Another year has come and gone faster than I could have imagined. Many times, I think about my mother, who is in her 90s, talking about how “time flies by so fast” that she couldn’t imagine how it could ever get any faster the next year – but that it always does.

What does that mean for us? Simply… make every moment count.

First, attend the Coin Laundry Association’s big events – Excellence in Laundry and the Clean Show. Second, participate in the new CLA Connect LIVE program, with more than 50 events scheduled across the U.S. in 2019. Third, take time to read and reflect on articles in this publication and other business journals to help build your knowledge base. Fourth, attend your local distributor and manufacturer events. Following this course of action will make all of us better businesspeople.

As we move into 2019, I’d like to thank all of our CLA members, along with my peers on the CLA Board of Directors, for the support of our organization. Over the last 25 years, I’ve rarely missed a CLA meeting, event or show. My friends often ask, “Why are you going to another one of those things?” And my answer has always been the same – because I always learn something new or pick up an idea that helps me run my business more profitably. Knowledge is king. 

It’s been a very busy year. The CLA Board has been working hard to present the association’s members with a number programs to boost their businesses and lift the industry – including the organization’s online forum, the CLA Connect LIVE program, legislative monitoring, the Stop Laundry Tax initiative, the fine work of the LaundryCares Foundation and much more. In addition, there are several other new ideas and projects in the pipeline.

This year, LaundryCares hosted a number of successful free laundry days. Of course, many of these events also focused on early childhood literacy and learning, thanks to partnerships with Too Small to Fail, ReadyNation and Libraries Without Borders.

What’s more, the industry continues to grow, as vended laundries become even more environmentally friendly with the addition of today’s high-efficiency washers and dryers. My personal experience proves that business and profits grow when you invest in your own future by retooling your store.

Also, laundries in many markets are becoming so much more than just facilities with washers and dryers. They are emerging as places in which community residents can meet, interact and, in some cases, spend time reading books from the store’s library. 

Looking ahead, Clean 2019 will be held June 20-23 in New Orleans. However, on June 19, LaundryCares will host a free laundry day at a store in the Crescent City. This event will feature a keynote presentation and will be an ideal opportunity to learn more about giving back to the community you serve. Of course, throughout the Clean Show, the CLA will present several educational seminars for those owners interested in staying on top of today’s fast-moving business environment. 

Overall, the economy remains strong, and interest rates have risen only a small amount. Clean 2019 will be the perfect time to study the latest equipment, products and services to take your business to the next level. Set up a plan now to improve your store. Set your goals for next year and put that plan into action.

Lastly, I want to thank the CLA Board members for their hard work this past year. It was another busy year for all, and their dedication is truly appreciated. In addition, a big thank-you to all of the association’s members for their support. I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity to have served as your chairman. Thank you one and all for the opportunities that have presented themselves over the last 10 years.

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