Defying the Odds


“Rags to riches to rags” – In the United States, only 30 percent of family businesses make it through the second generation, while only 12 percent make it through the third.

You Can’t Spend Pride tells the improbable story of Mister Kleen Maintenance Company, Inc. and its journey to defy the odds. From cleaning one client’s office in the evenings in 1976 to maintaining millions of square feet of high-security and commercial space throughout the Washington, D.C. metro region.

Today, not only are three generations of the family working at Mister Kleen, but the company has grown to be a multi-million-dollar operation that ranks among the top 10 percent of businesses in its industry.

Filled with stories and solid entrepreneurial advice, you’ll find yourself immersed in the inspirational history of Mister Kleen as it rises from a home-based business in 1976 to the trusted leader in high-security and commercial cleaning in the Nation’s Capital.

You Can’t Spend Pride is a must-read for anyone looking to start their own company, having difficulty growing their current company, and most certainly for anyone running a family business.

Dad 2008In Loving Memory – Ernest Clark, Sr. 1942-2009

You’re making a difference! Your purchase of You Can’t Spend Pride is making a difference by providing funding to one of the most significant organizations in the fight against cancer. Mister Kleen will donate to the Cancer Research Institute 100 percent of the proceeds for each paperback and Kindle copy purchased.

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is the world’s only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to harnessing the immune system’s power to conquer all cancers.

This important work has led to a promising new class of cancer treatments called cancer immunotherapy. These treatments mobilize, strengthen, and sustain the immune system’s natural ability to destroy cancer cells, wherever they are in the body. CRI awards research grants and fellowships to support scientists at leading research universities and clinics around the world.

To accomplish this, CRI relies on generous support from individuals, corporations, and foundations who have a desire to become partners in their effort to conquer cancer through immunology.

Learn more at