Laundry industry veteran Herald Birchfield recently announced his retirement after nearly 50 years in the business.

Birchfield began his laundry career selling washers and dryers in the 1970s. He and his wife, Nancy, ran the Maytag Commercial Laundry Division of Ahrens & McCarron in St. Louis. Then, in 1999, Herald joined Vend-Rite Manufacturing.

“I had sold Vend-Rite’s soap venders to my customers for years, so when Vend-Rite had an opening, I took it,” Birchfield noted. “I really have enjoyed being able to work with the distributors and the store owners.”

Because of his passion for the industry, the decision to retire has been a difficult one, Herald admitted. However, at 76, he has decided to slow down and spend more time with Nancy and his family.

“I’ve enjoyed all of the relationships I have developed over the years in this industry,” Birchfield said. “I definitely will miss seeing all of my friends on the road during show season – but it’s time.”

Herald and Nancy reside in Lakeland, Fla.

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