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News & Notes

October 11, 2010
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• The Autobell Car Wash site in Boone, NC has been recognized by the town for its water conservation efforts. With 44 units, Autobell is the second largest conveyorized carwash chain in America.

Autobell was recognized under the town’s new “Every Drop Counts” water conservation with the program’s first “Water Wise” award.

The award recognizes local citizens and businesses for being outstanding conservation leaders in the community by striving to minimize their water use and showing a true commitment to water conservation.

• Planning a surprise party for Nov. 26, the 30th anniversary of the day Bob and Mary Black opened the doors of their first carwash in Morrison, IL, would have been too predictable.

So to throw their parents for a loop, the couple’s daughters settled for a party on Nov. 8, with approximately 90 friends of the Black’s, and of the company, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Super Wash, Inc.

The surprise luncheon was held at the Super Wash Training Center, located at the Super Wash headquarters in Morrison. Many long-time vendors and friends of the company, some who drove hundreds of miles to participate in the event, were pleased to see how shocked the Blacks were.

Bob Black, normally not at a loss for words, simply said, “I am just stunned, I had no idea any of this was being planned.”

Super Wash, Inc. is the franchisor of Super Wash® car washes. There are currently approximately 350 Super Wash locations in 21 states.

• QuikTrip and Sheetz, two convenience store chains making waves in the carwashing industry, made it onto Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies.

QuikTrip held the 28th slot, while Sheetz came in at 79. While Sheetz has been operating carwashes at its locations for years, QuikTrip is relatively new. Last month, the company announced it was testing express exterior carwashes at three of its locations.

Forbes’ magazine featured the Sheetz company in a profile that accompanied the list.

Several others on the list are known to the carwashing industry; such as the Hy-Vee and Meijer grocery/convenience store chains. TravelCenters of America and Kum & Go were also on the list.

• Racing legends Mario and Michael Andretti have sold two carwashes to Shammy Shine for an undisclosed price.

The Andrettis’ carwashes are in Bethlehem and Hanover townships, adding to Shammy Shine’s two other Pennsylvania sites in Easton and Palmer.

Shammy Shine also has eight locations in New Jersey.

• Advanced Car Wash & Security Systems, Inc. has changed its name and developed three new divisions.

The company will be known as The Advanced Group, Inc. and its new divisions include Advanced Car Wash Systems, for carwash equipment sales, service and installation; Advanced Solutions, for chemical sales and distribution; and Advanced Security, for security equipment sales, service and installation

Advanced began in 1986 and now serves more than 600 carwash contacts in Georgia, Alabama and the panhandle of Florida.

The company is headquartered in Marietta, GA, and has a southern office in Moultrie, GA. It opened a third office in Birmingham, AL last month.

• Osborne Coinage Co. has acquired Van Brook of Lexington, a long-term partner which will be merged into the company’s TokensDirect Division.

Van Brook began the trend to tokenize video games with tokens substituting for quarters in the 1970’s and now leads the industry in the development of high-security electronic tokens.

The acquisition follows three decades of successful collaboration and cooperation, the release said.

Established in 1835, Osborne Coinage is America’s oldest private mint. The firm produces and ships over 200 million coins and tokens worldwide for various applications, including use at carwashes.

• The Washtec Group, parent company of Mark VII, said it had boosted revenue and earnings in the first nine months of 2006.

The carwash system provider’s revenue increased by 18.1% in the first nine months of the fiscal year.

The revenue situation at Mark VII, USA, which was acquired at the beginning of the fiscal year and has so far been shaky, but “continued to stabilize in this quarter.”

In September, WashTec Group revealed more than 17 new carwash products at the Automechanika trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. New products included a completely redesigned rollover carwash system, a newly designed commercial vehicle wash system and a new conveyor tunnel wash system, the release said.

WashTec was awarded with the Automechanika Innovation Award for its newly developed 3D car scanning system, which enables vehicle contours to be scanned from a three-dimensional perspective for the first time.

• After receiving more than 80,000 entries from carwash customers across the country, Lustra has settled on a name for its polar bear mascot.

A Minnesota man has won the contest after suggesting the loveable bear be called “Brighton” forever more.

Alfred Berry of Chanhassen, MN., opted for a cash prize of $10,000, instead of a 2006 BMW Mini Cooper automobile.

“I consider this one of the highlights of my life. It was surreal,” Berry said. He was randomly selected as the grand-prize winner from a pool of 113 entries who also submitted the name Brighton.

An experienced, independent judging panel evaluated name submissions for the contest. The name Brighton won based on its fit with Lustra’s brand personality, its originality, creativity, and overall score.

Ten first-prize winners were awarded a year’s worth of Lustra carwashes.


• Frank Albrecht, project manager at Washtech, a carwash distributor of wash systems and equipment, died on Nov. 8.

Albrecht had been a part of the Washtech family from the company’s inception nine years ago. Before that time, Frank had been with Clean Machine, another carwash distributor, for several years.

Albrecht was instrumental in the installation of numerous carwashes throughout the mid-Atlantic region and had many friends within the industry.

He was born in Manhattan on April 7, 1956, the son of Frank John and Florence Hans Albrecht, and he is survived by a wife and four children.

• Jerry E. Elson, co-owner of National Pride Equipment, died on Oct. 24 after a two month battle with leukemia. He was 56.

For nearly 30 years, Elson was General Manager of National Pride Equipment, and during the past 15 years was a co-owner with Paul Wurm and Dick Walter.

National Pride is a manufacturer and distributor of self-serve carwash equipment, accessories, parts and supplies.

Elson helped many people get started in the carwash business and became personally interested in many of their lives.

National Pride remains operational. “We are still in shock over his passing, but we are continuing to serve our customers in the same manner Jerry would have,” a release from National Pride said.

• AOCA Board of Directors member Gary Ollerenshaw has sold his fast lube operation and therefore resigned from the Board.

In his stead, Board members appointed Glenn Morris.

Morris has been serving on the AOCA education and government affairs committees for the past two years, and has been an AOCA member since 2003.

Before joining AOCA, he was a member of CASI (Convenient Automotive Services Institute) for 15 years.

Morris has been in the fast lube industry for 32 years, and has been a NOLN Operator of the Year. He is the owner of Auto Lube Care in Ventura, California.

• Commercial laundry equipment manufacturer Alliance Laundry Systems announced that Dave Phillips has been appointed to the position of national sales manager for its Cissell brand.

Phillips has more than 16 years of experience in the commercial laundry and dry cleaning equipment business and has been a part of the Alliance family for the last nine and one half years.

Phillips’ sales team now includes Tim Herrell, Pat Havlin and Dave Diemont.

Alliance Laundry is a leading North American manufacturer of commercial laundry products, including those used with self-serve carwash businesses.