Junior Achievement | Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame
Jay Vonachen

Jay Vonachen

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President & CEO | Founder
Professional Maintenance / Vonachen Services Inc (VSI)

Lifelong Peorian and entrepreneur, Jay Vonachen started in the business world long before opening his first cleaning service. As a young boy, he would sweep floors and empty the wastebaskets of his father’s sales business. He didn’t realize it at the time, but those early days would eventually lead Jay to pursue a lifelong career helping other companies look and perform their best.

Growing up in the janitorial distribution business started by his father, Bob Vonachen in 1945, Jay learned from the ground up what it took to be successful in a very competitive market. Hard work dedicated and talented employees, a solid organizational structure, and a willingness to adjust to ongoing changes in the industry all contributed to the growth of Vonachen Industrial Supply’s 50 plus years in business.

Jay was involved in several organizations revolving around the industry during those years. His participation as a member of the ISSA enabled him to meet many other professionals in the business – creating several lifelong friendships.

As Jay continued his career at Vonachen Industrial Supply, he decided in 1968 to open his own company – Professional Maintenance Inc., later becoming Vonachen Services, Inc. (VSI), a commercial janitorial service company. As the first employee (and only employee for a while), Jay started with a commitment to grow his company with dedicated and talented employees, once again. His loyalty to his customers and employees created the foundation that grew into a multi-level organization.

Not only has Jay’s life focused on his commitment to the growth and success of both Vonachen Industrial Supply and VSI; he also has held firm in his belief in giving back to the community. Jay has served on several financial, and community-based Boards-including University Bank, Commercial National Bank, First of America Trust Company, OSF St. Francis Hospital, Bradley University, Human Service Center, Peoria Chamber, State of Illinois Chamber, Heart of Illinois United Way, and the Howard Young Foundation in Minocqua, Wisconsin to name a few.

His lifelong work ethic, involvement in his community and VSI are only second to his dedication to his ever-growing family. He and his wife Betty continue to reside in Peoria part-time and have three children, Matt, who is now the CEO of Vonachen Group, which includes VSI, daughters Elizabeth and Molly, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Summers are spent at the family home in Minocqua, WI., in the exact location where Jay spent his childhood days with his grandparents and parents. In Minocqua Jay can be found fishing, boating, and enjoying the outdoors with many of his family members. When not in Minocqua or Florida, Jay continues to come to the Vonachen Group office daily, making his a very full, appreciated, and well-loved life.

“Over the years, VSI has grown into a full-service facility maintenance leader that provides janitorial services, healthcare services, logistics, and support services for a wide range of clients throughout the Midwest. Vonachen Group operates in 12 states and 63 cities, continuing to build upon the foundation created by its founder, Jay Vonachen over 50 years ago.”

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