LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Working as a service sales representative (SSR) runs in the Cash family.
Three generations of Cashes—Deward, David and Ryan—have dedicated their careers in the business services industry to what has become a family affair at Cintas Corp.
Deward Cash, who died in 2000, was the first in the industry.
His son David celebrated 50 years of service in September with a company that started as National Linen Service, became G&K Services and is now Cintas.
David’s son Ryan, Deward’s grandson, has logged a combined 12-plus years at G&K and Cintas.
David and Ryan Cash work out of Location 258 in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
“Everybody is really proud of us,” Ryan says. “I can’t really remember how many years my grandfather was in—25 or 30, something like that—and then of course Dad going to 50 this year was crazy.
“We’re really proud and happy that he’s able to still work and be able to be healthy. So, it’s pretty cool for our family.”
By the time David finished his service in the U.S. Air Force, Deward was well into his career. He encouraged David to give the profession some thought based on its benefits: independence, stability, customer interaction and financial potential.
“Dad, he was a big influence on me as far as getting into the industry,” says David.
His guidance led to a career for his son. In 1972, David Cash began his career at National Linen, which was acquired by G&K in 1997. He spent 44 ½ of his 50 years in the industry before Cintas acquired G&K in 2017.
In total, Deward and David spent seven years as co-workers at National Linen and G&K.
Long before he retired at age 62, Deward’s work ethic had a lasting impact on his family. David says said his father—the father of four boys—drilled home accountability and follow-through.
That mindset stayed with David as an adult, giving him an even greater appreciation for his dad and providing a blueprint for parenting his son.
“I hope that I’ve planted some good seeds in Ryan to help him in his journey with Cintas in future years and that he’ll stick with it,” David says. “And hopefully it will benefit him and his family both.”
Ryan was a University of Georgia student when he began working at G&K during summer and winter breaks. He liked the job so much that he “just kind of grew into it,” first at the plant and then helping on routes.
After college, Ryan officially followed his father into the business full-time and became a third-generation route driver. Although their routes differed at G&K, Ryan always enjoyed bumping into his dad in the mornings or evenings at the workplace.
“We’d just say, ‘Hey, how are you? Doing OK? How was it out on the route today?’ And stuff like that. It was good, it was a lot of fun. Just learning a little bit every day from him,” says Ryan, who spent 6 ½ years at G&K and has been with Cintas for almost six years.
Times have changed since David started his career.
SSRs used to drive territory-based routes, which meant David ran two weekly trips into downtown Atlanta. Reps also drove their trucks home, kept hard copies of customers’ orders and carried far more cash and checks than David preferred.
As technology has started streamlining work processes to make the SSRs’ jobs more dynamic, David has found himself learning a thing or two from his son.
“Sometimes I’m really not tech savvy and he can help me on some things,” he admits. “I’m kind of old school, but if you show me one time, I got it.”
David and Ryan share a zest for customer service and building relationships with people they see regularly.
The Cashes place great pride in being honest, dependable and accountable—three attributes that have strengthened their reputations at work among their fellow employee-partners and also their customers.
David notes that he aims to be a reliable partner for his customers, taking care of them with great service and identifying solutions to issues—like needing replacement garments or making sure repairs are made—before they may even notice.
“That way they don’t even see it,” he says. “I just make sure the old garment is replaced in their delivery and they have a new garment.
“They don’t even know it sometimes. And then they’ll come back and say, ‘Hey, I appreciate you doing that.’ I love my good rapport with my customers.”
And a good rapport is a time-tested Cash family trait.
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Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].