The Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA) put together another robust event in Arlington, Texas, this year. The annual Convention and EXPO was held at the Arlington Convention Center from Feb. 26-28.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing staff members attended the largest gathering of carwash owners and suppliers in the greater Southwest U.S.

David Swenson, SCWA president, noted in the show guide, “Our theme, EXPERIENCE SCWA 2017, truly expresses the goal of our event. … We have three strong days that will challenge you — motivate you — and refresh you.”

The event kicked off with a CEO Forum led by best-selling author, recognized speaker and business advisor Davy Tyburski, America’s Chief Profit Officer™.

Tyburski’s “21 Unique Ways to Increase Profits” offered business best practices and strategies that carwash operators can implement today to grow profits. Tyburski also remained active at SCWA’s 2017 event, including at Tuesday’s Car Wash Academy session, “Be More Profitable in the Car Wash Business.”

The event featured more than 25 hours of premier education sessions and Idea Exchange opportunities.

On Monday morning, the convention was highlighted by the keynote from John Stossel, the award-winning journalist and Fox News Commentator.

Prior to Stossel’s presentation, the 2017 SCWA Lifetime Achievement Honorees were announced. Jim Coleman, founder of the Jim Coleman Company, and John Jurkens, founder of Octopus Car Wash Chain, were honored with the recognition. According to SCWA’s Vice President Tyler Furney, the Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest recognition given by the SCWA. From coin-operated laundromats to carwash manufacturer, Coleman has had an extensive career. This experience also included a stint as SCWA president in 1991-1992.

“The carwash industry has been wonderful to me and my family,” said Coleman in accepting the prestigious award. “I have been away from the industry now for about 15 years, but I spent 45 years of my life in this industry and it’s been a great ride. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of the customers that we’ve had over the years.”

Jurkens, after serving in the military during both World War II and the Korean War and working as a cartoon artist for the Chicago Tribune, turned his passion for car care into a career in the industry. At one point during his career, Jurkens operated 30 carwashes in eight states.

Jurkens passed away at 90 in 2013 but was fondly remembered by his family during a video tribute at the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation.

Of course, EXPERIENCE SCWA 2017 also featured expo hours where attendees were able to meet face-to-face with suppliers and manufacturers in the professional carwashing industry.

The event featured over 300 booths in two large expo areas and, prior to the event, Swenson reported that it was the “largest pre-registration yet. Carwash operators attending reach from coast to coast plus a few international attendees.”

“It has been my pleasure to serve as SCWA president this year,” said Swenson. “We’ve had a successful year, thanks to the support of members and the dedication and commitment of our Board of Directors. It has been a big year of accomplishments.”