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News from the industry

October 11, 2010
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Grease Monkey International, Inc., a fast lube franchiser that has a sister company for carwashes, announced top franchisee award winners for outstanding performance in the prior year at its 2008 Annual Conference held in San Francisco this September.

The President’s Award was presented to the Morrow family of ROSBRO Corp. in Longmont, CO. In 2006, Ron Morrow was recognized as The Fast Lube Person of the Year by Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine.

Larry and Connie Theisen and Loren Fletcher of Glenwood Springs, CO, were also presented with a President’s Award in recognition of excellence in marketing, operations, and an overall commitment to the Grease Monkey system.

The Pursuit of Excellence Award was presented to five outstanding franchise operators, in recognition of leadership, community involvement, outstanding customer service and an overall commitment to excellence.

The winners were: the Zamora family of Denver; Lance Petersen of Port Charlotte, FL; the Hnat family of Pittsburgh; Dan Farmer of Parker, CO; and the Bomberger and Brown family of Cheyenne, WY.

In Other News

Virgil Vance, a veteran of the token industry who founded Van Brook of Lexington, passed away on October 29 at the age of 74. Van Brook of Lexington supplied tokens to the self-serve carwash industry.

Vance founded Van Brook in 1962 and in 1991 created a CT High Security Bi-metallic Control Token. Later in 1993 he created the CTX Electronic Security Tokens which helped to revolutionize the carwash industry.

Vance is survived by his son, Randolph. According to the notice, he enjoyed learning about new things and was also very proud of his customers.

His company, Van Brook of Lexington, was bought by Osborne Coinage Co., of Cincinnati, in 2006.

Joseph Nance, owner of Nanco Services Incorporated since its inception in 1994, has sold the wholesale equipment sales and service division of Nanco, as well as some physical assets, to Warren Fondrie.

Fondrie will operate under the company name of Nanco Professional Car Wash Services, Inc. and dba Nanco Services, Inc., but Nance is not associated with the new ownership or operations in any vested capacity.

Nance did not sell the exclusive rights to distribution of the equipment manufactures that he represented, nor did he sell any of the 25+ retail carwash and quick lube centers that he owns under the flagship of Nance Properties, Inc. He will continue to operate multiple carwash and quick lube facilities in eastern North Carolina.

Nanco Services, Inc. contracts relating to carwash equipment that Nance owns will continue to be his own.

Washworld, Inc., a manufacturer of vehicle wash systems, recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary in business.

Washworld began manufacturing parts for aftermarket use and refurbishing used equipment for use in Washworld-owned sites a decade ago. Quickly the company began to manufacture entire systems and now the product lines are sold globally.

Blue Magic®, a manufacturer of car appearance and repair chemicals, adhesives, sealants, and air fresheners, has announced it is more than doubling its product line.

The company, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, has added five products to its line. The new products include a foam upholstery cleaner, a foam carpet cleaner, a foaming glass cleaner, a dash and console restorer and an upholstery stain and spot lifter.

Autobell Car Wash, the third largest conveyor carwash chain in the nation, recently celebrated two awards it earned during the tail end of 2008.

Autobell’s custom cartoon/coupon calendar won a Gold Award in the marketing/ promotion/ calendar category from the Association of Marketing & Communications Professionals’ (AMCP) annual MarCom Awards.

The company was also named an Outstanding Philanthropic Organization by the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Charlotte Chapter during the association’s 2008 National Philanthropy Day® awards.

AREA Car Wash Group, a supplier of water quality solutions ranging from reclaim to spot-free systems, has launched a company website to better assist customers.

The website,, aims to assist customers in selecting the proper system to match their carwash’s needs.

Schneider Electric has signed a reseller agreement with Dassault Systems for its Delmia® software, which features 3D simulation and automated design and validation capabilities.

Manufacturing processes and their control systems can now be designed, simulated, and tested in the virtual world-eliminating or reducing the need for separate controls design and expensive debugging on the manufacturing floor.

Ashland Inc., a provider of specialty chemical products and services, has acquired Hercules Incorporated, a manufacturer of chemicals for home, office and industrial markets.

Ashland now comprises a core of three specialty chemical businesses; paper and water technologies, specialty resins, and specialty additives and functional ingredients.

Mazzarella Car Care Systems, LLC, is teaming up with the University of Connecticut (UCONN) to look into the ways organic and inorganic compounds work and how they can be used to make better bio-degradable and environmentally-friendly car care products.

CarWash College, a program and training facility sponsored by Sonny’s Enterprises, Inc., has announced its 2009 course schedule and has added two new programs to its core curriculum, Management II and Production Training.

The existing courses include Equipment Repair, Investment Seminar, Car Wash Management and Equipment Maintenance. Management II will focus on full and flex-serve carwashes and how to curtail human resource costs. Production Training will be a hand-on program that will show how to improve wash efficiency.

In additional to the added courses, the Equipment Maintenance program has been overhauled and now includes sections on the importance of facility cleanliness in marketing your wash and the numerous variables that can affect the end product. A full course schedule is available at

Association News: Fall show wrap-up

The Western Carwash Association held its 27th Annual WCA Convention and Trade Show at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino from Sept. 22-24. Attendees enjoyed a full day of educational sessions and seminars on Sept. 22. Topics covered a wide range of issues, from the green movement to labor laws and the effect of the American mortgage mess and credit crunch on carwash businesses.

Show officials predicted a dip in attendance, and morning sessions for conveyor and self-serve operators showed rooms filled to 50-60 percent capacity.

The expo floor was open Tuesday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The aisles were flush with attendees, but that story changed on Wednesday, Sept. 24, when the show floor operated from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A reception on Tuesday honored Sam and Sharon Olivito of Olivito and Associates for their years of management and dedication to the association. The association is now under the management of Association Resource Center, a larger firm based out of Folsom, CA.

On Wednesday, much of the discussion surrounded a privately-run vendor meeting for manufacturers and suppliers to discuss issues surrounding the current trade show schedule and possible solutions to increase the return on investment for exhibiting at regional carwash shows and also Car Care World Expo.

Representatives of the International Carwash Association and the Western Carwash Association listened to suppliers explain the challenge of rising costs to exhibit and a frustration with decreasing show attendance. Some manufacturers suggested an every-other-year “major” show or scaling back the number of regional trade shows. Currently, there are at least six dedicated carwash shows throughout the nation that most vendors attend each year.

The 28th Annual WCA Convention and Trade Show is set to take place October 5-7, 2009, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Around 1,500 people showed up for the 19th annual Northeast Regional Carwash Convention in Atlantic City, NJ, a number which exceeded expectations.

Show chairperson Dick Zodikoff said the success of the convention, held at The Borgata Hotel and Spa in Atlantic City, NJ, from October 27-29, reflects the dedication of the industry.

“With these tough times I think that was a wonderful number,” he said. “It just shows how dedicated the carwash industry is to learning and seeing how we can go forward in this difficult environment. The standing-room only crowds at the seminars proved this as well.”

NRCC Convention Manager Julie Stanton said attendees were pleased with the sold out floor space and the variety of exhibitors. “Many exhibitors told me that the attendees were ready for business,” she said.

A luncheon on October 28 featured an address from the International Carwash Association (ICA) president Neil Hitchcock who encouraged attendees to stay positive and to also look into ways to save energy. The 2009 NRCC Most Distinguished Person award was also presented at the event.

The award went to Dick Zodikoff of Tameric Carwash Equipment who is a founding NRCC board member, a CWONJ board member and former president, who will retiring in December.

“Dick has been a vital part of the CWONJ for more than 30 years, and the NRCC since its beginning. His professionalism and innovative approach to the industry will never be forgotten,” said Jeff Gheysens, former Car Wash Operators of New Jersey (CWONJ) President and International Carwash Association (ICA) board member who helped present the award.

As for next year, which will mark the show’s 20th anniversary, Stanton told PC&D the association is getting excited. “It is our 20th anniversary so we have a few tricks up our sleeves. We are always striving to improve on our show so expect quality seminars and another packed show.”