Industry Newsline - September 2002

Industry Newsline


Hamilton Manufacturing Inc. of Holland, OH has announced the appointment of Brad Quay as vice president of sales. Quay has been dedicated to Hamilton for nine years and is well experienced in customer relations and sales.

Mike Levin has been promoted to director of marketing for Inglewood, CA-based N/S Wash Systems. He will be in charge of sales and marketing for all national and international accounts. Previously, Levin was national marketing manager for N/S. He has been in the car wash industry since 1964, at one time owning and operating a full-service car wash. Levin has served as president of the Central States Car Wash Association (1978-1979), president of the Minnesota Car Wash Association and on the Board of Directors of the International Car Wash Association for one full term of three years (1983-1986). In 1980, the ICA honored him with the Award of Merit. This spring, he was selected to chair the ICA Vendor Task Force, a nine-member committee working to make the car care industry even more efficient.

DRB Systems of Akron, OH has appointed Tam Rininger to the newly created position of distributor services specialist. Rininger will be working closely with the national network of distributors who sell and install DRB Systems' computer-based TunnelWatch Tunnel Control Station. A four-year DRB veteran, she will handle all distributor support and service calls on a new dedicated toll-free number, and will be responsible for providing distributors with educational material.

In a related development, DRB Systems has also announced that it will be setting up TunnelWatch Tunnel Control Station in-house before shipping units to distributors. "This will simplify the installation process, and allow our distributors to devote more time and attention to providing service to their customers," said Rininger.

John Q. Wesley, president of Valvoline Instant Oil Change, has been named senior vice president of The Valvoline Company. Wesley is based at Valvoline's world headquarters in Lexington, KY, and reports to Sam Mitchell, president of the company. Wesley joined Ashland Inc. in 1982 as a sales representative for Valvoline's IGLO/Pyroil unit. In 1992, he relocated to Lexington and in 1996 was promoted to vice president and general manager of Valvoline's US retail business unit. A native of Morganfield, KY, Wesley is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and recently completed the general management program at the Harvard Business School.

Mark VII Equipment Inc. of Arvada, CO has expanded and realigned its sales and marketing organization. Heading the company's distributor management group will be Fred Grauer, vice president - distributor network. Grauer has 40 years experience in the car wash industry and owned Sherman
Industries and Whistle Clean Car Washes before joining Mark VII's sales team in 1994. Grauer currently serves on the board of the International Carwash Association.

Mark VII also announced that Craig Campbell had been promoted to director of marketing and would oversee the product and marketing department. Campbell's group will focus on new product innovation including the new low-water-consuming in-bay automatic, a new dryer, and a variety of new in-bay projects. Campbell has been in sales and product development with Mark VII since 1995.


Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) has launched a program designed to put qualified investors in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex on the fast track to becoming quick lube operators. With plans to grow from four to 25 locations in the area over the next several years, the company announced it would immediately begin developing properties, tackling several of the most critical and difficult initial stages, before selling them to franchisees.

"We believe that by taking control of the development process, we can grow with greater speed and efficiency," says David Young, franchise sales manager for VIOC. "Our goal is to add up to six franchisees in Dallas, each with the financial strength and willingness to open four to five locations. This program will significantly shorten the time for them between signing an agreement and opening for business."

Dallas is an ideal market in which to launch VIOC's new turnkey franchise program, Young explains, because it holds great potential for growth but has stiff competition for affordable, premium real estate. In June, VIOC signed its first franchisee under the new turnkey program.

Dallas-based Phillip and Susan Cerpanya, operating as Mustang Lube and Oil, are scheduled to assume ownership of one of the locations set to open this year. The husband-and-wife team, both financial professionals, invested in a VIOC franchise as an alternative to the stock market.

ONLINE DETAIL REFERRAL, a referral and marketing program that assists consumers seeking vehicle appearance care specialists, has launched its web site with great support from the industry. The program has also announced its collaboration with an online product and supply company for the vehicle appearance care industry,

The web site offers both consumers and industry professionals a one-stop resource for personal and business needs. The site is conducive to streamlining the connection between industry professionals and the consumers who use their services. Simultaneously, it offers both markets a wealth of related news, information, forums, and a custom search that unites the professional and the end user. offers a large selection of vehicle care supplies on the Internet - tools, detail supplies, body shop chemicals, odor removal, glass/leather/vinyl repair equipment, paintless dent repair tools, etc. According to Jason Boardé, president of, one of the appreciated qualities of is that it doesn't market a specific brand, but rather products that have been tested to its satisfaction.

Detailers interested in joining the referral and marketing program or who would like to learn more can visit


Houston's National Public Radio affiliate KUHF-FM honored Bill Lawrence, the owner of Bubbles Hand Car Wash, with its Business Trendsetter Award. Lawrence founded Bubbles Hand Car Wash more than a decade ago and has built the venture into a successful six-site chain of full-service facilities. Bubbles Hand Car Wash is frequented by many of Houston's sports and media celebrities.

Lawrence was presented with the award at a dinner ceremony at Houston's Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, which was attended by 500 business, community and civic leaders.

Victor Giangrant, owner operator of Clean Cars, Inc. d/b/a Westside Car Wash in Dover, DE, was recently honored as Small-Business Person of the Year by the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Governor Ruth Ann Minner and The Senate of the State of Delaware also recognized Giangrant.

Giangrant bought the business in 1981 and has operated the car wash and detailing center ever since. The road to success, he says, is giving good service at a fair price.


With a goal of raising funds and awareness for a program that provides cars to those in need, the Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) "Famous Cars Roadshow" embarked at the beginning of August on a three-month national tour from New York City.

The exhibit features cars from such films and television shows as Dukes of Hazzard, The Flintstones, Starsky & Hutch, The Beverly Hillbillies and Back to the Future, as well as the more recent Road to Perdition.

From New York, the "Famous Cars Roadshow" is traveling west and south, making stops at VIOC service centers. VIOC will donate $10 for each oil change performed at a service center while the exhibit is on site. The donations will benefit Charity Cars Inc., an organization that provides vehicles to victims of domestic violence and the disadvantaged.


Mount Laurel, NJ-based Mace Security International Inc. ("Mace") announced net income of $0.01 per share and EBITDA of $1.6 million for the second quarter of 2002. Revenues were $11.8 million compared to $13.0 million for the second quarter of 2001. The company attributes the decline
in revenue primarily to adverse weather conditions. EBITDA for the first six months of 2002 was $3.7 million or 15.8 percent of revenues compared to $4.0 million or 15.3 percent of revenues for the same period of 2001.

Effective May 1, 2002, Mace recommenced direct operation of its security products division. Revenues for the two months in which the company operated this division, May and June of 2002, were $397,000. During 2001 and for the first four months of 2002, the security products division was operated for its own account by Mark Sport Inc. Mace received $20,000 per month in exchange.

Mace also recently acquired the assets of Micro-Tech Manufacturing Inc. Micro-Tech specialized in manufacturing and distributing security cameras, security monitoring systems and electronic surveillance equipment, and generated revenue of approximately $774,000 and EBITDA of approximately $200,000 in 2001. This acquisition is part of the company's plan to expand its consumer security products business through internal development and selective acquisitions.


Robert and Richard Hirsch of Chicago-based Gold Eagle Co. have been awarded the Ernst & Young Illinois Entrepreneur of the Year award in the manufacturing category. Their company is a manufacturer
of chemical products for the automotive aftermarket.

The Hirsch brothers have directing the company for more than three decades and have increased profits and market share through the development of new products and the acquisition of key automotive brands. Today, the company's premium labels include 104+ Octane Boost(r), STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer(r), HEET(r) Gas-Line Antifreeze, and NO-LEAK(r) Premium Sealers.

Both men remain active in the family business, which was founded in 1932 by their father, Armin Hirsch. Robert "Bob" Hirsch is Gold Eagle's CEO and chairman while Richard "Rich" Hirsch works full time as a board member and consults on strategic, legal, and acquisition matters.

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