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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 15, 2008

UI alumna to lecture on green and clean entrepreneurship Feb. 22

Cleaning a home has never been glamorous. But University of Iowa alumna Monica Nassif has found a way to make cleaning more appealing, especially for those who want to go green and clean, by starting a line of all-natural, eco-friendly cleaning products.

With a belief that caring for the home should be as luxurious as caring for the body, this former nurse founded Caldrea, Inc. in 1999 with fresh-scented products that are biodegradable, never tested on animals, and are free of chemicals, strong fumes and bleach.

Nassif will share the entrepreneurship skills that took her from the cleaning supplies aisle to a business in the green cleaning industry in a Sandage Entrepreneurial Lecture. The lecture will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22 in the Bedell Entrepreneurial Learning Laboratory, 322 N. Clinton St. Sponsored by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, admission is free and open to the public. RSVP online at or call 319-335-1022.

Nassif said she hopes anyone with a business dream will attend.

"Many people dream of starting their own business," Nassif said. "I'd like to share with these dreamers how to take their idea, their light bulb, and make it a reality."

The Granger native graduated from UI in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. After graduation Nassif worked in public relations and corporate communications and eventually started her own marketing consulting business in Minneapolis. Her decision to go green stems from her belief that new business owners should be concerned about the environment and the carbon footprint they are leaving.

"Every business in America is reviewing their sustainability, green and carbon footprint realities," Nassif said. "So every start-up should be doing the same as it's the new reality in today's business and global environment."

In 2000, Nassif turned Caldrea into a corporation, and a year later she put her marketing skills to use when she incorporated Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day, a more economical line of products.

"We launched the Caldrea brand and quickly realized that we were connecting with the consumer," Nassif said. "We also knew that to generate significant revenues in the $25 billion U.S. household cleaning market, we needed to go to the mass market."

In 2003, she authored "Laundry: The Spirit of Keeping Home" and "Spring Cleaning: The Spirit of Keeping Home."

For more information or special accommodations to attend, contact the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at 319-335-1022 or, or visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,; Writer: Gloria Hurtado