Jaclyn Carpenter Pivots Company Focus to Meet Pandemic Demand for Services

Jaclyn Carpenter became the CEO of Ideal Restoration when she was 23 years old. She was young and a woman in a male dominated industry.  However, Carpenter defied the odds and led the company to be the No. 1 provider of building recovery solutions in San Francisco. She persevered during the pandemic and made a crucial pivot to the company’s focus to produce its most successful year in its 50-year history.

In her early years as CEO, Carpenter knew she had to learn everything she could about building recovery solutions and emergency restoration in order to be the best leader she could be. Carpenter worked tirelessly towards becoming an expert in the field. She was onsite operating equipment, dealing with flooding, sewage backups, mold, asbestos and disinfecting. It was dirty work, Carpenter recalled.

Once she mastered what went on in the business, Carpenter knew it was time to focus on the business. Carpenter shifted her focus to growth and operations.

“While there were learning curves as I grew into my role as CEO, it felt amazing to be the visionary for the company, to determine how we would grow to where we wanted to be, and what would set us apart from our competition,” explained Carpenter.

Today, Ideal is No. 1 in their industry in San Francisco and just had a record-breaking year after Carpenter elected to prioritize hospital sanitation and disinfection.

“My grandmother died from a hospital-acquired infection, so working in hospitals has always been near and dear to my heart,” explained Carpenter. “But when covid hit, we saw an opportunity and seized it. We were the first to market our disinfecting services to major San Francisco clients, particularly hospitals. We were already experts on controlling infectious diseases and creating a high-level clean environment so it made sense.”

Disinfection services is just one example of what Ideal offers. They also specialize in biohazard and crime scene clean up, asbestos abatement, and disaster recovery solutions such as flood recovery and fire/smoke recovery.

Another smart business move spearheaded by Carpenter was the decision to purchase property for her business, rather than be at the mercy of a landlord.  TMC Financing connected with Carpenter to help her purchase 1499 Evans Ave in San Francisco. She was able to conserve working capital by utilizing the SBA 504 Program for the acquisition. She purchased the $4.2 million property in 2012 with only 10 percent down and a long term, below-market rate.

“It was really important for us to own our space,” stated Carpenter. “At the time, our goal was to be the No. 1 provider in San Francisco, so we needed a secure, permanent home in San Francisco. It was too risky to rent and run into a situation with a landlord or getting priced out. I wanted control over our future.”

“We also have unique needs with vehicles, equipment and security so it costs a lot to customize our space. Every customization we make increases the property’s value. We were also able to purchase a larger facility than we needed that already had a long-term tenant. The monthly rental income I get increases our equity, which will be leveraged towards our next property.”

Being a young woman leading a company in a male dominated field, Carpenter has overcome many hurdles. Her advice to other woman leaders?  Be confident, know your stuff, and the rest will fall into place.

Carpenter is excited about what is in store for Ideal. She has a strong leadership team and they are now expanding into the East Bay, with plans to repeat their success in a new territory.