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ALM Promotes Fairbanks to Executive Director of Academic Affairs

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ALM staff
Linda Fairbanks (second from right) has been promoted to executive director of academic affairs for the Association for Linen Management (ALM). Also pictured are (from left) Kelly Werner, ALM membership services manager; Eric Puckett, publications designer; and Randy Wendland, board president.

Bruce Beggs |

[Editor's Note: This article was updated June 8 to correct the type of accounting system utilized by the association.]

LAS VEGAS — Linda Fairbanks, the director of academic affairs for the Association for Linen Management (ALM) for several years, has been promoted to executive director of academic affairs, ALM Board President Randy Wendland announced at the Clean Show.

Executive Director Jim Thacker resigned unexpectedly in February, and the ALM board decided to consolidate the position with another and promote Fairbanks rather than hire a replacement.

Fairbanks has overseen ALM’s educational offerings, including the American Laundry & Linen College (ALLC), and now finds herself heading an association that faces mounting financial problems and dwindling membership numbers.

During Sunday’s annual business meeting, it was revealed that ALM has approximately $100,000 in unpaid bills. Chief Financial Officer Paul Jewison says the association is shifting from a cash accounting system to an accrual based system to better track spending.

ALM relies heavily on its portion of proceeds from every-other-year Clean Show sponsorship to fund operations, and Wendland told members that ALM “will be whole after Clean.”

Fairbanks says the ALLC is changing its format to address student needs. Currently, the ALLC convenes for a week in the spring and another week in the fall each year. Students must complete three sessions to earn Registered Laundry & Linen Director (RLLD) certification.

But ALLC participation has dropped as fewer people working in the industry have the time and resources to travel to the Kentucky school during three separate weeks over an 18-month period.

Fairbanks says the ALLC will begin offering individual courses from its curriculum this fall, but students will still be required to pass a test covering the full curriculum to receive certification.

“Maintaining the integrity of the RLLD [Registered Laundry & Linen Director] is the most critical thing,” she says.

As the meeting drew to a close, Senior Vice President Tom Mantey announced that he had submitted his letter of resignation to the board, citing personal reasons and philosophical differences in the direction of the association.

ALM’s next annual conference has been scheduled for June 24-27, 2012, in Louisville, Ky.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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