Industry Newsline - October 2002

Industry Newsline

Dick Wells, the owner of Denver, CO-based Hi Performance Wash Systems Inc., has retired after 25 years in the car wash industry. Rich and Shane Wells, his sons, will acquire the business. Shane will continue in his position as president of the company with a focus on revitalizing its presence as an equipment, parts and service supplier in the Rocky Mountain region. Rich will take on responsibilities as vice president of operations after completing his MBA at the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia in May 2003.

Walter H. Solomon has joined The Valvoline Company as senior vice president and general manager of the DIY/Retail Business Unit (do-it-yourself). The company's automotive appearance products business unit, Eagle One, also reports to him. Solomon's background includes executive positions with Procter & Gamble, On-Target Media Inc., and Intellitecs International. Prior to joining Valvoline, Solomon was president and CEO of Connectmail, Ltd., a video messaging technology company. Solomon received his bachelor's degree in commerce from the University of Virginia in 1982.

The Valvoline Company also announced the appointment of John Parente as director of customer service. Parente brings to the company 13 years of customer service management experience. He has held similar positions with EDS and MCI. Parente received his bachelor's degree at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and served as an officer in the US Marine Corps.

Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) and Eagle One have announced several organizational changes. Tony Puckett has been promoted to vice president of company operations for VIOC. Cheryl Zimbrick has been promoted to vice president of organizational effectiveness for VIOC. In related moves, K.C. Bruch has been named vice president of franchise operations for VIOC. Craig Grenko has been named vice president of marketing for VIOC. Tim Melchior has been named vice president of Do-It-For-Me (DIFM) training.

A key development at Eagle One was also announced. Bob Craycraft has been promoted to vice president and general manager of Eagle One. He will report to Valvoline senior vice president and general manager of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) business unit, Walter Solomon.

US Chemical & Plastics (USC) of Massillon, OH has announced the promotion of Wade Bowman to president of the company, effective October 1, 2002. Bowman succeeds Andrew P. Lesko, who was promoted to the position of vice president operations for Alco Industries, USC's parent company. Wade Bowman joined USC three years ago as vice president of sales and marketing. He has worldwide experience as a sales and marketing executive. He devoted the first 20 years of his career to 3M and subsequently worked in similar senior executive positions in related industries.

WashUSA spokesperson Mark Curtis has announced that its consumer web page ( is live. The site, which lists participating washes by state, will make it easy for consumers to locate a participating wash on November 2, the WashUSA fundraising date. "As more and more operators sign up to participate, their information will be put on," said Curtis. "It's just amazing to watch the participation level grow."

The web site is also equipped to provide car wash operators and manufacturers with a participation agreement, which they can download and then mail or fax to The Make-A-Wish Foundation(r) of America, the beneficiary of the fundraising efforts. "We are working very hard to make this fundraiser simple to participate in and as profitable for Make-A-Wish as possible," said Curtis.

The Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA) and the Southeastern Car Wash Association (SECWA), with a combined membership of close to 2,000, recently threw their support behind the effort. "Early commitments by operators across the country, coupled with the support of virtually every regional car wash association, has raised our hopes of getting substantially more washes involved this year. Our original target was 1000 car washes, but we now think that we might even achieve twice that number," said Curtis.

To become involved in the fundraiser, simply call (888) WASHUSA or log onto Once you have mailed in your participation agreement, your washes will be listed on the consumer site. CD-ROMs with a complete turnkey package for the fundraising program, including signage and press releases, will then be mailed to each participant. The CD-ROM includes recommended donation amounts depending on your wash type.

The 2001 fundraiser, which raised nearly $40,000 for the International Committee of the Red Cross, saw participation by more than 100 car wash operators and manufacturers. Although the efforts were primarily on the East Coast, a group of Denver, CO. operators also participated. The group held the event on Veteran's Day, November 11.

The 2002 fundraiser with The Make-A-Wish Foundation, a wish-granting organization for children with life-threatening illnesses, is expected to become a long-term relationship, according to Curtis. "We are hoping that this event will just grow and grow over the years," he said. "The goodwill created for the car washes that participate is a wonderful fringe benefit to raising money for a great cause. We welcome all washes that wish to join us for this fantastic event."

For more information about WashUSA, contact Mark Curtis at (888) WASHUSA, or Suzanne Stansbury at Media Solutions at (518) 877-6779.

Castrol North America and Oil Can Henry's, an independent fast lube franchisor, have developed and produced CastrolCam, a video point-of-sale device designed to increase communication with customers by educating them while they remain in their vehicles and watch, in real time, the work being completed under the hood.

"Oil Can Henry's CastrolCam supports customer education efforts with a combination of carefully crafted marketing and informational messages and views of the service as it is completed," according to Robert Landerer, Castrol North America's director of trade marketing.

The CastrolCam package consists of one color monitor and camera per bay plus a DVD player to drive the marketing presentation. The monitor is split into sections, with the top half of the screen devoted to marketing and educational messages and the bottom half of the screen providing real time views of technicians completing the service under the hood and in the pit.

The marketing presentation is 14 minutes long and includes 19 segments that support the Oil Can Henry's brand, educate customers about available services such as radiator flush and air-filter replacement, detail the differences between conventional and synthetic motor oil, and provide helpful tips to conserve fuel and extend vehicle life.

CTB International Corp. of Milford, IN has announced the purchase, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, of substantially all the assets of Shenandoah Manufacturing Company Inc. The company's purchase announcement also advised that CTB had signed a letter of intent with Jay-Dee Industries, Inc. of Dassel, MN regarding the future manufacture of Shenandoah's used-oil heater product line. Until CTB and Jay-Dee finalize that agreement, the manufacture, sales and marketing of the product will remain in Harrisonburg, VA.

While details of the agreement between CTB and Jay-Dee are still being finalized, the management of the two companies wants to assure the industry that the Shenandoah waste-oil product line continues to be and is expected to remain an integral part of the industry. Many former Shenandoah employees are now employed by CTB and are producing, selling, and supporting this product line from the Virginia facilities. The company continues to utilize the same Shenandoah brand used-oil burner that many believe to be the most reliable and easiest to service. CTB and Jay-Dee are prepared to support the growth of the Shenandoah brand and to continue support for Shenandoah's waste oil distributor network.

AUTO LAUNDRY NEWS is published by EW Williams Publications Company
2125 Center Avenue, Suite 305, Fort Lee, NJ 07024-5898, USA Phone: 1-201- 592-7007 Fax: 1-201-592-7171