Cheyne Brokate knows how to grow. As vice president of operations at Brokate Janitorial LLC, he oversaw the growth to over 80 individuals in 2016 from just three in 2005, and he’s responsible for sales growth that has averaged 30 percent the past five years. Brokate also leads the company’s charitable initiative, which donates cash and cleaning service to area nonprofits. Brokate Janitorial added more organizations to the initiative each year and in 2015 donated over $30,000, exceeding its $25,000 goal.
What was your first job? My first job was cleaning bathrooms for Brokate Maintenance at the age of 7 or 8. My parents had bought a window cleaning company a few years prior to that. As soon as we were old enough to help, they made us useful on our way to fun activities like the beach or soccer practice.
What is your theme song? My theme song would have to be “Dream On,” by Aerosmith. Life is all about having and pursuing worthy dreams to push yourself forward and has been a vital part of my life and business.
When did you realize you had grown up? The first time I had to let somebody go. It’s the hardest part of the job, even if the circumstances warrant it. We built into our company ongoing coaching to give our employees every opportunity to progress and improve to minimize decisions like that.
What do you miss most about the 1990s? MC Hammer pants. As a child, I felt like I could run faster and slide across the floor so well in them.