Industry Newsline - April 2010

Industry Newsline


Warsaw, IN-based Warsaw Chemical Co. Inc. has announced the appointment of Ken Bucher as president of the company. Bucher has 32 years of experience in various sales, marketing, and management positions at Warsaw Chemical. “This has been a challenging time for us and our nation’s economy as a whole,” said Bucher, “but we have a great team of people and dedicated distributors, and we remain strong.”

PDQ Manufacturing Inc. of De Pere, WI has announced that Gerry Hanrahan has joined the company as its new senior vice president of sales. Hanrahan spent the last six-and-a-half years at OPW Fuel Management Systems (Petro Vend), Hodgkins, IL — most recently as its national sales and marketing manager. Like PDQ, OPW is part of the New York-based Dover Corporation. Hanrahan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Mary’s University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.


The Western Carwash Association and Association Resource Center, the WCA’s management-service provider, have announced the appointment of Ross Hutchings, CAE as executive director of the WCA. Hutchings succeeds Holly Macriss, who is pursuing a new opportunity.

Hutchings has 30 years of association management experience, including tenures with the California Independent Oil Marketers Association and the California Peace Officers & Police Chiefs Associations. A Certified Association Executive (CAE) for over 14 years, Hutchings also has experience as a business owner — giving him a unique perspective on our industry and membership.


RDM Industrial Electronics Inc. of Nebo, NC, and Lakewood, CO, has announced the appointment of John Vautier of JV & Associates Inc. as its manufacturer’s representative for the state of Florida. With over 20 years of experience working as a manufacturer and PEI distributor, John Vautier has gained valuable knowledge and respect within the industry.


Autobell Car Wash Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, NC, has opened a wash at 5374 Faircroft Drive in southern Forsyth County, GA, just off McGinnis Ferry Road and adjacent to the towns of Johns Creek and Alpharetta. It is the privately owned chain’s 58th location and the 4th in the metro Atlanta area. Justin Adams is the store manager.

The wash features the Aqua Bio 100-percent reclaim water treatment system. The company, which treats 100 percent and recycles 80 percent to 100 percent of water used, is known for its water conservation procedures and has won numerous awards for its environmental commitment.


During 2009, Charlotte, NC-based Autobell Car Wash’s Charity Car Wash Program helped raise $576,200 for charities, schools, and other non-profits in North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. The company’s program began in 1998 and has raised over $3.6 million to date.

Through the program, Autobell provides non-profit groups with full- service car wash certificates custom-printed with the organization’s name and honored at any Autobell location. Fundraisers keep 50 percent of the proceeds from all tickets sales.

“This program continues to be a stalwart of both our charitable involvement and our environmental focus,” stated Autobell president and CEO Chuck Howard. “We’re able to provide non-profits with a popular and effective alternative to polluting and water-wasting parking-lot-car-wash fundraisers.


To help new car wash operators get started on the right foot, Tamarac, FL-based CarWash College is offering a new on-site start-up training program.

The Start-up Training program helps operators and their management team achieve an understanding of the managerial role and to create a guideline for developing the systems necessary to run a car wash efficiently.

The five-day training program covers car wash operation and maintenance, management accounting, personnel, and customer service attendants. The program attempts to cover every imaginable scenario so that operators and their team are prepared with the tools they need to handle each situation with confidence.

Both new and veteran operators will be able to pick up helpful, money-saving tips through the on-site Start-Up Training Program. Classes can be booked by calling (866) 492-7422 or visiting


Inglewood, CA-based Smart Wax® ( has announced the formation of Smart Detailing University, an education and training facility specifically designed for the auto detailing and reconditioning industry. The company has teamed up with Mel Craig, the founder and president of The Total Pros Inc.™ (, to offer a unique blend of training, supplies, and equipment.

Training programs will include eco-friendly and water-smart auto detailing, windshield repair, paint restoration, and headlamp repair. To enroll in Smart Detailing University or to attend any of the training programs being offered, call (800) 903-1578.


The International Carwash Association™ has announced the WaterSavers™ Partner program, open to all vendor members of the association. This new program creates the opportunity for car wash vendors to add value to their current customer relationships and enhance brand recognition in the marketplace.

The new program is an extension of the WaterSavers program that was launched in 2009 to provide recognition of car wash operators’ sound environmental stewardship. With the establishment of the partner program, car wash distributors, suppliers, and manufacturers can demonstrate their commitment and dedication to environmental protection by encouraging their operator customers to join the WaterSavers program.

To learn more about the WaterSavers or WaterSavers Partner programs, visit To join the partner program, which is free of cost, visit


Following the implementation of a corporate-wide safety initiative, SONNY’S The Car Wash Factory has had zero warehouse employees lose a full day of work due to a work-related injury for 500 straight work days. As an average month has 22 working days, the 500-day milestone represents over 22 months of consecutive safe operation. The company’s previous record — before the safety initiative — was 62 safe workdays.

Employees were encouraged to become a part of the company’s program to create and maintain a safe working environment. The company held safety meetings and stressed continuous safety awareness with signs and posters. The company involved every employee at every level and even held a safety raffle to increase awareness and add some fun. Employees were asked safety related questions and received raffle tickets for correct answers. These tickets were used to win various prizes

“The key to a safe work environment is increased awareness and training,” said the company president, Paul Fazio. The next goal is to achieve 750 safe workdays.


Scott Blackstock, owner of Title Wave Car Washes (see Profile in Success, Auto Laundry News, July 2005, page 46) in Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina, was named Georgia’s 2009 Small-Business Person of the Year.

Blackstock was featured on the cover of Georgia Trend magazine’s Small Business supplement. The Title Wave chain, which started in 2004 with one wash in Atlanta, GA, has grown to 12 locations across three states.

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