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Spector puts solar power to work in manufacturing
Spector Textile Products of Lawrence, MA, has taken a turn towards green production practices with the installation of a 365-kilowatt solar power system for its manufacturing facility.
Spector rented its roof space to Soltas Energy, a company that builds photovoltaic solar power plants. With the conversion to solar energy along with customer dissatisfaction regarding imports, Howard Spector, president of Spector Textile Products, realized the company had the ability to produce a new laundry bag for the laundry and drycleaning supply market. He said the company’s USA-MADE brand of laundry bags are the first of their kind to have a zero carbon footprint in the manufacturing process.
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“Spector Textile Products is committed to supporting American-made products while using 100-percent “green” solar energy,” said Spector. “We are invested in our community, and provide jobs and opportunity for our neighbors. Our USA-MADE laundry bags are environmentally responsible and support what Americans value most — sustainable living and a thriving US economy.”
The USA MADE brand of recyclable laundry bags are manufactured with domestically sourced fabric and thread that is of a quality that allows Spector to offer a 12-month guarantee on the bags. If anything breaks or tears, the customer can have it repaired or replaced at no cost. To help ensure that the company’s bags are recycled, Spector Textile Products is offering a rebate of ten cents for every worn-out bag returned for recycling.
For many years, the company has manufactured laundry bags and mesh wash nets for the institutional laundry and drycleaning trade. Over the last several years, with many overseas textile plants closing, the company said it has been difficult to get consistency in the color and quality of the nylon fabrics used to make the laundry bags and nets. With the launch of USA MADE Laundry Bags, Spector Textile Products can offer consistency of fabric and color.

Zengeler collects 2,300 coats for vets
More than 2,300 winter coats and jackets, along with dozens of gloves, scarves and other winter apparel, were collected for local veterans during the “Coats for Vets” collection spearheaded by Libertyville Rotary Sunrise in cooperation with Zengeler Cleaners’ two Libertyville, IL, stores.
In recognition of their longstanding support for “Coats for Vets,” the Zengeler family was presented with the Seven Seals Award, the highest civilian honor awarded by veterans’ organizations. The award was presented to Robert Zengeler, Sr., Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners, and Tom’s son, Andrew, at a Jan. 30 meeting of Libertyville Rotary Sunrise at Lambs Farm in Libertyville. Allen Lynch, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, presented the award.
Speaking on behalf of his family, Tom Zengeler acknowledged the support of volunteer businesses, but most importantly the support of the Rotary Club.
“The success of the drive was due to the combined efforts of many individuals and companies,” said Zengeler. “With so many American veterans finding it difficult to find meaningful employment in today’s economy, it was an easy decision for our family to get behind ‘Coats for Vets.’  We’re honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of everyone who donated to the cause.”
Lynch received the Medal of Honor following his service as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He settled in Gurnee, IL, and worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he advocated increased benefits for disabled veterans. He later served as chief of the Illinois Attorney General's Veterans Rights Bureau until his retirement in 2005. He currently volunteers at the Veteran's Assistance Commission of Lake County in Waukegan, IL.
Zengeler Cleaners’ two Libertyville stores served as drop-off locations for the donations. After the items were collected, Zengeler Cleaners inspected, repaired as needed and cleaned every donated item.  They also supported the effort by delivering the clothing.
Due to the tremendous support for the collection drive, half of the items were delivered in time for Veterans Day on November 11; the remainder were delivered at a later date, allowing the drive to reach an even larger number of needy veterans.

Union promotes Rathbun to service tech
Union Drycleaning Products, USA, has promoted Jeff Rathbun to service technician.
Rathbun, who has been with Union for more than six years, has an extensive electrical background and holds a refrigeration license.
He is familiar with Union drycleaning machines and will answer technical questions from users who call him at (800) 433-9401.

Super Laundry acquires RAF Equipment
Super Laundry of Woodbury, NY, has expanded its presence in New Jersey by acquiring RAF Equipment, based in Nutley, NJ, enhancing its focus on expanding its commercial and on-premise laundry presence in New Jersey and the tri-state area.
RAF and Super Laundry will combine their operations in Linden, NJ. Dick Luca of Super Laundry will head the combined firm.
“I have worked with Dick over the last 30 years and we both know that taking care or our customers, our employees and bringing years of technical expertise to our customers will be critical as our partnership moves forward,” said Ray Fusco, Sr., president of RAF Equipment. “My son, Ray Jr., and I look forward to carrying on this dedication to customer service and industry expertise.”
Mike Stanky, COO of Coinmach Service Corp., the parent company of Super Laundry, added, “With over 55 years of experience, RAF understands that integrity and a core belief in quality service are critical to customers. With our shared business values, the critical focus on the customer and our superior purchasing power, the combination of RAF and Super Laundry will position us as a market leader for years to come.”
RAF Equipment can now be contacted at (800) 992-7269.

CLA elects new board members
Michael Finkelstein and Ted Ristaino have been elected to the board of directors of the Coin Laundry Association. CLA’s board is comprised of members who volunteer to represent the majority of the membership in the association’s policy and decision-making processes.
Finkelstein is a multi-store laundry owner based in Danville, VA. He serves as the president and CEO of Associated Services Corporation. In the past seven years, he has participated on CLA panels on multi-store issues.
Ristaino is president of Yankee Equipment Systems Inc., a distributor specializing in equipment for several of industries. His nearly 45 years of involvement in the industry includes 20 years as an active member of CLA’s New England chapter, attending quarterly, annual and local NECLA meetings. As a NECLA board member, he has rewritten laws, retained a state lobbyist and has enhanced the relationship between NECLA and CLA members.
Six additional candidates were re-elected to the board for the 2013 term. They are Jeffrey Barman, Deborah Dower, Joel Jorgensen, Ron Kelley, George Pierce and James Whitmore.
CLA is a non-profit trade association of laundry owners, distributors and manufacturers.

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