Industry Newsline - March 2007

Industry Newsline


Brian M. Strach has joined Penray of Elk Grove Village, IL as its OEM sales and account manager for the Power Fleet Division. In this position, Strach is responsible for the division’s OEM sales with current customers, as well as helping to build and establish relationships with future customers. Strach has over 22 years of experience in the trucking industry with a very strong background in sales and customer service. He is deeply involved with the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) and is one of the founding members of the TMC Professional Technician Development Committee. Strach received TMC’s Recognized Associate Award in 2006.

Tag Rhodes has been promoted to director of operations for Scottsdale, AZ-based Regal Auto Wash, the 8th largest car wash chain in the US in 2006. He succeeds Ron Andriotto, who takes on new responsibilities in real estate development. Rhodes has 16 years of experience in the car wash industry and was hired as a manager for one of Regal Auto Wash’s Nashville stores in October 2002. He became district manager in October 2005, overseeing seven locations in Kentucky and Tennessee and also serving as the director of marketing for the company.


To honor Timothy McElroy, the late president of Proto-Vest Inc., the McElroy family created the Timothy McElroy Scholarship Fund, a non-profit organization. All administrative costs for this generous foundation are covered completely by Proto-Vest, Inc. to ensure that 100 percent of the proceeds are dedicated to helping the youth of today. Recently, the fund made a donation to Promise Village Home for Children, a charitable, non-profit organization, to enable the accommodation of two more youths in its program.

Promise Village rehabilitation center resides on a 70-acre ranch with a primary focus on individualized and specialized aid for troubled foster-home children who are in need of another chance in life. In addition to psychology, social work, education, psychiatry, group/family therapy and recreational therapy, Promise Village provides unique animal-assisted therapy, equine therapy, and a working farm to help children grow healthy and happy.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation or learn more about the Timothy McElroy Scholarship Fund, please visit


Mark VII Equipment Inc., the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has acquired its long-time distributor Mid-Tenn Mark VII, Inc. of Lebanon, TN.

The new subsidiary is now called Mark VII of Tennessee. Former owners Robert Taylor and Moose Tyree will continue to work for the subsidiary as consultants. Larry McCarty, who has served Mid-Tenn customers for over seven years in sales, marketing, and training capacities, has been promoted to general manager.


PDQ Manufacturing, Inc. has appointed Utah-based Premier Car Wash Systems as a non-exclusive distributor serving the states of Utah and Idaho. The new appointment will add an additional distributor in the marketplace. Premier Car Wash Systems will distribute PDQ’s full range of products.


Charlotte, NC-based Autobell Car Wash Inc., the family-owned, privately-held car wash company, has opened its fifth Hampton Roads-area car wash in Chesapeake, VA — its 45th unit overall. The newest car wash is at Knells Ridge Plaza, 925 Battlefield Boulevard North.

Autobell’s other area car washes are on Western Branch and Portsmouth Boulevard in Chesapeake, First Colonial Road in Virginia Beach, Armistead Avenue in Hampton, and Warwick Boulevard in Newport News.

Autobell is America’s second largest full-service conveyor-operated car wash company with 45 units in 22 North Carolina and four Virginia cities. The company was founded in Charlotte in 1969 and now employees approximately 1,200 people and washes over 2 million cars annually.


Through the use of Internet technology, PDQ Manufacturing is reaching out to car wash operators who use the company’s equipment. PDQ has created a permission-based site located on its home page ( The purpose of the new site is to help operators become more profitable and maximize their investment.

The site gives operators access to product manuals, technical updates, marketing materials, and an on-line discussion forum. The monitored forum brings together a collaborative community of operators and PDQ employees from various departments in a secure on-line environment. The forum allows people to post comments on a broad range of topics including best practices, technical questions, product development, and shared successes.

To gain access to the site, users must have a wash-system-equipment serial number and receive permission to participate. An “Operator’s Section” icon is located on PDQ’s website landing page. For more information please contact Ben Dolar, Internet Specialist, via e-mail at


The Automotive Trades Department of the Applied Technology Campus of Alfred State College has been notified by the Automotive Industry Planning Council (AIPC) that it has once again been selected as having the best post-secondary generic automotive technicians training program in the state of New York for the year 2006. The honor was also awarded to Alfred State College in 1987, 1996, and 1999. ASC was a runner-up in 1998 and earned the organization’s national award in 2000.

In order to achieve this distinction, the Automotive Trades Department members were required to compile information about the program, including a program description, a catalog of instructional facilities and automotive equipment available for student use, an overview of the classroom/shop facilities, profiles of faculty, an inventory of program accomplishments, information regarding advisory committees, and testimonials from college administration, graduates and employers.

The college is located in Alfred, NY, a village in Allegany County. It is 15 miles north of the Pennsylvania border, 70 miles south of Rochester and 90 miles southeast of Buffalo.


The Car Care Council has announced that will feature its articles and information on vehicle care and maintenance throughout the year to further expand the reach of the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign.

“The website receives an average of over four million unique visitors per month, which will allow us to reach a huge community of motorists on a continual basis,” said Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council.

The council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, educating consumers about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. For more information about the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, visit the Car Care Council website at


Frost & Sullivan recently named Line-X Corporation as the recipient of the 2006 North American Bedliners Brand Leadership of the Year Award. The company’s ability to develop innovative and aesthetic products that cater to both commercial and retail customers has established it as a leader in the bedliner aftermarket.

In 2006, LINE-X introduced the first spray-on composite bedliner, Line-X XTRA® in collaboration with DuPont™. This new breed of spray-on bedliner offers superior UV stability, enhanced gouge and abrasion resistance, and can be coordinated with the vehicle manufacturer’s exterior color code. Each year Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has demonstrated excellence in brand development within a particular market. The award recognizes the company’s ability to best perceive consumer needs and develop marketing strategies that elevate the brand’s quality, style, and image to create an overall value perception.

Jerry Elson Passes Away

Jerry E. Elson, president of National Pride Equipment Corporation died on October 24, 2006 at the Cleveland Clinic after a two-month battle with leukemia. A lifelong resident of Ashland, OH, Elson was general manager of National Pride Equipment for 30 years. For the past 15 years, he was also a co- owner along with Paul Wurm and Richard Walter.

Since his passing, the National Pride Equipment Corporation has been sold to Trent Walter, Kam (Walter) Warner, and Charles Collins who will continue to service the car wash industry supplying equipment, parts, and materials to valuable customers. The three new owners are the son, daughter, and son-in-law of Richard Walter. Trent Walter will assume the general manager’s role with Kam Warner and Charles Collins supporting the marketing/sales initiatives.

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