Pictured above: The CLA would like to send a big thank you to its most loyal Connect LIVE attendee, King Lee (left) of Dexter Laundry Inc., who attended the most events in 2019!

The new CLA Connect LIVE program officially launched this past January – with the goal of holding more meetings in more places for more people. And, in fact, the CLA held 44 events in 18 different states with nearly 800 attendees, marking the most meetings in the association’s history!

“As a new laundry owner, it was great to hear the perspective of others and industry leaders,” explained David Kiernan of Andora Laundromat in Philadelphia.

The new program boasted 23 speakers, who presented on such critical and timely topics as wash-dry-fold, digital marketing, industry trends and best practices, utility management, payment systems, and more.

“My husband and I bought a brand new laundromat three weeks ago and are definitely thinking of adding WDF services,” noted Connecticut store owner Cheryl Mahoney, after attending an event focused on wash-dry-fold. “This experience was great and gave us exceptional ideas to go ahead and do it!”

In all, the feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I like the events and always learn something,” said Ken Weddig, who owns Hilltop Laundry in Kewaskum, Wis. “It’s nice to speak with other owners as to what they do in different situations.”

Based on meeting evaluations collected at each event, the events have averaged between 4 and 5 – on a scale of 1 to 5 – for attendee satisfaction of the event.

“I’ve been in the industry since 1984 and came away with some great ideas and changes to improve my business,” stated Scott Vlahos of Advantage Equipment Inc. in Akron, Ohio.

Scott Lowery of The Laundry Room in Rome, Ga., concurred with Vlahos.

“This meeting was the best one I have attended since becoming a CLA member,” he said. “I was able to take away techniques and put them into effect the very next day. Your years of knowledge can help a newcomer grow their business tenfold.”

The CLA would like to thank all of the speakers who volunteered their time, along with the attendees who participated in the program this year. And, of course, Connect LIVE could not have succeeded without the generous support of its sponsors: Statewide Laundry Equipment, Laundry Systems of the Carolinas, 4WARD Energy Solutions, Gulf States Laundry Machinery Co., Laundry Equipment Services Inc., Coin-O-Matic and Yankee Equipment Systems.

The CLA will offer laundry owners a full slate of Connect LIVE events in 2020, and the association has even made a few tweaks to improve the program next year. These changes include adding new events in Texas, Tennessee and northern California, as well as creating a new CLA Connect LIVE “Plus” event that will feature an evening reception and then a full educational program the following day. There will be two of these new events held in the Midwest in April and June.

“Dreams and goals gain perspective, strategy and momentum at a live event in a way that doesn’t happen through reading a blog or social media,” pointed out Cheryl Arrington of Washing Well in Hephzibah, Ga. “Thank you, CLA, for supporting laundry owners through quality regional events like these.”

Dates and locations for all 2020 CLA Connect LIVE events are at: www.coinlaundry.org/claconnectlive.

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