Continuing to Do Well by Doing Good

By James Whitmore, CLA Member posted 05-31-2017 11:53

Thank you for the continuing privilege of serving you as the chair of the Coin Laundry Association’s Board of Directors. Here we are at mid-year – our financial results for the first two quarters are in… and summer is upon us.

The reports are in from Minding Your Business, the consultants hired late last fall to conduct a broad-based review of all aspects of the CLA’s work. I want to thank all of you who participated in the MYB surveys, direct interviews and the “brand belief” session. The CLA staff, board members and other volunteers continue to review MYB’s findings, looking to chart the CLA’s future course. Our path going forward will be informed by a deeper knowledge and understanding of what you value, and a clearer sense of what is at the core of our mission to serve you.

MYB’s report noted that PlanetLaundry, our award-winning industry publication, tops the list of the CLA’s valued services. Opportunities to meet and connect – at the Clean Show, the Excellence in Laundry conference, regional distributor shows, CLA affiliate meetings and free laundry events hosted by the LaundryCares Foundation – follow closely behind. In addition, providing exposure to industry best practices is highly valued.

The brand belief session revealed the underpinnings of who we are and why we do what we do. Volunteers who coordinate CLA-sponsored events across the country – such as free laundry days, produced either by our LaundryCares Foundation or Jason Sowell’s Laundry Project – report a profound sense of connection to their communities, along with a new understanding of the valuable essential service that vended laundries provide to the neighborhoods, cities and regions in which their customers live and work. Those who have been part of these events at the ground level report an awakened sense of social responsibility and connection, as well as being re-empowered to serve, give back and honor others.

These valuable takeaways remind us all that contributing in this way is an experience to treasure, a gift we give ourselves. I have no doubt that when we honor our customers with facilities and services that reflect our commitment to serve all with dignity and respect, we too are served.

“Doing well by doing good” – I encourage you to take this to heart and to take ownership of this vital role you play in service to the full range of your community partners, from supply chain corporate manufacturer to the families of every laundry customer.

At a recent CLA Board meeting, I toasted the CLA staff. I extended to them a special “thank you” for their good work and reminded them:

“When it’s tough at work and getting through the day just to please CEO Brian Wallace is not enough, remember that you’re really working for and serving the laundry customers and their local communities. Although Brian may sign the checks, the real personal payoff is the serious quality of life difference you make for the millions of people served by our industry.”

To all of you involved with the CLA in whatever way, thank you for all you do. Have a great summer and enjoy the fruits of your good work!


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