The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

ACI Names Merla Zollinger Senior Director Convention and Meetings

  • Promotions Announced for Melissa Grande, Shawnté Furbush-Jones

Washington, D.C. – August 16, 2018 – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) named veteran meeting planner Merla Zollinger as the association’s new Senior Director, Convention and Meetings.

Ms. Zollinger comes to ACI from American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, where she spent 27 years, most recently as Senior Manager, Convention Services.

"Merla brings extensive experience in meetings and convention services to ACI, as well as great familiarity with many of our members," said Melissa Hockstad, ACI President & CEO. "Her knowledge, relationships and commitment to great teamwork will provide exceptional value to ACI's members, especially when it relates to the ACI Industry Convention."

ACI’s 2019 Industry Convention is the global cleaning product supply chain’s top business-to-business event. It takes place January 29-February 2 at the Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida.

ACI Promotions Announced

ACI also announced the promotions of Melissa Grande to Director, Sustainability; and Shawnté Furbush-Jones to Senior Program Coordinator.

Since joining ACI in 2012, Ms. Grande has worked to develop and advance ACI’s Sustainability Metrics Program, Charter for Sustainable Cleaning and other initiatives that showcase the cleaning product supply chain’s leadership in operating sustainably.

Ms. Furbush-Jones has been part of the ACI team since 2009, serving as an invaluable resource in support of ACI’s education, outreach, membership and meetings functions.

"ACI is very fortunate to have a dedicated, hard-working team that allows us to succeed and provide membership value as the trade association for the cleaning product supply chain," said CEO Melissa Hockstad.



The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market.  ACI members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers.  ACI ( and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.