ServiceMaster Heroes

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 A Welcoming Heart Leaves A Lasting Memory

To be the face and voice of a company, one must possess a strong character, a heart with no limit, the ability to adapt to any situation or any person, and whole-heartedly believe in the company and the role. Friday, ServiceMaster will say goodbye to a woman who exemplifies those needed characteristics and will leave a legacy unlike any other in ServiceMaster’s 65-year history.

The woman who associates, visitors and even delivery people affectionately call “Miss Frances” has decided it’s time to say goodbye to the place she has considered her second home for more than 50 years. But when she does, she’ll be leaving behind a few special gifts: sweet memories, funny stories and hopeful life lessons.

Howard Strelsin, senior national account manager of Terminix, remembers the first day he met Hill and says he will always think of her as the face of the company. “When I first started, Frances was the face of Terminix. She has the ideal temperament and enthusiasm for a professional environment and leaves a lasting mark on whoever she talks to. I honestly don’t think she has ever had a bad day – and if she has, you wouldn’t know it.”

Fellow associates describe her as having a sweet spirit, heart of gold, vibrant and contagious personality, being dedicated, loyal, a real go-getter, a great person to know and be around, and someone who bleeds ServiceMaster blue.

According to her boss, Bill Anderson, manager of corporate facilities, Hill always does a little extra to help others, whether it’s the first time she meets someone or she spots a familiar face walking into the lobby.

“You walk into the building and you are always greeted by her heartfelt smile,” he said. “There is not a person who has walked through those doors who she has not gone out of her way to treat special and make them feel at home.”

Hill got her start with the company in 1961 as a switchboard operator at Terminix, then known as E.L. Bruce, an oak flooring company. She stayed on when Cook’s purchased the business in 1973 and again when ServiceMaster bought it in 1986. Any visitors or callers over the years know well the sweet voice that greets them at the door or on the other end of the phone.

“She memorizes voices, faces, numbers, and so much more about people,” said Anderson. “It’s truly amazing how she can talk to someone one brief time, and they call back or visit again and she knows them by name.”

She left the company for a short period, in 1999, but returned in 2002 to serve as the company’s headquarters receptionist, where she has greeted associates, customers, vendors and visitors at the front door ever since. From her post, she’s welcomed board members and CEOs, distributed morning newspapers, accepted lunch deliveries and given driving directions to lost strangers.

Longtime colleagues remarked that Hill’s strong work ethic, welcoming heart and unforgettable character have been permanently woven into the company’s fabric – and will be sorely missed.

One visiting vendor thought so much of Hill, he once brought along his own receptionist to spend a day and learn from her. And Hill knows something about royalty, too. She was named Queen of ServiceMaster in 1998, and served alongside Anderson, who was named king.

When asked what her favorite part of the job has been, Hill quickly replied with her signature smile. “Talking. Talking is my favorite part. I have always been a talker. I like talking and meeting all kinds of wonderful people. How can I not love what I do?”

“Frances gives selflessly, is faithful and loyal, and always finds the silver lining in any situation,” said Anderson. “She will be missed by all, but we will hold tightly to the lessons we have learned from her and the memories we share.”

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To be the face and voice of a company, one must possess a strong character, a heart with no limit, the ability to adapt to any situation or any person, and whole-heartedly believe in the company and the role. (more)

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