2019 Nominee One: Miller & Company Sanitation Services

Ron Miller has spent his entire life cleaning up after other people. His company is represented at almost every major local event, but no one pays attention. Without him everyone’s life would be a lot messier, but few every say thank you. So why is this man smiling?

Ron and Kathy Miller are the entrepreneurs behind the Canton area’s largest porta-potty and septic cleaning business. He was born into the garbage business. Kathy has no such excuse. She does it for love.

In a manner of speaking they both do it for the love of building a great business and caring for a group of employees who’ve been with them from the beginning … and even before.

Before Miller and Company Sanitation Services, there was the RC Miller Company, one of the area’s largest garbage collection companies, founded by Ron’s father. Not only did his father build a hugely successful company, but the service principles established there have guided Ron’s career ever since.

After 40 years in business, the Miller family sold RC Miller to a larger company who kept Ron in charge — for awhile. Less than a year after the purchase was completed, Ron’s boss told him the company was moving in a new direction and Ron was out of a job. Easy come, hard to go.

Soon Ron met a guy who had purchased a local portable toilet business and wanted to sell. There were lots of similarities to his former business so he bought it, starting with just seven employees. Rejuvenated by a new business challenge, Ron quickly bought another portable toilet business, and then another. He added roll-off dumpsters. Within 36 months he had grown the business to 65 employees and was moving quickly. Many of his current employees have been with Ron since the RC Miller days.

Ron quickly saw a way to distinguish his company using the same business practices he’d used at RC Miller. Workers wore uniforms. Trucks were clean and dependable. They did what they said they were going to do, when they promised to do it, and for the price they quoted. In short, they treated their customers the way they wanted to be treated.

Kathy, who RC Miller in the 1990’s joined Ron in this new venture and they married in 2006. As the business grew, Ron and Kathy developed a good eye for market niches and new services they could offer. In 2000 they started cleaning septic tanks. As the gas drilling business exploded in eastern Ohio, Miller and Company found a profitable niche serving remote drilling sites, and cleaning up after the drilling was done. Miller and Company crews became regulars at area PGA golf tournaments, Pro Football Hall Of Fame events, local music concerts, construction sites, outdoor weddings and other events throughout eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Every year pro golfer Jason Day brought his family camper to the Bridgestone Invitational and got to know Miller crew members by name.

Ron and Kathy keep pushing the envelope further, investing in trailered mobile restrooms that bring home and office quality facilities to outdoor events. They have instituted service training programs throughout the company to maintain Miller level service in everything they do. Sophisticated new GPS software cuts fuel costs while helping provide the highest reliability possible. Service hubs have been added in Minerva, as well as Carroll and Columbiana Counties.

Together Ron and Kathy Miller are making the world a cleaner place, proving good service makes a difference in any business.