News & Notes
Stuart Burnstein, vice president of Post Guard, died suddenly on January 4. He was 56.
Burnstein was so dedicated to taking care of Post Guard customers, he sometimes came directly to his office after discharge from a hospital stay.
After Post Guard was formed with Burnstein four years ago, he was often referred to as the father of the Post Guard bollard cover.
Post Guard, a division of Encore Commercial Products Inc., manufactures protective sleeves that fit over existing bumper posts and bollards.
Post Guard remains operational. “Stuart was a real nice guy. All of us are going to miss him so much,” said Bruce Liebowitz, President and Ron Klein, Vice President.
Former Ryko Manufacturing Company engineer, Douglas Murray, pleaded guilty to charges that he collected unemployment insurance benefits while still working.
Murray, 53, was laid off from his job as a technical sales engineer in March of 2003. Between March 2003 and December 2003, he collected insurance benefits totaling $16,731 while he was a system sales representative for DMX Music, Inc.
Murray has been sentenced to five years probation and a $2,000 fine. He was also ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $16,731.
In Other News
SB 1468, a law extending the repeal day of the Car Wash Industry compliance program in California, went into effect Jan. 1.
The law requires carwashes to be registered with the state, post a bond and keep complete records on the hours and pay of all employees.
The law extends the program until Jan. 1, 2010.
Ecolab Inc. has earned seventh place on Forbes’ “America’s Best Big Companies Honor Roll.” The honor roll recognizes the 29 companies that have consistently appeared on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the 400 best big companies in America — also known as the Forbes Platinum 400.
With 2005 sales of $4.5 billion, Ecolab is a leading global developer and marketer of cleaning and sanitizing products for the carwash industry among others, said the report.
Ecolab shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ECL.
Mark VII Equipment Inc., the US subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has acquired its long-time distributor Mid-Tenn Mark VII, Inc. of Lebanon, Tennessee.
Mark VII manufactures vehicle cleaning systems.
Former owners Robert Taylor and Moose Tyree will continue to work for the subsidiary as consultants.
Costco Wholesale Corp. has been sued in Alabama by The Pantry Inc. for selling gasoline at “unlawful” prices.
Last year, Costco made waves in the carwash industry when it opened a conveyorized carwash at a location in Seattle, WA.
The Pantry Inc. is seeking an injunction to make Costco comply with the Alabama Motor Fuel Marketing Act, which makes it illegal to sell gasoline to the public for less than it costs to buy, transport and operate a store or gas station.
Based in Issaquah, WA, Costco has two stores in Alabama: Huntsville and Hoover. The company operates 500 stores nationwide.
The Pantry Inc., Sanford, NC, operates 1,493 stores in 11 states under several banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary banner. Of those stores, 78 are in Alabama.
PDQ Manufacturing’s new website will help carwash operators become even more profitable and maximize their investment.
The permission-based site, located on PDQ’s home page gives operators access to product manuals, technical updates, marketing materials and an online discussion forum.
“While PDQ’s business model is to work directly with our distributors, we saw an increasing need to provide carwash operators with a robust web-based education and communication forum,” a PDQ press release introducing the new website said.
PDQ is a manufacturer of vehicle wash systems.
Thanks in part to the business of Ryko Manufacturing Co., Worldwide Manufacturing USA, Inc. hopes to generate about $3 million in additional revenues for 2007.
Ryko is a manufacturer of carwash equipment and supplies.
Ryko is a new customer of 13-year-old Worldwide. An engineering contract manufacturing firm, Worldwide is also a direct manufacturer of die-casting, electronic products and air-conditioning units for automobiles.
The San Bruno, CA-based company anticipates record revenue and profit growth for 2007.
Operator Tips From the News
Wave Car Wash owner Kate Opitz, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, rewards her employees for their dedication, including the purchase of gym memberships. According to the Opitzes, business has been very profitable and they plan to open a second carwash by the end of the month. The couple eventually would like to operate a chain of six or seven carwashes.
Plans are underway to recruit an auto-detailing business to vacant ground behind the carwash.
Wave is located in Lacey, WA.
Go after county accounts
Frank L. Barela, owner of Cranky Franky Car Wash, told Bernalillo County, NM, it doesn't have to build its own carwash to cut costs, but it looks like they might anyway.
County commissioners approved plans last week to build their own $484,000 automated carwash. But now commissioners are considering Cranky Franky's offer to wash each car in the county’s 1,200-strong fleet for $3 each.