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It was announced during The Car Wash Show™ 2013. I'd received a promotion and would be moving from the car care industry to the janitorial and sanitation market. As my final hurrah, I was going to attend the ICA's annual showcase of all things car care.
As I enjoyed the education sessions, strolled the show floor and attended industry parties, it was bittersweet knowing that my time in the carwash industry was limited. For over two years, I had reported on the carwashing and detailing market every single day. Working with Deb Gorgos and the entire PC&D team, I put together online stories and magazine articles meant to inform and educate carwash owners of every format.
Starting out as a true buck private, I'd earned a stripe or two by following the development of industry stories. I'd also visited equipment production facilities and toured every carwash where the owner would have me. From the newest express wash that cost millions to a DIY owner working every day to keep his IBA/self-serve wash clean and functional, I'd done my best to learn as much as possible from every single source available.
Now, when I look back on my time covering the car care market, what I remember the most is the people. While the tunnels and bays are full of the latest and greatest carwashing equipment (and it is important and great), I still think the owners and operators are the industry's true heartbeat. The operators I met were independent, adventurous, savvy and hardworking. Forever fighting for every profit and consciously competing with the "other guy" down the street, engaged and excited carwash operators face the challenges of the current car care market head-on every day.
As someone who entered the working world at age 15 and never really had the time to look back, I appreciate the dedication that carwash owners and operators show seven days a week. I also appreciate how kind and welcoming everyone in the car care industry proved to be. Finally, I appreciate the entire PC&D team for bringing me in and giving me the chance to cover such an interesting and vibrant market.
I am excited about my new opportunity, and I look forward to learning about a new industry. But, before I close the doors and turn off the lights, I wanted to say thank you and good luck to you all in the future.