SAN FRANCISCO − Jeff Yamaoka always figured he’d take over his father’s business one day, but rather than adopt a complacent mindset, he took the initiative to further advance his industry expertise. “My dad started Advanced Cleaning Systems Inc. in 1989 to provide janitorial services for office buildings, banks and other commercial locations,” he says. “We did some small-scale carpet cleaning, and as time went on, I became more interested in that aspect of the trade. To gain more experience, I spent five years working for a major carpet cleaning company before returning to the family business.”
Since assuming ownership of Advanced Cleaning Systems in 2005, Jeff has employed his accumulated expertise in the carpet cleaning trade to expand the company’s capabilities. “We still offer janitorial services, but we’ve also been able to branch out and provide our customers with a full range of carpet and upholstery cleaning services,” he says.
A lifetime resident of San Francisco, Jeff expresses his appreciation for living and working in the City by the Bay. “I love the diversity of the population here,” he says. “I get to meet people from all different backgrounds, and regardless of who I do business with, it’s almost always a pleasant experience. Plus, it’s pretty cool to drive around and get to know different areas of the city.”
Outside of work, Jeff spends much of his time in another professional capacity. “I’m a basketball referee,” he explains. “I’ve been officiating since high school—I started out with youth leagues and worked my way up to the college level, where I currently officiate both upper and lower divisions. During the season, I typically work 25 to 30 games, so it definitely takes up most of my time outside of the business.”
In regard to his professional career, Jeff draws a parallel between his dual occupations as a referee and a business owner. “One thing I’ve learned through officiating is the importance of maintaining a high level of professionalism,” he explains. “As you advance into the upper divisions, the standards and expectations become much higher. I think this definitely translates to my business—as with sports officiating, there’s a lot of competition in the cleaning business, so if you want to be successful, you have to maintain a high level of professionalism and be at the top of your game.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jeff says he’d head out to see the world. “I would certainly like to do some traveling, which is something I haven’t had many opportunities to do. I’m part Japanese and part Filipino, and I’ve never been to either Japan or the Philippines, so it’d be neat to visit those countries and get in touch with my heritage.”