Meet Pat Jennings, the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Technical Services Manager
"Congratulations! Your (solution, vacuum cleaner, deep-cleaning system, or extractor) meets all the testing requirements for CRI Seal of Approval… "
Anyone who has ever gotten this letter from CRI is familiar with Technical Services Manager Pat Jennings. That’s because one of Pat’s main duties here at CRI is to communicate to SOA solutions and equipment manufacturers when they have passed SOA testing (as well as the less pleasant duty of telling them when they haven’t).
Pat came to CRI in 2005, after retiring early from Delta Airlines. Pat spent 25 years at the Atlanta-based airline, primarily as a buyer with the company’s purchasing department. In her last position with Delta, Pat told me she negotiated the contracts with catering vendors all over Asia, traveling to their kitchens and working out the menus “down to the last lettuce leaf and ¼ teaspoon of salt”. When I asked her if we as consumers had her to blame for the lousy airline food, she laughed and said, “Absolutely! But only if you were on a flight from, say, Bangkok or Hong Kong.”
Pat is the staff representative on the CRI’s Cleaning and Maintenance and Standards and Specifications Issues Management Teams. She’s CRI’s primary administrator for its Continuing Education program. On top of all that, she travels on behalf of CRI, representing the carpet industry at cleaning industry trade shows and government and private seminars and meetings dealing with Indoor Air Quality and related issues. She enjoys being a Diplomat for the Dalton-Whitfield County Chamber of Commerce and participates in the Chamber Leadership program.
Little known facts about Pat: she only drives cars with straight shifts. Her older son, a sergeant with the Army National Guard, is about halfway through a one-year tour in Afghanistan - Pat keeps up with him everyday on Facebook. She has two five-year-old granddaughters – one in Georgia and one in California. She likes to garden.
I asked Pat to answer a few questions for me.
BR: Pat, what do you like about your job at the Carpet and Rug Institute?
I enjoy the challenges and the people I work with both in and out of the office. I like the varied tasks associated with my job, and the diversity of each “hat” that I wear here at CRI.
BR: Do you miss traveling around the world for your job?
I do miss the different cultures, but not the long flights.
BR: Did you ever think you’d know so much about carpet cleaning and maintenance?
When I first stepped into the world of The Carpet and Rug Institute, I thought, “I’ll never catch on to this.” After all, I had spent 25 years in the airline industry – what did I know about carpet! But I stuck with it, and with the help of some very knowledgeable people I’ve worked with over the years, I’ve learned, and continue to learn about carpet cleaning and maintenance, as well as the carpet industry as a whole.
Thanks, Pat, for all you do for CRI!