More than 200 individuals from 18 countries recently attended the 60th Maytag Commercial Laundry Annual Meeting and Awards Recognition at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. The event included a look at the company’s new multi-load washer, product insights and industry trends, the Whirlpool Commercial Portal, and an overview of Maytag’s marketing support and programs.
“It’s exciting to witness a tradition as rich and storied as the Maytag Annual Meeting,” said Whirlpool Global Service Manager Randy Karn, who has attended 33 of the last 60 Maytag Annual Meetings. “It’s an event that has evolved over the years, based on locations, trends in the industry and customers’ needs, but the ideals on which it was founded have remained steadfast. That is to celebrate our successes, communicate with our customers and honor the brand’s achievements.”
“The Annual Meeting adds value to our relationship with Maytag Commercial Laundry,” explained Malcolm Caldwell, vice president of sales and marketing at Harco Co. Ltd. “We look at the Annual Meeting as a comprehensive overview – allowing us to learn about the year’s brand goals and objectives, examine products, share experiences with our peers, and perhaps most importantly gain insights that help us capture sales and grow our business.”
A key component of this annual meeting has always been the learning and exchanging of industry knowledge, according to Maytag.
“Whether structured as workshops, product demos or peer discussions, the goal is to form a foundation of success for Maytag Commercial Laundry distributors, route operators and team members,” noted Chad Lange, sales director of commercial laundry for Whirlpool Corp. “In addition, it provides our customers with a chance to talk with brand leadership and hear about future plans for the brand.”
Richard and Susan LaMaina of Equipment Marketers, based in Cherry Hill, N.J., said they look forward to the meeting for the camaraderie, the product knowledge and the opportunity to learn from other distributors. The Lamainas attended their first annual meeting in 1978.
“As a Maytag Commercial Laundry distributor for more than 60 years, we appreciate the opportunity each year to learn first-hand about the brand’s strategic plans for products and enhancements being made to product lineups,” Richard LaMaina said. “The event provides a chance for hands-on experiences, product demonstrations and key service topics, all of which help us to run our business more efficiently and successfully.”
LaMania added that he has seen the annual gatherings evolve over the years but the focus on service, training and product knowledge has remained the foundation for each meeting.
“The meetings have always been service-oriented,” he explained. “Maytag brings the meetings to different locations and works with the distributors to provide a lot of service training. The brand would tear down products and share with the distributors everything about those products.”
In addition to educational opportunities, the Maytag Annual Meeting has been known for offering a center stage to celebrate commitment and dedication within the industry. During this year’s 60th Fred Maytag Awards Dinner, Maytag recognized the hard work that went into the past year and outstanding customer performances were acknowledged:
- Taking home the most coveted and prestigious accolade, Excellence Appliance Technologies, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines, won the Fred Maytag Award. This honor is presented to the customer that best emulates the founder’s marketing philosophy and supports the Maytag Commercial Laundry brand with salesmanship, professionalism and integrity. Established by Fred Maytag in 1959, this tribute recognizes a Maytag Commercial Laundry provider for outstanding achievements and remarkable performance.
- CLE Malaysia, based in Kuala Lampur, was honored with the Maytag Commercial Laundry Vended Excellence Award. This honor is reserved for the distributor that best serves its vended store customers with effective and efficient service.
- Hercules Corp. of Hicksville, N.Y., was recognized as the Quality Partner of the Year, which honors a distributor for its collaboration and dedication to Maytag Commercial Laundry, as well as its commitment to advancing the commercial laundry industry.
- Honoring achievements in the development and implementation of marketing and sales programs, along with supporting overall Maytag offerings, Harco Co. Ltd of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, was presented the Marketing Excellence Award.
- SEBCO Laundry Systems of Raritan, N.J., was presented with the Red Carpet Service Award, which recognizes excellent service and dependability characterized by Maytag Commercial Laundry.
- Winning the International Distributor of the Year Award, PT Triton Internasional of Jakarta, Indonesia, was recognized for its service, dependability, strong sales and support of Maytag Commercial Laundry products outside of the U.S. and Canadian markets.
- CSC ServiceWorks, headquartered in Plainview, N.Y., was presented with the Multi-Housing Excellence Award. This award praises exemplary service to the niche market of colleges and universities, condominiums, and apartment buildings.
- The Maytag Commercial Laundry Outstanding First Year Performer was Aqualys of Paris, France. This award is reserved for the distributor that put forth great commitment to multi-housing sales and the Maytag brand in its first year.
- Richard Jay, with locations throughout Australia, received the International Multi-Housing Excellence Award. This award recognizes companies from global markets that exhibit excellence in business growth and customer service within the multi-housing industry.
“The accomplishments we have achieved thus far as a brand have been attainable thanks to the tremendous dedication and support of our customers,” Lange stated. “Collaboration is vital. We are not only proud of the successes we have achieved together with our reputable distributors over the past 60 years, but even more excited to witness what the future holds.”