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Meet Our 2011 Panel of Experts (Part 1 of 2)

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(Image credit: Alissa Ausmann)

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Each year, American Laundry News selects a Panel of Experts, a group of individuals representing different segments of the textile services industry. These professionals and tradesmen respond to various management and production questions throughout the year. Let’s meet some of our contributors for 2011:Hotel/Motel/Resort Laundry: Phil Jones, Sheraton Vistana Resort, Orlando, Fla.
As director of laundry for Sheraton Vistana Resort and Sheraton Vistana Villages, Phil Jones’ facility services more than 2,500 villas. He has more than 15 years of industry experience, including 10 years with Walt Disney World Textile Services.
The facility was producing around 5.5 million pounds but outsourcing approximately 2 million annually when Jones joined the Sheraton Vistana Resort. He was responsible for redesigning the 5,500-square-foot on-premise laundry, enabling it to process the entire 5.5 million pounds plus add sister facility Sheraton Vistana Villages’ 3 million pounds annually.
[NP][/NP]Resort travel continued to rebound at a slower-than-anticipated pace in 2010, Jones says. “We were asked to find ways to reduce costs, including linen replacement, yet maintain our full-time labor within our cost per pound.” He will be looking at new machinery and processes this year so that his laundry can take on another 2 million pounds as the Sheraton Vistana Villages expands.Equipment Manufacturing: Chuck Anderson, Ellis Corp., San Diego
For the past seven years, Chuck Anderson has been regional sales manager for Ellis Corp. and Ludell Manufacturing, covering 10 Western states, Western Canada and Hawaii.
[NP][/NP]He started working at age 16 in a family-run business that manufactured laundry chemicals. As the company grew, it got involved in building turnkey on-premise laundries (OPLs) and drycleaning plants. He was a laundry technician for Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado, Calif., until he and his father built the Hyatt Regency San Diego laundry. Anderson then worked there as assistant director of engineering/energy manager.
He joined the staff of a local Washex distributor in 1995, and was asked to take over the sales territory from a G.A. Braun distributor in San Diego three years later. He joined the staff of Ellis Corp., headquartered in Itasca, Ill., in 2003.
Ellis has focused on perfecting its 360 Sequential Washing System during the last few years, Anderson says, and added a line of finishing equipment. It has developed a new washer control, and completed design and testing of the ACE800, the industry’s first hydraulically driven, vertical plane, automated high-speed extractor for tunnel washers, he says.Chemicals Supply: Carrie Armstrong, Ecolab, Eagan, Minn.
Carrie Armstrong is a principal technical support specialist for Ecolab Inc.’s Textile Care North America. She has held a variety of positions during 19 years within Ecolab’s Textile Care and Institutional divisions. Her experience includes laboratory work and field evaluations on numerous industrial wash chemistry projects at the Research, Development & Engineering Center.
[NP][/NP]She also has nine years of experience in sales, including consultation, training and technical support for industrial and on-premise laundries, long-term healthcare, healthcare, hospitality, and commercial market segments.
The Textile Care Division provides cleaning and sanitizing products, programs and services, including water recycling energy solutions, and data management systems, for commercial laundries serving the work wear, linen and healthcare markets.
“The global recession has been a challenge,” Armstrong says. “Customers require products and services as critically as ever, but face ongoing economic pressures. Water, energy and labor reduction are key drivers facing us.” Regulation changes also present a challenge as the industry moves toward sustainable chemistries, she adds.Uniforms: Barb Herman, SanMar Corp., Issaquah, Wash.
Barb Herman is a 20-plus-year veteran in the textile rental, garment resale and textile wholesale segments of our industry.
[NP][/NP]Starting at a hospital linen plant in California as a purchasing clerk, she earned promotion into service, sales, production and management through various industrial laundries. After about 12 years on the laundry side, including garments, hospitality and industrial toweling, she moved into supply chain with a national emblem manufacturer. Now, she heads up the industrial division of SanMar Corp.
SanMar is a family-owned and -operated business based in Seattle since 1971. It supplies 17 retail and private apparel brands (more than 900 imprintable products) to screen printers, embroiderers, promotional-products distributors, athletic dealers, industrial launderers and more.
Herman has been a featured speaker at industry conventions, and consulted to some of the largest companies in the industry as a trainer/teacher in sales, marketing and finance. She recently became the finance instructor for the Textile Rental Services Association’s (TRSA) EMI—Executive Management Institute.Textile/Uniform Rental: John Shoemaker, General Linen & Uniform Service, Detroit
John Shoemaker has worked in laundry service since the mid-1980s. For the past 10 years, he has been a company vice president in the sales and marketing arm for General Linen and Uniform Service, a family-owned and -operated laundry founded in 1919 in Detroit.
[NP][/NP]The company’s round-the-clock operation services industrial work uniforms, napery, bed linen, healthcare, mats, restroom products and a full custom apparel line of direct sales.
“Over the decades, I have held most every post in a laundry,” Shoemaker says. “I have worked every piece of equipment in the plant. Whether it was ‘blowing out’ the boiler, repacking valves, pressing shirts, folding shop towels, etc., I have had a ‘hands-on’ grasp of the product flow.
“I have been a route representative, route supervisor, district manager, service manager, run the plant, run the stockroom, entered route-settlement sheets in the office, negotiated union contracts, and served as general manager of U.S.-owned and foreign-owned laundries.”
Prior to the blending of TRSA and the Uniform & Textile Service Association, he chaired the TRSA Sales & Service committee for eight years, and served on the TRSA Budgeting Committee and Strategic Management Committee.Check back next Thursday to meet the rest of the 2011 Panel!

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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