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Around the Industry - August 2013

July 29, 2013
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Kwik Car Wash raises $1,246 for cancer research

PARKER, CO — Last Saturday the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society raised $1,246 with help from Kwik Car Wash, who donated 50 percent of their wash sales for the day. Additional money was raised by volunteers vacuuming and towel drying customer cars.

“A huge thank you for the support of Kwik Car Wash in Parker!” said Rocky Mountain Team In Training Mentor Rich Sabatowski in a press release. “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Team In Training Rocky Mountain Chapter appreciate your involvement in the community.”

All funds raised will help the team in their efforts to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.  

Octopus donates to teen with cancer

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Octopus Carwashes throughout the city donated $1 per wash last Saturday to help pay for the medical bills of Zak Lannon.

According to the Eyewitness 4 report, Lannon, a West Mesa football player, was recently diagnosed with cancer.

The donations were collected at all Octopus locations in the area.

Owner named small business person of the year

BOZEMAN, MT — Billion Auto Group owner Joe Billion was named small business person of the year by the Montana Small Business Administration.

Billion, who owns four car dealerships, an environmentally friendly carwash, an auto glass and body shop, started his company in 1978.

“When we have good business and we can take care of our customers and we have good business and we can take care of our employees, that’s really what makes life fun,” Billion said in the KBZK 7 story. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

Billion has nearly 160 employees.

Mayor says "no" to carwash fundraisers

CAPITOLA, NM — Mayor Stephanie Harlan made a statement to city council members last week, warning them about fundraiser carwashes, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

The May 30 story quoted the mayor who sad, "The soapy water goes right down the street."

Public Works Director Steve Jesberg wants to "reclassify a position to comply with mandates of the federal Clean Water Act," the story said. City Manager Jamie Goldstein said they've been talking about doing this for a long time.

Now, the city has full say over permitting responsibilities from the county Zone 5 Flood Control & Water Conservation District and now the city will comply with state standards instead of county ones.

BMW M1 wins award with help from detailer

A 1980 BMW M1 won Best Post War Preserved Car at the 2013 Concorso d’Elegance Villa D’Este, thanks to detailer Roger Scott who prepared the car for the show in five days.

According to Scott’s firsthand account on the car had both deep and surface scratches due to the age and wear and tear of the car.

The M1 was also given an award by BMW for winning the Best Post War Preserved Car trophy.

From the bar to the detail shop

SPRINGFIELD, MA ― Mark Chamberlain and Joseph Carlos were a couple of college friends hanging out a bar one night. They started talking about running a business together. Today, they are the successful owners of MJ's Mobile Detailing Service, The Republican reported.

The June 5 story quoted Chamberlain who said, "We decided we wanted to start a car-detailing business at the local golf courses. We met a couple of nights a week to start brainstorming and figure out if it was going to be possible. We brought all of our possible ideas to the table and did the market research."

During that time, Chamberlain was taking a class at Springfield Technical Community College called "Entrepreneurship: Concept to Commercialization." Chamberlain said that class gave him "the foundation to start his business."

"That class helped tremendously," said Chamberlain. "I took what we learned in the classroom and used it to help start our business. We had a basic business plan, but professor Diane Sabato's class helped us put the puzzle pieces together."

The business allows golfers to have their cars detailed while they're on the course.  The business was able to partner with a local golf course and the business has taken off. "I'm very fortunate to have had a few lucky breaks, but it wasn't our only route to success. We had to make ourselves known, put in a lot of hard work, and learned a lot on the job," Chamberlain said in the story. "When it's just you running your business, you have to take on a lot of roles."

Detailer gives ex-cons second chance

PROVIDENCE, RI — C&O Auto Wash and Auto Detailing owner Carlos Ocasio has opened two locations in the past 12 months – which represents only a small portion of his success story.

Ocasio, who had once run afoul of the law, uses his business to give others with checkered pasts a second chance.

Osvaldo Negron, now manager of one of the C&O locations, had spent time in prison for stealing cars and breaking entering. Now, with four children, Negron said he has put his past behind him.

“I’m finally doing something positive,” Negron said in the NBC 10 story. “I’m seeing the happy come out in me. It’s definitely good for my conscience.”

Smart Antennas to be installed in southern US

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA — iSign has agreed to install 6,600 Smart Antennas into convenience stores across the south and southeast United States.

Smart Antennas allow customers with a Wi-Fi enabled smartphone to access the internet via the antenna without credentials. The customer will be brought to the antenna host’s homepage upon successful connection.

“This installation marks the start of the expansion of the National Mobile Network beyond National Oil and Marathon," said Alex Romanov, iSIGN CEO, in a press release. “It will provide us with a one-time immediate revenue for the sale of our antennas and will start to generate monthly recurring revenue very shortly.”

The initial shipment will be sent to Houston, Dallas and Austin, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia.

Ex-employee accused of swindling $350K admits why she did it

APPLE VALLEY, MN — A woman who was employeed at the Paradise Car Wash here and has been accused of swindling the carwash out of $334,000, has given her excuse as to why she did it, the Star Tribune reported.

The June 4 story said Connie Rogers, 46, who has been charged with "nine counts of felony theft by swindle," said she did it pay for her health insurance and to pay her medical bills.

A criminal complaint stated that Rogers is accused of writing excess payroll checks to herself between 2008 and 2012.

When the carwash's manager confronted Rogers, she admitted to writing the checks, and then voiding them so they would not appear on her W-2 statements.

The article reported that Rogers was convicted in 2005 of misdemeanor unemployment fraud. Today, she is free on bail pending a court appearance in three weeks.

Pride convenience store #1 according to Mass. poll

Convenience store chain Pride was voted Best Convenience Store in the 2013 Republican Reader Raves poll.

Pride has 28 stores located in the Greater Springfield, Massachusetts area.

 “I think we just try to do a good job every day and [the customers] appreciate that,” CEO Robert Bolduc said in the article. “We try and do a good job every day and it pays off.”

Pride was founded in 1912 as a livery stable. It transitioned to a convenience store format in 1972. 

Carwash gets personalized app

COLUMBIA, MO — App developer I’m In Marketer has developed a mobile app for the Columbia Mall Car Wash designed to supply on demand information to users.

The app includes a GPS function providing customers with directions to the carwash from wherever they are as well as an electronic way to keep track of their stamps, for those enrolled in the company’s incentive program, among other features according to a press release.

The app is available for both Apple and Android operating systems.

Vacuum motor causes fire

BEDFORD, IN — An overheated vacuum motor was the cause for a small fire at Wash World of Bedford early Sunday morning.

According to the report, firefighters used a carbon dioxide extinguisher to put out the fire.

There were no major damages.