National Clothesline
With coronavirus restrictions on travel and group gatherings, industry groups are opting to
hold meetings online instead of outright cancellations.
Methods for Management said it is using video conferencing platforms like Zoom so members
of its consulting groups can connect to their scheduled meetings from any location and interact
with one another in the same way a person-to-person meeting would work. The agenda and
format of the meeting can remain relatively the same as a typical on-location meeting would
work, MFM said. 
In addition to its second quarter scheduled meetings, the group is having weekly all-member
Zoom meetings, where concerns and strategies regarding navigating through COVID-19 can be
discussed and shared between members.
“Given our current climate, we're seeing that now more than ever, and our members need the
support and camaraderie these meetings can offer,” MFM said, adding that it will continue to
remain in close contact with members and will seek creative ways to stay connected, informed,
and up-to-date daily.
MFM is facilitated by Kermit Engh who has been an owner/operator in the drycleaning industry
for over 28 years and a member of MFM for more than 24 years.
Cancellation of its spring affiliate meeting didn’t stop affiliates of America’s Best Cleaners from
gathering, at least virtually.
The spring meeting, which was to be hosted by Puritan Cleaners in Richmond, VA, instead
turned into a Happy Hour hosted over Zoom for all ABC affiliates who gathered to grab a friendly
drink and stay connected although apart.
ABC was set to mark its 20th anniversary at the meeting and expected it to be the best
attended in its history.
“One of the biggest disappointments of the COVID-19 crisis thus far has been the inevitable
postponement of the ABC spring affiliate meeting,” ABC said. “Regardless, the celebration will be
rescheduled for later in the year once the curve has flattened. The safety of every ABC affiliate is
paramount, so postponing the meeting was a difficult but necessary decision.”
Crystal Doaifi of ABC affiliate Power Cleaners in Lake Forest, CA, lauded ABC’s leadership.
“When COVID-19 hit and business slowed down drastically, it really took a toll on our company
spirit,” she said. “Having the opportunity to be a part of America's Best Cleaners is rewarding in
the best of times. But this crisis really showed us what the group is all about, she said.
Chris White, ABC executive director, started weekly Zoom meetings as a group to discuss
issues, collaborate on ideas, and so on.
“It changed our entire perspective. We no longer felt alone — we had a group of people who
came together to innovate faster than ever before. Simply just talking about concerns with
people who can relate to the industry made all the difference. Honestly without this group,
without our weekly meetings, and without the motivation and support that everyone provides
every day of this crisis, we would have felt much worse,” she said. 

Groups finding meeting alternatives