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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2023

Banking on its safety-driven culture and well-trained workforce, minority-owned Tier One Property Services, LLC continues to serve Fortune 500 companies, acquire budding startups

“One of the fundamental components of what we do from a safety viewpoint is having safety coordinators at the majority of the locations we provide service to.”

 Tier One Property Services, LLC is a Houston-based facility services provider of commercial janitorial, building maintenance, and specialty property services with the capacity of serving customers throughout the United States.

Tier One was founded in 2011.

The Silicon Review reached out to J. Harold Hatchett III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tier One Property Services, LLC, and here’s what he had to say.

Interview Highlights

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Mr. Hatchett.

My name is J. Harold Hatchett III. I joined the company as the Chief Executive Officer in 2018 and have the responsibility of managing the entire enterprise.

Prior to joining Tier One, I was a longtime, senior Shell executive (Shell Oil Company, Shell Energy, and Royal Dutch Shell). I was the Chief Financial Officer for Shell North America for a significant number of years. I was also the Chief Operating Officer for the financial services business, the global financial services business for Shell. I was an expat in London for four years managing the financial services company. I left London, and Shell moved me back to the United States as the head of investor relations based in New York. I was the voice and face of Shell on Wall Street. I interacted with the buy and sell side in the investment community and also conducted roadshows for other senior executives in the company to meet with shareholders and investment firms to champion the Shell story.

After that, Shell appointed me as the chief strategist, and I was based in Washington, DC. I interacted with a lot of large trade organizations there in Washington. I retired from Shell and this is my chapter two as the President and CEO of Tier One Property Services. We continue to work through various exciting opportunities at Tier One as we grow it into a formidable, exciting, and dynamic company.

Q. As the CEO of Tier One Property Services, what are your major roles and responsibilities?

I am a strong believer in core values, and we developed our set of core values at Tier One, and those core values are very near and dear to me. I will give you an example of the core values that are exhibited in Tier One. The cornerstone of everything that we do is built around safety. Safety is integral to what we do. Another core value is excellence. We strive for excellence every single day. Another core value is transparency. We believe in communicating openly, taking accountability, and making sure that communication goes both ways. We're a very innovative company. We embrace creativity, inclusion, and love to foster a collaborative environment of diverse individuals’ ethics. We are going to respect our coworkers and be honest with our customers, and we expect the same from our customers. Put simply, we are developing and cultivating a sense of respect. Those are the core values that I brought to Tier One based on the experience that I have had over my entire career. When you can build a company on solid core values, it gives you a great foundation to work from to grow a business and also to form an environment that's conducive to teamwork.

Most importantly, as we work together, we develop a sense of trust, and that trust is very critical to the success of what we are trying to do. I would like to stress more on one of the core values that I talked about earlier—safety and the environment that we work in—because we provide commercial janitorial services to Fortune 500 companies and many of these companies are refineries. To get a seat at the table, your safety record has to be impeccable. Remarkably, we have a world-class safety record based on our TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate) and EMR (Experience Modification Rating) statistics.

Q. What circumstances or events led to the creation of Tier One Property Services? Please brief us on the history so far.

Tier One Property Services is a joint venture established by J&R Investments and Marsden Holdings which own 51% and 49% of the company, respectively. Tier One was set up to go after the diversity spend of Fortune 500 companies, which have diversity dollars that they want to spend with quality, diverse companies. Tier One is one of those companies, especially on the oil and gas side, that businesses want to work with because we are a minority-owned business through J&R Investments as the majority shareholder. This allows us to work with the ExxonMobils of the world. We provide services to ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron Phillips, Honda, Hewlett Packard, Whirlpool, Microsoft, US Bank, Hershey, and several of the Federal Reserve banks around the country. Our customer base includes blue chip companies and we have had opportunities to partner with them to deliver commercial janitorial at a lot of their facilities around the country. Tier One is a national company, and we have the ability to provide services in all of the lower 48 states in the United States.

Q. Can you introduce us to your services? What are their primary features?

As I said, Tier One Property Services is a national commercial janitorial company. We provide dynamic commercial janitorial services operated in the safest manner possible. Not only on the Tier One side but also in terms of conveying and demonstrating how we operate as a company from a safety perspective that's cascaded throughout the facility where we are working. We also partner with our sister companies in Marsden to provide HVAC, facility management, and security guard services. Those are some of the core deliverables and service offerings that we provide as a company.

Q. What makes your offerings unique?

The number one thing that sets us apart from others is our safety records. As I indicated before, we are a world-class safety organization. The safety acumen that we demonstrate daily gives us a seat at the table. A lot of other janitorial companies may have similar services, but our safety record is superior to most of the janitorial companies in the marketplace.

As I talked about our world-class safety record, let me give you two metrics that we are measured by. These are safety metrics.

Our TRIR rate is 0.24. The average or a real good number is 1.0. We far exceed that 1.0 mark. And our EMR is 0.69, where 1.0 is a good number. That's what the safety world looks at to measure how successful you have been from a safety perspective.

Q. What new technologies does Tier One Property Services employ to improve customer safety and satisfaction?

One of the fundamental components of what we do from a safety viewpoint is having safety coordinators at the majority of the locations we provide service to. These safety coordinators give us the ability to properly train our on-site employees, both during initial training and ongoing safety training to prevent complacency. Tish Williams, my national safety director, does a great job of managing our process.

I will give an example. In 2022, Tier One worked 1.1 million person-hours without an OSHA reportable. That is a major achievement in our industry. These types of achievements don't go unnoticed in the industry. We have received several safety awards coming from ExxonMobil and also from nationally accredited building services organizations, like BSCAI. It’s an international building services organization. Most of the janitorial companies or building services companies are a part of this organization. We also have received safety awards from BSCAI in the past.

The other component that we think is also crucial is the environment that our frontline workers are working in. It goes back to respecting what our frontline workers are doing, but also giving them the tools and the resources they need to achieve and carry out the task that they are asked to do.

Furthermore, the communication from our executive team to our site managers, safety coordinators, supervisors, and frontline staff is spot on. Communication works both ways; it's not just from the top down. We champion and are appreciative of the communication flow because to be successful, those communication channels must be open and go back and forth.

Tell us, what’s next for Tier One Property Services.

We have a solid foundation and are looking to continue to find opportunities that would fit into our infrastructure and allow us to continue to grow. We have grown our business organically, except for the company that we acquired in 2016: Aztec Facility Services. It’s safe to say that our growth strategy consists of both organic expansion and acquisitions.

Moreover, our solid foundation allows us to integrate other businesses into our way of doing things. We have processes in place that would enable this integration to be seamless.

Q. As the CEO, what's the one thing you want Tier One Property Services to be known for?

We are known for delivering high-quality services in a very safe environment. Our service delivery model is second to none, and we provide the quality that Fortune 500 companies are looking for, and we continue to operate safely.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add before we wrap up?

The Covid-19 epidemic taught us numerous important things. During the pandemic, our customer base valued what we brought to the table to keep their facilities running. Our clients appreciated the importance of the commercial janitorial component in maintaining the functionality of their facilities since we were able to deliver on our promises.

“Our service delivery model is second to none, and we provide the quality that Fortune 500 companies are looking for, and we continue to operate safely.”

 “We provide services to ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron Phillips, Honda, Hewlett Packard, Whirlpool, Microsoft, US Bank, Hershey, and several of the Federal Reserve banks around the country.”