Q&A with NRCC's John Shalbey Jr.
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Q&A with NRCC’s John Shalbey Jr.

As the industry prepares to gather for the Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC) 2022, Professional Carwashing & Detailing (PC&D) caught up with the event’s co-chairman, John Shalbey Jr., to discuss some of the planning behind this year’s convention. NRCC 2022 is hosted by the New England Carwash Association (NECA). 

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PC&D | Are there any changes in registration, events, venue policies, accommodations, show hours, etc., that exhibitors and attendees should be mindful of?

JS | The great news is that with the 2022 show, attendees/vendors will not need to wear face coverings. Of course, we will have some available for those who want to wear one, but it is our intention to host a much less restrictive show this year. The only change to our format is that we will be ending our show hours on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., a half hour earlier than we typically end. 

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PC&D | How can attendees maximize their time on the show floor in order to have the best NRCC experience? 

JS | The best way to maximize your time on the floor is to take a look at our vendor map at nrccshow.com before you get to Atlantic City. Set some goals, make a plan to visit specific vendors if you are shopping for a particular piece of equipment or service and follow it, but make sure to build in some flexibility to ensure you get it all in. With 350-plus exhibits, there is a lot of ground to cover.

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PC&D | What will keynote speaker Travis Mills bring to this year’s event? What else are you most looking forward to on the 2022 Schedule of Events?

JS | Recalibrated Warrior United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills is a hero and an inspirational leader. He served with the 82nd Airborne and was critically injured on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was hit by an IED and lost portions of both legs and arms. He will share his story, with his signature humor, and help us all reset. Although he doesn’t own a wash, he knows what it takes to overcome challenges, lead a team and garner respect. His message will resonate with us all and in doing so inspire attendees to do better and give back. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this keynote. 

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The rest of our educational lineup is exceptional. From our traditional Early Bird panel of industry experts that covers a gamut of carwash questions to a seminar on hiring and retaining employees to creating a mentoring program, there is a lot of take-home value for operators big and small. We even have a marketing panel on Wednesday that will cover how to grow your club program through effective promotion and how to better brand your wash. There’s a little something for everyone, but check out nrccshow.com for the complete seminar lineup. 

PC&D | Can you share some of the background on the annual awards that are presented each year at the show and how recipients are chosen?

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JS | Over the years, the NRCC board has given out a number of different awards to pay tribute to the hard work and effort it takes to be an outstanding carwasher. Typically, the host association selects the Most Distinguished Person recipient, which honors an outstanding individual in our industry. The Hall of Fame award is the NRCC’s highest honor and is given to an individual who has gone above and beyond to help ensure that this event is first rate. This honor is selected by past recipients of the award. A few years ago, the board created a Guiding Light award to acknowledge an individual who has helped shape and influence the professional carwash industry through their dedication and service to its growth and development. This individual does not need to own/operate a wash. Your own Associate Publisher – Sales Sandy Murphy was the first recipient and was selected for her tireless efforts to help in the promotion of the NRCC. The Emerging Leader award was also introduced over the last few years to honor rising managers for their commitment to the industry and their staff. 

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None of these awards has to be annual, but it is our hope that more times than not we are able to select a deserving recipient and honor their dedication to professional carwashing.

PC&D | What are the dates for NRCC 2023 and do you have any early details to share, such as the host association? 

JS | NRCC 2023 is slated for Oct. 2-4 at the Atlantic City Convention Center with the host hotel being the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The host association is the Connecticut Carwash Association with Bob Rossini serving as chairman

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