By: Paul Slobodzian
Danny Beck, owner and CEO of Beck Janitorial, stopped by the NHS campus early February to talk to some of the students with JGG (Jobs for Georgia Graduates) and advised them about entering the business world.
“I really liked his story about school not really being his thing,” Gaines Coker, NHS Career Coordinator, said. “But he’s got a great work ethic, and that’s something that I want the students to realize. Academics and school aren’t for everybody, but you really need to have a good work ethic.”
Having graduated from Newnan High School in 1990 and then starting to clean for a living a year later, Beck shared his perspective on the power of his teachers and the influence they had on him during his high school career.
“I liked school, but I guess you could put me in the ADHD category,” Beck said. “It was hard for me to sit still. I loved my teachers, and I think my teachers loved me. The one thing I can say, when it all started for me, was when my teachers made me develop a work ethic, even if the work ethic was just putting on my clothes and going to school. Meeting some of these teachers and coming back here years later and seeing what they did for me twenty plus years ago is very gratifying.”
Upon graduation, Beck departed for college but quickly realized the college route just wasn’t for him. That decision left him searching for a job, so he decided to start cleaning.
“I needed a job,” Beck remembered. “In 1991, I realized that college wouldn’t work out for me, so my father said ‘hey, you’re going to need to get this thing kicked off and start working.’ So I went to the Papp Clinic, which is no longer here, and started cleaning. It wasn’t like I had a big business decision or ‘I’m going to start this company’ …I needed a job.”
Cleaning has definitely paid its dividends for Beck as he has seen his business blossom over the last twenty-five years and become a staple around Newnan and Coweta County.
“It’s hard to explain this to people,” Beck stated, “but in 1991, I enjoyed cleaning. I enjoy going to vacuum. I enjoy cleaning, period, and when I look back, I’m still amazed that people pay us to clean up after other humans. It’s pretty amazing.”
Being the CEO of his own company, Beck faces many unique difficulties on a daily basis. Human interaction is Beck’s main responsibility at Beck Janitorial, and he discussed how challenging it can be to balance the attitudes, work ethics and behaviors of hundreds of people within an organization.
When asked what the most challenging aspects of maintaining a business are, Beck jokingly responded “How much time do we have?”
He then said, “I’m in the human business. We hire people, and we give them a pay, and we ask them to do the certain task for the certain pay. And sometimes humans have different ideas in their heads.
“We have a little over 500 humans working with us, and I sometimes call it controlled chaos. Battles that I have as my company gets larger like workman’s [compensation] issues are things that I never dreamed of as a young business owner.”
Mr. Coker also brought up the significance of social interactions when it comes to job interviews and making professional connections with people.
“So many people have a difficult time meeting people,” Mr. Coker stated, “and we try [with JGG] to get kids out to job fairs and networking and doing things in the community. Danny [Beck] is so good at it. It just comes natural to him, but a lot of people, including adults have a tough time meeting people.”
Beck appreciates the support of his community, especially when first starting his company.
“This community has been wonderful to me,” Beck stated. “It’s almost like they put their arms around me and helped me grow my business. I couldn’t imagine doing it any place else. I love my community. Staying here and being part of Coweta County has been an amazing blessing for me and also my company.”
Newnan and Coweta County has a profound impact on the people within the city and county borders, and Beck has taken notice of that over the years.
“This is a great community. There’s a lot of love and a lot of pride with our downtown and with our high schools. We have three wonderful high schools, and we have a wonderful education system here. I’m just very, very prideful of Coweta County and Newnan.”
With his personal story, Beck has taken the opportunity to share the importance of developing a work ethic.
“First and foremost, I don’t care what you decide to do—journalism, doctor, digging ditches—just develop a work ethic,” Beck stressed. “You will be successful in anything you do as long as you develop a work ethic.”
Mr. Coker noticed the effects a strong work ethic has had on Beck and his company and wants the students affiliated with JGG to understand the importance, as well.
“You can start out as a custodian like Danny did, and [he] now, twenty-five years later, has worked his way into Beck’s Janitorial. I think that’s the ‘American Dream,’” Mr. Coker said.
Outside of business, Beck enjoys spending time with his family and cycling.
“My go-to is probably cycling besides my children,” Beck commented. “I have two little boys, seven and ten; they’re first, bike second. I’m just a big believer in overall wellness, and we try to share that in our organization.”
Beck also enjoys participating in various sports like baseball, football and soccer with his children as well as other organizations like Boy Scouts, the annual CLICK Trivia Bee and the Coweta County Chamber of Commerce.
“Our downtown Newnan used to be a ghost town,” Beck said. “I am very excited about we have going on. Our commissioners, city council, health care system—it’s a wonderful place to live. Just living here excites me, honestly.