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TRSA Elects Richardson Chair

First female chair in association’s 108-year history introduced during limited hybrid Annual Conference

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — TRSA, the association for linen, uniform, and facility services, reports that Noël Hammer Richardson, president, CEO and owner of Shasta Linen Supply Inc. in Sacramento, California, has been elected the association’s chair for 2020-2022.

Richardson, along with other new officers and directors were sworn in (elected by a mail-in vote of a quorum of its members ) during TRSA’s Annual Business Meeting Oct. 22 as part of its 107th Annual Conference here.

Due to travel restrictions stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, TRSA hosted its conference with limited content on Oct. 21-22. The hybrid in-person and virtual events included the Board of Directors Meeting with several board members attending in-person and an in-person and virtual Annual Business Meeting at The Westin in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Noël Hammer Richardson

Noël Hammer Richardson

“It has been my pleasure serving on the TRSA Board and I am honored to be elected the first female chair in TRSA’s 108-year history,” says Richardson. “My father, the late Tom Hammer, served as chair for TRSA in 1989. He always talked about the importance of supporting our industry and giving back to the community that supports our businesses.

“Those are lessons that he passed on to me, and I am very proud to follow in his footsteps and the footsteps of all the other chairs who have given their time and invaluable direction to our association.”

Richardson served as TRSA vice chair in 2018-2020.

Shasta Linen Supply, a fourth-generation commercial laundry company founded in 1923, serves restaurants, healthcare and hotels in Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley. Under Richardson’s leadership, Shasta Linen Supply has earned the Hygienically Clean Healthcare and Food Service certifications in addition to the Clean Green certification for environmental stewardship.

Richardson is active in the Sacramento community, serving as a board member of the Center for Advancing Pain Relief at the University of California at Davis, School of Medicine. She recently joined the Board of Directors of El Dorado Savings Bank and is a past volunteer of Women’s Empowerment, a nonprofit organization helping homeless women in the Sacramento area.

Richardson has served on TRSA’s Board of Directors for the past seven years and has been active in a variety of TRSA task forces and committees, including TRSA’s Women in Textiles Committee (recently renamed and expanded as the TRSA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee).

Additional officers and directors sworn in at the meeting include:

  • Jim Kearns, officer-vice chair, executive vice president, CFO and CAO, Alsco Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Randy Bartsch, officer-treasurer, CEO, Ecotex Healthcare Linen Services Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Vicky Cayetano, director, president, Hawaii region, United Laundry Services Inc., Honolulu
  • Liz Remillong, director, vice president, strategic alliances, Crothall Laundry Services, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Steve Sintros, director, CEO, UniFirst Corp., Wilmington, Massachusetts

Officers are elected to one two-year term and directors serve a three-year term with eligibility for a second three-year term. In addition, Dan Farnsworth, vice president, sales and marketing, Leonard Automatics Inc., Denver, North Carolina, was elected to represent Supplier Partner companies for one three-year term.

Due to travel limitations by its members, the elections were held via mail-in and electronic balloting in September, with further discussion and confirmation on Oct. 22.

TRSA says its board represents the industry’s most diverse, inclusive membership with more than 160 linen, uniform and facility services companies in North America, as well as nearly 40 companies operating outside of North America.

In addition, TRSA membership includes nearly 140 supplier partners, who offer the industry’s most innovative equipment, chemicals, linens, uniforms, and other products and services.

Additional members serving on the TRSA board include:

  • Johanna Ames, president, Ames Linen Service, Cortland, New York
  • Brad Drummond, COO, Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel, Burbank, California
  • P.J. Dempsey, president, Dempsey Uniform and Linen Supply Inc., Jessup, Pennsylvania
  • Robert (Bob) G. Dudley, president, APPEARA, Norfolk, Nebraska
  • Scott Finkelstein, co-president, Ace Uniform Services Inc. Baltimore
  • Tyler Fowler, president, M+A Matting, LaGrange, Georgia
  • Roger Harris, president & CEO, Metro Linen, McKinney, Texas
  • Jose Luis Jacques, CEO, LAVARTEX SAPI de CV, Miguel Hidalgo, México
  • Juha Laurio, president & CEO, Lindström Group, Helsinki, Finland
  • Dan Sanchez, vice president, corporate sales, Medline Textiles, Mundelein, Illinois
  • Chris Sander, industry relations ambassador, Johnson Service Group PLC, Preston Brook, United Kingdom
  • Joe Sullivan, Spotless Facility Services Pty Ltd., Melbourne, Australia
  • James (Jim) Vaudreuil, president & CEO, Huebsch Services, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

BYLAWS REVISION ON SUPPLIERS AFFIRMED

In other action taken earlier this year, the TRSA Board of Directors voted unanimously to amend the TRSA Bylaws to better reflect the importance and support of its vendor/suppliers by changing the membership category from “Associate” to “Supplier Partner” as an initial step, as well as a recent addition to TRSA’s Mission, toward better integrating and representing their advocacy concerns.

Pursuant to the TRSA Bylaws (Article XII, Section 2) this change was submitted for a vote and ratification by two-thirds of the active operator members. TRSA members voted via mail-in and electronic balloting in September with further discussion and confirmation on Oct. 22.

To further enhance the value of industry suppliers in the association, TRSA also has created a new “Supplier Council” to replace the former Associate Committee model. The Supplier Council will provide a boost for the association’s Supplier Partners, giving them an expanded role in advocacy and association governance.

ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING SUMMARY

The Annual Business Meeting was held on Oct. 22 with about 30 linen, uniform and facility services executives attending in person, with an additional 50 joining via a Zoom video conferencing link.

TRSA President & CEO Joseph Ricci kicked off the meeting with a rundown on the industry by market sector following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a recap of the association’s response in guiding the industry through the COVID-19 crisis and economic shutdowns. Jim Buik, TRSA chair, detailed TRSA’s strategic planning process and several initiatives moving forward into 2021.

Kevin Schwalb, TRSA’s vice president of government relations, followed Buik with an in-depth recap of the association’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic from an advocacy standpoint. Schwalb highlighted several meetings, including a briefing on the benefits of reusable healthcare textiles with Vice President Mike Pence and the COVID-19 Task Force, that TRSA held to keep its member operator and supplier partner companies operating when the pandemic hit.

After Schwalb’s review of government relations initiatives, TRSA Vice President of Operations Tom Newell briefed attendees on the current financial state of the association, as well as its outlook moving forward into 2021.

Buik then wrapped up the meeting with a recognition of individuals cycling off the board, as well as an introduction to the board’s new chair, as well as several new officers and directors.

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