National Clothesline
Members of the industry’s allied trades rubbed elbows with members of the U.S. Olympic
team during the
Textile Care Allied Trades Association annual conference at the Cheyenne
Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, CO, July 26-29.
At a reception and dinner on Thursday evening at the Olympic team’s training center,
attendees gathered at the country’s main Olympic Training Center, where they mingled with
several Olympians currently in training. The group toured the facility and witnessed a judo
demonstration by four Olympic athletes.
To wrap up the evening, TCATA’s past presidents relayed the Olympic torch to the cauldron
where President Gerald Henke applied the flame to set the cauldron ablaze, lighting the night
The following morning it was down to business with Jade West, the senior vice president of
government relations for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. Her previous
experience as staff director for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee added to her
insider knowledge as she reviewed the first six months of the Trump Administration and the
myriad legislative and regulatory issues in Washington, including a discussion of the “colorful”
political climate.
She spent a significant amount of time answering many questions from attendees.
Next to speak was Krista Clive-Smith, an expert in the fields of branding, organizing and
business, who offered her ideas on how to brand a company to differentiate it from competitors
and how to reinvent a company to stay relevant, current and “future-proof.”
Saturday morning brought the final speaker of the business program. Steve McClatchy,
president of Alleer Training and Consulting, offered many insights into ways to use time more
efficiently and discussed specific, simple technology tools that lead to greater productivity.
The closing dinner on Saturday evening featured a murder mystery in which clues were given
throughout the evening to help solve the murder.
It wouldn’t be a TCATA conference without golf and this year’s tournament, held at the
Colorado Springs Country Club, drew 43 golfers. The first and second place teams, along with
those who won in the categories of longest drive and closest to the pin, were presented with
“Olympic medals” by the four Olympians who performed the judo demonstration at the
Thursday night dinner party at the Olympic Training Center. The first place team included
Fraser Hansen, Lee Lawson, Kristen Vos of R. R. Street & Company, Alex Atwater of A-1
Products, and Chas Atwater, Alex’s son.
The tournament raised $600 towards TCATA’s scholarship fund.
Recognition was also given to companies celebrating membership milestone anniversaries at
the conference. TCATA President Gerald Henke presented awards to Bill Brooks, representing
Alliance Laundry Systems, celebrating 25 years; and Kevin Gavlak, representing Faultless
Laundry Products, celebrating 50 years. Also honored but not present at the conference to
receive their awards were Loomis Brothers Equipment Co. and United Wire Hanger/UWH
Industries, both for 50 years, and Columbia Drycleaning Machines for 25 years.
Two officers were elected at the conference and will begin their two-year terms at next year’s
conference which will be held May 2-5 in Puerto Rico..
Leslie Schaeffer, vice president of BPS Communications, publisher of National Clothesline,
was elected president elect. She started with the company as a delivery driver 34 years ago
and now manages the day-to-day operations of BPS and National Clothesline, in addition to
managing trade shows for the Pennsylvania and Delaware Cleaners Association, the California
Cleaners Association and the South Eastern Fabricare Association.
She has been active in TCATA for many years, serving on the annual conference site planning
committee, as chair of the membership committee, and previously on the board of directors.
John Silverman, president and owner of Tschopp Supply, was elected treasurer-elect. His
firm, based in Buffalo, NY, was founded by his grandfather in 1945 and he has been with the
company since 1989.
Silverman currently serves on the TCATA board of directors, the membership committee, and
has served on the conference business program committee.

TCATA reaches for Olympic gold