After sifting through many deserving nominations, Professional Carwashing & Detailing® magazine is pleased to announce the winner of its 2007 Most Valuable Carwasher (MVC) award: Aaron Rusbuldt, general manager of Shur-Kleen Car Wash Inc. in Lacey, WA.
Rusbuldt’s commitment and dedication not only to the Shur-Kleen Car Wash chain, but also to the carwash industry, made him a clear choice for 2007’s MVC.
A quick trip to the top
Rusbuldt started at Shur-Kleen, a chain of eight carwashes based in Washington, just after graduating high school in 1998. At first, Rusbuldt was just vacuuming cars. But he soon moved his way to cashier, site manager and finally, as general manager over a course of nine years.
As a general manager, Rusbuldt oversees the work of 40-45 employees, covering four locations. “It can be a bit stressful at times when we get busy, but for the most part I like the challenge,” Rusbuldt said.
According to Liberty Ryder, co-owner of the Shur-Kleen chain, Rusbuldt’s job description includes much more than simply managing four carwashes. Rusbuldt fixes equipment, trains new employees, researches new products — always with a smile.
“We can count on him unconditionally,” Ryder said.
Rusbuldt said he owes his success to Ryder and to his boss, Shur-Kleen co-owner and Liberty’s husband, Andrew Ryder.
“Andrew took me under his wing and taught me the ins and outs of carwashing. I took the way he showed me how to work and ran with it,” said Rusbuldt.
Last year was a difficult one for the Shur-Kleen carwash family. Shirley Ryder, founder of the chain, had a stroke that lefther unable to continue working as she had done before. The family was devastated.
“We knew we had to keep the business running smoothly while she recovered,” Liberty said. “We did as any family would; we divided up the many, many tasks and responsibilities that Shirley had attended to.”
Rusbuldt took on many of those responsibilities, and more importantly, supported the family as though he was one of their own.
“We can count on him unconditionally,” Liberty explained. “Aaron has been a huge part of why we continue to be successful after 23 years in business, despite the set-backs Shur-Kleen endured this year.”
“I’m with Sure-Kleen for life,” Rusbuldt added. “Shirley is like a second mother to me. I wanted to make sure that I could do anything I could to help out.”
When Rusbuldt heard he had won the award, he was extremely shocked and a bit emotional. “I’ve been in the business for nine years. To get recognition from my boss is one thing, from an industry magazine like this, it’s incredible,” Rusbuldt said.
This will be Rusbuldt’s fourth time attending the Car Care World Expo, and he’s really looking forward to attending this year’s expo in Las Vegas.
Rusbuldt’s favorite part of the Car Care World Expo is networking. “Having the opportunity to pick other people’s brains, get information and ideas, learn what’s hot and what’s not — are all the best parts of the show,” he said.