For years, NAILM boards have been attempting to change the name of the National Association of Institutional Linen Management, but each and every time the membership virtually turned down the recommendations of the board or the board just felt it was not worth the debate with the membership.
For something so critical, it would be nice to get the NAILM membership to participate – both regular members and associates, rather than only a minority, similar to national elections.
As a member of those boards for many years, I believe it is essential that a name change take place. When you break down the status quo name, here are some things that come to mind.
The word “National” is inappropriate, as the organization is clearly international in scope.
The word “Institutional” is incorrect, probably because of a misinterpretation as to what this word really means.
The word “Linen,” which relates to a type of fabric, is totally in need of replacement. “Textiles” is really the appropriate word, if the association is heading in that direction.
For a professional organization, the terms “Association” and “Management” are inappropriate when used together.
NAILM needs to be careful when changing its name. It must remember that the strong educational arm is simply an educational arm, and to not forget that it is a professional organization with constituents representing many segments of the textile care industry.
It should also make every effort to distinguish the name so that it is very much different from other organizations.
Speaking as one who has tackled this effort previously, a very tough job that impacts many elements of an existing organization is ahead. Financial implications and perception as to how such a change affects an organization are key.
Vice President, Government Health Systems