Long-Term Care Laundry: Monique C. Walker, Vi at Grayhawk, Scottsdale, Ariz.

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Monique C. Walker

Monique Walker

My name is Monique C. Walker, and I have been the director at Vi at Grayhawk since September 2002. Vi at Grayhawk is a luxury senior living community that offers amazing amenities and four different levels of care. Our community is considered a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community).

We have different levels of care, which start off with Independent Living and, should the need arise, you have the other venues available to you such as Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and our Alzheimer’s unit (Memory Support).

In the time I have been with Vi at Grayhawk, I have been fortunate to partake in many learning opportunities. The Breakthrough Leadership course that Harvard developed for Vi helped me with self-reflection, skill-building and commitment to my personal leadership development.

I completed the CHHE (Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive) course, which helped me with training and education in the hospitality side of things in senior living. I completed the CMIP (Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention) course, which helped me further my knowledge in principles of disinfection, emerging pathogens and environmental services practices.

Most recently I completed the training for Certified Disinfection Specialist through Spartan, which focuses on preventing the spread of infection in a healthcare setting. Of course, the issue that presents me with challenges in our community right now is the coronavirus pandemic, and post-pandemic.

Before I worked in senior living, I worked in hotels from 1997-2002. With the combined experience from hotels and senior living, I feel I have a unique advantage to be able to speak on the differences of both environments.

My staff consists of housekeepers, laundry personnel, floor techs and lobby personnel. The community at Vi has 90 beds in our Care Center, and 260 apartments and casitas in our Independent Living section.

In 2020 we were named to Ranking Arizona’s Top Arizona Businesses. This is the 19th consecutive year the community has received top honors from the publication. In 2019, Vi was recognized by Great Place to Work and Fortune as one of the Best Workplaces for Aging Services.

And the 2019 “Best in Wellness” Beacon award is an acknowledgment by ICAA (International Council on Active Aging) that Vi is leading the way in the wellness sphere.

Other Institution Laundry: Frank Zacchigna, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Hines, Ill.

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Frank Zacchigna

Frank Zacchigna

It’s quite an honor and privilege to serve on this distinguished panel. It is my sincere hope to share with you the benefit of my over 30 years of professional experience.

I’ve been in the commercial laundry equipment industry as a contracting officer for the VA since 2012. I am responsible for purchasing all the laundry equipment for the VA’s 49 laundry plant facilities located throughout the United States. These laundries range in size from 7 to 45 million pounds annually and have an average age of 36 years.

I have a wealth of experience in large-equipment contracting for the federal government going back to 2004, with my most recent experience being in the High Tech Medical Equipment (HTME) arena.

In a previous professional services lifetime, I worked as a management consultant for the Big 4 Accounting Firms and as a licensed attorney admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

I joined the VA Office of Acquisition and Logistics National Acquisition Center’s (NAC) National Contact Service as Chief/Assistant Director in 2009. I am responsible for negotiations, contract awards and administration of multi-year, multi-million-dollar contracts for HTME and industrial laundry equipment along with related support services for all VA Medical Centers in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)—a $3.5 billion program.

In 2012, I was placed in charge of national contracts for the VA Environmental Program Services Laundry Equipment Program. I work closely with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Troop Support in the joint administration of many of these contracts. I am proud to serve the High Tech Medical and Laundry Facilities Equipment needs of our nation’s veterans and their families.

I have a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toledo, College of Law. I’m also a graduate of the VA Acquisition Academy Senior Acquisition Leadership Training (SALT) Program.

I have a diverse and varied treasure trove of professional experience. I look forward to providing you with my unique perspective on laundry equipment purchasing in a government healthcare environment.

Commercial Laundry: Phoebe Ellis, Lace House Linen, Petaluma, Calif.

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Phoebe Ellis

Phoebe Ellis

I am thrilled to be included on the Panel of Experts! I am looking forward to engaging, learning and sharing some of my experiences as a fourth-generation, family-owned commercial laundry owner/operator.

Lace House Laundry and Linen Supply Inc. was established in 1915 in Petaluma, California, (about 45 miles north of San Francisco). I operate the business with my brother-in-law and sister, and our father still comes in every day to collect mail and deposit checks.

We are proud to operate our business in the community where we live, and we are also proud to be involved in and support many local organizations and charitable causes. Lace House maintains the same foundation today that it was originally founded upon: integrity, personal service, reliability and responding to our customer needs.

We have many employees who have worked for us for more than 20 years and many customers who we have served for more than 20 years. We are truly a family business, including our employees, customers and our community.

As we all sort through the COVID-19 effects on our industry, we are looking for the “silver linings” in our businesses. At Lace House, we have been able to focus on our production and route efficiencies, employee metrics and accountability, as well as customer and vendor contract terms.

Though in March of 2020 our business was down close to 90%, we have been able to rebound back to 50% of pre-COVID sales volume. We are fortunate (and at times spinning our wheels) that we operate a truly mixed plant including hospitality, food/beverage, industrial, food manufacturing and uniforms.

We are very proud of our long-term customer relationships, and we have worked very closely with them as they struggle to stay open and comply with guidelines. We believe that our flexibility and open communication has helped us retain and sign new customers during this time as customers are continually changing orders to comply with guidelines.

We also have used this downtime to focus on our equipment maintenance program, including regular cleaning and updating maintenance logs on each piece of equipment.

As we plan for the next 18 months, we recognize that restaurants and hotels will be some of the last businesses to fully recover, so we are continuing to build our grocery store, food manufacturing and uniform customer base.

We are focused on collaborating and communicating with our customers, vendors and other operators so that we all remain essential, relevant and vital.

We are looking forward to 2021 when business travel, celebrations and in-person meetings will hopefully resume and we can all gather to share stories, laughs and experiences. Please feel free to e-mail ([email protected])—I love to meet new people.

Equipment/Supply Distribution: Scott McClure, Pellerin Laundry Machinery, Kenner, La.

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Scott McClure

Scott McClure

I am vice president of Sales for Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Company Inc., located in Kenner, Louisiana. I have a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology, and I began my career at Pellerin as their in-house AutoCAD engineer and project manager.

In 1996, I became Pellerin’s Louisiana Territory sales representative and managed the laundry equipment sales in Louisiana for eight years. In 2003, I became sales manager for Pellerin and I am now vice president of Sales. I will celebrate my 25th anniversary with Pellerin in 2021 as our company celebrates its 100th year of service to our industry.

Pellerin Laundry Machinery is one of the largest and most experienced full-service laundry equipment distributors in North America. Our Sales and Service teams are located throughout our seven-state territory—Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Western Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle.

We take a consultative approach with our customers and in doing so we provide the most valuable and efficient solutions to meet their laundry equipment and service needs.

Pellerin Laundry has been providing successful laundry solutions to multiple laundry markets in the South-Central United States since the 1920s. Our company is in its fourth generation of continuous management by the Pellerin family.

Some of the markets we service include hospitals, hotels, cooperative laundries, uniform rental, industrial, nursing homes, coin-operated facilities, dry cleaners, schools and fire departments.

We sell and service all our customer’s equipment needs, including mechanical room equipment, washing/drying equipment, linen finishing equipment, heat and water recycling equipment, and miscellaneous items like storage shelving and delivery carts.

We find our customers desire to purchase more complete solutions from fewer qualified vendors. This allows us to be more involved with the total design and construction of state-of-the-art laundries. Our project responsibilities include layout design and MEP drawings, mechanical, electrical, construction, demolition, rigging/assembly, ducting, trenching and comprehensive training services.

The founder of our company, W.A. Pellerin, once said, “Every decision made for a laundry should reflect an improvement—both production-wise and profit-wise. More revenue per square foot of floor space, smoother workflow, greater profits—these we offer through complete laundry analysis, efficient layouts and the proper cost-cutting equipment to do the right job.”

Our team’s objective today is to provide the best possible value to our customers. We recognize that providing value is the basis for continuing our success.

It is an honor to be a member of this year’s Panel. I look forward to sharing our company’s successful solutions and innovative ideas this coming year with the subscribers of American Laundry News.

Check back tomorrow to meet the experts in healthcare laundry, consulting services, equipment manufacturing, textiles and chemicals supply.