AC Sweepers & Maintenance, Inc, Atlanta GA

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. “ – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Dr. King’s famously expressed sentiment certainly applies to a woman called to own a commercial pavement sweeping company as well. AC Sweepers & Maintenance, Inc. in Atlanta, founded in 2000, is a woman-owned business in a very rugged, very expensive, and male-dominated national industry. After two decades now, entrepreneur Latasha Crenshaw talks about the early days, before she turned her attention to helping the family business and what brought her to the decision to launch a new service business of this highly challenging type. 

Latasha Crenshaw, Before the Entrepreneurial Adventure

Crenshaw had corporate sales positions in pharmaceuticals, and, previously, in IT sales. But, after building an impressive career, the ground started crumbling under the sales industry from the 2008 Wall Street crash that wrecked the US economy and shook the world. She found herself laid off several times in the following decade of extreme economic instability. Sales forces were kept at half staff or less. She recalls the professional struggles of that period. 

By 2011, it was hard to find any corporate sales position. My parents had a commercial pavement sweeping company in Chicago. Their business was maintaining its profitability, but not growing. I told my mom I would help them. That’s when I started understanding and learning the industry. 

Between the second and third layoffs, I was in northwest Indiana. I was thinking about and looking for other opportunities instead of going to the Chicago market because of the weather, and it was expensive. So, I moved in March. In April, my pharmaceutical sales job at that time transferred me to Atlanta. Then, by 2011, I had gotten laid off for the third time. That layoff lasted two years. Ultimately, the business was sold to a Japanese company. When I attempted to reenter that industry, it had become plagued with issues and was not conducive to regulatory changes. 

However, Latasha found that her parents’ industry, a commercial pavement sweeping service, was an exceptional alternative and identified it as the best option for her future.

Forming Her Enterprise Mission and Vision

I started helping my parents in their business, but they didn’t want to grow it. They went through ten years without really trying to get employees. My purpose was to get employees. My dad told me that for at least 6 months, I would have to be in the truck and work the lots and build up sales. He helped me learn to produce price/cost proposals and taught me to run the truck in Chicago when I visited home. 

Then, my parents came to Atlanta. My dad drove a Schwarze 333 all the way. I followed him and didn’t think that truck would make it. I can’t remember if I had parking lots ready to serve at that time. 

But, in the beginning, I got a new lot about once a month. I became a Walmart vendor and got on board with them providing regular service. I got some movie theaters and a few more parking lots. It was just enough to do by myself. My dad taught me how to run the business. He went back home, but after a couple of years, I got some employees. I told my parents, I need you down here. Some employees don’t call in when they’re not going to show up, so I have to jump in a truck and make sure commitments are met. 

They’re (her parents are) back in Chicago. My mom never moved. She loves the snow. Bragging about our weather down here doesn’t budge her. Even that (her experience of living in Chicago) prepared me. Customers were calling me for “snow-mageddon” around 2015 in Atlanta. I was prepared. I spread the salt. Locals were amazed that I provided a prompt and effective solution. 

AC, Inc. in Atlanta Today!

Two decades later, we have about a dozen total administrative people. About 7 are supervisors and management people, and we have about 33 drivers. I spend most of my time in the northern location. I live in Marietta. We recently bought a building in Morrow, about 20 minutes from the airport and about 25 minutes from downtown. Half or more than half of my workers are down there, the Southside and the airport. Last year, we provided 24-hour trucks for the airport. We now provide 2 24-hour trucks and 2 to 4-night trucks. So, it’s about 4 to 6 trucks.

We have about 25 sweeper trucks. Most of our parking lot trucks are Victory. Our larger trucks are Elgin, and we have 2 Schwarze. We have about 6 pickup trucks for supervision and field support vehicles. I need to get a water truck, especially because of the Georgia clay. Everything it touches, it stains. A lot of customers call after they build new apartments, grocery stores, or other buildings saying there’s mud everywhere. We have in-house mechanics at both the north and south locations. We outsource major repairs for warranty purposes.

Unique Marketing and Branding for AC

Asked about the origin of the spectacular logo, Latasha tells the story. My dad had a logo something like that. So, I went to a store where they make logos and they drew it. I wanted the logo character to be strong and the feet to be bristles. He’s Sweeper Man. It’s a unique image. (It’s hard to put it on shirts, though, because of the bristles. Cutting around those edges is more challenging.)  

The logo is on our Facebook page, jackets, safety attire, shirts, hats, etc. Customers can earn it and we give it away. It’s mostly jackets, and at Christmas, we gave out hats, knit hats, shirts, etc. We put it on a gray background to go with people’s walls. We want to keep up with what’s cool and new for our customers.

AC Business Model

We do pavement milling, and sweeping after the milling. We also do pressure washing. We have the same issues as everyone else in the industry, equipment and employee issues. What sets us apart is our customer service. We’re quick to respond, to correct issues that may occur, and to update technology to optimize our service and the systems that support it. 

We have just adapted GPS and dash cams to our trucks. That transformative technology makes it possible for us to correct issues much more proactively. Customers may not see it yet, but we’re seeing signs of issues that could develop. We want to beware of “analysis paralysis,” but we fully utilize the powerful equipment. It helps us so much. It even talks to the drivers.

Strong Small Business Growth in Atlanta 

Atlanta is a very strongly growing city. Almost 65,000 people moved to the city last year (2022) per year and tens of thousands relocate here every year. Growth is steady all the time in the retail space. The need for new construction is incredible here. With Atlanta being so growth-driven, it has grown our business regardless of the larger economy. 

We have the busiest airport in the world. There is growth there too. The structure, the operations, everything there has to grow. This is like a boom time for the metro area. I am in the right spot. 

There have been many milestones for us in this market. After the old Georgia dome was imploded, we were there to sweep. We swept for the Fast and Furious, Hunger Games, and Jumanji movies. We’re there when all these things are happening. It’s a blessing to be called and to be involved. I think my drivers see that as well. I think last month they swept after the BET Awards.

Our new business comes from a lot of word of mouth, not that we don’t need to market — we do. Our marketing is in the service we give our customers. They pass along information about their experience with us to other people they know. New customers say they’ve tried everyone, and they’re looking for something new. We also get repeat customers. 

With the technology we have, we can provide proof of service for our customers, from longitude and latitude to sending pictures to notify them that there are abandoned trucks and cars on their properties. So, with us, they have eyes and ears letting them know what’s happening during off hours. That provides an extra layer of security for them. So, people often ask us to do all of their lots.

Being involved with 1-800-SWEEPER has been great for us, and so has been involved with construction managers. The DOT is always on them. We can get out there to make sure everything is perfect for them. It’s like managing a fire department. You have to be ready. You have to be prepared for jobs at all times. Because they’ll call you at the last minute. Just being able to be flexible and available and ready anytime we’re needed has helped us stand out. 

AC Sweepers & Maintenance, Inc. Company Culture

With two locations, we are continuously changing, or trying to change, the culture to remind people it’s one company, not the North against the South. We’re one team and one goal. We want to make sure the customer is Number 1. So, for every decision that is made, we need to think of the customer first. We also need to think of cost savings. 

Because people don’t necessarily get the message as intended, we are incentivizing the employees based on things we want people to do. Coming up in January, we’re presenting a program of monthly incentives. It will feature measurable goals. The metrics will enable the team to see the results of their efforts, for example, in safety. 

We get all the data possible. We’ve captured a lot of historical data. We’ve used it to establish our baseline and determine how much we can decrease fuel costs, accidents, etc., and increase the quality of the customer experience. We will hopefully create an environment in which workers can see that when the company benefits, they benefit also. 

It reminds me of being there at the beginning of my son’s school football league. It wasn’t working well. But, they changed the dynamics and the kids now work as a team. At the end of the day, whatever their different roles, they understand that they’re all one team. My son always gives these little tidbits of wisdom from the coaches about making sure players understand their role. 

Most Challenging Aspects of Business and Industry?

Asked about strategies in place to find successful solutions to her company’s biggest challenges, Latasha did not dwell on the negatives. She instead explained that AC has the best technologies to maximize efficiency for customers.

She added, we also have the flexibility to change or modify how we do things to improve our processes and ensure that we are providing the best services.

Advice for New Industry Entrants From Latasha Crenshaw, AC Sweepers & Maintenance, Inc., Atlanta GA

Be flexible. Be flexible about everything. Be agile, ready to adapt to change in the environment. If you stay rigid you’ll stay in that pocket and you’ll be behind. I’ve seen companies that were here when I came in and those were all people talked about. But our company has shown that we’re different. We’re forward-thinking. People want to be excited about new technologies. We want to stay at the forefront. Be adaptable.

Latasha’s reflection on her observations and involvement with her son’s learning process and his football experience stood out in the interview. Along with being a successful entrepreneur is a bustling market, she’s a mother. We like the takeaway idea of her encouraging her son to take risks to perform maximally to win, but also to respect instructions and his assigned zone. She taught him to balance risk-taking and the desire for self-benefit with a deep sense of personal responsibility and team commitment.

It’s easy enough to see how Latasha Crenshaw has built and grown a successful woman-owned business in the competitive Atlanta market by promoting a forward-thinking management model, espousing the latest in advanced technologies, and her persistence with a straightforward customer-centric agenda. Add her determination to go into the future fixed on superior quality outcomes for patrons of her service business.


For more information about AC Sweepers & Maintenance, Inc. in Atlanta Georgia, you can call (678) 807-9337, contact, or visit

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