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DLI Welcomes 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Newest group of volunteer leaders takes over at drycleaning institute

LAUREL, Md. — The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI), says it welcomes a host of new faces to its governing body. DLI notes it’s Board of Directors recognizes valued contributions and inducts new volunteer leadership each year.


New directors are sworn in as their predecessors move to an executive position or become DLI senators, it adds, an exclusive title for previous members of the Board.


This year’s DLI Board of Directors lineup features:


Chair: Leland Waite, Waite’s Cleaners, Mobile, Ala.;

President: Dennis Schmitt, Lindeman’s Cleaning, Green Bay, Wis.;

President-Elect: Jess Culpepper, CED®, CPD®, CPW®;

 Treasurer: Bobby Patel, Kona Cleaners, Costa Mesa, Calif.;

District 1 Director: Kathy Benzinger, Benzinger’s Dry Cleaning, Hamburg, N.Y.;

District 2 Director: Mark Pollock, Signature Cleaners, Doylestown, Pa.;

District 3 Director: Perry Bullard, CED®, Fabric Care Center, Brunson, S.C.;

District 4 Director: Jeffrey Schwegmann II, CED®, CPD®, CPW®, Sunshine Cleaners, Cold Spring, Ky;

District 5 Director: Ed Longanecker, Iris City Cleaners, Mount Pleasant, Iowa;

District 6 Director: Vacant, see below;

District 7 Director: Vacant, see below;

District 8 Director: Bobby Patel, Kona Cleaners, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Allied Trades Director: Vacant.


Districts 6 and 7 are vacant at this time. The Directors in those positions retired from the drycleaning business before completing their terms, DLI indicates.


Under DLI’s bylaws, it notes, members of the leadership team must be currently active business owners or operators to hold a position on DLI’s Board of Directors. These positions will be filled when the next term begins in each district.




In addition to its Board of Directors, DLI leadership includes a group of District Committee Members (DCMs), it relates.


These volunteers help guide Board policy by providing additional perspectives in each DLI district, DLI explains.


DCMs learn the ins and outs of DLI’s Board meeting style and often choose to become candidates in their district’s election when the present Director’s term elapses. Here’s are the DCMs:


District 1 DCM:

District 2 DCM: Norman Way, Puritan Cleaners, Richmond, Va.;

District 3 DCM: Mark Watkins, Mark’s Quality Cleaners, Birmingham, Ala.;

District 4 DCM: Raymond Kroner, Kroner Dry Cleaners, Cincinnati, Ohio;

District 5 DCM:

District 6 DCM: Richard Thum, Five Star Cleaners, San Antonio, Texas;

District 7 DCM:

District 8 DCM: Sassan Rahimzadeh, Arya Cleaners, Chula Vista, Calif.;

Allied Trades DCM: Bill Odorizzi, Sankosha USA, Elk Grove Village, Ill.


DLI currently has three open DCM positions. DLI Members interested in volunteering for these positions on DLI’s leadership team are invited to contact Mary Scalco, CEO of DLI, at 800-638-2627, or [email protected] for more information.


Here are the DLI Districts, by state:

District 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont;

District 2: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia;

District 3: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee;

District 4: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio;

District 5: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin;

District 6: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas;

District 7: Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington

District 8: California, Hawaii.