Industry Newsline - January 2003

Industry Newsline


Lock America International Inc. has named Chris Shope vice president of sales and marketing for Garden Grove, CA-based Lock America (L.A.I. Group). Frank Minnella, who previously held that position, will turn over to Shope responsibility for developing the North American and international markets for the company's many security products. Minnella's new titles of executive vice president and chief executive officer reflect his new responsibility for strategic development of L.A.I. Group's international business.

Chris Shope started with the company, where he has been employed for seven years, as southeast sales manager. He will continue to operate out of the southeast regional office in Gastonia, NC until the company's new international headquarters is built in California.


The Staubach Company, an international real estate strategy and services firm, has announced the creation of a nationwide, specialized automotive practice group unique to the real estate brokerage industry. James M. Mullin, CCIM, who founded Mullin Partners Real Estate Corporation and merged it in 1999 with Sperry Van Ness, has joined the firm's retail services division as executive vice president and national director. He has nearly 20 years of experience in automotive real estate marketing, development, and brokerage.

The auto group will provide consulting services to property owners in the automotive industry. Areas of expertise include site selection, acquisition and disposition, financing, design and construction, portfolio services, and property management. For more information, visit


Mebane, a central North Carolina town of 7,300 people, got a big addition in November 2002 when Eastern Auto Spa opened a combination full-service car wash/quick lube/detail shop here. Brandon Dunn, co-owner and general manager of the new facility, stated, "We received great guidance, service, and top-notch equipment and products from Howco Inc."

Eastern Auto Spa features a 100-foot long car wash tunnel outfitted with the latest equipment from Hanna Car Wash Systems(r) and a 1,350-square-foot, 3-bay Valvoline Express(r) Care Quick Lube. Other amenities include an enclosed single-bay detail shop and a 400-square-foot lobby/gift shop that sells soft drinks, snacks, greeting cards, gifts, automotive accessories, Barnie's gourmet coffee, and freshly made Island Oasis smoothies. The gift shop also features comfortable chairs and tables and an espresso/cappuccino machine.


Mace Security International Inc. (Mace) has announced that its stockholders authorized a one-for-two reverse stock split at a special meeting of the stockholders held on December 16, 2002. The split was effective on December 17, 2002. The purpose of the reverse stock split was to have Mace's common stock trade above $1.00 in compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements.

Chairman and chief executive officer of Mace, Louis D. Paolino, Jr., said that the necessary steps were being taken to regain investor interest in Mace. "We believe that the company will be in a stronger position to increase shareholder value in the future by remaining on the Nasdaq National Market System," he added According to Paolino, Mace's book value per share after the reverse stock split is in excess of $4.50 per share. "At the current level of our stock price, we consider Mace to be significantly undervalued," he said


Grease Monkey International congratulated Roy Jenkins, assistant manager at one of Leroy and Mary Ann Gibson's Columbia, SC centers, for celebrating 10 years with the company. Jenkins started with the Gibson's Grease Monkey center in September of 1992 and has contributed to the center's successful operation in the Columbia area.

Gibson says part of his center's success is due to their customers' devotion to Roy's friendly service. "Roy has been a presence at that location for many years, receiving innumerable positive comments on our customer survey cards," says Gibson. "Even people in the neighborhood recognize his friendly face and appreciate his longstanding position at the center, with one of the neighbors occasionally dropping by with cookies for him." In appreciation for Roy's dedication, the Gibsons sent Roy and his wife Linda on a cruise.

When asked what has made his position at Grease Monkey rewarding enough to stay 10 years, Roy said, "I love meeting people and working with cars."


History repeated itself in Massachusetts on Saturday, November 2, as Henley Enterprises Inc., the Wellesley-based franchisee that opened the first Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchise location in 1989, proudly debuted its 27th service center at 891 Worcester Street in Natick - the 700th location in the VIOC fast-lube chain system.

During the Grand Opening, VIOC Franchising Vice President Kenneth C. (K.C.) Bruch, Henley Enterprises President Don Smith and other top officials were on-hand at the ribbon-cutting and greeted customers who were offered specially-priced $7.00 oil changes in commemoration of the 700th service center milestone. Customers were entertained by local radio personalities and enjoyed complimentary refreshments and other giveaways.

The newly constructed, 2,345-square-foot service center has four bays and 15 employees. It offers VIOC's complete fluid maintenance program as well as additional maintenance services and serves as a free collection point for used oil from do-it-yourselfers.

At its recent annual franchisee workshop in San Antonio, TX, VIOC named Wellesley, MA-based franchisees Don Smith and Richard MacDonald of Henley Enterprises Inc., Operators of the Year. VIOC honored Smith and MacDonald, as well as other top-performing franchisees from 2002. Other award recipients include:

• Outstanding Achievement: Wellesley, MA-based Henley Enterprises/Mid-Atlantic Lube, LLC;

• Rookie of the Year: Cave Creek, AZ-based Performance Plus Automotive, LLC;

• Spirit of Franchising: Visalia, CA-based MOO Inc.

• Hall of Fame: San Antonio, TX-based Hill Country Oil Inc. and Albuquerque, NM-based High Desert Oil Inc.

VIOC's Operator of the Year is the franchisee who achieves the most significant operational results and best demonstrates support and use of the VIOC system in terms of service center maintenance, customer service, and adherence to established procedures.

In addition to these annual honors, VIOC named three franchisees to the Presidents' Club, which recognizes service centers with at least $1 million in annual revenues, and 16 franchise centers to the High Performance Club, which recognizes centers averaging at least 40 oil changes per day and average sales of at least $40 per customer.

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