Industry Newsline - March 2002

Industry Newsline

Cleaning Systems Inc. of De Pere, WI has announced the appointment of Pat Charlton as the West Coast regional sales manager. Charlton's background includes 15 years of experience in the car wash, convenience store and petroleum markets. Charlton will be based in Santa Ana, CA.

Frederick Cizauskas, national sales manager for Wayne, MI-based Cul-Mac Industries Inc., has been elected to the Midwest Carwash Association board of directors. He will serve a two-year term ending in January 2004. Cizauskas has been in the chemical industry since 1992 and served Cul-Mac as regional sales manager from 1996 to June 2000.

Craig Galvin, sales manager of ERC Wiping Products Inc. of Lynn, MA was elected in January to serve on the board of directors of the New England Car Wash Association. He will serve a two-year term as a supplier director. Galvin has worked at ERC since 1994.

Mark VII Equipment Inc. of Arvada, CO recently recognized owners Steve Kirkpatrick of Complete Car Wash Systems Inc. in Lincoln, AL and Johnna Boyd and Chris Seestedt of Aqua-Pro Car Wash Systems in Allen, TX as Mark VII Distributors of the Year. In making the announcement, Jay Schneiders, Mark VII chief operating officer, lauded Steve Kirkpatrick, Johnna Boyd and Chris Seestedt as most worthy recipients of this annual award because of their high sales
volume and their commitment to their extensive customer base.

Several other Mark VII distributors were cited for outstanding performance including Mark VII of Virginia in Waynesboro, VA owned by Mike Kight. Mark VII of Virginia received the Service Award which is presented to a Mark VII distributor who demonstrates the ability to maintain exceptional levels of service response while providing outstanding customer care and support.

The President's Award for excellence in marketing and sales support went to Mid-Tenn Mark
VII Inc. in Lebanon, TN, owned by Robert Taylor. Mark VII also awarded Cary Fritsvold of Reliable Plus Car Wash Services Inc. in Bloomington, MN the Founder's Award for exemplifying an extraordinary commitment and dedication to perfecting touch-free car washing.

Glendale, AZ-based Proto-Vest Inc. has announced a reorganization of its executive roster. L. G. "Mac" McElroy has resumed the role as president of the company and has named James Roger "JR" Klemmer as vice president and general manager of operations. JR has owned and operated several car washes in the Detroit area, managing hundreds employees. His industry expertise and his vast knowledge of Proto-Vest's drying systems will be a great asset to the company.

The company also appointed Marian Hoey as advertising director responsible for all corporate communication. She brings 16 years of advertising design experience to the position.

R. L. "Bud" Abraham, president of Detail Plus Car Appearance Systems Inc., recently announced the development of a Forum on the company's web site ( where anyone with questions about developing and operating a car wash and/or detailing business can post questions. Answers will be provided by an expert staff of people with years of experience in all phases of car appearance care including: automatic car washing, auto detailing, express detailing, and extra services relating to automotive appearance care.

The Forum is open to anyone. All you have to do is go to and click on the "Ask the Experts" box,follow the instructions, and post your question. Someone will answer the question within 48 hours.

J. W. Cornell, owner of Standale Auto Wash in Grand Rapids, was elected president of the Midwest Carwash Association (MCA) for the 2002 calendar year. Also elected as officers were Ken Prange of Ultra Shine Auto Wash in Shelby Township as vice president and Victoria Burke of The Vanity Carwash & Ice Cream in Reading as secretary/treasurer. Donnelly K. Eurich, CAE, CMP is the association's executive director.

"I greatly appreciate the board members showing their confidence in me by electing me president," stated Cornell. "With our recent expansion into a five-state region, my primary goal is to bring our services to the entire Midwest car care industry."

MCA represents car care operators, suppliers, and manufacturers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Heath Kumnick got more than he bargained for when he visited the Oil Can Henry's quick lube in McMinnville, OR for an oil change. A random drawing made him the winner of the $21,000 grand prize in Castrol's Select Service promotion, which involved 11 independent quick lube operators with over 300 outlets in the U.S. and Canada. Kumnick's entry was drawn from over 26,000 entries submitted.

The Castrol Select Service promotion, with a "Get On The Road" theme, gave customers a free Rand McNally road atlas with a Castrol oil change. The sweepstakes consisted of one grand prize (a luxury RV vacation) and five first prizes (weekend getaways anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada). Kumnick's prize, the luxury RV vacation, included airfare for six people, a professional driver, itinerary planning, food allowance, spending money, and more. Castrol allowed Kumnick to receive the cash equivalent of the prize instead of taking the trip,

Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) named franchisee Alan Korpi of MinnTex Investment Company in Bemidji, MN Operator of the Year. VIOC recently honored Korpi and other top performing franchisees at its annual franchisee workshop and awards ceremony in Virginia Beach, VA.

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. Korpi, who also operates three other automotive service centers, including a Tuffy Auto Center, an independent full-service car wash, and a vehicle accessory store, joined VIOC in July 1994 and has since opened six additional centers in Minnesota. He previously served as president of VIOC's franchise advisory council.

The "Rookie of the Year" award was presented to Paul Naas of Chesapeake Lubrication Inc. in Galesville, MD. This award is based on the performance of franchisees who have operated at least one service center for between six and 18 months. Chesapeake Lubrication opened its first VIOC service center in Waldorf, MD in June 1999, has a second location under construction in Edgewater, MD and has a license to open one more location.

The "Outstanding Achievement" award went to partners Tom Chambasian, Gary Girard, Dennis Poranski, Paul Swanson, and John Theisen of Great Lakes Lube, LLC in Mukwonago, WI. This honor is given to the franchisee who demonstrates the greatest effort in growing the VIOC brand, mainly through aggressive expansion. Great Lakes Lube, formerly the largest independently owned quick lube chain in Wisconsin, joined the VIOC system in 2000 by acquiring 21 VIOC company-owned properties and rebranding its five existing locations as VIOC service centers. Since then, the company has opened two new centers for a total of 28 locations throughout Wisconsin, making it VIOC's second largest franchisee. The company has licenses to open two additional locations.

Chris Malone of High Desert Oil Inc. in Albuquerque, NM received VIOC's "Spirit of Franchising" award. Malone has been with VIOC longer than any other franchisee, having joined the system in December 1988 only months after VIOC launched its franchise program. He opened his first VIOC service center in November 1989 and has since opened four additional locations in Albuquerque. He has a license to open two additional centers.

In addition to these annual honors, two new awards were presented. Seventeen franchise centers became members of the High Performance Club, which recognizes centers averaging at least 40 oil changes per day and average ticket prices of at least $40.00. Five franchise centers joined the Presidents' Club, which includes service centers with at least $1 million in annual revenues.

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