Kim Thrasher named Lavatec Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Kim Thrasher is the new Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Lavatec. Responsible for managing research and assisting the regional sales team with equipment related inquiries and price quotes, she reports directly to company President Mark Thrasher.
Kim has accumulated five years of sales and marketing experience working for two marketing agencies in Connecticut and New York. She studied International Business and double minored in Marketing and German before receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Roger Williams University, then earned her MBA at Suffolk University.
During her time in college, she served internships at Lavatec and has since been instrumental in the success of the company’s e-commerce platform, NewChapterParts. Kim has managed the website for certified, high quality commercial spare parts and consumables for the industrial laundry market since it began operations in early 2022.
“NewChapterParts prepared me for this new opportunity because I learned valuable insights and gained a unique perspective that I can use to my advantage in my new role. The direct interactions with customers and understanding their point of view was crucial in helping me build and maintain strong relationships with them,” she said.
“I have always had a deep-rooted connection to Lavatec. From my time with summer internships to working at trade shows, the business has been an integral part of my life. I am excited to bring a fresh perspective and range of experience to this new opportunity.”
In her free time away from the office, Kim loves trying new restaurants, spending time with friends and traveling. She also loves taking long walks with her fiancée and their goldendoodle, Louie. Kim and Dan are busy planning their wedding for this May.
Andy Feldman Joins Gurtler Industries
Gurtler Industries is pleased to announce that Andy Feldman has accepted an expanded role with Gurtler Industries. In this role, Andy will be responsible for enhancing Gurtler’s company-wide sales growth. He will be leading the company’s sales efforts by supporting and coaching outside personnel through all stages of the sales process up to and through post-installation. Additionally, he will be charged with helping create, implement, and lead Gurtler’s marketing programs beginning in 2024 including augmenting the company’s presence at industry events. Further, he will be tasked with managing existing customer relationships in which he has cultivated a long-term partnership. Lastly, Andy will continue to support the assimilation of the Vis-Tex Tunnel UV Systems acquired earlier this year including harnessing the full innovation potential of this innovative technology.
Gurtler acquired the Vis-Tex Tunnel UV technology for commercial laundries from OMNI Solutions in March 2023, when Andy joined Gurtler on a consultant basis. Greg Gurtler, president of Gurtler Industries commented, “I have known Andy for almost 30 years. He is the fourth generation of his family to work in the commercial laundry industry and his family still owns and operates laundries. During his three decades in the industry, besides working production and running laundries, Andy has been a vendor for both chain and independent laundries nationwide.” In the industry, Andy has served as the chair of the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) sales and marketing committee and has been a contributor to TRSA’s Textile Services magazine. In addition, Andy has taught classes at TRSA’s Professional Management Institute (PMI) and Executive Management Institute (EMI) and led training with CSCNetwork and the Association for Linen Management (ALM).
Most recently, Andy helped grow OMNI Solutions from a small OPL provider into a multi-million-dollar business. Andy is also a professional sales trainer and coach and has worked with many companies, including AFLAC, T-Mobile, the US Army, Capital One, Lincoln Financial, and the NY Mets.
Andy has spent the past eight plus months learning the Gurtler way and spent considerable time in the field with many members of the Gurtler team. Andy says, “After interacting with Gurtler’s management and their sales and service team, I learned of the company’s commitment to service, quality, innovation and personal training and development of employees. These factors made my decision to join Gurtler very easy.”
Greg continues to say, “I believe Andy’s experience and expertise will assist Gurtler in further establishing our company as the leading chemical supplier to commercial laundries across North America.”
Gurtler Industries is a leading manufacturer of advanced detergents, specialty chemicals and injection systems for the commercial laundry industry. From its headquarters and research center in suburban Chicago, Gurtler supports the entire spectrum of the laundry industry, including healthcare, hospitality, industrial uniforms, shirt laundries and textile rentals. Gurtler is a family company now in its third generation, maintaining its tradition of excellence, innovation, and service.
For more information, contact Gurtler Industries at 1-800-638-7300 or visit the website: www.gurtler.com.
Colmac Owner Roger McMillan passes away
The Colmac company announced that owner Roger Kenneth McMillan died December 28, 2023 in Spokane, Washington. He was born January 7, 1942 in Missoula, Montana to the late Jerry and Gwen McMillan.
He spent his early childhood in Spokane, then his parents relocated their cleaning business to Colville. Shortly thereafter, Jerry invented specialized laundry machines and started the Colmac company — named for the town and the family, with an ‘a’ thrown in to make it pronounceable. Roger then graduated from Colville High School in 1960. He met his to-be wife Dee at Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and they were married July 18, 1964. Roger earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1966, then spent 2 years in the U.S. Army as a 2nd (later 1st) Lieutenant in the Ordinance Corps stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey.
Roger and Dee returned to Colville, where Roger worked in engineering and product development at Colmac Industries beginning in 1969. His father’s sudden passing in 1974 thrust him into a leadership role of running the company until 2002. He retired in 2005. Along the way, he built the second Colmac business — Colmac Coil Manufacturing.
Left-handed, yet playing right-handed, Roger was active in sports including football and basketball. While working in the military with the artillery, he was famous for dancing even after the music stopped, his ears still ringing. His hearing was “selective” ever after.
Roger spent lots of time traveling to support the business, sometimes with Dee, all around the world. He sold many machines and, later, coils, coming back with stories.
Roger was a member of the Gideons and active in Kiwanis. He was continually active in Church life and also golf and hiking, especially during retirement. He was a very involved grandfather. He had the patience to teach grandson Harrison to drive, and attended all of Darby and Rosalie’s ballet performances and spent time with Brian and Savannah. Dee and Roger also loved their winter stays in Palm Desert, California.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents Jerry and Gwen McMillan, survived by his wife Dee McMillan, sister Carol and her family, sons Scott and Brian, grandchildren Savannah, Darby, Harrison, and Rosalie, great grandson Carter and great granddaughter Aspen Jade (‘AJ’).
Dawn Hargrove-Avery succeeds Nora Nealis at NCA.
After the untimely death of Nora Nealis recently, the National Cleaners Association has done the impossible in finding a worthy successor to serve as interim Executive Director of the organization.
Dawn Hargrove-Avery has a background in the dry cleaning industry and digital marketing. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the association. Dawn began her career in her mother’s dry cleaning business during her high school years, providing her with a deep understanding of the industry and a strong appreciation for teamwork and collaborative leadership.
She holds a degree in Technical Management and has certifications in social media and content management. Dawn has been the Director of Digital Marketing and Media at the association since May 2010, where she has played a crucial role in developing and executing effective marketing strategies. She is committed to fostering a collaborative environment, driving innovation, and leading the organization to new heights of success. Dawn’s approach to leadership is rooted in her belief in the power of teamwork and the importance of building strong, effective relationships at all levels of the organization.
Patrick Cox rejoins the laundry industry as Lavatec Regional Sales Manager
Five years after leaving the laundry industry to develop and sharpen his sales skills, Patrick Cox is back as a Regional Sales Manager for Lavatec. Responsible for the southeast region of the United States, he is based in the New Orleans area and reports to company President Mark Thrasher.
Cox has 10 years of sales and engineering experience. He earned a Geological Engineering degree from the University of Mississippi, and worked in that industry before joining Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Company as a Project Manager in 2016. After five successful years at Louisiana CAT, Cox was ready for a new challenge.
“When I left the laundry industry in 2018, I always knew I would be back,” he said. “I needed to gain more sales experience to get where I wanted to go. At Pellerin, I paid close attention to what worked well and applied those qualities to my recent success.”
Knowing that finding a lucrative sales position in the laundry industry is no small task, Cox began doing research on companies and narrowed it down to a handful. “Lavatec stood out to me after speaking to some prior colleagues. I contacted Mr. Thrasher and luckily for me, he was looking for a sales rep,” said Cox.
“The position and sales area he offered is what intrigued me. My family and I like where we live, but the biggest selling point was how the company operates. It’s like one big family and everyone works well together. For 2024, my goal is to meet as many clients as possible and partner with them to help achieve their goals. I take customer satisfaction very seriously.”
Cox and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for nine years and are the parents of three children. While free time is devoted to kids sports and enjoying new family activities, he will occasionally go deer hunting or play golf. A huge Ole Miss football fan, Cox plans to root for his alma mater when the #11 ranked Rebels meet Penn State in the Peach Bowl on December 30. He can be reached via email: email@example.com.
Bryan Bartsch Succeeds his father in CEO Role at Ecotex
Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, recently announced that Bryan Bartsch, who has served as the president of the Ecotex Group since 2018, will succeed his father, Randy Bartsch, as the company’s next CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2024. He will become the third generation of the Bartsch family to lead the business.
This transition aligns with Ecotex’s long-term plan and growth strategy. “With Bryan at the helm, we ensure management continuity and maintain our strong generational outlook,” said Randy Bartsch, the executive chairman of Ecotex. “Our commitment to developing and strengthening our leadership team positions Ecotex to continue to execute solutions for our customers and capitalize on growth opportunities as they arise.”
A graduate of Washington State University, Bryan Bartsch joined the family business in 2002, working his way up from the plant floor before assuming his current role as president in 2018. He is a graduate of the TRSA Production Management Institute (PMI) and has earned the designation of a Certified Professional Laundry Manager (CPLM). Bartsch is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and is on the Board of ARTA, the American Reusable Textile Association.
Ecotex operates 10 specialized healthcare linen processing facilities, providing laundry, linen services and reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) to more than 400 health systems, hospitals and subacute medical facilities in Canada and the Midwest, Southwest and Pacific Regions of the United States. For more information about Ecotex, visit smarterlinensolutions.com.
Story courtesy of TRSA.
Industry Mourns Loss of Nora Nealis
By James Lucas
On November 12, 2023, the dry cleaning industry lost a true champion with the passing of Nora Nealis, a remarkable individual whose influence reached far beyond the confines of the pressing machines and cleaning solvents. Nora, born on October 22, 1953, was more than an executive; she was a visionary leader, an advocate for environmental responsibility, and a generous mentor whose impact will be felt for years to come.
Nora Nealis’s journey in the dry cleaning industry commenced at Diversitron, where she not only sold and repaired equipment but also cultivated a deep understanding of the intricacies of the trade. These formative years laid the groundwork for her future endeavors, providing her with invaluable insights and a passion for the industry’s success. Nora’s tenure as the Executive Director of the National Cleaners Association was nothing short of exceptional. With unparalleled acumen and unwavering dedication, she steered the ship of the dry cleaning industry through evolving landscapes. Nora’s leadership was marked by a commitment to responsible practices, particularly in the use of perchloroethylene (perc), a key solvent in the dry cleaning process.
In a delicate balancing act, Nora adeptly navigated environmental concerns while ensuring the prosperity of numerous small businesses. Her advocacy for sustainable practices resonated not only within the industry but also within governmental circles, where her diplomacy and foresight facilitated a harmonious alignment of industry goals with environmental responsibilities.
While Nora’s professional achievements were noteworthy, her legacy transcends the boardrooms and conferences of the dry cleaning world. She was not just a leader; she was a mentor and a guiding light for many within the industry. Nora’s generosity knew no bounds as she selflessly shared her time, knowledge, and expertise with those seeking guidance. Colleagues and mentees alike found solace in her wisdom, and her legacy as a mentor will continue to inspire future leaders in the dry cleaning community.
Nora Nealis leaves behind a void that cannot be easily filled. As we mourn her passing, we also celebrate a life lived with purpose, passion, and a commitment to making a difference. Her contributions to the dry cleaning industry and her impact on the lives of those she touched will forever be remembered. May she rest in peace, and may her legacy continue to shine as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.
Andresen to lead innovation at Jensen
Mads Andresen has recently become the visionary force behind Jensen Group’s innovation projects. As chief innovation officer and member of the executive management team, self-confessed laundry nerd, Andresen will supervise advancements in all cutting-edge technologies within the company.
His mission is to ensure a smooth integration of robotics and machine learning into the Group’s DNA. The ultimate goal is to position the company as the industry leader in sustainable solutions and the effective capture and utilization of data, thus benefiting customers and internal operations. Andresen is a prominent figure in the field as founder and CEO of Inwatec ApS, the #laundrynerds from Odense, Denmark.
Alsco Uniforms announces leadership changes
Two promoted, one long-standing executive retiring
Alsco Uniforms is a fifth-generation family-owned and operated company founded in 1889 by George A. Steiner. Celebrating nearly 135 years in business, the company provides uniform and linen laundry services and other products, such as, floor mats, first aid and restroom supplies that keep businesses clean and safe for a range of customers in the healthcare, automotive, industrial, and hospitality industries. With more than 180 locations and 16,000 employees, Alsco provides services to over 350,000 customers in 12 countries, which the company says makes Alsco Uniforms the largest uniform and linen company in the world.
After nearly 40 years working for Alsco Uniforms, Jim Ginnetti, Sr. Vice President of North American Operations will retire. Jim Ginnetti started and spent a significant portion of his career as the General Manager of the Los Angeles plant for the company. He was then promoted to Regional Manager over branches in the northwestern United States. In his tenure as Sr. Vice President, Jim Ginnetti helped Alsco Uniforms weather a global pandemic, historically high inflation, and unprecedented supply chain disruptions. “We’re truly grateful for the leadership Jim has provided the North American division over the past 5-years. He has dealt with more historic events in his tenure than most do in a lifetime,” stated Chief Executive Officer, Bob Steiner. “We wish him well in the next chapter of his life.”
Jim Kearns, current Executive Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer of Alsco Uniforms will become the Chief Operating Officer. This is a newly created position for Alsco’s North American Division as the company continues to focus its efforts on growth in new sales and customer retention. Jim, who has been with Alsco for 30 years in several different positions, will assume this position immediately. “I’m very excited to follow in Jim Ginnetti’s footsteps and for the opportunity to lead the charge on our company initiatives of growth, adding more industrial and healthcare customers, developing our ESG initiatives and creating a culture of safety,” stated Jim Kearns. Jim is also currently serving as the Chairman of TRSA, the official association for the linen, uniform, and facility service industry.
Andrew Steiner, current Regional Manager of the northwestern branches of Alsco Uniforms will become the Chief Financial Officer. Andrew represents the fifth generation of the Steiner family that has owned and operated Alsco since 1889. Andrew studied at the University of Chicago, received a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 2013, and received a law degree from the University of Utah in 2018. He started his full-time career with Alsco in 2018 in the Alsco-Australia division. Andrew returned to the US to be the General Manager at the Alsco branch in Houston and then later was promoted to Regional Manager. Discussing this next step, Andrew said he is “excited for this next chapter, as we continue to write the history of the best uniform and linen service provider, worldwide.”
Bob Steiner went on to say, “These changes reflect the company’s commitment to nurturing talent from within the organization, fostering alignment, and ensuring a seamless transition in leadership. The newly appointed leaders bring a wealth of experience and dedication to their respective roles, and we are confident in their ability to lead the charge on aggressively growing the company for the foreseeable future.”
McGruder signs on as Project Manager at Lavatec
Michael McGruder is the new Project Manager at Lavatec. Based in Cincinnati, he has over 30 years of design, manufacturing, project engineering and project management experience. He is responsible for project planning and equipment installation and reports to Eric Mueller, Lavatec’s Vice President of Engineering.
McGruder began his career as a civilian employee for the United States Army Corps of Engineers. As a Mechanical Engineer and Project Manager in Fort Worth, Texas, he managed 14 projects for the Army’s Operation and Maintenance program and four projects for the Air Force Military Construction program. The projects had a combined value of $12 million.
Since 1996, McGruder has worked at several Cincinnati area companies or affiliates including Ford Motor Co., General Electric Aviation, Proctor & Gamble, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America. Prior to Lavatec, he spent the last 18 years as a Project Manager for Meyer Tool, Inc., a high-tech aerospace manufacturer of precision components.
“My responsibilities at Meyer Tool were to manage the design, programming, processing, and partial quality assurance for aircraft engine component and assembly contracts,” he confirmed. At Lavatec, he will be overseeing all of the details to ensure a smooth equipment installation process with each customer.
“When I was recruited for this position, I was intrigued about the industrial laundry industry but was not aware of its scale,” continued McGruder. “The equipment and cleaning process, and the challenge of managing these types of projects, is what convinced me to join Lavatec.”
A graduate of Prairie View A&M University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, McGruder earned a certificate in Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing Systems. He also has a certificate in Renewable Energy. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his adult son, riding his bicycle, reading, and participating in fitness sports and watching sports on television.
George Fine Passes Away
George Edward Cecil Fine passed away on Sunday, August 13, 2023. Son of the late Natalie and Samuel Fine. Beloved husband of Lois Fine, and the late Golda Fine. Loving father and father-in-law of Gary and Tamara, and cherished by many other family members and friends.
George led a life replete with success in numerous endeavours, including law, entrepreneurship and philanthropy; however, none that he was more proud of than his family. He mentored many, and will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known him.
One of those people is Ian Gibson of Ontario Laundry Systems. He summed up George’s life this way:
George was a fabricare dynamo. A lawyer by profession. He and his wife Golda (deceased) built from 1 depot store to over 100 stores and plants in the Greater Toronto Area. He was the most honourable customer we ever had. He was a mentor to me and many others in the dry cleaning industry. He sold to what later became Sketchly Cleaners of England. A few years later he acquired Parkers Cleaners and in a few short years transformed it into another industry success story along with Bill Foley (deceased) and Chris Morin. In the late 1980s, in agreement with his 2 partners, he sold off much of the chain to a number of entrepreneurs. Part of the chain is still operated by his son Gary, who you might say was born in the dry cleaning business. There will never be another George Fine. May he rest in peace.
We extend our condolences to Gary and the rest of the family. George has left a legacy that changed his corner of the world for the better.
Thad Southwick adds depth to Lavatec’s engineering team
Thad Southwick has joined Lavatec as an Application and Support Engineer. A commercial laundry industry veteran with over 30 years of experience, he is based in Cincinnati and reports to President Mark Thrasher.
Since getting his start in the business with G.A. Braun in 1989, he has served in several capacities involving sales, facility design planning and project management. After a 17-year run at Ellis Corporation USA where he was the Director of Sales for the North-Central region for 15 years, he moved on to VEGA Systems USA. He was a Project Manager at the laundry systems manufacturer for five years and was the point contact for customers before joining Lavatec.
“I’m excited to be part of Lavatec. It’s a company that continues to make great strides in the industry,” said Southwick. “Throughout my career, I have found great satisfaction by collaborating with customers to help them reach their goals. For me, the most important accomplishment is to exceed a customer’s expectations.
“My focus now,” he continued, “is on delivering efficient results with our equipment line by continuing to help customers old and new grow their businesses. I’m proud to be joining Lavatec and be a part of the success Mark Thrasher and his team have built.”
Outside of work, Southwick maintains a busy schedule. He enjoys spending time with his family and writing music. He plays the piano and has performed with a smooth jazz and R&B band in the Tri-State area, with gigs in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.
MIP Inc. Welcomes New Sales Reps
MIP Inc., a leading distribution company specializing in healthcare textiles, announced the addition of two sales representatives to its team.
Rav Maan – British Columbia and Alberta: With 15 years of experience in medical sales, Rav brings a wealth of knowledge to MIP customers. He firmly believes that genuine connections are the key to success in any industry. He has exceptional communication skills and a customer-centric approach. Rav is committed to building strong relationships with clients, providing tailored solutions, and exceeding expectations.
Nicole Simpson – Southwestern Ontario: She is a seasoned sales professional with strong ties to the hospital and long-term care communities, with a proven track record of success. Nicole brings a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to MIP. She will use her extensive knowledge in nursing to identify customer needs and deliver exceptional service.
George Courey names Frank Ricci associate sales director for Canada
George Courey Inc. recently announced that Frank Ricci joined its team as the new associate sales director, Canada.
In his role, Ricci will ensure exceptional customer care, build strong relationships and identify new business opportunities. His background in the technology and aerospace industries will enable him to leverage his experience in customer care and key-account management.
With a bachelor’s degree in commerce, as well as a strong passion for customer care and sales leadership, Ricci’s decision to join the George Courey staff was driven by the firm’s “engaged teams, adaptability, exceptional relationships and 113-year history,” a news release noted.
Industry veteran Jim Shaw joins Lavatec executive team
Jim Shaw has been added to the executive team as Vice President and National Accounts Sales Manager. Well known throughout the commercial laundry industry, he is based in Cincinnati and reports to President Mark Thrasher.
Success has followed Shaw during his 40 years in the industry. In the last 10 years as the President of VEGA Systems USA, he expanded the equipment roster and was involved in the redesign and expansion of product lines to address market needs. The result was an aggressive growth in sales.
This followed a 21-year run as Senior Vice President at Ellis Corporation USA, where he worked closely with the engineering, sales, parts and service departments to expand the product lines and sales support. He plans a similar mission at Lavatec.
“Mark Thrasher has successfully built Lavatec Laundry Technology in the United States, and it is an organization with a great reputation,” said Shaw. “It is well established with solid equipment, automated technology, and a highly responsive support network. I appreciate being a part of Lavatec.”
Shaw and his wife, Aljeanne, have been married for 44 years. They have four adult children and four grandchildren who keep them busy during their free time. He can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gurtler adds Amir Amini in New England
Gurtler Industries Inc., South Holland, IL, recently announced the addition of Amir Amini to its staff. Amini will be the company’s manager of market development in the New England area, according to a news release.
Amini brings with him 13 years of experience in the laundry industry in Europe and the U.S. He holds a bachelor’s degree in textile – chemistry engineering and a master’s degree in international business and engineering
For more information, visit www.gurtler.com.
GreenEarth Cleaning appointed new Business Development VP
GreenEarth Cleaning has recently appointed Angela Harris as its new business development vice president.
In this role, Harris will lead the process to encourage dry cleaners and other institutions with internal laundry service — including hospitality, commercial real estate and more — to switch over to GreenEarth Cleaning’s silicone-based fluid and cleaning system. Harris’ career began in medical sales in California before entering the dry-cleaning industry in 1999.
Tim Maxwell, the company’s president, got to know and appreciate Angela thanks to meeting her at trade shows and industry events. He looks forward to adding her to the team and is confident in her ability to play a leading role in the company’s growth worldwide.
Gurtler names Mitchell VP of Field Operations
Gurtler Industries, Inc. announced the promotion of Bill
Mitchell to Vice President of Field Operations. Bill brings with him 32
years of experience in the laundry industry.
Girbau North America welcomes Kramer and Paulick
Girbau North America (GNA) recently welcomed Barb Kramer as national accounts coordinator and Paige Paulick as inside sales associate.
As national accounts coordinator, Kramer handles multiple duties in support of national accounts sales and customer relations, including order processing, assisting customers with inventory and product inquiries, and generating and distributing reports. Additionally, she supports GNA’s sales team, interfaces with distributors and customers, and forecasts upcoming national accounts needs.
“As a company, we are lucky to have Barb on our team for many reasons,” said Customer Experience Key Account Manager Alivia Murkley. “Her positive attitude, dedication and hard work shine through in everything she does.”
“What I like most about GNA is everyone has been so friendly and welcoming,” said Kramer. “It’s the little things at GNA that make me smile.”
In her new role as inside sales associate, Paulick is responsible for managing inside sales and lead-qualification processes, as well as juggling customer relations, product pricing and reporting duties. She regularly interfaces with end users, distributors and other GNA staff members; analyzes and reports on industry trends; performs competitive analyses; and assists with product and parts orders and tracking.
She comes to GNA with a strong background in customer service and a proficiency for managing multiple responsibilities simultaneously. Paulick earned an associate’s degree in communications and media studies from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2021.
“We are excited to welcome Paige into the GNA family,” said Pam Kuffel, director of strategic business solutions. “With her experience and personality, we are confident she’ll take the inside sales role to new heights – making it even more effective.”
Paulick maintains she was interested in joining GNA in an entry-level role to gain the skills and experience needed for her to pursue a sales or marketing position. “I liked the fact that GNA has a lot of opportunity for growth but still very much has a family friendly culture,” she said.
For more information visit www.gnalaundry.com or call 800-256-1073.
Cintas announces leadership changes
Cintas Corporation announced that Michael L. Thompson, Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Administration Officer (CAO), will retire on August 31, 2023. Thompson will cease being an Executive Officer of the Company as of May 31, 2023.
The company also announced that Jim Rozakis, currently President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company’s Rental Division, will be promoted to Cintas EVP and COO, effective June 1, 2023.
“I want to thank Mike for his tremendous contributions during his incredible 29 years with Cintas,” said Todd Schneider, Cintas President and CEO. “Over his career, Mike has successfully taken on many challenging areas and created opportunities that have made our company significantly better because of his leadership. I value Mike’s perspective, dedication, and friendship and will miss working with him every day. I wish he and his family all the best in the future as they enjoy this new phase in life.”
Thompson joined Cintas in 1994 as a Financial Analyst and has held a variety of ascending roles in the years that have followed, including Director of Corporate Development, Corporate Controller, Vice President & Treasurer, Senior Vice President of Rental Facility Services, Senior Vice President of Business Transformation, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer (CIO), and most recently, EVP and CAO. Throughout Thompson’s Cintas career, he helped optimize the company for ongoing growth while also prioritizing the customer experience.
Cintas will not fill Thompson’s CAO role at this time. Thompson’s responsibilities and areas of oversight will be distributed among the company’s executive administration. Rozakis will move into the COO role which has been unfilled since Schneider, the last EVP and COO, was appointed to President and CEO in June 2021.
Rozakis is a 24-year Cintas employee-partner whose strategic acumen and commitment to excellence has continually pushed the company forward. Rozakis came to Cintas in 1999 as a Sales Associate and rose through the Rental Division’s sales and operations ranks, including roles as Sales Vice President, Group Vice President, Senior Vice President and most recently, Rental President & COO, a position he has held since June 2020.
Since assuming his most recent role, Rozakis has led the business to remarkable success. Assuming leadership less than three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Rozakis guided the Rental Division to record sales and profits through the expansion of new workwear and facility services offerings that helped Cintas customers remain open and operating in a safer, healthier and efficient manner.
“Jim’s vision and focus on our customers and employee-partners has had an incredible impact on the Rental Division and it has created our road map for Cintas’ future,” Schneider added. “Coupled with his drive and his commitment to excellence, Jim is poised to help lead Cintas’ businesses to even greater success in his new role our Cintas Chief Operating Officer.”
LAVATEC welcomes Marco Garcia to the Service Team
Marco Garcia is the newest Service technician at Lavatec. Based in Las Vegas, he has over 25 years of mechanical and technical experience working with industrial machinery.
Joining Lavatec marks his return to the laundry world following a 10-year absence. After serving as an aircraft mechanic in the Honduran Air Force, Garcia moved to the United States and began working at Mission Industries in Nevada in 1997. The industrial laundry operation processes linen for Las Vegas area hotels, and he was responsible for installing, maintaining, and upgrading the equipment and training other workers.
Garcia spent 10 years there and another six as a service technician at Jensen USA before pivoting to similar positions with glass and metal manufacturers. He joined Lavatec after working on industrial machines for one of the largest roofing contractors in the Las Vegas area since 2021.
“I learned early in my career that trying to install equipment in a third world country with the lack of proper tools can be very challenging,” said Garcia. He’s been married for 31 years and is the father to four children, including a 17-year-old son who wants to follow in his footsteps as a career path.
“Working at Mission Industries helped me develop my skills because I learned how to troubleshoot. I was introduced to Lavatec machines in 2000 and I’ve now come full circle to doing what I know best. I hope to retire working on the machines that made me who I am today.”
Kannegiesser ETech promotes Matt Wilson to Director of Engineering and Manufacturing
Matt Wilson recently was promoted to director of engineering and manufacturing at Kannegiesser ETECH, Minneapolis.
The promotion went into effect on Jan. 1. Wilson joined Kannegiesser ETECH in 2014 as a laundry design specialist, and has been leading and managing the Engineering Department in Minneapolis since 2018. Prior to Kannegiesser ETECH, Wilson was an engineering officer in the U.S. Army.
“Matt is a positive leader that brings a wide range of experience and talents into this role,” said Tony Schult, executive VP. “We are excited for Matt to help lead Kannegiesser ETECH and our customers to what’s next in laundry automation.”
MIP Inc. appoints Dean Johnson as President and Chief Executive Officer
MIP Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Dean Johnson to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. Dean will commence with MIP effective January 23rd, 2023.
Dean brings 20 years of senior executive experience, including a proven track record of leading complex multi-national organizations to drive both financial results and team engagement. His experience spans exposure to the healthcare, hospitality, education, facility management and retail sectors.
Dean was most recently Chief Executive Officer of Alpine Building Maintenance, a national facility maintenance service provider, where he successfully transformed the business through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. His previous appointments also include Chief Executive Officer of Service Operations for Sodexo North America, Chief Executive Officer Grainger Canada, Chief Executive Officer of Sodexo Canada, and President of Crothall Service Group.
Dean is a purpose driven leader recognized for transformational leadership and support for a diverse and inclusive workplace. He has previously been honoured with the Bay Street Pride at Work Canada Advocate Award and Catalyst Canada Honours Champion.
Dean received a B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering from the University Calgary. He is an Industry Advisory Board Member for the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary and also sits on the Finance, Investment & Property committee at Wilfried Laurier University.
MIP is excited to welcome Dean to lead it through its next phase of growth, with a continued focus on innovation, quality, and customer service.
For more about MIP: www.mipinc.com
Ecolab names Darrell Brown as President and COO
Ecolab Inc., St. Paul, MN, recently announced that Darrell R. Brown moved into the role of president and COO, according to TRSA. Brown previously served as the company’s executive vice president and president, Global Industrial, according to a news release.
“As Ecolab continues to grow and expand how we deliver on our purpose to protect what’s vital, this enhancement to our management structure will help us maximize our future growth opportunities and is a reflection of our strong leadership team,” said Christophe Beck, Ecolab chairman and CEO. “Darrell’s winning track record, knowledge of our company, focus on talent development and tremendous leadership abilities will provide exceptional execution support and additional focus on the company’s long-term growth and performance. I am fortunate to have Darrell as a partner for the years ahead as we continue to enhance profitability by capitalizing on Ecolab’s significant global growth opportunities.”
Brown, 59, has served as executive vice president and president of the Global Industrial group since 2019. Earlier, he was the executive vice president and president of Ecolab’s Energy Services Division. Brown joined Ecolab in 2002 and has held several leadership positions with the company, including executive vice president and president, Europe; executive vice president, Asia Pacific; and vice president and general manager for Australia and New Zealand.
Jensen announces key executive changes
Tony Biela is to take up the position of President of Jensen USA, Carlos Fernandes is promoted to Senior VP of Sales. Tony Biela and Carlos Fernandes will replace Simon Nield, effective January 1, 2023.
Tony Biela started working for Jensen USA in 2019 as VP Finance. Thanks to his cross-cultural expertise and his experience from executive roles with former employers, he has added a lot of value to our business operations in the USA. His main focus will be on leading the transformation of our operations in Panama City, FL.
The representation of Jensen USA towards our esteemed clients will be attended by Carlos Fernandes, who was appointed as Senior Vice President of Sales. He offers vast knowledge of the Jensen product line combined with an excellent understanding of customer service and relationships. Carlos Fernandes has been serving the laundry industry for more than 37 years.
Carlos has been a fixture in the Canadian laundry industry for many years, and he will continue to represent the company in Canada. He will not be relocating to Florida.
These changes are a direct result of Simon Nield’s decision to step back from his current role as President of Jensen USA. Recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Simon Nield has chosen to focus more of his energy on his personal well-being. A career spanning nearly four decades in the laundry industry is now slowly phasing out. Thankfully, Simon will continue to support our management team as President Emeritus.
Simon Nield’s passion for the laundry industry, our clients, and our team in Florida are beyond exceptional. We would like to thank Simon for all that he has done, and wish him all the best for the future. We are convinced that Tony Biela, Carlos Fernandes, management and staff at Jensen USA will demonstrate the same passion and commitment to the laundry industry as Simon Nield did.
ALM Names New Executive Director
The Association of Linen Management (ALM) is proud to announce and welcome Sarah Brobeck as ALM’s
new Executive Director. An experienced leader and industry professional, Brobeck will succeed retiring Executive Director Linda Fairbanks and assume responsibilities on November 1, 2022.
Fairbanks first met Brobeck when she attended the Laundry & Linen College and described the journey
as “a joy to watch her grow into various aspects of the textile care services industry.” Brobeck has served in roles from laundry operations to vendor sales, providing a unique perspective and in-depth knowledge of the many different aspects of the textile care industry. “Sarah’s first-hand experience will provide a great value to the industry in the days and years ahead. I wish Sarah, the Board of Directors, staff, and the membership the very best,” expressed Fairbanks.
Brobeck has over 15 years of experience working in the textile care industry. Previously, she served as ALM Board secretary and director, taught CLLM reviews, presented at IMPACT, as well as instructed and acted as a facilitator at the Laundry & Linen
“I am honored to join the ALM staff. ALM is an association that is a leader in providing professional development for the textile care industry.” said Brobeck. “This is an important time for ALM to strengthen educational opportunities and resources as well as build a supportive network that will aid in our success.”
Kearns Elected Chair of TRSA Board of Directors
TRSA recently held its Annual Conference in Nashville, TN, where its new board members for the upcoming year were announced.
Jim Kearns, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Alsco Uniforms, was elected chair of TRSA’s Board of Directors during the Annual Membership Meeting on Sept. 15. A graduate of the University of Utah, Kearns joined Alsco Inc. in 1993 as the internal audit director and advanced steadily to his current position in January 2019. Alsco is a global leader in uniform and facility service rental and has been since 1889. They provide these services to over 355,000 customers in more than 180 locations worldwide.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as TRSA chair,” Kearns said. “Over the next two years, I’m going to focus on advocacy and the sharing of best practices to boost the industry as a whole. Our industry provides an essential service, and we need to safeguard the trust of our industry customer base and help solve problems with our products and services.”
TRSA President & CEO Joseph Ricci offered an upbeat assessment of the new chair, and thanked Kearns’ predecessor for her service. “As the linen, uniform and facility services industry continues to pursue renewed growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have in Jim Kearns a well-rounded, seasoned executive with a demonstrated record of growth and a knack for working with companies large and small,” Ricci said. “Our thanks go to outgoing Chair Noël Richardson for successfully leading us through the worst of the pandemic. We now look forward to continued progress with Jim Kearns guiding the association.”
In other news from TRSA’s Annual Membership Meeting, Randy Bartsch, CEO of Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service Corp., Vancouver, Canada, was elected vice chairman, while Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply CEO P.J. Dempsey was elected treasurer.
Additional directors elected during the conference included:
- Pierre Ferron, president, Buanderie Blanchelle, Montreal, Canada
- Bob Hager, president, Miller’s Textile Services, Wapakoneta, Ohio
- Jim Rozakis, president & COO, Cintas Corp., Mason, OH
- Kelsey Van Miert, president of customer relations, Northwest Health Care Linen, Bellingham, WA
In addition, the TRSA Supplier Partner Council has submitted Rick Kelly, VP, sales & marketing, Pellerin Milnor Corp., Kenner, LA, as the director candidate representing the hard goods category and Jake Gurtler, vice president, corporate accounts, Gurtler Industries Inc., South Holland, IL, as the director of other goods.
Tom White passes away
Tom White, an active member of the fabricare industry for over 60 years, passes away on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at the age of 96.
He had a long, successful military career, a passion instilled in him by his family. He joined at the age of 18 and served many years with the 48th Highland Militia, achieving the rank of Major. His career as Divisional Sales Manager with Fabricare Division-Diversey was long and successful, where he developed many lasting friendships with colleagues.
Tom held numerous positions within the Canadian Laundry Allied Trades Association (CLATA), including President and Trade Show Chairman in 1978. He served on the Board of Directors and was Secretary Treasurer until his retirement in 2013 from active involvement in the association.
He and his wife, Gunta, were also involved in the International Drycleaners Congress (IDC) and together traveled the world with top-tier dry cleaners for many years. (Photo below is of Tom, left, with Jill and Tom Hopkins of Gibson’s Cleaners, at an IDC event.)
The visitation will take place Friday, Sept. 9 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Pat O’Connor Funeral Home, 1939 Lawrence Ave. E, Scarborough, ON. Funeral services will be Saturday, September 10 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Judes (Wexford) Anglican Church, 10 Howarth Ave., Toronto, ON.
The CLATA Tom White Golf Tournament, named for Tom, takes place the day before his visitation, and will surely be at time of remembrance for him, as well.
Milnor adds Terry Satchwell to staff
Pellerin Milnor Corp., Kenner, LA, recently announced that it added Terry Satchwell to its staff as vice president of strategic accounts, effective immediately.
Prior to rejoining Milnor, Satchwell served as EVP of engineering & technical services for PureStar Linen Group, Las Vegas, which operates 30-plus facilities across three countries and 26 U.S. markets. In this role, he was responsible for CapEx planning and equipment-optimization programs, and he also initiated a company-wide computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
With more than 35 years of industry experience in creating cost effective and innovative solutions for linen, uniform, healthcare and hospitality operators, Satchwell’s extensive knowledge and technical background will assist national account customers to increase plant growth, efficiency and profitability, the company said.
For more information on Pellerin Milnor, call 504-467-9591 or visit the company’s website at www.milnor.com.
MIP names Nicole Grubich to key US position
MIP, located in Montreal, announced the appointment of Nicole Grubich to the position of Vice President, US Business Unit, effective June 1st, 2022.
Nicole comes to MIP from West Michigan Shared Hospital Laundry, located in Grand Rapids, MI, USA, where she has served as the President and Executive Director for nine years. She holds a B.Sc. from Western Michigan University and is a Certified Laundry and Linen Manager (CLLM), as well as a Registered Laundry and Linen Director (RLLD).
She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Association for Linen Management (ALM), International Association of Healthcare Textile Managers (IAHTM) and American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA). Nicole has also previously served as a board member of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC).
With twenty-three years in the laundry industry, Nicole brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She is a seasoned industry executive with comprehensive knowledge and extensive experience in team building, networking, leadership, client relations, sales, strategic planning, laundry operations, employee development, and linen management.
MIP welcomes Nicole with her refreshing new ideas and an energy that will help us build on Mark Mann’s legacy.
Gary Ostrum joins Brim
Brim Laundry Machinery Co. Inc., Hutchins, TX, recently added Gary Ostrum to its team as a regional sales manager for the Northeastern U.S., as well as provinces in Eastern Canada. Ostrum has more than 30 years of experience in the linen, uniform and facility services industry, and brings with him a diverse set of skills and knowledge, according to a news release.
Ostrum’s responsibilities at Brim will include customer service and sales support for textile-related industries requiring the benefits of Brim-built washer/extractors, dryers, and other items from the company’s lineup of industrial products and services.
He had long served as a sales and marketing professional for G.A. Braun Inc., Syracuse, NY, and most recently was VP of sales for domestic and international markets. Ostrum is skilled in sales management and team building, as well as operations management.
Girbau North America
hires James Roberts
Girbau North America (GNA) recently welcomed military service veteran James Roberts as service support technician.
Roberts handles daily communications with GNA product end-users and distributor technicians to help troubleshoot and resolve laundry product technical issues. Additionally, Roberts is responsible for conducting service training, repairing machinery, helping develop training videos and assisting with product improvement and development. He brings 8 years of experience as a generator/power systems technician, and 8 years of experience as a U.S. Army signal system support specialist and individual ready reserve sergeant.