CHANDLER, Ariz. — September 23, 2016 — Operator member textile services launderers and associate member suppliers offered rave reviews of TRSA’s Annual Conference (the 2016 event concluded here Wednesday) and gave especially high marks to the new Executive Exchange, sessions of scheduled one-on-one meetings between operators and associates to discuss future collaboration between them.
The event drew 225 textile services professionals, including more than 65 operators from nearly 50 companies. Participating companies in the Exchange numbered about 30 each from the operator and associate memberships.
Both were unaccustomed to the Exchange format, in which meetings took place simultaneously at tables in a large conference room that otherwise would be devoted to associates’ tabletop exhibits. Operators rotated between associates’ Exchange tables for two 2-hour sessions; in total, they could meet with 12 suppliers for 15 to 20 minutes each. “It exceeded my expectations. There were takeaways from every meeting,” observed Liz Remillong, strategic alliance VP, Crothall Healthcare, Wayne, Pa. Such a short period of time for each meeting ensured highly focused and productive discussion, she noted.
From the associate side, Scott Delin, healthcare sales vice president, Fashion Seal, Seminole, Fla., viewed operators recognizing the importance of supply chain matters to increasing their competitiveness. “Everyone’s looking for that one edge. We’re here to provide that edge,” he said, adding that associates benefited from receiving new insights into operators’ emerging business needs.
The conference was also a milestone for TRSA leadership as its top volunteer office (chairman) changed hands as planned, with the completion of the term of Douglas Waldman, CEO, Superior Linen Service, Tulsa, Okla. Elected to fill this post through 2018: David Potack, senior VP, Unitex Textile Rental Services, Mount Vernon, N.Y. Executive Committee and Board of Directors’ seats were also filled.
Keynote presentations highlighted the agenda. Each year, appealing to executives in the highest ranks of textile services operator companies, the conference program covers industry developments and economy-wide business and human resources trends to fuel these organizations’ results-driven strategic planning. Keynoters this year included:
- Capt. Mark Kelly, the combat pilot who became a Space Shuttle commander, shared his experiences as an aviator and family member that influenced his leadership style and philosophies of defining and achieving success.
- Scott Stratten: author, UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. He discussed online and offline methods to stay in front of target audiences, emphasizing listening to customers and validating their concerns as key selling activities.
- Jason Young: author, Culturetopia: Ultimate High Performance Workplace. This Southwest Airlines veteran provided practical, easy-to-implement guidelines for a healthier and more productive and profitable organization culture.
Social events during the Sept. 19-21 conference fostered and renewed professional relationships and took advantage of the conference’s picturesque setting near Phoenix: the Gila River Indian Community, owners of the host hotel, the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. Attendees were treated to hoop dancing and fire juggling displays at outdoor receptions and golfed on the hotel course, which features spectacular mountain views and rolling terrain that preserves vegetation indigenous to the area.
“I liked the venue and it was a great conference,” concluded Leonard McCullough, CEO and owner of Oklahoma’s Linen King textile service. He described the Executive Exchange as productive and very helpful for operators “and it seemed like the vendors got a lot out of it, too.”
Posted September 23, 2016