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Industry Newsline


Frank Rowe has joined R&B Wire Products Inc. of Santa Ana, CA as vice president of sales and marketing. Rowe has extensive experience in sales and marketing with health care industry leaders such as TheraTx Inc., Baxter, and American Hospital Supply. He joins a seasoned management team including Christine Arakaki, vice president of finance and administration and Steve Venti, vice president of operations and manufacturing.

Gold Eagle Co. has reorganized its materials management and purchasing operation to provide more focused and efficient service to its customers while improving supply chain management and reducing costs. The reorganization also provided opportunities for personnel advancement. Don Fleming will develop and maintain strategic supplier relationships as the director of purchasing. Annemarie Tunney will become the materials and forecasting manager, overseeing materials planning as well as shipping and receiving functions.


Autobell Car Wash Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, NC recently awarded 20 employees its 2003 Academic Scholarships toward the college or university of their choice. Autobell currently operates 33 units in 18 North Carolina cities, with two locations under construction to open later this year in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

The Autobell Scholarship is an annual program open to current Autobell employees with at least one year of service. A selection committee reviews all applications and chooses the winners of $250, $500, and $1,000 scholarships. The 2003 winners are: Kyle Breece (Charlotte), Patrick Ferebee (Charlotte), Austin Hains (Huntersville), Matt Johnson (Charlotte), Derrick Pitkin (Charlotte), Chris Poston (Matthews), Kelly Treiber (Charlotte), Ross Treiber (Charlotte). Mitchell Williams (Charlotte - Mitchell was also the winner of a $1,000 scholarship from the International Carwash Association), Keith Britt (Shelby), Megan Elliott (Shelby), Grant Reid (Shelby), Steven Perry (Wingate), Chaneé Lawler (Rocky Mount), James Waters (Rocky Mount), Christopher Finch (Spring Hope), Nicholas Finch (Spring Hope), Daniel Blan (Raleigh), Derek Jones (Knightdale), and Michael Pitt (Garner).

In a separate statement, Autobell announced that it had raised over $10,000 in its team effort with the Harris-Teeter grocery store chain for the benefit of the "Operation Phone Home" campaign of the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the American Red Cross. The program provided nearly 30,000 phone cards to US troops stationed overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom.


Cleaning Systems Inc. of De Pere, WI, manufacturer of Lustra Professional Car Care Products, honored its 2002 top sales volume distributors at a distributor meeting held in conjunction with the World Car Care Expo in Las Vegas.

Top sales volume Lustra distributor for 2002 and the Presidential Award winner was Craig Hanson, WashTech of Charlottesville, VA. The Gold Award winner was Mark Robinson, Car Wash Service Express of Stedman, NC. The Silver Award winner was Tom Lye, Washing Equipment of Texas, Austin, TX.

The following were recognized for their accomplishments in 2002. CSI Shining Star recipients: Roger Despointes, RHD Sales & Service of Largo, FL and Bobby West, Twin Distributing of Denison, TX; Top Distributor Solutions Representatives: Doug Brzostowski, RHD Sales & Service of Largo, FL and Scott Buchanan, Twin Distributing of Denison, TX; and the CSI Partner in Quality: John Racine, Woltco, of Coopersville, MI.

Standing (Left to Right): Scott Makowski, Javier Gonzalez, Lisa Hauser, "Tommy" the Turtle. Kneeling (Left to right): Melanie Roozee, Michael Gaglione, Miranda Connor. Not Pictured: Maciej Janus, Amber Kyznar, Jacob Matthew, Stevan Petkovich, Jason Schrick and Thomas Scuderi.

For the second year, Turtle Wax Inc. offered its associates in the Auto Appearance Centers Division an opportunity to apply for scholarships toward their college education. This division employs over 800 associates in 19 full-service car wash and detailing centers. Many employees are high school students who are ready to begin pursuing their goals in higher education. Others are already attending a college or university.

Although there were many strong applicants, the final 12 who were chosen met and/or exceeded the criteria outlined in the application. The scholarship recipients who will each be awarded $1,500 toward their education are: Miranda Connor (Chicago Ridge, IL), Michael Gaglione (Chicago Ridge, IL), Javier Gonzalez (Chicago, IL), Lisa Hauser (Bloomingdale, IL), Maciej Janus (Rolling Meadows, IL), Amber Kyznar (Aurora, IL), Scott Makowski (Lisle, IL), Jacob Matthew (Mission, KS), Stevan Petkovich (Joliet, IL), Melanie Roozee (Orland Park, IL), Jason Schrick (Kansas City, KS) and Thomas Scuderi (Olathe, KS).


De Pere, WI-based PDQ Manufacturing Inc. has been issued a patent on its detergent heating system (Patent # US 6,547,156). According to a spokesman, this system is at the heart of the LaserWash(r) G5(tm) S-Series, and provides the operator with on-demand detergent heating, which significantly reduces electrical costs. The patented on-board detergent heater provides precise temperature control of the detergent to maximize cleaning. It involves the proprietary feature of heating the detergent solution as close to the point of application as possible, making the LaserWash G5 S-Series energy-efficient in terms of electrical demand.


Filmhandler Tools has unveiled a completely renovated web site at to help window tinters find the latest squeegee, scraper, digital meter or other tools and accessory items. In addition, the site offers detailed product descriptions, photography, and installation recommendations. Related-item suggestions really clarify what each tool item can do.

Filmhandler Tools online is available when dealers are - 24 hours a day. Many dealers are busy from 8 to 5, installing film on cars, driving to installation sites, educating customers, or communicating internally. When they finally have spare time after hours to purchase tools, other suppliers are already closing their doors and turning off their lights! Filmhandler Tools online is never closed.


By the end of June, close to $70,000 had been contributed by WashUSA Sponsors, according to WashUSA spokesperson Mark Curtis. The November 1 fundraiser, which benefits The Make-A-Wish Foundation(r), is well on its way to meeting its $250,000 goal. "This is just unbelievable," said Curtis. "We are so excited about the momentum WashUSA has carried over from the International Carwash Association show, and the swell of support building again from the state and regional associations across the country."

Simoniz USA Inc. of Bolton, CT has announced that it will again be a participant as Founding Sponsor. "WashUSA is a tremendous opportunity for all of us in the car wash industry to give back and help children in need," said company president and CEO Bill Gorra. "I urge everyone to get involved. This is good stuff!"

A similar announcement came from Sonny's Enterprises of Tamarac, FL as it, too, joined the ranks of supporters as a Gold Sponsor. "It is with great pleasure that I join people whom I consider personal friends... who will work together to help Mark Curtis and the WashUSA project exceed last year's numbers," said Paul Fazio, the company's president.

The WashUSA committee is presently shoring up its 2003 vendor sponsors. There are varying levels of commitment available to suppliers, in addition to the founding sponsorships, to help underwrite the costs involved in marketing this effort. For more information on participation and sponsorship opportunities contact Mark Curtis at (888) WASHUSA or Suzanne Stansbury at (518) 877-6779 or e-mail her at


Bernie Ephraim, a 48-year veteran of the car wash industry, passed away on July 2, 2003 in a Detroit area hospital. Ephraim joined Standhardt Chemical Corp. as a sales representative in 2001, a position he held at the time of his death. Before joining Standhardt, he served as international sales manager at Cul-Mac Industries in Wayne, MI. Previously, he spent 32 years at the Stone Soap Company in Detroit, where he finally served as the international sales manager.

During his career, Ephraim earned a president's award, award of merit, lifetime membership award and a number of service awards from various car wash organizations. He served with distinction on the ICA Board of Directors, including a term as automotive liaison chairman. Ephraim also served as president of the Michigan Car Wash Association from 1968 to 1971.

Bernie Ephraim constantly worked to make the car care industry better and safer, working with peers, equipment manufacturers, and auto makers alike. He had many friendships in this industry and a wealth of knowledge. All who knew and worked with Bernie will deeply miss him.

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