Healthcare Laundry: Tammy Barrett, HHS Environmental Services, Bonita Springs, Fla.

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Tammy Barrett

Tammy Barrett

I am a linen utilization manager for HHS, a career I’ve had for the past five years. I am currently assisting two sister facilities in Virginia: Danville Regional Hospital and Martinsville Memorial Hospital.

I began in a small facility of 80 beds in Florida. I then relocated to Naples to two sister hospitals for three years. I do not come from a long background of linen knowledge; I have however gained a tremendous amount of insight into linen utilization and use over the past five years.

I play a role in best patient practice use of linen as well as utilizing linen properly to save cost to the facilities. I work closely with the linen supplier, making sure the hospital receives the best quality of linen.

I have accomplished savings, best patient practice, quality linen and significant change, as well as the trust of my peers, at every facility I have had the pleasure of working with.

The challenges I encounter daily are always controlling linen loss and overall conformity to changes implemented. This includes EVS staff, clinical staff, as well as hospital staff in general.

HHS has a great leadership team that I attribute my growth to, as well as my experiences in the journey.

Consulting Services: David Graham, Performance Matters, Fort Mill, S.C.

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David Graham

David Graham

Good day to all American Laundry News readers.

My name is Dave Graham and I have been a senior consultant at Performance Matters, a leader in the uniform/linen/healthcare/medical consulting industry for the last 12 years. Before I tell you about me, I feel compelled to tell you about Performance Matters.

Performance Matters was started in 2006 by our leader/CEO/president Troy Lovins. A cool twist is that Troy worked as my plant manager in 1990-1991 at a well-respected regional company—Mechanics Laundry & Supply of Indiana. He showed grit and determination, and it was a given that I would take him under my wing and tutor him.

Now we gainfully employ 11 stars with both industry and non-industry experience. Check us out at Performance-Matters.com.

Well ... about me. I have been in this industry for 42 years and, yes ... I love it. I graduated in 1976 from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education. The economy was in malaise, but I was able to start in 1979 in Worcester, Massachusetts, as an assistant service manager and had a great mentor in John Sarafian Jr.

I mention this as we all need a mentor somewhere along the line (see Troy above). Five years of progress with Coyne led to six great years with Aramark, where I ran three different New England locations as a general manager.

As you may know, a boss often determines how we excel or falter. They create an environment where we turn on our juices, or they can extinguish our flame. I had two great bosses at Aramark then, well … a realignment in the company put me in an untenable situation, so I picked up the phone and spent the next eight years with Mechanics Laundry & Supply.

With Mechanics, I attained the level of regional vice president, covering Northern Indiana and Michigan. This is where I sharpened my garment utilization skills, and I will be forever grateful for that time.

After eight great years, we merged with Cintas and it became time to move on. I was lucky to land in Wilson, North Carolina, with RUS/OMNI and spent four wonderful years with some of the finest people in the industry. I was promoted from Wilson to Rock Hill, South Carolina, to run the second-largest facility serving six locations until they sold to Cintas in 2002.

I stuck it out as general manager in Clinton, North Carolina, and had six great years honing my stockroom skills and my financial skills.

Performance Matters then reared its beautiful head, and at the age of 67, I cannot be more pleased. My main area of focus at our company is assisting our valued clients in merchandise control, zero-based budgeting and accounts receivable/payables. But having been a general manager for so long, I also feel I possess expertise that can help the valued readers of American Laundry News in just about any area.

I am honored to have been asked to join the group, and I look forward to assisting everyone in reaching down further to create wealth and processes for your company. It is my rule that we have fun while learning!

Equipment Manufacturing: Charles Spencer, G.A. Braun Inc., Syracuse, N.Y.

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Charles Spencer

Charles Spencer

It’s an honor to be selected to participate on this panel, and I hope that I can help some of you the way so many others have helped me.

Coming out of Penn State University in 1992 with a degree in communications, I would have never dreamed that I would work the bulk of my career in the laundry business. I was prepared to work hard, but I had no idea how much I still had to learn.

On the heels of NAFTA in the early 2000s, and having just lost my management job at an ISO-certified injection molding operation, I wanted something I could put my hands on … something real that couldn’t be shipped overseas.

Laundry was all new to me, but fortunately I had stumbled into one of the best laundry opportunities in the country at Paris Companies in Dubois, Pennsylvania. Thanks to Dave Stern, Chris Corcoran, Randy Rossetti, Tom Walsh, Joe Liparulo and many others, I was educated in our industry and I was introduced to even more great mentors like those I work with today at Braun, another ISO-certified company.

I’ve had the opportunity to live, learn and have successes and failures in an industry that 20 years ago was completely unknown to me.

I was a general manager for 10 years at Paris Healthcare (now NOVO Healthcare) in Dubois, Pennsylvania, where I was able to help build a ground-up 1 million pounds per week commercial healthcare laundry, and with Tom Walsh, and engineers from a few Canadian trailer manufacturers, design and build an industry-first double-deck 53-foot delivery trailer capable of carrying 55-plus full-size, standard-height hospital linen carts directly to our customers.

I like to compare the days at Paris to riding the tip of a rocket ... for about seven years. Our growth curve taught me to rely on words of wisdom from my father, a carpenter ... measure twice and cut once.

Today I work as a regional sales manager at G. A Braun Inc., where we manufacture a full line of laundry equipment, and for over 75 years have been privately owned and headquartered out of Syracuse, New York.

Much like my father’s advice, being a salesperson, GM, production manager, etc. in our industry requires you to make some hard, and often expensive, decisions. Those decisions are validated when you analyze your return on investment (measure) and make the purchase (cut) on quality equipment or plans that help you grow your business and/or make it more profitable.

Let’s face it, the COVID-19 world has made mostly a negative impact on labor costs and our top-line revenues. Despite the challenges of a COVID-19 world, we must be able to offset these and keep our paths tracking toward greater safety, productivity and efficiencies, while reducing our carbon footprint in an industry that relies heavily on our natural resources.

This coming year, I look to help you find more ways to be successful in those endeavors.

Textiles: Cecil B. Lee, Standard Textile, Cincinnati, Ohio

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Cecil Lee

Cecil Lee

My name is Cecil Lee and I am director of the healthcare laundry marketplace for Standard Textile. I have the wonderful opportunity to participate as a laundry industry writer for the second time in five years. I have been working in the industry since 1981 when I started working for a cooperative healthcare laundry in Saginaw, Michigan, after college.

I have gone on to spend 33 years managing central, cooperative and commercial healthcare laundries in several cities in Michigan, New York and Ohio. Twenty-five of those years were with Sodexo, which afforded me the opportunity to work with many industry greats who are still working in the healthcare laundry business. Liz Remillong, Phil Foussard, Tim Montague, Ron Seaman and Emeka Okeani are a few among them.

My formal training consists of a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University in Administration.

I attended the Association for Linen Management’s (ALM) Laundry & Linen College in Canada for Part 1 at the University of Guelph. My mentor at the time (the late Dick Starkey) was insistent on me having a solid foundation, and because of him, I have a strong technical background in the business.

I was recently named as a member of the board of directors for the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) starting in 2021. I look forward to bringing further support to the industry I love and serve.

In 2013 I joined Standard Textile, which afforded me the opportunity to represent our extensive line of healthcare textiles and allowed me to consult with our diverse customers in ways that would help them. I have thoroughly enjoyed being in the inner circle of service and product decisions with customers. Learning, helping and training people during my career continues to be a highlight.

My wife and I recently became grandparents for the first time. Our new grandchild was born in the South and one of the first things I noticed (after my granddaughter) was that the underpad being used was the first product I recommended after completing my extensive Standard Textile training.

In the more than seven years I have been selling on the textile side of the business, one thing I still think about is what product decision would I make based on my customer’s needs and its laundry capabilities? Being genuine and sharing products that I genuinely think will properly serve and enhance the customer is built into the fiber of my being—excuse the pun.

Over the past year, I have been impressed with the herculean efforts my company Standard Textile and our industry has made to service our industry during our COVID-19 experience.

I am also very excited about the opportunity our industry has since we have the attention of our customers regarding reusable healthcare linen. Let us make it a big positive!

I sincerely hope that over the next year I will share something that makes you think seriously, differently and conscientiously about the subject matter at that time. I am certainly proud of the contributions I have been able to make in my small part of the world.

Chemicals Supply: Campbell Dodson, Lavo Solutions LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio

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Campbell Dodson

Campbell Dodson

It is an honor to be selected to this year’s Panel of Experts. I look forward to contributing some of my career experiences on topics that are relevant to the readers and their businesses.

I am co-founder and chief revenue officer of Lavo Solutions, a source of innovative chemical dispensing and data-driven cleaning solutions for the commercial laundry and janitorial/sanitation industries.

Lavo believes that validating any cleaning process, including laundry, with data will generate a higher standard of clean in the industry.

I have spent over 25 years in the commercial laundry business. In the first few years of my career, I was a technical sales and service professional who worked in the linen/uniform rental and healthcare laundry markets.

My time was spent learning operations, laundry science, workflow and the key metrics associated with some of the largest commercial laundry facilities in the country.

I also had the privilege to manage teams of representatives and direct the logistics and installations of dispensing systems at laundry plants across the United States.

In 2008, I transitioned into global brand management and worked in on-premises laundry (OPL) laundry markets around the world, broadening my perspective and appreciation for the industry on a global level.

This year, Lavo has worked to grow and adapt to this new, “unpredictable environment.” Our focus is and will continue to be providing simple, innovative dispensing solutions, backed by best-in-class training and support for all our customers.

One of the biggest challenges this year has been acclimating to virtual-only sales meetings and conferences and not being able to conduct face-to-face meetings with our friends, customers and colleagues in the industry. We are looking forward to the day when things open back up and we can all get back together.

Miss Part 1, introducing experts in long-term care, other institution and commercial laundries, and equipment/supply distribution? Click HERE now to read it!