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Introducing: The 2022 Panel of Experts (Part 1)

Learn about this year’s healthcare laundry, equipment, distribution, uniforms and hospitality laundry experts

Healthcare Laundry: William Muse, United Hospital Services, Indianapolis, Ind.

There’s no better way to learn a business or an industry than by doing it yourself and learning from those around you. I hope to be one more resource for you as you continue to learn, grow and evolve within the industry.

I have worked in the healthcare laundry sector for seven years serving many roles, including information technology manager, plant manager, interim maintenance chief, and now director of service and sales, all of which have quickly broadened my knowledge and experience within the industry.

My 10 years’ prior experience in the technology sector has enabled me to bring a different perspective and an agile mentality to the healthcare operation.

As director of service and sales for United Hospital Services, I oversee all hospital accounts across the state of Indiana for our 50 million-pound operation. As a co-op of over 50 years, United Hospital Services has grown into one of the largest healthcare laundry cooperatives in the United States with no plan on stopping anytime soon!

I believe 2021 will be remembered for the many challenges presented by COVID-19, labor availability and supply-chain interruptions.

That said, we have gracefully overcome these challenges with nearly no supply-chain impact, maintained our workforce throughout COVID-19 and the great exit of 2021, and have experienced zero service impact on our customers as a result.

This is a testament to our leadership team and the planning in place to ensure the best service to our customers regardless of outside circumstances.

Looking toward 2022 and beyond, the challenges I face at United Hospital Services are much like the challenges you likely face within your operations. We must continue to find ways to overcome labor shortages and supply-chain interruptions while we navigate the continued onslaught of COVID-19.

With all of this in mind, we as an industry must look beyond recovery and toward growth once again!

It’s an honor to be selected as a member of this Panel. I hope that my experiences provide you with the information and tools needed to overcome challenges within your operations.

Equipment Manufacturing: Al Adcock, B&C Technologies, Panama City, Fla.

It is my privilege to be selected to serve on the American Laundry News Panel of Experts. I’ve been in the laundry industry for almost 30 years now, and it doesn’t seem like 1992 was that long ago. 

I started as an industrial and manufacturing engineer at the UniMac Company, then a family-owned business, right out of college. After a few years, I was promoted into product engineering and began the job of integrating variable-speed drives onto our cabinet hard mounts. 

In 1998, I accepted an engineering position with Washex Machinery, then onto IPSO USA where I was on the design team that developed the first 300 G-force hard-mount washer in the industry via our SmartSpinTM patent.

In 2000, I was honored to be on the startup team for B&C Technologies, where we started with a clean sheet of paper and designed an entirely new family of commercial and industrial laundry equipment. 

In 2013, I was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing for the company and have served in this capacity since.

The year 2021 has presented many challenges to manufacturers, including variability and unavailability of key manufacturing components, significant instability in the transportation industry, and interesting labor and personnel challenges.

This year, 2022, will likely be a continuation of 2021 well into the year, so there are plenty of challenges to solve in the upcoming year—and great opportunities for learning and understanding each other to help reduce these problems in our industry and the world at large.

Working together with kindness, understanding and empathy will allow us to work past the problems of 2021 and create a successful 2022.

I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and helping others to solve their commercial laundry problems.

Equipment/Supply Distribution: Armand Lemieux, STN Laundry Systems LLC, Hamden, Conn.

I am honored to be chosen as part of the Panel, and I hope to contribute in a meaningful and positive way.

Growing up in a New Haven, Connecticut, suburb, I never thought about the laundry business as a career path. Following my older siblings, I went to college and graduated from Quinnipiac University with a degree in health science.

After spending six years working in the healthcare field, I quickly realized my motivation and hands-on personality were not being satisfied. In 1999, I started a small construction business with my brother, who has remained my business partner ever since.

As our business grew over the next few years, and I was able to see the positive impact I could make on the people close to us, as well as the entire community, I was hooked.

Since then, I have co-owned and operated many other ventures, starting with my first Laundromat in 2001, which I built completely from scratch in a rental space. The Laundromat grew over the next several years and became a neighborhood success.

As its growth reached a plateau, in the year 2004 I founded Soap to Nuts Laundry Systems, which I still run today. I was able to use my knowledge acquired from the Laundromat to help other laundries with challenges they were facing.

Soap to Nuts Laundry Systems started as a small, two-person operation focused on servicing local coin laundries. Over the next 17 years, the company grew into a multi-faceted business, with eight full-time employees, a fully-stocked plant, and operations on all levels of the laundry business, including coin, commercial and industrial equipment.

Soap to Nuts Laundry Systems provides new and refurbished equipment, maintenance, as well as service and repairs in four states.

My professional goals for the future are to keep growing my laundry business, continue to provide quality employment and training for my technicians, and offer mentorship to young business owners. I am also passionate about helping other businesses in the industry and seeing them succeed.

Uniforms/Workwear Manufacturing: Dan Schwartz, Fashion Seal Healthcare, Seminole, Fla.

This year we celebrated our 101st year in business, an achievement the entire Fashion Seal team is extremely proud of. I am honored to serve as the senior vice president of sales and operations for Fashion Seal Healthcare, a division of Superior Group of Companies.

While COVID-19 has and continues to present a unique set of challenges, we have spent our 101st year in business powering forward in our tradition of providing unmatched customer experiences.

This was, and will be, made possible through continued operational support and investment, and while the pandemic has delayed some of our plans, we are now in a position to provide better service than ever.

We opened our second owned sewing factory in Haiti, along with investing in our flagship distribution center in Eudora, Arkansas. We are also launching a new customer portal and support services to enhance the customer experience and give our customers more access to better information.

While the worldwide supply chain remains severely delayed, Fashion Seal had the foresight in early 2020 to secure additional fabric and garments that we are continuing to supply to our customers. We now have more inventory than ever to support our customers’ needs.

Fashion Seal Healthcare employees treat each other like family, and we extend that sentiment to our customers. We continue to invest in our business and look to support and bring innovation to the textile rental industry.

Hotel/Motel/Resort Laundry: Kelly Reynolds, Sea Island Acquisitions, Sea Island, Ga.

Hello, my name is Kelly Reynolds. I began my light commercial laundry career in 2002 for a small hotel and cabin operation in Cherokee, North Carolina.

In 2006, I moved to Valdosta, Georgia, and worked for two hotels in Valdosta and Lake Park through 2011.

After a two-year hiatus from laundry maintenance, I returned to Quitman, Georgia, and started working large industrial laundry maintenance. From there I moved to Brunswick and signed on as a laundry maintenance engineer with the world’s premier resort. 

I work as a maintenance engineer for a five-star resort in South Georgia. We average approximately 200,000 pounds of linen processed per year. We process sheets, towels, table linen and the occasional load of chair covers. We are also a backup facility for a local hospital.

Our accomplishments this year have been to replace some outdated equipment that has freed us up to make improvements on the older equipment.

Our most challenging issues are finished linen quality and operator training.

Check back tomorrow to meet the 2022 experts in long-term care laundry, chemicals supply, commercial laundry and consulting services.

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