When Emmanuel Irono moved to the United States from Nigeria in the 1980s to attend Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, he dreamed of working as a banker at a premier financial institution. Instead, Irono found himself cleaning the school’s dining hall and a local Burger King at night to put himself through school and support his extended family in Nigeria after his parents died.

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It was that experience, the values instilled by his parents and his business sense that inspired Irono to earn his MBA from Morgan State University, and in 1994, buy out a two-person cleaning operation for $10,000. He named the enterprise Motir Services Inc. – “Motir” being an acronym honoring his late parents and means Memory of Theresa Irono Romanus.

Today Motir, located in Northeast D.C., is a multimillion-dollar company with 300 employees and a second office in Prince George’s County. It offers a range of contract services beyond cleaning such as facility management, consulting, IT, construction, and medical staffing. Motir’s clients include municipal, state, and federal agencies as well as commercial enterprises.

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