In this week’s Market Focus, we cover the IDA election, a charity drive, a new hire and a new carwash construction.

Melbourne business owner elected VP of the IDA

MELBOURNE, Fla. — Melbourne business owner Justin Labato of JL’s Showroom Detailing has been elected vice president of operators for the International Detailing Association (IDA), according to a press release.

Labato was nominated to the position by the membership and formally accepted the responsibility at the IDA annual meeting held during the 16th Annual International Mobile Tech Expo, Auto Recon & Smart Repair show in Orlando, Florida, the release continued.

Labato has been an active member of the IDA for over three years, the release added; he is not only IDA certified, but was one of the first to receive the advanced “Skills Validated” (SV) designation in 2015 and has been a Recognized Trainer (RT) for the organization for the past year.

In the RT capacity, the release noted, he is qualified to train, mentor and test new members according to the IDA’s strict quality standards.

His association with the IDA ensures that he and Showroom Detailing are held to a higher quality standard than non-certified detailers, the release stated; car and truck owners can be assured that their vehicles are receiving the highest level of knowledge and professionalism available in the industry.

Labato is best known around Melbourne, the Space Coast and Orlando as a two-time member of the official Air Force One Detailing Team at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, which has been restoring and preserving the first presidential jet for more than a decade, the release noted.

He has also appeared for two seasons in multiple episodes of the Velocity Channel’s Competition Ready TV show, due to his expertise in cleaning and correcting automotive paint, and for his proficiency in concours-level (exotics, classics and custom) car show and auto auction detailing, the release added.

Labato began his career as an automotive detailer nine years ago, never dreaming he would achieve national recognition for his work, the release continued.

“I have always tried to bring an advanced level of skill and knowledge to the detailing industry by doing all the things successful business owners do,” says Labato. “I trained under the Master of detailing, Renny Doyle with Detailing Success, and I am a member of his Detail Mafia. We treat detailing as a mixture of art and science, backed by a business plan that promotes superior customer service, quality work and the setting and achieving of business goals.”

As a member of the Detail Mafia, the release noted, Labato and Mafia members cross state lines to help other detailers with community projects like restoring historic cars and airplanes for local museums and cleaning emergency vehicles after natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods.

Labato interned last year with Doyle in preparation for his expanding his Showroom Detailing to include a detail training center for young detailers who want to learn the right way to detail a car while running a successful detailing business, the release stated; he will have an announcement about that in March or April of this year.

As an SV-RT and new vice president of the IDA, Labato brings a unique perspective and can-do attitude to the industry he will help lead over the next year, the release concluded.

For more information, contact Justin Labato at (321) 722-2255. 

Jim Ellis customers raise $65K for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

ATLANTA — This holiday season, the Jim Ellis Automotive Group found a new opportunity for giving back to the community, to the tune of $65,000, through partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, according to a press release.

Thanks to the support of old and new customers alike, the release continued, this surpassed the original donation goal for the campaign by $15,000.

The official check presentation was held on Jan. 31st at the A. Worley Brown Boys & Girls Club in Norcross, Georgia, the release added.

“Many of the youth we serve face big challenges. They don’t have access to the resources and relationships they need to excel,” said Missy Dugan, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. “We are so grateful to partners like Jim Ellis who believe in our kids and invest in their future potential. We know with the right resources and support, these kids and teens will become the next leaders in our community.”

All 13 Jim Ellis family-owned and -operated dealerships participated in this holiday-giving campaign, the release noted.

A portion of every new or pre-owned vehicle purchase that occurred at one of the Jim Ellis dealerships between Nov. 25, 2016 and Jan. 2, 2017 was set aside to go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, the release stated.

For more than 75 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta has been helping kids and teens, the release added, and have positively influenced more than 100,000 young lives.

The organization started with one club on Washington Street in 1938 and has grown to dozens of locations in and around Atlanta, serving thousands of kids each day, the release continued; through the support of others, the Atlanta area clubs are able to provide innovative programs that help kids succeed in school, live healthy lives and cultivate an attitude of giving back.

“Through this giving campaign, it became clear very quickly the impact Boys & Girls Clubs have made on many of our customers, staff and community members,” said Jim Ellis Automotive Group President Jimmy Ellis. “We heard story after story about the personal impact various clubs had made on customers and staff alike during their own youth. Some felt so strongly about the mission and influence of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta that it became a deciding factor in the timeline of their vehicle purchase, wanting to make sure they purchased during the giving campaign period. We couldn’t be more thrilled about the outcome of the campaign and the organization that we will be donating these funds to. It truly was a great season of giving at Jim Ellis Automotive.”

CSI® announces hiring of new regional sales manager

DE PERE, Wis. — Cleaning Systems, Inc. (CSI) proudly announces the hiring of Andrew Schille to the position of Lustra® Regional Sales Manager covering the Northeastern United States, according to a press release.

Schille is from Boston, Massachusetts, and brings six years of experience as a district sales manager in the carwash industry, the release stated.

Schille said, “I am really excited to join the CSI and Lustra team. They have a great reputation within the industry, and the knowledge and passion to constantly produce the most consistent chemistry and dispensing equipment is contagious. I look forward to this opportunity and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Dave Krause, president and CEO of CSI stated, “We are extremely excited for the opportunity to have Andrew become a part of our team. We look forward to what he will be able to bring to the table and increasing our presence in the Northeastern U.S.”

Questions about Schille’s hiring should be directed to Doug Marquis at (920) 337-4421 or via email at DMarquis@LustraBear.com.

Blue Rain Express Car Wash under construction in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — According to 280living.com, the development of Blue Rain Express Car Wash on the corner of Hwy. 280 and Alabama 119 in Birmingham, Alabama, began in January, with plans to open in August or September of this year.

This will be the second Blue Rain location for owner Brad Bailey, whose other carwash is in Pelham, Alabama, the article noted.

To give the carwash “eye appeal,” according to Bailey, the building will have a glass exterior. “It’s almost similar to what you’ve been to, maybe a brewery, where you go in and you can see the process,” he said. “It’s an all-glass building where you can see the car go through. We’ve got kids that come, and they’ll press their face to the glass to watch the cars go through.”

In addition to the glass exterior, the article continued, Blue Rain will also feature a dual-belted conveyor systems, allowing a car to drive on top of them instead of linking up to a chain conveyor or rail system.

“You drive on, and that allows us to wash low-profile tires and not run the risk of doing any damage to rims,” Bailey said, adding that it even allows for washing dual-wheeled trucks.

Customers will also have the option of going through the polish tunnel after the initial wash, the article noted, where workers hand-apply wax and the car goes through a series of wraps and buffers to be polished.

Bailey and his family thought about opening a carwash a few years ago when they were looking for a “recession-resistant” business, the article continued; after extensive research, they opened the Pelham location in 2012, and when they were looking to open a new location, Hwy. 280 seemed ideal.

“I live on 280 now, and knowing the 280 corridor, knowing that in that area … they’re all having to travel into Birmingham to get their car washed. Again, we saw a need,” Bailey said.

The carwash will not only look similar to the location in Pelham but will offer the same services, the article stated: wash packages from $6 to $18, free vacuums and monthly unlimited wash memberships.

Bailey approached EBSCO, which owns the land for the Tattersall Park development where he plans to build, and received support for the business idea, the article reported.

Bailey said that the design is something that he thinks sets Blue Rain apart from other carwashes. “They embraced our project after looking at it and seeing what we were going to build because carwashes in the past, not saying now, but carwashes in the past have had a bad stereotype,” he said, adding that people sometimes think of carwashes as dirty or not properly maintained.

“If you think, that’s the way the owner keeps his wash, do I really want to send my car through that?” Bailey said. “We knew that, but after presenting our project to [EBSCO] and showing the type [of] wash we wanted to build … they were very gracious.”

Bailey plans to begin construction in February or March, the article concluded.

For more information, visit blueraincarwash.com.