panel of experts

You are here

2024 Panel of Experts Ready to Answer Questions (Conclusion)

Meet this year’s panelists as they introduce themselves, their operations and their industry segments.

Commercial Laundry: Rodrigo Patron, Lace House Linen, Petaluma, Calif.

Rodrigo Patron
Rodrigo Patron

I’ve been the operations director at Lace House Linen in Petaluma, California, for the past four years, and I’ve been in the commercial laundry industry for a little over 16. 

A bachelor’s degree in international relations enabled me to use my communication skills to develop crucial and lasting relationships in the field. Earlier in my career, I graduated from the Production Management Institute (PMI), which proved to be a solid foundation. 

I am experienced in the complexities of production in a large, fast-paced commercial laundry, with a skilled background in hotel, F&B and healthcare linen.

As a family-owned and -operated business for the past 108 years, Lace House Linen is committed to its community by offering top-quality service and processing over 40,000 pounds of linen daily. 

We are a mixed plant, mainly catering to the needs of the food & beverage and hotel sectors. This has given us the flexibility to adapt to our client’s changing requirements, particularly during 2021, when the COVID shutdown was lifted in California and many of our clients resumed business. 

Like many other commercial laundries and businesses in general, we have faced difficulties in recruiting new labor. To address this issue, we have been investing in our existing employees through virtual and in-person classes, new equipment, and productivity-measuring software. 

This strategy has served us well, and we currently have a highly competent, devoted and caring team. After all, our hard-working and dedicated team members are our most valuable asset.

I enjoy sharing ideas and learning from others and believe that learning from our successes and failures is what creates a well-rounded and successful business. 

I was lucky to participate in the hotel/motel/resort laundry category in 2023, and I’m looking forward to being a part of the 2024 Panel for commercial laundry.

Healthcare Laundry: Jay Juffre, ImageFIRST, King of Prussia, Pa.

Jay Juffre
Jay Juffre

I currently serve as executive vice president and chief of staff at ImageFIRST. This year, 2024, marks my 30th year in the industry. 

Before ImageFIRST, I worked for over 17 years with Cintas.

My extensive career includes experience in operations, sales, service and delivery, general management, and executive leadership.  

I am considered an expert in service strategy and have been asked to speak on employee engagement many times at seminars and conferences.

A strategic thinker, I’ve been a big part of the evolution of ImageFIRST’s ascension as an industry leader.  

In my free time, I enjoy giving back to the community. I currently serve on the Board of Trustees for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) of South Florida.

Equipment/Supply Distribution: Ross Sanders, Streamline Solutions, Orlando, Fla.

Ross Sanders
Ross Sanders

Well, hello everyone once again! I am honored to be chosen to be a member of the Panel of Experts for one more year. 

As you may already be aware, I am the CEO of Streamline Solutions. We are a supplier of plastic products such as soiled linen bags, cart covers, cart liners and like products to the laundry industry. 

We also help laundries with many of their equipment needs as well. Streamline Solutions works with healthcare, hospitality, commercial and industrial-type laundries throughout North America and abroad. 

Streamline Solutions is based in Orlando, but we have numerous facilities throughout the United States. I am also a proud member of many of the well-known laundry organizations such as ALM and TRSA.

Personally, I am a graduate of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Not many people knew who my college was until their great run in the Final Four last year. Definitely was an exciting time for us FAU graduates! 

After entering the “real world,” I worked for a national medical supply company for 18 years and finished there as a sales manager. 

After a short run working with a medical supply distribution company, I became a partner with Streamline Solutions. The company started as nothing more than a two-man firm 25 years ago, and now we have become a national leader in plastic products and supplies in the laundry industry.

I am hopeful that I can continue to bring that much more to the table as an expert this upcoming year. Now that Streamline Solutions offers so many more product lines than what we did since last year, my “expertise” has expanded that much more. 

It actually feels quite good personally to have even a better understanding of how things work at the laundry plants that go way beyond what we had normally helped them with product and service-wise. 

We continue to look to develop different products and services that would be beneficial to our laundry partners and the industry as a whole. 

As you may already know, for years, we have been the leading plastic bag recycling company in the industry, and we are now expanding to such things as packaging equipment and supplies. 

More products and exciting services will be coming in the next year, and I am thrilled to be a part of the process that will allow us to offer these new ideas to our friends and partners in the laundry industry. 

There is nothing better than to have a ridiculously great team on board who helps us to fill the needs of our current partner laundries. It is so great that they have become the true experts in helping solve our laundry partner’s needs in a quick and professional manner. 

The more that they know about the industry and the needs of our partner laundries, the better it is for everyone involved. I always appreciate them filling me in on the constant goings-on, whether they be good or bad situations, which helps me to better understand what is going on with our customers as well as in the laundry marketplace.

With my 25-plus years of working with so many different laundries, whether they were individually owned or multiple location firms, I feel that the knowledge that I have gained through the years will be beneficial for everyone in allowing me to be a part of the Panel of Experts for one more year. 

I look forward to another exciting year for this great industry and for this panel!

Consulting Services: Stephanie Gregg, Vizient, Little Elm, Texas

Stephanie Gregg
Stephanie Gregg

I have over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. My areas of expertise and professional skills include driving cost savings, realizing operational efficiencies, and maximizing contract compliance through standardization and contract offerings. 

I hold the following experience among my key achievements and accomplishments: expanded and enhanced the laundry and linen category, grew revenue by more than 20% across support services categories, and assisted key members in regulatory audits and training, helping to reduce readmissions and Medicare penalties for Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP). 

Prior to joining Vizient, I spent six years as a senior healthcare consultant with Source America U.S. Ability One Commission in military hospitals where I assisted with RFPs and labor estimators on EVS, food and nutrition, transportation, plant operations, and laundry/linen contracts.  

Additionally, I provided regulatory training to contractors on OSHA, DOT, and hazardous waste compliance and assisted with developing and implementing KPIs task frequencies, performance improvement plans, and served as infection control environmental expert. 

I have robust experience in environmental services and laundry/linen, where I worked as support services director at multiple facilities, including large academic medical centers, for-profit and not-for-profit facilities where I specialized in improving patient satisfaction scores and decreasing overall costs. 

I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration from WGU, and certifications from the Association for the Healthcare Environment (CHESP), Association for Linen Management (CLLM) and American Hospital Association.

Textile/Uniform Rental: W. Kirby Wagg, Performance Matters, Sarasota, Fla.

W. Kirby Wagg
W. Kirby Wagg

I joined Performance Matters in 2022 after successfully continuing the succession of my121-year-old family-owned textile rental business in Canada, known as Wagg’s Linen & Uniform. 

Over 45 years in the business, I strengthened the existing business foundation by implementing core business values, developing modernized sales and growth strategies, and ensured an increased commitment to employee and customer satisfaction.

My strengths are all the facets of operating a laundry business, such as engaging employees, negotiating with company partners, relationship building with clients, new plant builds, and analyzing production methods (I hold a stationary engineer certificate). 

I successfully negotiated purchase agreements (M&A) with competitor companies for growth strategies, which resulted in an increase in sales year over year. 

I developed my son, Billy (fifth generation), into a leadership role as the president. 

I’m also a commercial real estate/M&A advisor executive, assisting clients with their growth portfolios across North America.

I lead two peer groups and provide my expertise in cost recovery offerings, production and transition planning for clients in the United States and Canada.

My family is my passion, which includes my daughter Christina, son Billy, and four granddaughters all living in Orillia, Ontario. 

My U.S. base is in Sarasota, Florida. I enjoy boating, hockey, yoga and CrossFit during my leisure time.

Click HERE to read Part 1 and meet the rest of the 2024 Panel of Experts!

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].