Meet the Coin Laundry Association Team

The Staff at the CLA

Our staff is here to support you and bring you one step closer to your goals. If you have questions, please contact us!

We can answer questions about the Coin Laundry Association, how to take advantage of CLA benefits, or the self-service laundry industry. 

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP

Brian Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer | View Profile
Michael Sokolowski, Chief Operating Officer | View Profile

MEMBERSHIP

Christina Gonzalez, Administrative &  Membership Services Manager | Se habla Español | View Profile

Tanisha Moore, Membership Services ManagerView Profile

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Richard Cruz, Director of Marketing & Online Development | View Profile

PLANETLAUNDRY

Bob Nieman, Editor | View Profile
Jennifer Gabris, Graphic Design Manager | View Profile
Nika Thomas, Media Sales Coordinator & Classified Ad Sales | View Profile


Meet the Staff

Jennifer GabrisJennifer Gabris
Graphic Design Manager
jennifer@planetlaundry.com


Originally from Northern Michigan, Jennifer joined the Coin Laundry Association in February 2007. She earned a bachelor’s degree in visual communications from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan and is responsible for the design and layout of the monthly PlanetLaundry magazine and the twice-a-year Regionals. Jennifer also works closely with the Marketing Director to design CLA marketing materials. She likes to read, travel with her husband, and walk her yellow lab, Barley.

  • I've lived in 4 different states
  • I used to design rug patterns
  • I've walked across the Mackinac bridge, the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world

Christina GonzalezChristina Gonzalez | Se habla Español
Administrative & Membership Services Manager
christina@coinlaundry.org


A native of Westmont, IL, Christina joined the Coin Laundry Association in April 2012. She graduated magna cum laude from DeVry University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in small business and entrepreneurship. She recently graduated with honors from Lewis University with her MBA with a minor in international business. The CLA is Christina’s first experience with association life and she manages the association’s daily and monthly accounting, CRM database and supports the CLA’s membership team. When she isn’t busy, Christina enjoys spending time with her husband and son as well as family and friends, reading and watching horror movies.

  • My favorite shows are on the History, Science, and SyFy Channels
  • I would love to travel to Spain and see the city of Barcelona with my husband
  • No shame in loving the 2016 World Champions Chicago Cubs! Go Cubs!

Tanisha%20Photo.JPGTanisha Moore
Membership Services Manager
tanisha@coinlaundry.org

Originally from Chicago,Tanisha joined the Coin Laundry Association in January 2015. Tanisha grew up traveling the U.S. with her family until finally making their way back “home” to Illinois in 1995. Tanisha studied business management at DeVry University. Her work history ranges from restaurant to property management. She has more than 15 years of administrative and customer service experience. In her spare time, she enjoys indulging in some of her favorite things - music, poetry, reading and good meal.

  • My favorite genre of music is neo-soul, and I also love taking in live music.
  • If I could be anything in the world, I would be a journalist/TV anchorwoman.
  • I hope to one day be brave enough to skydive.

Bob NiemanBob Nieman
PlanetLaundry Editor
bob@planetlaundry.com
Follow Bob on Twitter: @planetlaundry

A native of Chicago, Bob joined the Coin Laundry Association in 2002 as the editor of PlanetLaundry. Prior to joining the CLA, he held editorial positions with the Bowling Proprietors Association of America, the National Sporting Goods Association and American Nurseryman Publishing Co. Bob earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Bob writes and edits the majority of the content appearing in the association’s monthly magazine, as well as on PlanetLaundry.com – and is responsible for the overall editorial direction of the PlanetLaundry brand. He lives in Chicago’s western suburbs with his wife and their two daughters.


Michael Sokolowski | Chief Operating Officer

Michael Sokolowski
Chief Operating Officer
michael@coinlaundry.org


A native of Chicago, Michael joined the Coin Laundry Association in 2002 and is the association’s Chief Operating Officer. He is a former owner of two large Chicago laundries and has been in the industry since 1992. Previously, he has served as President of the Illinois Coin Laundry Association and on the Coin Laundry Association Board of Directors. Michael has vast experience counseling new and potential investors. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and being active outdoors.

  • I spend many weekends cheering on my daughter at gymnastics and competitive cheerleading events
  • People might be surprised to know that I eat an english muffin with almond butter every morning
  • My favorite hobbies are bike riding after work and working in my yard and garden

Nika ThomasNika Thomas
Media Sales Coordinator & Classified Ad Sales
sales@planetlaundry.com

Originally from Chicago, Nika joined Coin Laundry Association in August 2013 as the Media Sales/Classified Ads Coordinator. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Elmhurst College.  At CLA, Nika oversees the production schedule for all print and digital ads, manages classified ad accounts, and activates new campaigns for our websites. She works closely with Michael Sokolowski (Chief Operating Officer) regarding advertising-related tasks. Nika enjoys taking fitness classes, shopping, and spending time with friends & family.

  • One of my goals in life is to be able to travel to every state and some of the countries in the world
  • Most people would describe me as happy, outgoing and energetic
  • What I would like to do as a second career is become a mortician and own a funeral home (I’m not a creepy person!)

Brian Wallace | Chief Executive OfficerBrian Wallace
President and Chief Executive Officer
brian@coinlaundry.org
Follow Brian on Twitter:@brian_wallace

Originally from Chicago, Brian joined the Coin Laundry Association in 1992 and assumed the role of CEO in June 1999. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northern Illinois University. A leader in the self-service laundry industry for over 20 years, Brian has led more than 600 educational seminars and penned numerous articles on all things related to self-service laundry management. Brian currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Clean Show - the world’s largest exhibition of laundry equipment and services.  He is Past-President of Cleaning & Laundry Association Executives (CLAE), and is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Association Forum of Chicagoland. In his time “off the road,” Brian resides outside of Chicago in Elmhurst, IL with his wife Julia and daughter Beatrix.

  • Over the past 10 years, I have flown an average of 100,000 miles per year traveling to laundry industry events and visiting with CLA members
  • I'm a regular attendee at Opening Day for both the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears
  • My music collection numbers more than 5,000 albums
  • I take an annual fishing trip with friends in the laundry business

Sandra Wright | Membership Engagement ManagerRich Cruz
Director of Marketing and Online Development
richard@coinlaundry.org

Rich hails from Chicago’s South Side and attended St. Rita Grammar School and St. Rita High School. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in Visual Art and an MBA from Capella University. He has worked in a variety of industries including non-profit, publishing, manufacturing, construction, CPG, and eCommerce. He owned and operated a graphics company and received the Business Ledger’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award in 2008. Rich has consulted dozens of organizations on their digital marketing, has built over 115 websites, and he’s certified in Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, and Contextual Marketing. He lives in Palos Heights, IL with his wife (an award-winning music teacher), their three kids, their Chihuahua Pixie, and their Giant Day Gecko Yoda.

  • Percussion is my main “axe”, but I love playing a wide variety of music on guitar, harmonica, Native American-style flute, keyboard, and even the didgeridoo.
  • While I’ve never been a Scout, I’ve been a Scout leader for ten years, and I am a “Wood Badger” (my “critter” is the Eagle).
  • I enjoy making art, especially drawing cartoons.