A former Filipino veterinary surgeon who switched careers when she moved to New Zealand is helping to train newcomers to the cleaning industry.

(photo caption:) Maricel DeGuzman with CrestClean Invercargill Regional Manager Glenn Cockroft

(video caption:) Ralph Sales

Maricel DeGuzman, who has been with CrestClean for five years, has been appointed as a Regional Trainer for the company’s training unit, Master Cleaners Training Institute.

Along with her husband Martin, who was also a registered veterinary surgeon when they lived in the Philippines, she now runs a large CrestClean franchise in Invercargill.

For Maricel, helping newcomers to the cleaning industry has become a passion that brings a strong sense of fulfilment. “You’re happy and fulfilled that you are helping others and sharing the skills you’ve gained,” she says.

In her new role Maricel takes new franchisees through practical and theory sessions leading to the Certificate in Commercial Cleaning.

Maricel and Martin and their two children arrived from the Philippines in 2007. They left behind family and friends and emigrated to New Zealand to make a new life for themselves.

Martin began working on a farm in Invercargill while Maricel took on a role as a caregiver at a retirement home in the city.

In 2014 they took the opportunity to purchase a small franchise with CrestClean and undertook cleaning in the evenings for a number of customers as a means of supplementing their income.

As they expanded the size of their cleaning franchise, it became obvious to them that there was an opportunity to grow their business further.

Maricel stepped aside from her day job to spend more time on their business. As a mum of two young children, being a franchisee also gave her more flexibility in the hours she worked.

“What I really like about cleaning is that you have your own time and you can chose when you begin, unlike if you are in a job as an employee and have to start at a set time,” she says.

“When the kids were young I could adjust my cleaning time to suit the family.”

Later Martin undertook further training and certification, adding carpet cleaning and specialist window cleaning to the range of services the couple could offer their customers.

CrestClean’s Invercargill Regional Manager Glenn Cockroft says that it was a good decision when Martin swapped farming for fulltime cleaning.

“As he said goodbye to the hundreds of cows on the farm that he had milked twice every day for many years, they found satisfaction in not only the work that they were doing for their CrestClean customers, but of course also in the new income level they then found themselves at.

“The couple’s hard work has given them a more comfortable lifestyle,” says Glenn. “They have built a brand new house here in Invercargill for themselves and their two children and they have just purchased their first rental property in the city as well.”