News from the Industry
• Ken Bucher, a 32-year veteran of Warsaw Chemical Co., has been named the company’s new president.
Bucher has experience in sales, marketing and management positions at Warsaw, a manufacturer of chemicals and maintenance solutions for the carwash industry.
“This has been a challenging time for us and our nation’s economy as a whole, but we have a great team of people and dedicated distributors,” Bucher said in the release. “We remain strong and look forward to an even better 2010.”
• Gerry Hanrahan is the new Senior Vice President of Sales for PDQ Manufacturing, Inc., a division of New York-based Dover Corporation and manufacturer of carwash systems.
Hanrahan was previously a national sales and marketing manager at OPW Fuel Management Systems (Petro Vend), also a division of Dover.
“I am very excited about adding Gerry to our team at PDQ. His background in the petroleum and convenience marketplace and overall global knowledge will further assist PDQ in numerous ways,” Mike Savignac, president, said “Gerry’s experience and the skills of the rest of his sales team are an exciting combination.”
Hanrahan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Mary’s University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.
In Other News
• New England Car Wash Equipment is the new exclusive distributor for PECO Carwash Systems in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, as well as parts of New York including Long Island.
New England Car Wash Equipment has a full service technical support staff, as well as a complete line of chemical solutions.
Founded by Jeff Arimento, New England Car Wash Equipment has offices in Littleton, MA and Albany, NY.
• After starting a corporate-wide safety initiative, SONNY’S The Car Wash Factory has increased its number of safe operating days by more than eightfold. SONNY’S is a manufacturer and supplier of carwash equipment, parts and supplies.
The company has had zero warehouse employees lose a full day of work due to a work-related injury for 500 straight work days. Previously, the company’s record was 62 safe work days.
The company’s new safety initiative included safety meetings and signs and posters to increase awareness. Employees were treated to special T-shirts and a pizza lunch after reaching the 500-day milestone.
• Autobell Car Wash raised over $576,200 in 2009 for charities, schools and other non-profits in North and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.
The company’s program began in 1998 and has raised over $3.6 million to date. Autobell provides non-profit groups with full-service carwash certificates custom-printed with the organization’s name and honored at any Autobell location to help raise funds. Non-profits keep 50 percent of the proceeds from all tickets sales.
• A collaborative partnership has been formed between the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and Industria Nacional de Autopartes (INA), an automotive parts manufacturers association in Mexico. The AIAG is a non-profit organization for OEMs, suppliers, service providers, government and academia.
The two groups will unite to ensure suppliers in the U.S. and Mexico will share resources and information, as well as pursue areas of collaboration for projects of common interest, including member discounts on publications, trainings and events.
• CarWash College, a provider of educational training programs for the carwash industry, has partnered with BayWash In-Bay Automatic Car Wash Systems, a division of SONNY’S Enterprises, Inc., to create a new certification program specifically for in-bay automatic carwash owners.
The hands-on training included in the i5 and G2 Installation and Operations Training Program will allow operators to learn how to run an IBA system, reduce downtime and extend equipment life in an accelerated classroom program.
• Zep Inc., reported a net income of $5.4 million for the first quarter, which was higher than expected.
The manufacturer of chemicals, including those for the detailing market, credited its positive financial status with cost-reduction initiatives and said its shares went up 2 percent with the acquisition of AmRep, a detail chemical manufacturer, which took place in early January.
Last year’s first quarter results showed a $1.5 million net income loss, but this year the company reduced its raw material spending by $3.5 million and said it expects AmRep to bring in $100 million annually.
• Royal Buying Group, Inc., a provider of sales technologies to c-stores, gas stations, and auto repair facilities, has re-launched its website and created a new reporting and database product named “R” Data.
“R” Data allows the company to easily repair bad feeds of data and linkage issues related to the “rapid transition of various owners of a particular convenience store.”
The company said it was the creation of the new system was its largest undertaking to date.
The Car Wash Operators of New Jersey (CWONJ) held their first “virtual” membership meeting on Feb. 9 at the Crowne Plaza in Clark, NJ.
The meeting included an online podcast by Ryan Carlson of www.washideas.com and WashCard Systems. Carlson presented a seminar about using social media technology in the carwash industry.
Doug Rieck of Manahawkin Magic Wash was presented with the Association’s Carwasher of the Year Award, as well.