Cleaning & Restoration Industry News

Southern Hospitality Spells ‘MSPCA’

Thanks to the efforts of the exhibitors, speakers, convention committee, board of directors and especially the attendees, the 25th Annual Mid-South Professional Cleaners Association convention and trade show was a success!

Karen Pettyjohn accepts the Dick Bernson Award for her dedication to the MSPCA.

The 2001-2002 MSPCA Board of Directors is introduced to convention attendees.
Everyone had a great time and especially loved the hotel. The facilities were beautiful and were unsurpassed by none.

The week started off with the new IICRC Floor Care Technician course taught by ICS Cleaning Specialist columnist Bob Merkt, Merkt Education Group. Everyone enjoyed this class and is awaiting their test results!

Thursday started off early with our annual golf tournament sponsored by Sun-Belt USA. The rain didn’t deter these diehard golfers. They had a great time at the Bide-A-Wee golf course. Trophy winners included: Herb Stutts of CleanSource, with closest to the pin; and Robert Pettyjohn of Pettyjohn’s Inc., for longest drive. Tom Phipps won a $50 cash prize donated by Beneficial Capital Leasing for closest to the pin. The winning team consisted of Ken Johansen, Highland Pro Clean; Rick Raessler, DuPont; Tom Phipps, Rudy’s Cleaners; and Tom Foster, Sun-Belt. Sun-Belt provided the trophies and coordinated the event. We thank them for their help and support. Following the tournament, the educational sessions resumed with Howard Partridge addressing marketing concerns, and Phil Green teaching “How to sell extras and have your customers like it.”

The day ended in the MSPCA’s hospitality room, which was sponsored by E.L. Creech & Co. Gayle Drummond, our association’s insurance representative and vice president, and Janet Kilpatrick, commercial lines and marketing manager for the company, were great hostesses. They even prepared food in the dark as a sub-station was hit nearby and the electricity was out for an hour! What troopers!

Friday sessions were in full force. Attendees listened and learned from presenters Phil Green, Dr. Michael Berry, Carey Mitchell, Lee Zimmerman, Doyle Bloss, John Venuti and Cindy Sayre.

The tradeshow opened Friday as well, and the MSPCA extends its appreciation to this year’s exhibitors HydraMaster, White Magic, Prochem, Vortex, Cleaners’ Closet, DuPont, Ebac, E.L. Creech & Co., Sun-Belt USA, Clausen/Unified Sales, CleanSource, FireHawk, Halcyon Hurricane, Bridgepoint Systems, Steamway International, Hawk Labs, AfterDisaster, Jon-Don, Vortex Drying System, Phenomenal Products, and IICRC.

Later in the evening, we held our banquet, followed by a presentation to our 2000-2001 Board of directors. Each received a certificate and a gift provided by MSPCA president Al Bradham. An award was also presented to Gayle Drummond for her outstanding work in assisting the association with their membership effort. We sincerely appreciate all her hard work and dedication.

Our highest award for the evening, the Dick Bernson Award, was presented to Karen Pettyjohn. Karen has been involved with the board for several years, has served as president, and has been chair of the convention committee for numerous years. With her hard work, the convention gets better each year. The MSPCA thanks Karen for her dedication and, and thanks her family for sharing her with us. We are very grateful!

The evening ended with a performance by Roger Lindsay, a talented magician and comedian from Maryland, who delighted the audience.

On Saturday, we had a great line-up of speakers that included Howard Partridge, Victoria Keller and Tim McGrath. In the afternoon, Bob Merkt enlightened everyone with the workings of the IICRC, and his successes with the Retailer Program. After his presentation, a brief discussion was held on the benefits of being involved in the association and Bob is quoted to say, “Southern hospitality is spelled, MSPCA.” Come check out our southern hospitality at some of our upcoming events and see for yourself!

The day concluded with a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Norfolk. Everyone enjoyed the 3-hour cruise on the Elizabeth River. No, Ginger and MaryAnn did not attend and we did make it back to shore.

After all was said and done, we were exhausted, but thoroughly enjoyed our weekend of rekindling old friendships, making new friends and learning how to better manage our business. Make plans now to attend the 26th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Winston-Salem, NC. Bookmark our website,, for upcoming events!

New MSPCA Board Seated

During the 2001 Convention & Trade Show, the MSPCA elected its officers for 2001-2002. The board consists of: Al Bradham, president; Jim Bynum, 1st vice president; Lee King, 2nd vice president; Joe Choplin, secretary; Gil Whittington, treasurer; directors Robert Pettyjohn, Doug Johns, and Pat Phillips; and associate directors Gayle Drummond and Steve Boyette. Karen Pettyjohn will stay on as past president.

We look forward to seeing some new programs from these folks for active and associate members and need everyone’s support to have a great year for MSPCA.

As it was mentioned several times throughout the meeting, everyone always asks, “What’s in it for me?” Like everything you get involved in, it’s also what you put into it to reap the rewards. Get involved. We have some great tours lined up this year. Come and participate and you’ll see “What’s in it for me!”

A decision was also made to increase the membership dues to $250 per year. The dues were this rate a few years ago and we reduced them due to a merger that didn’t go through at that time. With the rising costs of postage, paper, etc. and the newly acquired costs of the website, we felt it necessary to increase the fees to cover the cost of expenses.

Please utilize the services on the website and the discounts offered by associate members. These will help you save money in your business!

Additionally, the newsletter will now be available online. Hard copies will only be distributed to those without Internet access. Please contact the MSPCA office immediately if you do not have Internet access so that we can be sure to keep you on the mailing list.

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