ServiceMaster and the Tension Between People and Profit (Interview w/ Al Erisman)


On this episode, Al Erisman shares best practices and cautionary tales from the story of ServiceMaster.

What you’ll hear in this episode…

  • How did ServiceMaster demonstrate its commitment to honoring God in every aspect of the company?
  • Despite ServiceMaster abandoning some of its core founding principles, how has the founder’s commitment to honoring God through the company extended beyond ServiceMaster?
  • What can companies learn and apply from the ServiceMaster story?

About the guest…

Albert M. (Al) Erisman is the Executive in Residence at the Seattle Pacific University School of Business, Government and Economics, and the past Director for the Center for Integrity in Business at Seattle Pacific University (SPU). He teaches business ethics and business and technology subjects at SPU and also edits Ethix magazine (

He’s on the review board for The Center for Christianity in Business’ Christian Business Review at Houston Christian University.

In April 2001, Al completed a 32-year career at The Boeing Company, where for the last 10 years he was Director of R&D for computing and mathematics.

He has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Iowa State University.

Al has been on numerous boards for science and technology including projects for the National Academy. He is also a board member for several startup companies. He has a passion for issues related to faith and work and serves on the board of advisors for Theology of Work Project and Kiros, a Christians in Business organization in the Seattle area.

Al has been married to Nancy for 57 years, and they have four children and nine grandchildren. They attend Westminster Chapel in Bellevue.

He’s the author of the new book, The ServiceMaster Story.

Links mentioned during the interview…