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The Soap Box

Around the Industry Blog image
Editor Debra Gorgos talks about the concerns, celebrations, and comings and goings of the carwashing industry that she hears about and witnesses in her daily life.

Saying goodbye

May 20, 2014
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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.

Leave a comment here or write me directly at and let me know your thoughts.