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Business Operations

News from the Industry

October 11, 2010
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Autobell now has 59 washes
Autobell Car Wash Inc., the country’s third largest conveyor carwash chain, has opened its 59th carwash in Stallings, NC.

This is the company’s fourth location in Union County, joining stores in Monroe, Waxhaw, and Indian Trail. Jeff Hyatt is the store manager.

The wash features the Aqua Bio 100% reclaim water treatment system, in which enzymes digest and recycle the waste water.

PC&D launches its own Facebook page
Fourteen years after blazing the Internet trail with its website, www.carwash.com, and a year after becoming the first car care trade journal on Twitter, Professional Carwashing & Detailing is once again staying on top of the trend; this time with an account on Facebook.

PC&D will use its account on the popular social media network as a way to stay in touch with readers, post pictures, and link to the latest news and information throughout the carwashing and detailing industries.

Many carwashes, detail shops, manufacturers and distributors are already on Facebook and now PC&D will be able to join in on the cyberspace-based phenomenon.

Those with a Facebook account can “fan” the page by visiting www.facebook.com/pcdonline. It can also be viewed if you do not have an account.

Many carwashes, detail shops, manufacturers and distributors are already on Facebook and now PC&D will be able to join in on the social networking medium.

And the Most Valuable Carwasher is…
I’m speechless.” That, and a few seconds of silence, were all Sandra Silvestre, manager of Valencia AutoSpa in Valencia, CA, could manage this afternoon when she was informed that she had been named Professional Carwashing & Detailing®’s 2010 Most Valuable Carwasher.

Although Silvestre herself was surprised at the nomination, her boss and co-workers were not.

“Sandra has an incredible way of motivating and elevating her employees,” which at any time include 40-45 staff members, according to nominator Randy Cressall, owner, Valencia AutoSpa.

“On a daily basis one will find Sandra interacting with her employees, building an individual rapport with each and everyone of them. She calls this her ‘tailgate’ talks,” Cressal continued. “Sometimes they take place in the break area. Sometimes they take place on the tailgate of a pickup truck. She knows the names and ages of each of her employee’s spouses and children.”

For Silvestre, the connection to her staff and her customers comes naturally. She began working for Valencia AutoSpa 10 years ago as an assistant manager for the convenience store and gas lanes, before moving on to a position that has her overseeing the entire carwash.

“I really love [working in the carwash industry],” Silvestre said when she was contacted this afternoon to be told she had won the award.

“I feel like it’s an extension of myself. I just love coming to work here, seeing my customers, seeing all my co-workers… maybe that’s the key.”

Silvestre will be presented with a plaque recognizing her as 2010 Most Valuable Carwasher at this year’s Western Carwash Association Show & Expo. A longer feature profile of Silvestre will be included in the October 2010 issue of PC&D Magazine.

This year’s competition, which attracted numerous nominations, also included an honorable mention for Jose’s Luis Cruz of Splash, LLC, in Stamford, CT. Cruz started working for Splash in 1994 at the age of 16 and has since gone on to become a site manager for the company’s Stamford location.

“Jose’s hard work and perseverance allowed him to rise through the ranks from a window cleaner to a quality control supervisor to an assistant manager to his current position as site manager,” wrote Mark Curtis, CEO of Splash Car Washes. “He is undoubtedly next in line to become a district manager given his performance at our Stamford location.”

Fourth graders: Carwashes should be honored!
Perhaps the carwash industry’s biggest advocates are also its smallest: A fourth-grade class at Indian Ridge Elementary in Aurora, CO, has taken up the banner against at-home carwashing, even asking state legislators to name an official day to recognize commercial carwashes.

The youths decided to take action after learning about the dangers of at-home carwashing and reaching out to Federal Way, WA, water quality specialist Hollie Shilley for help adopting the Fish Friendly Car Wash Program in their city.

So far the class has created a slogan (“Don’t wash our future down the drain!”), educational brochures, as well as wrote to the CEO of Subaru to ask the company to consider revising a commercial which shows a couple washing a car in the driveway.

The class also surveyed local car dealerships to learn more about their carwashing habits.

The work has not gone unnoticed; in May the class presented their program at a Project Citizenevent in Denver and won the top prize. They will now move onto the National Project Citizen Showcase later this month in Louisville, KY.

Abducted girl found safe at carwash
A 4-year-old girl from Fenton, MO, was found safe and unharmed at a carwash in St. Louis County, MO, after a more than 24-hour search and the story made headlines across the nation.

A man who police wanted to question about her disappearance shot himself when officers arrived at his home and was later pronounced dead.

Alisa Maier was reported missing after her six-year-old brother said a young man had taken her from the front yard about 8 p.m. on Monday, July 4, at her Louisiana, MO, home.

A vehicle matching the description her older brother gave was spotted at the carwash in St. Louis County, about 70 miles from her home, a day later, and a small child was spotted there, as well. The small child was Alisa, who was reported safe and unharmed, although her hair was cut short.

Police have stopped short of naming the man who killed himself a suspect, and said there may still be other persons of interest.

The carwash was not named in the report.

Boomerang Carwash enrolls 23 sites in WaterSavers
Boomerang Carwash, a chain of 23 conveyorized carwashes, has now enrolled all of its sites in the WaterSavers program from the International Carwash Association (ICA).

The company, which is already among the 50 largest conveyor carwash chains in the nation, now joins more than 800 participating locations in the marketing and educational program.

“We are excited and proud to be a member of WaterSavers,” said Jessica Price, director of marketing and procurement for the company.

“At Boomerang we strive to live by the motto ‘just do what’s right.’ We believe it is key for our industry to come together to better educate the public about our environmental efforts to build a better tomorrow.”

WaterSavers was launched in 2009 to help professional carwashes educate consumers on the environmental benefits of professional carwashing, and promote their location as an environmentally-responsible business.

To become a participant of WaterSavers, carwash locations must prove that they reclaim or recycle treated water for future wash cycles and discharge effluent to a sanitary sewer or leech field. Each carwash location must be able to verify that they meet these requirements and maintain verification records on each car wash site.

K9000 Dog wash will be on Modern Marvels
The K9000 Dog Wash from TMC Pet vending has been selected to be a part of the History Channel’s Modern Marvels series.

The pet wash system, which is in use at dozens of carwash facililties across the nation, will be part of three coin-operated products to be featured on an upcoming show titled Coin Operated II.

Modern Marvels is the History Channel’s longest running and most viewed show. Over a year and a half ago, the carwash industry was explored in a segment that aired on Dec. 8, 2008.

Filming began on August 25 at the Hoboken Dog Wash in downtown Hoboken, NJ.

Obama pushes Small Business Jobs Act
President Barack Obama is pushing for Congress to approve the Small Business Jobs Act, which would cut taxes and make more loans available to small businesses.

The President recently met with small business owners in Edison, NJ, and promoted his plan, which includes initiatives to provide credit to small business and tax incentives, such as zero capital gains taxes on certain investments, as well as extending a provision that expands small businesses’ ability to immediately expense new equipment investments.

Republicans are united in blocking a vote on the legislation, “comparing it to the controversial $700 billion Wall Street bailout.”

The legislation will likely be pushed back until mid-September due to the House’s August recess.

Carwashes help with water-saving goals
A Datamonitor report said that people looking to save on water usage are turning more and more to professional carwashes throughout the United Kingdom.

According to Datamonitor, more than a half billion pounds (US $780,000,000) was spent in the UK on carwashes, both automated and hand-based.

The report also said that if a drought were to affect the country and surrounding areas, automatic carwashes would survive due to their “economical use of water.”

Correction: Typo in 2010 IBA survey
Professional Carwashing & Detailing would like to correct a mistake in its 2010 In-Bay Automatic Carwash Operations Benchmark Survey Report in the August 2010 issue.

On page 22, a chart erroneously reports that the average monthly volume of a single in-bay automatic is 20,757. Instead, the chart should refer to the average annual volume of a single in-bay automatic.

Corrected PDF versions of the chart can be obtained by e-mailing Editor Kate Carr, at kcarr@carwash.com.