Ira Feinberg, a.k.a. "The Dean of Clean," wasn't just a business man, he was a personable, kind and brilliant industry icon. After he passed away a few weeks ago after a courageous battle with cancer, I got to thinking about what it takes to become an industry icon. Does it have to do with monetary success? Revenue? Charm? Inventions? Drive? I think some of those things can help. But, what it really comes down to, in my opinion, is: Fervor. Ira had a sort of fervor that revealed itself in the way he talked to carwash owners, or tried to help them. He spoke passionately about his products, adjusted to the ever-changing market and worked tirelessly, even when he wasn't feeling well.
The industry has lost a lot of great people over the past year-and-a-half. Sonny Fazio, Kerry Shimada, Lucian “Mac” McElroy, Joseph Enning, Guy Goddard, and Ira. And, now, just last week, we also lost Andrew Balash of Vaughn Industries.
I know all of you who are reading this are busy, but wouldn't it be nice if we could pause for a minute and take a moment to praise and thank those who are no longer with us, who helped in shaping the carwashing? I think, even though there are cars to wash, and reports to file, and calls to make, we need to take a few minutes each day and remember what makes this industry so great: The people behind the scenes. The icons, movers and shakers, who are working hard to make you a product to better your wash.
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