30 In Their Thirties: Paolo Fabbri, Founder, Detroit Aerial Cleaning, Warren

Paolo Fabbri was preparing to graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in economics when his father, Thomas A. Fabbri, CEO of Aaro Cos. in Warren, tried to convince his son to work outside the family business for a while. That wasn’t something the young Fabbri was interested in.
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Paolo Fabbri // Photo by Trever Long

Paolo Fabbri was preparing to graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in economics when his father, Thomas A. Fabbri, CEO of Aaro Cos. in Warren, tried to convince his son to work outside the family business for a while. That wasn’t something the young Fabbri was interested in.

“My dad was encouraging me to go out and get some experience working somewhere else, but I told him I wanted to learn from him,” says Fabbri, who’s now general manager of Aaro Cos. and founder of Detroit Aerial Cleaning. “I thought I was going to have a desk job, but that didn’t happen. It wasn’t easy. I was doing post-construction cleanups in the field with the crews.”

As GM, Fabbri runs Aaro’s daily operations — quoting jobs, overseeing budgets, setting and meeting revenue projections, managing employees, and more.

Founded in 1945 by Fabbri’s grandfather Emilio, Aaro Window Cleaning has evolved into Aaro Cos. Today, the company provides building maintenance, exterior glass cleaning, janitorial services, and janitorial supplies.

The company prides itself on its use of reverse osmosis technology to deliver the highest quality cleaning with the added benefit of having a low impact on the environment. In most cases, Aaro can clean fourth-story windows from the ground, allowing crews to work faster and more safely, and pass any savings on to customers.

What about windows higher than the fourth floor? Fabbri, a graduate of De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, discovered an opening in the local window cleaning market that he decided to fill in 2016. At the same time, he was exploring his entrepreneurial drive.

“When I graduated, I saw a niche in that market and I kind of wanted to branch out and start my own thing,” he says.

That thing is Detroit Aerial Cleaning, a subsidiary of Aaro that scales as high as 600 feet to clean building windows, including those of the Ally Detroit Center downtown.

“We specialize in rope-access cleaning in very hard-to-get areas,” Fabbri says. “The line of work is very dangerous, and we wanted to separate it from Aaro from a liability standpoint.”

Does Fabbri ever venture out onto the ropes on the side of skyscrapers? “I’m the smart one. I keep my feet on the ground.”