PHOENIX — The 16 members of The Round Table of Launderers and Dry Cleaners gathered this spring for their 77th annual idea exchange, to address mutual concerns and discuss industry trends.
The Round Table was founded in 1940 by Herb Koch, Lee Workman and Barrett Finn, industry leaders of that era who called for a “Sales Managers Pow-Wow” in Allentown, Pa.
This unique organization encourages collaboration over completion, and includes top laundry, linen, industrial and drycleaning executives whose companies “have developed the best practices in the industry,” Round Table officials say.
Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners, hosted this year’s “Member’s Update” session, providing a forum in which industry leaders go beyond what they’ve achieved within their organizations.
In this “non-sales” session, Zengeler says, each executive is also asked to share what’s new in both their personal and family life, as well.
Each Round Table session during the five-day conference is led by a different company, an approach that further promotes the concept of learning from each other.
Every day offers a different topic, says Zengeler, resulting in a comprehensive lineup of cutting-edge ideas on topics ranging from strategic vision and future strategies, new technology, new store design, remodeling existing facilities and marketing, just to name a few.
“Listening to how our peers have success with their companies is important, of course,” says Zengeler. “At the same time, we can learn even more by understanding how successful operators are able to balance the demands of running a business while maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends.”
The Member’s Update “provides each of us with great perspective on these important life skills,” he adds. “It was an honor to lead this valuable discussion at this year’s meeting.”
The 78th Round Table will convene in Aruba in March, with Gary Glover of Puritan Cleaners chairing the meeting.