1ST Quarter WATS NEWS Print

    President's Report

    Hello WATS Members:

    I hope everyone is getting through 2020 considering the bizarre circumstances.  The past months have been very difficult for our country, our economy and our industry.  The impact on WATS members varies tremendously.  I am optimistic that 2021 will be far better. 

    With everything going on we had to move our Fall Conference to a virtual event.  However, we still had some great speakers.  Former Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch started off the conference and did a great job sharing insight about the future of Wisconsin.  We then had Scott Manley from Wisconsin Manufacturers Commerce give an update on the November Election.  As I am writing this, we are a week out from the election.  This election will have a major impact on businesses and the economy.  Our last speaker was former Green Bay Packer Paul Coffman.  What an inspiring story he has to share with everyone.  Paul is proof that hard work and determination can get you to where you want to be.  WATS offered up a chance to play The Legend at Bergamont to the golfers in the group.  16 players enjoyed a perfect September day of golf!  I would also like to send a huge thank you out to all of our Fall Conference sponsors.  Events cannot happen without your support!!!

    2021 will hopefully be a better year for all.  WATS will be hosting our annual Brewers game again.  Date is to be determined but will most likely be an April or May day game.  As of right now the Brewers do not know what limits they will have on capacity.  WATS might be placed in the Northwestern Mutual Lodge section which may allow us to have a larger group. 

    I hope this all works out.   Covid has done a lot of damage and eliminating so many events is near the top of the list.   A lot of business is being done virtually, but it just isn’t the same.  Having a brat and a beer via Zoom does not measure up to sharing a pub table at the ballpark.  

    The WATS 2021 Fall Conference is going to be held at The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI on September 21st and 22nd, 2021.  Golf on the 22nd will be held at Quit Qui Oc Golf Club just a 2 minute drive from The Osthoff Resort.  For those who have not been to The Osthoff in Elkhart Lake, it is a great town and meeting location!!  Mark your calendars as we look forward to seeing everyone at the 2021 events.  Your attendance and sponsorships make the events what they are!

    Any time is a good time to count our blessings.  And to be kind to each other.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. 

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Jim Leef

    President WATS


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    2021 WATS Fall Conference


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    2021 WATS Advertising


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    SanMar Ad


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    Riegel Linen Press Release

    Date: October 13, 2020

    Lion Equity Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm specializing in acquiring corporate carveouts, announced that its affiliate, Lion Equity Holdings II, LLC, has signed an agreement with Bed Bath & Beyond to acquire T-Y Group and Harbor Linen with an anticipated closing of October 26, 2020.

    Dear Valued Customer,

    Today I am pleased to announce that our parent company, Lion Equity Partners, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire T-Y Group & Harbor Linen. When combined with Riegel, this acquisition will form an industry-leading provider of textiles, amenities and more for hotels, cruise lines, restaurants, linen suppliers and healthcare facilities.

    Our customers are at the core of our business and in every decision we make. We believe that this acquisition creates an opportunity for operational optimization; which will enable us to provide you with even better service. The combination of Riegel and T-Y Harbor Linen will add even more expertise to our portfolio, so we can be the ONE STOP SHOP for the hospitality and linen supply industries.
    We want to assure you that you will remain our focus as we develop our transformation strategy, and look forward to sharing more information with you in the weeks to come. Our priority remains supporting your needs throughout this transition, especially during these unprecedented times in our industry.

    If you have any questions regarding this exciting news, please reach out to me directly or to Chris Gowdy, our Vice President of Sales.

    Bill Josey


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    Thank You to Our Fall Conference Sponsors


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    Ellis Corp Press Release

    DATE: 10/22/2020

    Ellis Corporation Unveils New Website Refresh and Redesign

    A fresh look showcasing the industrial laundry and water treatment solutions available from Ellis

    As a reliable industry leader offering comprehensive solutions for the industrial laundry and water treatment industries, Ellis Corporation is excited to unveil its new website — Offering a clean, modern look and intuitive functionality, the new site provides a comprehensive look at the full suite of solutions, services, and products offered by Ellis, including the Uptime® Intelligent Machine Management System, Ellis Water Solutions, and Ludell heating and pump solutions.

    The new Ellis website also engages users through the addition of several new features to boost user experience, including:

    • The Video Library
    • The Ellis Corp. Video Library features exclusive videos detailing step-by-step instructions, maintenance, and troubleshooting guides to help product owners with any of their equipment needs. All videos are available online via web browser and some are available on-the-go on users’ mobile devices, accessible from the scannable QR codes located on the Uptime® controller. Visit to sign up. Call 800-601-6866 to inquire about free 14-day trial access.


    • Live Chat
    • Providing support when users need it most, the new Ellis Corporation site includes real-time, Live Chat functionality, allowing users to speak with Ellis Technical Support, Customer Service, or the Ellis Parts Department. Online Monday–Friday during standard business hours, the chat feature also allows users to leave messages overnight, with representatives responding promptly the next business day.


    • Parts Sale Page
    • An ever-expanding listing of Ellis parts sales, the dedicated Parts Sale page keeps customers and users up to date on sale items. With access to pricing information by phone or Live Chat, ordering the OEM parts customers need has never been easier. 


    Visitors are encouraged to explore the information provided throughout the site — including details on industries served by Ellis, and the robust history of the Ellis Corporation — as well as checking back frequently for regularly updated new product announcements and company news. Whether providing details on the latest equipment, connecting with Live Chat, access to the Ellis Uptime® Newsletter, or a streamlined parts ordering experience, the new Ellis website promises to deliver the information users seek in the intuitive, innovative, reliable fashion customers have come to expect from Ellis.      

    About Ellis Corporation

    Founded in 1898, Ellis Corporation has continually provided customers with washing technology innovations and solutions, aligning to their three core pillars of Commitment, Continuous Improvement, and Integrity to consistently improve and expand their product offerings to best satisfy their customer’s needs.

    Ellis has continued to expand over the years, with the inclusions of the Water Solutions division and Ludell Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Ellis, the company continues to be an industry leader in innovation and best-in-class customer service.

    For more information, visit


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    Ecolab Ranks in Top 25 on the Just 100 List of Companies at the Forefront of Responsible Capitalism

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – Oct. 14, 2020 – Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services, ranks #22 overall and #1 in the chemicals industry on the 2021 Just 100 list. Developed byForbesand Just Capital, this year’s Just 100 rankings analyzed how the nation’s largest publicly traded companies invest in their workers, support their communities, respect their customers, deliver value to shareholders and reduce environmental impact. 

    “At Ecolab, we understand that to be successful, we must have simultaneous focus on our social, environmental and economic performance,” said Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. “We are a purpose driven company, and our capacity to make a difference couldn’t be more important, given the many challenges the world is facing today, with racial inequity, the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, water scarcity and climate change foremost among them.”

    For this year’s rankings, Just Capital evaluated 928 of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies using data from public reports, surveys and crowdsourced repositories, and weighed the data based on what more than 110,000 Americans consider to be the most important aspects of business behavior: treatment of workers, community, customers,  shareholders and the environment. This year, the ranking methodology also included the corporate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The complete 2021 Just 100 list is available on and in the November print issue of the magazine. Additional information is available at Just


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    Outgoing Chairman Praises TRSA’s COVID-19 Response

    Provided by TRSA:

    In remarks at TRSA’s recent hybrid live/virtual Annual Meeting in Alexandria, VA, outgoing Chair Jim Buik spoke with pride and appreciation for TRSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that struck in mid-March and continues today.

    “The staff has done a remarkable job on our behalf,” said Buik, president of the Roscoe Co., during the association’s 107th Annual Meeting on Oct. 22, which drew nearly 20 people to the Westin Alexandria and another 40 who attended online. Buik spoke online from his office in Chicago “out of an abundance of caution” since a team member had inadvertently exposed him to COVID-19. “If ever there was a time that TRSA has risen to the occasion, we’ve certainly seen it,” he said. “Joe (Ricci, TRSA president) and his team have completely re-engineered how they deliver value to us on the fly. A number of us had to do that as well. It’s just amazing to me to see how well TRSA has been operating and the benefits that I’ve seen as a member. Second to none. That’s for sure.”

    Adding to the complexity of TRSA’s response, the impact of the pandemic has varied significantly by sector. Industrial operators, like Buik, in many cases were down at one point by 10%-15%. Most have since recovered or even grown as new market opportunities have emerged, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizer, additional cleaning supplies, etc. Many operators initially had thought that demand for healthcare textiles would spike as a result of COVID-19. However, disposable PPE shortages, coupled with deferrals of voluntary procedures and limited use of linens by COVID-19 patients fueled losses for most healthcare operators. While the healthcare situation in recent weeks has stabilized, hospitality and food-and-beverage (F&B) laundries continue to struggle amid indoor-dining restrictions and reduced business and leisure travel. “Our brothers and sisters in hospitality and F&B, while they’ve recovered some, they’re the ones that are definitely suffering the most,” he said.

    In summarizing the association’s response to the crisis, Buik noted that “TRSA has hosted 50 webinars, town halls, roundtables and benchmarking surveys to really spread the word to our members on how we can incorporate those best practices. Members have accessed these resources.” He added that TRSA went out of its way early on in the crisis to serve as a clearinghouse for information from government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “I can’t tell you how in the early stages of this pandemic, how helpful it was taking information that was readily available at the CDC and then repurposing that and sending it out to our members,” Buik said. As a single-plant operator, he added, “I don’t have hygiene people. I have an HR team member, but it was just overwhelming. I’m grateful that we had TRSA.”

    Buik also cited TRSA’s Strategic Change Initiative, including a Strategic Industry Town Hall on June 23 that drew 120 online attendees and led to the creation of an Industry Looking Forward publication compiled from quantitative and qualitative research. He cited the “careful stewardship” of consultant Eric Kurjan in facilitating this process, and praised his successor as Chair, Noël Hammer Richardson, for leading the association’s strategic rethink.

    Finally, when COVID-19 passes into history, it could offer operators some unanticipated benefits through an added emphasis on hygiene and cleanliness in the products and services that businesses offer to the public. In addition, new concerns from nurses, restaurant patrons and others could lead to curbs on home washing of uniforms and an expanded use of reusable table linens. TRSA’s foresight in establishing the Hygienically Clean certification program in 2011 – nine years before COVID-19 hit – also has positioned the industry (and Roscoe) for growth by reassuring customers that certified laundries hew to higher standards for eliminating microorganisms in textiles. “The certifications that TRSA provides allowed Roscoe to really up our game to a new level,” Buik said. “So, again, I can’t thank Joe and his staff enough for coming up with the certification process because it’s truly been amazing.”


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