Client Success

The most valuable testament to our success is the satisfaction of our client partners. We work tirelessly to ensure every single client is happy and feels heard and cared for. Here we’ve shared some testimonials from just a small handful of our satisfied clients.

(SSC is) a partner in public education ... Any money that we save goes directly into teaching and learning. The bottom line is that it all goes to help the district accomplish its one goal—which is student achievement and making sure that students are ready for the 21st century.

Minnie Forte-Brown, Vice Chair of the Durham Board of Education, Durham Public Schools, North Carolina

We’ve had a great relationship with SSC, both personally and professionally. They’ve been very supportive of the district. It’s a positive, two-way relationship.

Jack Carter, Executive Director of Operations, Richland Two School District, Columbia, South Carolina

The bottom line is you form these relationships and trust, and they become just like employees of the district.

Paul Andress, Director of Operations, Denton Independent School District, Texas

I strongly advocate outsourcing custodial services. It helped save us significant dollars and eliminated all personnel headaches in that department. The end result is cleaner buildings for our students and teachers. That’s what we’re after.

Darrell G Floyd, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, Texas

I think the key is finding a company where there is a true partnership - a company that shares the same vision as the district. … Nobody looks at SSC as an outsourcing company, they just look at the employees as part of the district … When visitors come to the district, they’re blown away by how our buildings look and how they operate.

Dr. Sterling Ming, Executive Director of Finance, Bentonville School District

They really have a sense of ownership and pride in the job. They’re Crusaders—that’s our mascot. That attitude and ownership are passed down to all the SSC employees.

Rick Martinez, Vice President of Campus Planning and Support Services, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

The reason that the partnership between SSC and Thunderbird works so well is because we think of each other as a team. I also believe that the SSC staff working on our campus take great pride in their work, and that shows. It matters to them how the campus functions, how it looks, their level of customer service, and the fact that the community feels safe. They truly add value daily.

Crystal Shanahan, Director of Administrative Service, Thunderbird School of Global Management

Case Studies

Corporate Responsibility

Employee Care

Employee Transition

The decision to implement an integrated facilities plan is one that will not only be felt by faculty, administrators, and students, but also by existing support service staff. Our most important assets are the people that work hard daily to ensure that our client institutions are safe and students are given the best opportunity to thrive. Yet, there is often a fear that bringing in an outside company means the existing staff will be laid off and replaced with a new team, creating a public relations nightmare and an outcry from the communities you serve. This fear is based on the myths and negative connotations that tend to surround the term “outsourcing.” While this fear is understandable, it’s also unfounded, and can keep you from not only furthering your educational initiatives, but giving your students and staff the best opportunity for success.

SSC makes a smooth transition of existing employees central to the way we do business. Our managers value the facility knowledge, tenure, and relationships of current employees, and preserving continuity through change depends on the support and cooperation of these critical contributors. We have every desire to keep the same productive employees our clients have come to know over the years, as we believe they can best help managers and administrators meet the goals set.

Employee Benefits

Attracting and retaining talented associates is a key part of our success, so offering a comprehensive benefits package is a no-brainer. We take care of our team members so they can take care of our clients.

Diversity & Inclusion

As a member of Compass Group, SSC shares a core belief that diversity and inclusion are vital to our success both personally and professionally. Diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences give us a holistic worldview that helps round out our teams and deliver the best services for our client partners.

SSC has enjoyed a long, successful partnership with Thompson Hospitality, the nation’s 12th-largest minority-owned service company, and a certified Minority Business Enterprise.

For the past 15 years, SSC has also worked with Premiere Building Maintenance Corporation, a certified SBA small disadvantaged business and certified Tennessee minority business entrepreneur.


Sustainability and green practices are no longer simply the trend – they are absolutely necessary. We want to do our part to ensure a healthy planet for our many generations of students to come. Compass Group, our parent company, focuses heavily on sustainability as part of its overall vision, and we enthusiastically support that vision.

SSC’s president, Seth Ferriell, led the way for SSC by becoming LEED Green certified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). His certification validates his competency in green practices and signifies that he is a qualified, educated and influential green building professional within the cleaning industry. We also provide services to a number of LEED-certified buildings.



At SSC, the search for top-notch talent never ends. We are constantly looking for rock stars to add to our team, and we offer unparalleled benefits and career growth opportunities through the vast resources of our parent company, Compass Group. Ready to take the leap and join the team? Follow the link below to get started on your path to an amazing new career with SSC.

Our Team

Not all heroes wear capes – ours wield mops, drive lawnmowers, keep HVACs running smoothly, and know our partners’ facilities like the back of their white-gloved hands.

Unfortunately for our competitors, our team is hands-down the best in the industry. It quite simply can’t be beat and is one of the major keys to our success. Their dedicated, tireless efforts and expertise allows us to offer a level of customer support that is unmatched. Many of our employees, including several of our key leaders, have a long tenure with SSC. These leaders provide our company and our customers with an unparalleled level of experience.

Seth Ferriell


Tim Hawkins


George Bernardon


Bob Terraforte


John Lane


Derrick Parker


Jerry Last


Val Emery


Our History

With decades of industry experience, SSC partners with educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality integrated facilities programs including custodial, maintenance, and grounds services. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees that can be reallocated into key areas of your academic mission. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while you focus on your core objective: educating our future.


Baxter Lee, wanting to follow in his grandfather’s entrepreneurial footsteps, starts a cleaning business. He named it Commercial Maintenance so that it would be close to the top in the Yellow Pages. He’d go door to door during the day in a suit and tie to sell his cleaning services and then change, roll up his sleeves and go clean in the evening. His first contract was for $75 a month.


Baxter purchases Dixie Janitorial Services to help grow his business.


Baxter hires Graham Crothall, CEO of a contract hospital cleaning company, as a consultant to help his company develop a strong manager training program. Baxter is quoted as saying, “Even if it costs more money to do it right, let’s just do it right.”.


Baxter purchases Southeast Service Company (SSC), a cleaning company focused on hiring bright, young college students, including law student, Don Williams, future SSC President.


Baxter organizes the company into divisions based on type of customer (Higher Education, K-12 Districts, Malls) as opposed to location in order to best train his employees and better serve his customers. This was a visionary move as every other company in the industry was organized by geographical location.


Baxter changes the name of the company to Southeast Service Corporation (SSC) and focuses on hiring and training the best possible people to manage the business.


Baxter purchases General Janitorial Corporation in Spartanburg, SC, a company focused on cleaning schools.


SSC hires Mark Isom, a young football star from Carson-Newman College. Mark is now the founder and owner of Premiere Building Maintenance Company, a Minority-Owned custodial services company.

SSC hires Seth Ferriell, a finance major from the University of Tennessee as a manager in training.


Baxter is awarded Knoxville’s first “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.


With $25,000 in private stock, Baxter started an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Baxter said, “’The employees have to share in the success of the company like my family would.’ The employees didn’t have to put any money in to participate. It’s sweat equity.”


Baxter Lee passes away. Don Williams is named as president of SSC.


Compass Group purchases SSC to become the premier Facilities provider for educational institutions


SSC is awarded the largest contract to date:  Texas A&M University System.


Don Williams retires after 35 years and serving in most every capacity within the company. Seth Ferriell is appointed as SSC president.