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IICRC Newsletter Spotlight Mike West

Mike West
Nationally Recognized Carpet Industry Expert & Lowest Active IICRC Registration #103

When did you get your start in the cleaning and restoration business?
I am a third generation cleaner and restorer and got my start at the age of 7 while working at my father’s plant in Whittier, Calif. I was responsible for pulling staples and vacuuming Axminster and Wilton rugs and riding up the pulley systems used to hang rugs 24 feet in the air. I then went to college at San Jose State University, where I continued to work in the industry during the summers. One summer a beautiful young lady brought in an area rug to be cleaned and after I received my commission as an Army Lieutenant we were married and have one son named Josh.”

When did you first get involved in the IICRC?
In the mid-70s when I was president of the Carpet & Fabricare Institute (CFI), I met Carl Williams and we learned of a unique program run by Ed York in Fresno, Calif. called the IICUC, now the IICRC. After attending the classes taught by Tom Hill and assisted by Jeff Bishop, we were impressed by the curriculum and professionalism and suggested turning it into a “not-for-profit.”

I also helped create the Certification Council and have served in various roles since the 1970s, including President, Chairman of the Certification Council, Approved School Administrator and Instructor.

When was your “15 minutes of fame”?
In the 80s, I volunteered on Allied Fibers National Carpet Research Advisory Board for four years. During my final term, I received a call from a large PR firm in New York that wanted me to fly there for an interview for a promotional position. After arriving there, I learned they were looking for a national spokesperson to help promote Monsanto Fibers new Wear Dated Stain Blocker nylon fiber brand. After being selected for the position, I was given media training and spent almost two years doing television and radio promotions, newspaper interviews and industry events for Monsanto. I even appeared on the Regis and Kathy Lee show in New York!

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