Murray Kahrnoff: Keeping it Clean
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
HAYWARD – After more than 35 years in the carpet cleaning business, Murray Kahrnoff has established himself as a leading figure at the forefront of an ever-evolving industry. However, as with many success stories, his professional beginnings were somewhat inconspicuous. “I was in college and a friend of mine started a carpet cleaning business that became quite lucrative for him,” he recalls. “One day I accompanied him on a ride-along, and I ended up liking it so much that I quit college and went into carpet cleaning full time!”
Since establishing General Carpet Upholstery Tile and Rug Cleaning in 1984, Murray has been an active participant in his industry’s innovative progress. “I was very fortunate to enter this business at a foundational point in its development,” he says. “In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors for the Carpet and Fabricare Institute, I’ve done a lot of research and development for equipment and chemical manufacturers, which has contributed to the establishment of many current industry standards.”
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Murray first came to the Bay Area on a business contract that didn’t pan out, and he liked the atmosphere so much that he decided to stay. Besides the weather and natural beauty, Murray says he enjoys working with the local clientele. “Consumers tend to be very educated in the Bay Area, which is helpful when we’re explaining the long-term benefits of our cleaning methodology.”
Outside of his professional career, Murray describes himself as an ardent hockey enthusiast. “I’m very passionate about ice hockey, both as a player and a spectator. It’s been a few years since I played, but I intend to go back and become certified as an official.” Off the ice, Murray enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Joann, as well as keeping up with their two children, Julie and Joseph, both of whom are pursuing their own careers. He also likes hanging out with his two adopted children: a malamute named Hunter and an English black lab named Cub.
In his life and career, Murray says being successful in business requires excellence on multiple fronts. “In everything we do, we try to operate at the pinnacle of our industry. Whether building and maintaining our customers’ confidence or using the most cutting-edge products and methods available, we’re committed to an ever-increasing level of service, quality and innovation.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Murray’s response is twofold. “The first thing I would do is take my wife on one of the most amazing trips she’s ever been on. Then, I’d get more involved in hockey, from recreational playing to coaching for youth leagues, as well as achieving my goal of becoming an official.”
Q: Who’s your favorite musician?
A: Eric Clapton. I have a pretty extensive collection of his stuff, including original albums dating back to the early days when he was playing with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck.
Q: What’s your favorite smell?
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: Since I’m from Michigan, I’ll always be a Detroit Red Wings fan, but I’ve also grown to love the San Jose Sharks.
Q: If you were a professional athlete, what number would you wear on your jersey?
A: Number 9, for my all-time favorite hockey player, Gordie Howe.
Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’d ever attempted?
A: I had a 1973 Z1 900 Kawasaki that I pumped up to a 1050, and I used to reach speeds of up to 124 miles per hour while racing.