner couldn’t wait to confront her son with the long lost instrument. She kept mumbling something about “all those payments…”

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Training for Continuous Improvement

DuctPro carries on frequent in-house training for members of our technical staff. Each of our lead Technicians has already been certified as an Air System Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) by NADCA, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. Even so, DuctPro wants to keep all Technicians constantly updated on the very best techniques for serving the duct cleaning needs of our customers. In these photos of a recent training session in our new 10,000 square foot garage and training facility, Technicians get hands-on practice in the most effective way to clean the air conditioning coil in a residential air duct system. Cleaning the air conditioning coil is included in each of our air duct cleaning jobs at no extra charge, unlike many of our competitors.

Training 1Training 3Training 2