Two long-time industry stalwarts, Doris Easley and Kenney Slatten, have
Easley, now 92, started in the industry with her husband in 1945 but her intense
did not begin until 1968 when she struck out on her own to run the business
while raising three
“From 1945 until 1968, we never attended any conventions or seminars,” she said. “In 1968
when I took on the business by myself I realized I had everything to learn.
“I began attending every workshop, seminar and convention… to learn about stain removal,
cleaning, finishing and the use of the equipment and, even more important,
customer service. In
a man’s world I was taken in and treated with such respect and they were so helpful in
answering my questions.”
In the years since, Easley was a constant presence at industry gatherings, not
but also sharing what she had learned with others.
Along the way, she became the first woman to serve on the board of directors if
Dry Cleaners Association and the first woman president of the International Dry
Congress. She also served on the board that governed licensing for drycleaners
for the California
Department of Consumer Affairs while it existed in the 1980s.
“Sadly, many people in the drycleaning business do not take advantage of this
opportunity to attend the meetings and conventions and to learn new techniques
and hear from
so many skilled people,” she said.
Although retiring she is not disappearing. “I still look forward to continuing to attend the
conventions so I can keep in touch with all my wonderful friends I’ve made along the way in my
successful journey of drycleaning,” she says.
Kenney Slatten’s journey started with his grandfather at Slatten Cleaners in DeRidder, LA. The
elder Slatten moved to Houston where he became “head silk spotter” at the once famous Rice
Hotel. He gained another mentor during the 1970s in the form of his
father-in-law who owned
cleaning businesses in Houston. He eventually owned and operated six store and
Houston in the 1970s.
He sold those businesses and became a trainer to two major drycleaning
began as an independent consultant in 1987. He went on the become a certified
the International Fabricare Institute in the 1990s, specializing in
environmental work, which he
carried over to become an instructor for the state of California’s environmental licensing
In recent years he has served as executive director of the Western States
Launderers Association and has been a board member of the Drycleaning and
and a member of the Cleaners and Launderers Association executives while writing
article for the Cleaner & Launderer trade publication.
He said he decided to hang up his trademark cowboy hat and park his boots now
health prevents him from traveling.