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From special forces to service excellence – Woo-Sung Lee celebrates 10 years with CrestClean

CrestClean Managing Director Grant McLauchlan presents Woo-Sung Lee with his 10-Year Long Service Award.

Woo-Sung has had an impressive 10-year journey with CrestClean. He initially joined the company as a franchise owner and was quickly recognised for his commitment to quality, winning Rookie of the Year after his first year as a franchisee. Within three years, Woo-Sung moved into the role of Quality Assurance Co-ordinator for Tauranga and Whakatane.

He now guides and supports franchisees in maintaining CrestClean’s high standards.

Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Woo-Sung’s dedication to excellence was evident at a young age. He started Taekwondo at seven years old, which led him to become a fifth Dan black belt and Taekwondo Master. This dedication translated into a successful military career, where he served for two and a half years in the South Korean Special Forces.

When Woo-Sung was fresh out of the military, he was looking for his next move.

“I was a bit lost, so my Dad suggested I go and explore different parts of the world. He gave me four brochures for Canada, America, New Zealand and Australia. I chose New Zealand,” he says.

At 24, Woo-Sung moved to New Zealand, where Kiwi culture was far from what he experienced at home.

“I landed in Napier, and everybody was wearing shorts and gumboots. That doesn’t happen in Seoul. No one wears gumboots in Seoul,” he laughs.

On arriving in New Zealand, Woo-Sung was thrown in the deep end.

“My host family gave me a bike, but I didn’t even know the road rules. I also couldn’t speak a word of English back then,” says Woo-Sung.

Despite limited English and a new cultural landscape, Woo-Sung tried hard to adapt to his life in New Zealand. While a language course provided some vocabulary, it wasn’t enough for him to comfortably engage in conversations.

“My English was only working in the English language course,” he recalls.

“I was there one and a half years and passed all the tests to go to university, but when I went to the mechanic to fix my car, I couldn’t understand what he was saying.”

Woo-Sung knew he needed to practise speaking English in a real-life setting. He made the brave decision to enroll as an adult student at Taradale High School at 25 years old. His six months at high school gave him the crash course in conversation that he was looking for.

“I knew that if the boys and girls couldn’t understand me, they’d just move on. I needed to practise my accent, carefully choose what I said, and listen to them to understand what they said,” says Woo-Sung.

Once he had a firm grasp on English, Woo-Sung began studying hotel management at Pacific Hotel Management School, which led him to secure a position at Heritage Hotel on Hobson Street in Auckland. Later, he ventured into car sales before transitioning to law enforcement at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Woo-Sung’s career path then took an unexpected turn at the age of 29 when he discovered a passion for golf. Through a combination of natural ability and relentless dedication, Woo-Sung became a golf pro within a few years playing the sport. He’s no stranger to a hole in one.

In a twist of fate, Woo-Sung was introduced to CrestClean.

“I was running my Golf Academy at the driving range at the time and one of my friends was already a franchisee. He suggested I buy a franchise too,” he recalls.

We’re lucky Woo-Sung made the decision to purchase a franchise begin his CrestClean journey. With his commitment to quality and exceptional customer service, he’s sure to continue making a significant contribution to CrestClean’s success for years to come.


Crest Commercial Cleaning Ltd

P O Box 740
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
Telephone: +64-3-477 1126
Email: service@crestclean.co.nz

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