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Industry Watch - February 2013

Company News

  • Treatment Products Ltd.Of Chicago recently acquired the Strike Force protective coatings brand.

Treatment Products Ltd. manufactures automotive cleaners, waxes, polishes and protective coatings. The acquisition of Strike Force will expand the company’s Aftermarket Appearance Protection Products offered through car dealers nationwide.

“Strike Force products bring new technology, new programs and increased distribution to our company,” Ken Victor, vice president of Treatment Products Ltd., stated in a press release release.

Michael Golden, president of Strike Force, will join Treatment Products Ltd. as director of sales and marketing. “I am excited about bringing my industry experience to Treatment Products Ltd. and expanding our product offerings” Golden said in the release. “I could not have handpicked a better manufacturer to fit with my future expectations and envisioned accomplishments.”

Treatment Products Ltd. produces brands for auto, marine and other industries. All of the products are manufactured in Chicago, IL.

  • Turtle Wax Inc. of Chicago announced it will sell its Professional Products business to a partner company, Transchem Inc., according to a press release.

The Dec. 19 release stated that Turtle Wax worked with Transchem for three years and utilized the company’s technology and manufacturing facilities to produce the Professional Product line.

“Transchem has been an invaluable partner in our efforts to grow the Turtle Wax Professional Products business,” Turtle Wax COO Tom Healy said in the release. “We consider this sale a significant factor in positioning the line to take the next step toward sustainable growth.”

Turtle Wax will sell the business then license the Turtle Wax brand name to Transchem. The company will enjoy an expanded product range to sell, all under the Turtle Wax name.

For 30 years, Transchem has been focused on industrial vehicle wash chemical formulation and production.

  • A PECO Car Wash Systems/MDB Car Wash Solutions Toyota race car could be found on the Phoenix International Raceway here last November, according to a press release.

The Jan. 3 release stated that Brian Wong drove the #89 Toyota in the K&N Pro Series race. The K&N Pro Series is made up of companion races to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Wong and the car had top ten finishes during both practice sessions. But, due to an early draw and unseasonably cold weather, Wong placed 16th during qualifying.

Wong held the Toyota in the top ten during the race before a rear tire failure affected the car. Still, Wong kept the car out of trouble and landed a 16th place finish.

The World Stage Racing Team thanked PECO and MDB for joining their race team for the final K&N Pro Series Race of 2012.

  • Lustra™ Professional Car Care Products of De Pere, WI,  announced that Car Wash Unlimited will serve as distributor for Northern and bay areas of California, a press release reported.

The Dec. 17 press release stated, "With over 50 years of combined experience, Car Wash Unlimited provides selling and servicing for all types of vehicle wash systems specializing in in-bay automatics."

The press release quoted Car Wash Unlimited Owner and Partner T.R. Reynolds who stated, “We wanted to choose a well known name brand on the leading edge of the carwash industry, which is everything Lustra offers.”

Lustra Sales Manager Rob Raskell stated that they are excited about the new partnership with Car Wash Unlimited. "Their experience and focus on the petroleum and in-bay market in Northern California is positive for all parties," he stated in the press release.

People News

  • Grease Monkey International, Inc. of Greenwood Village, CO, has appointed Ralph Yarusso as its new Senior Vice President - Operations, according to a press release.

The Jan. 3 press release said Yarusso formerly owned a Meineke Car Care Center, and served as a Senior Franchise Development Specialist and eventually oversaw more than 500 Meineke centers as the franchise's regional vice president and COO.

At Grease Monkey, Yarusso will oversee the company's U.S. operations as well as its franchise development efforts.

John B. Adams, President and CEO, stated in the press release, “Ralph brings a wealth of operational experience and leadership – having operated his own franchised locations for more than 20 years and also working in business development and franchise service capacities for the past six years. Ralph will energize our franchise efforts as we are driven to deliver a better customer experience, with a “less hassle, more hustle” philosophy at each of the Grease MonkeyTM centers.”

Currenlty, there are over 250 Grease Monkey centers throughout the United States, Latin America and China.

  • Steven J. Alt has been named president of the Holland, OH,-based Hamilton Manufacturing Corp., a press release reported.

The Jan 3. press release stated that Alt previously served as the company's executive vice president.

Robin Ritz is still Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton, which manufactures automated payment systems, data access networks and change machines.

Ritz stated in the press release, “Steve has earned this opportunity through his many years of hard work and dedication to the company. His business acumen is a valuable asset to Hamilton, and we believe he will do a tremendous job leading this company into the future.”

  • Tommy Car Wash Systems of Holland, MI, announced the expansion of the Tommy Team to include new Marketing Director Tom Dodson, according to a press release.

The Dec. 21 release stated that Dodson brings more than 25 years of experience in marketing for industrial and manufacturing clients to the company. Dodson will play an integral part of building stronger customer relationships.

Dodson will use his marketing insight to help clients grow their carwash businesses. Totally Tommy Car Wash owners will be assisted with local marketing strategies and helped with maximizing their online presence.

  • Betco Corporation of Toledo, OH, welcomed new members Steve Staple and Todd Frendt to their team here, according to a press release.

The Dec. 11 release stated that Staple joined Betco’s management team as customer service and inside sales manager. Frendt is now part of the executive management team, and he will serve as vice president of manufacturing.

"Their combined experience and accomplishments in leadership, building brands and increasing sales will greatly contribute to achieving Betco's strategic objectives," Paul Betz, Betco's president and CEO, said in the release.

Betco engineers cleaning programs, products and equipment that serve numerous markets and industries.

  • P.D. McLaren, the president/CEO of P.D. McLaren Limited of Burnaby, British Columbia, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Burton to the position of sales/marketing manager for Carwash in Western Canada, according to a press release.

The Dec. 12 press release stated that Burton comes "with extensive knowledge in both retail and wholesale of petroleum equipment and in the carwash industry."

His experience, the press release noted, includes working at the end user level, and with employment and distribution in both the petroleum equipment and carwash markets. Burton most recently served as vice president at the carwash manufacturing level.

"This creates a tremendous opportunity for P.D. McLaren Limited to expand our carwash and petroleum business in Western Canada," McLaren stated in the press release.

  • Blendco Systems of Bristol, PA, is pleased to introduce Bob Rossini as its new Northeast regional sales manager.

Rossini has more than 20 years of experience in the carwash industry “including owning and operating his own carwash for several years,” the press release stated.  He also previously worked as a Blendco distributor. He currently serves as the vice president of the Connecticut Carwash Association.  “Bob will provide service and support to current Blendco distributors in the Northeastern United States as well as Eastern Canada while working to increase business in the area,” according to the press release.

The retirement of Mike Mountz

By Debra Gorgos

Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting all sorts of wonderful people involved in the carwashing industry. Sometimes certain people make a lasting impression, there name sticks in my head, and I file them away under a “what a nice guy” category. One of those people for me, is Mike Mountz of Ephrata, PA. He not only proved to be a visionary and a top-notch carwash owner, but he had a great enthusiasm for his work, and also showcased great altruism when it came to honoring veterans.

Mountz is a humble man. He prefers talking on the phone to emailing. He also cares a lot for his employees and co-workers. “We hire a lot of high school kids and college kids, and we know their value,” Mountz told PC&D back in 2010. “We give them good working conditions, and in return, they give our customers a great wash.”

I was surprised to hear that Mountz had sold his chain of Cloister Wash & Lubes to Mister Car Wash. I, however, was not surprised to hear that selling his carwashes was on the toughest decisions he ever had to make and did so with great care and thoroughness.

Mountz got his start in the carwashing industry in 1984 when he opened his first location. He went into the business knowing what he wanted. He wanted to offer top-quality services and was willing to “do the work” to make it happen. “Our vision really was to just give the customer a good carwash,” Mountz said back in 2010. “I think that means continually reinventing your wash and what it offers, and giving the customer as much value as possible. We’ve done a lot over the years, and I haven’t been afraid to try something new even if it might not work out. I think that is what has made us such a success.”

Tom Hoffman Sr. of the Hoffman Car Wash chain said of Mountz, “Over the years I’ve learned that no matter how old you get you still have a lot to learn and I’ve always learned a lot from Mike and will continue to do so!” 

Besides his carwashes, Mountz is also known for his Grace for Vets program, which in 2011 awarded 119,317 free washes to veterans on Veterans Day at participating washes. And while the numbers are still out for 2012, it looks like it was a record-breaking year with even more washes participating.

Back in 2004, Mountz, who is a U.S. service veteran, made it his mission to see to it that his washes and washes throughout the country did their part to thank and honor the men and women who bravely joined a branch of the United States military. He was injured while serving and ended up at a military hospital in Valley Forge, PA, during the Vietnam War. He was profoundly moved by what he witnessed there.

A force to be reckoned with, Mountz' Grace for Vets has continued to grow each year. He said to me a few years back, "Operators seem to always come together and rally for a good cause. And this is a great cause. It just makes sense for everybody. It makes sense for the vets, and it makes sense for the participating carwashes, as a great opportunity for community involvement. It's a 'win-win' across the board."

As he exits the carwashing industry, we can only hope others embody Mountz’ enthusiasm for owing a carwash. He is a great role model and his involvement with veterans proves him to be man of great integrity and grace.

Wife of Herm Deal passes away

Helen Deal, of Ann Arbor, MI, and wife of "carwash legend" Herm Deal passed away on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, at the age of 89.

As profiled in the November 2001 issue of Professional Carwashing & Detailing, Herm brought such things as deicing systems, radiant floor heat and weep heating to the carwashing industry. He also helped to identify applications for recycled water and reverse osmosis. He was also the founder of Huron Valley of Belleville, MI.

Herm stated in the 2001 article, "I started in the carwash industry by discovering there wasn’t a professional heating or water heating company in the industry. A Robo distributor in Michigan liked our approach and the equipment we were selling and pushed us to start looking at this industry. We were able to convince our suppliers to give us the North American territory on an exclusive basis to see if there was indeed a market. We called on all the carwash manufacturers in the US
and were fortunate enough to get most of them to use our equipment."

He also was involved with the International Carwash Association® as a liaison with the auto manufacturers. He described it as one of his most challenging endeavors. "It is important that cars be designed so they can be easily washed and go through a wash without damage to the vehicle. The auto industry is much more willing to share future designs with the committee and this has led to a more successful communication within the two industries."

Married for 62 years, Herm and Helen had eight children together and lived in Ann Arbor. During World War II, Helen worked at the bomber plant at Willow Run, the obituary stated, and it was there that she met Herm, who was there to train on the B-24.

From the staff at PC&D, we extend our sincerest condolences to Herm and his family.