Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Letter to the Editor

June 9, 2005
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Re: Connections Conference and Exhibition, April 18-20

To the editor:

Here are some of my thoughts on the recent Connections Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, April 18-20.

Whenever I attend such an event, I focus on one or two questions to ask each exhibitor. This time, my curiosity involved attitudes to third-party certifications from CRI or Green Seal, and what should I make sure doesn't appear on the MSDS of what I use daily on my trucks.

Conversations were enlightening. The cost to obtain third-party certification per product is at this time too expensive for many of the manufacturers at Connections. If some have third-party certification, why don't they advertise it? How could the cost be reduced? It all boils down to money, as usual. Do I continue to trust the formulators of products I use daily, or am I willing to spend extra dollars to afford them third-party certification? It's like layers of bureaucracy. When we get to the bottom of the pile, it's still our personal responsibility to be able to interpret the MSDS and protect our health and welfare. To put it another way, CYA is not effectively delegated.

I most enjoyed the innovations on the exhibit floor: sophisticated diagnostic tools; wands with heating elements on the shaft; pumps that are easy to repair because of accessibility in design and better integral parts; cleaning compounds specifically formulated for wool, for chemically sensitive clients and with natural ingredients on their MSDS. Additionally, it was interesting to note what wasn't exhibited. Thankfully, the marketplace divests itself of the ineffective, overpriced, gutless-but-belled-and-whistled items that have had their day in the sun. Reality is tough.

I spoke one-to-one, personal hug or handshake included, with 30 known associates. I met, waved to, and spoke briefly in the booths of over 50 other human beings. Where else could I connect with 100 people over three days and need to carry no weapon in the process?

Some things I learned in Orlando: being 61 is as good or as bad as I make it. I may not be able to dance ‘til the wee hours anymore, but I stop to smell the roses, view the artwork, appreciate the architecture, hear the local dialects and simply ignore the impatient youngsters who fly by on their way to fame and fortune. Dismissal doesn't hurt anymore. Recognition is a treasure. Size doesn't matter.


Peaches Decker
Decker Enterprises Inc., Ft. Wright, Ky.

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