Tyler Joins American Laundry News as Web-Exclusive Columnist

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — American Laundry News welcomes industry veteran Ken Tyler as a columnist whose work for the magazine will appear exclusively at beginning next month.
Tyler is the vice president of government health systems for Georgia-based Encompass LLC, a manufacturer and marketer of woven and nonwoven products for the healthcare and hospitality industries.
But he may be best known for managing the entire textile and laundry operations for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for 23 years. Earlier, he was the director of textile and uniform operations for the Department of the Navy, where he was responsible for all fleet and base laundry operations. He retired from the VA in 2000, ending 35 years of government service.
A decorated combat veteran, Tyler also retired from the U.S. Marine Corps with 27 years of total service.
Tyler planned and managed the design and construction of some 57 VA laundries and consolidated operations that resulted in cost benefits reaching $250 million. He established quality standards for laundry system inspections. He received numerous awards, including special recognitions from U.S. presidents.
Today, he remains active through his role with Encompass, as well as serving on the Government and Healthcare committees of the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA), the board of directors for the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) and an industry liaison group for the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES).
Tyler has long been an educator. He’s written many laundry-related articles, taught management courses all over the world and made presentations before many industry associations and groups.
And now he brings his vast credentials to He’ll be writing about education, communication and the impact that industry has had on textile care. One month, he may describe how to build a laundry. The next, he’ll share a lesson about learning from a mistake. Chiefly, Tyler wants those in the industry to know how to grow their careers and remain in the industry.
So, how has textile care changed?
“It’s more complicated and more unique,” Tyler says. “The degrees of automation, energy conservation, chemistry, transportation and textile technology, and the responsibilities of laundry managers, have changed dramatically.
“Communication stimulated by computerization has been the major change. Managers are available to communicate more effectively, both with peers and with others responsible. The major challenge that exists is that responsible positions in the industry still lack comparable diversity (female and minority) to other like industries.”
Where is the industry going?
“In a positive direction on the equipment side, there is much more to be developed. The textile industry is being challenged due to massive outsourcing that has transpired in the last 15 years. Education in this area requires a renewed emphasis at the collegiate and other educational levels. Textile experts and technologists are disappearing. In all facets of the industry, educating the consumer must become a revitalized effort on the part of educators and manufacturers.”
Tyler promises to take an out-of-the-box approach and deal directly with controversial topics in his column titled The Ins and Outs. It’s a unique perspective, and one that you’ll only find here at

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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