This year’s contributors introduce themselves, describe their operations, identify challenges and list their accomplishments for 2009.
Long-Term-Care Laundry: Gary Clifford, Pines of Sarasota, Sarasota, Fla.
I’m the director of environmental services (EVS) for Pines of Sarasota, a long-term-care facility with 204 skilled-nursing beds and a 72-bed assisted-living facility. Our on-premise laundry processes all linen and personal clothing for both facilities, which is nearly 1 million pounds per year.
My experience in long-term-care laundering began in 1995, when I became an EVS director at a 120-bed skilled-nursing facility. I've seen a lot of changes and handled a multitude of challenges over the past 15 years.
Two of the biggest challenges were being involved in a remodeling process with the maintenance department at Pines of Sarasota, and finding ways to provide linen and maintain good quality at another facility that faced a lack of funding. I feel lucky to have been involved with both facilities. My on-the-job experiences have been a valuable education.
It’s an honor to be a member of this panel. I hope to draw upon my experience to give you another way to approach the many challenges of our day-to-day operations.
Consulting Services: Charles Berge, American Laundry Systems, Haverhill, Mass.
I’m the vice president of Eastern regional operations for American Laundry Systems, a division of E&O Mechanical, based in Haverhill, Mass. I’m based in Iowa.
I’ll celebrate my 30th anniversary in the laundry industry next month. It seems like a long time since I answered the newspaper ad for a management trainee position in DeKalb, Ill. I was hired by Means Services, which later was acquired by ARA Services (ARAMARK Uniform Services).
I started as a route sales representative and moved up through the ranks as route manager, district manager, and assistant general manager, working at a number of different facilities in Illinois and Pennsylvania. I was proud to receive many service and sales awards, particularly in customer satisfaction rankings.
Many people think of ARAMARK as a uniform-only company, but when I started with Means, we were more than 70% linens. It was primarily food-and-beverage and hotel linens, but we even covered the healthcare sector.
Beginning in 1996, I managed a Midwest territory covering 10-12 states for Dallas-based Brim Laundry Machinery Co., a manufacturer specializing in open-pocket washer-extractors and dryers from 275 to 600 pounds.
I accepted the position of national sales manager with American Laundry Systems (ALS) in 2005. We’re the sole “laundry only” consulting, engineering, and process mechanical installation company serving this industry. ALS has done numerous projects all over North America, with most of our recent business being in healthcare and hotels. We have crews based out of the New England area, Tennessee, Virginia, Nevada, Washington, and California.
Being a mechanical engineering company helps us to properly engineer the infrastructure of a facility so that it will work efficiently and productively now and in the future. ALS has its own pipe fitters and welders for plant installations, which can be so important in getting wash and finishing equipment to work at their optimum levels. We also manage major projects and are on-site for the duration to assure a seamless transition.
We were busy in 2009 building two new healthcare facilities: Crown Healthcare Linen in Quitman, Ga., and Reino Linen Service in Brownstown, Mich. There were also installation project upgrades at the Hilton San Francisco and the Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa in Houston (both of which you may have read about in American Laundry News), and we oversaw approximately a dozen tunnel installations.
Some of our major consulting work involved productivity and energy-efficiency analyses of the on-premise laundry operations for two hospital networks.
Our latest project, at West Michigan Shared Hospital Laundry in Grand Rapids, Mich., will definitely be the cutting edge of laundries in North America. We’ve designed a “steamless” (no boilers) facility for a laundry operation that will be processing more than 40 million pounds per year. Water recycling will also be used.
Our industry often has a short memory when it comes to utilities. When the price of gas goes way up during the winter, all we can think about is how to reduce that cost. Many operators purchase gas under contract but forget about the cost until it comes due. We have to embrace changes in the way we operate our businesses, and this often means investing in new technology and equipment.
Chemicals Supply: Matt Koloseike, Procter & Gamble Professional, Cincinnati
I’m a customer development manager at Procter & Gamble Professional®, the away-from-home division of The Procter & Gamble Co. Our offerings include complete laundry and cleaning solutions that utilize the power and efficacy of trusted brands, product innovation and deep market knowledge.
I’m responsible for developing and executing business strategies throughout North America, including the expansion of the P&G Pro Line commercial cleaning program and on-premise laundry program featuring Tide.
I join this panel with 12 years of industry experience. For the past five years, I’ve actively led the creation and development of innovative commercial cleaning and laundry solutions, working closely with textile manufacturers, linen providers and linen users. Additionally, I’m a Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) expert certified through ISSA, and provide training and consulting services to P&G Professional customers in complying with changes within the CIMS standard.
Laundering has its challenges, but in order for businesses to maintain a competitive edge they must adhere to the highest standards. This includes the deployment of cleaning technologies that are not only powerful and effective, but also feature neutral-pH wash cycles that are safe for the environment, cleaning staff and guests.
I look forward to contributing to this panel and sharing my insights as a member of a global company that touches the lives of billions of people throughout the world each day.
Our thanks go out to the 2009 Panel of Experts: