1ST Quarter WATS NEWS Print

    President's Report

    Happy New Year Everyone!  Many of us had excellent years in 2019 and want to see it carry into 2020.  The business climate in Wisconsin remains positive.  I hope you all are seeing the same.  The market for talent is tough but I prefer it this way than the opposite. 

    For 2020, I am very much looking forward to the calendar of WATS event.   There are many good reasons that we should have great attendance at this year’s events.  We have 5 new members joining in 2020. 

    Thank you to Family Pride Laundry, American Associated Companies, Regent Apparel, Kaat’s Culligan, and Spindle.  Welcome to WATS!!

    On Thursday, April 30th, we will once again be hosting a Milwaukee Brewers Game.  This event was sold out last year.  We have been located in the Aurora Health Care Bullpen.  Tickets are all-inclusive.  The opponents are the World Series Champion Washington Nationals.  Mark your calendars for the event!  We already have 20 members signed up!!

    WAM is finalizing our Fall Conference for Tuesday, September 22nd and Wednesday, September 23rd.  Last year’s event at Lambeau Field, Green Bay Country Club and Lodge Kohler was certainly a great one.  We plan on moving locations year to year.  This coming year will be in Madison, WI at The Edgewater.  We are lucky enough to be able to golf at The Legend at Bergamont.  The club is located 15 minutes from The Edgewater.  Our speakers this year will include former Lieutenant Governor Becky Kleefisch and former Green Bay Packer Paul Coffman.

    Again, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or suggestions on how our association can be more successful.  We would love to see you at some, if not all of our events.

    Stay warm!!

    Jim Leef


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    Welcome New Members

    Family Pride Laundry


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    Pinnacle Textile - Press Release

    Press Release

    Pinnacle Textile Industries, LLC, King of Prussia, PA a leading manufacturer of service apparel, aprons and napery dedicated to servicing the rental and hospitality markets, has purchased a majority of the assets of Topps Safety Apparel Inc. of Rochester, IN, a high quality manufacturer of public safety and flame resistant uniforms offered through a network of leading distributors and garment rental operators.

    Topps Safety Apparel Inc., originally established as Toppmaster in 1938 by the Elin brothers, has been owned and operated by the BTQ Group and its President, Alan Dorrell since 1997. In the 1990s, Topps became one of the first manufacturers to attain (UL) certification of compliance to NFPA standards.

    Pinnacle is excited to continue the Topps brand as its FR Safety brand as well as a compliment to its existing Pinnacle Worx brand of industrial work clothing.

    Patrick Methven, Pinnacle’s President and founder commented, “The acquisition of the Topps Safety Brand fulfills our goal of entry into the safety uniform category, expanding our customer base to include distributors focused on the oil/gas and utility end user sectors while at the same time expanding our product offering to our existing customer base. Topps’ attention to detail and quality are hallmarks of the brand from which Pinnacle fully expects to build upon as well as to provide a deeper, off the shelf inventory for quick shipment of the most popular styles and sizes, something Pinnacle Textile is well known for.”


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    Healthcare Alert: Best Practices to Contain Coronavirus

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring and collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO), on an outbreak caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. With cases on the rise worldwide, it’s imperative for healthcare laundries to maintain best practices in laundering textile goods.

    The CDC recommends using standard precautions for handling and laundering healthcare textiles, and adhering to federal and state requirements for the protection of healthcare personnel from exposure to pathogens. Practicing proper hand hygiene is imperative for laundry employees. Washing your hands often with soap and water is one of the best ways to avoid transmission of emerging pathogens. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The Food and Drug Administration regulates claims on both medicated, antimicrobial soaps and on alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

    Employers should select appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and provide it to workers in accordance with OSHA’s PPE standards (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I). Workers must receive training and demonstrate an understanding of when to use PPE; what PPE is necessary; how to properly don, use and doff PPE; how to properly dispose of or disinfect and maintain PPE; and the limitations of PPE. Any reusable PPE, such as gowns, must be properly cleaned, decontaminated, and maintained after and between uses.

    TRSA member Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service, based near Vancouver, Canada, provides linens to a major academic hospital in Toronto that has the largest trauma center in Canada. This hospital has two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. “In these days of coronavirus, SARS, H1N1, Ebola and other strange, potentially wide-spreading viruses, you can see we’re in a much more globally connected world, so infection control and delivery, patient care and quality assurance requires a lot of expertise,” said Randy Bartsch, CEO, Ecotex. “It’s easier for hospitals to focus on the delivery of actual patient care and allow other companies that specialize in different aspects of nonclinical support services, including us in the laundry area, to deliver hygienically clean processed linen.”

    Ecotex agreed to use extra precautions when handling linen potentially contaminated with the coronavirus. “We discussed it with the hospital the day they had accepted the first suspected patient and we mutually agreed, we will double bag it but otherwise treat it like any other linen with infectious material, treating everything with universal precautions,” said Scott Wakeman, vice president, Ecotex. “Because that’s what we do. The double bagging is really a precaution when it’s in transit. Once it gets here to the laundry, everybody’s in PPE. But at the hospital and in transit, folks handling the sealed soil linen bags aren’t necessarily in PPE and that sort of thing. Until more is understood about the transmission, we just concluded that it was a reasonable measure to take.”

    Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan, and in a growing number of countries. Officials announced the first U.S. case on Jan. 21, and four other confirmed infections since then. Investigations are ongoing, but some degree of person-to-person spread of 2019-nCoV is occurring in China. More cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the U.S.

    Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to moderate illness. Two newer human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have been known to cause severe illness. This new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has resulted in more than 100 reported deaths. The recently emerged 2019-nCoV is not the same as the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, genetic analyses suggest this virus emerged from a virus related to SARS. Limited information is available at this time. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. For more information, click here.

    If you have a question, contact Angela Freeman, the staff liaison for TRSA’s Healthcare Committee, at [email protected]. For information on best practices for laundering Hygienically Clean textiles, visit

    Article provided by TRSA


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    2020 TRSA Company Community Service Awards

    Six member companies whose staffs have been generous with their time and talents, demonstrating their sense of caring and responsibility for others, have been honored with 2020 TRSA Company Community Service Awards. Part of the TRSA Leadership Awards series, this accolade recognizes the importance to the industry of companies that contribute significantly to individuals and their communities by volunteering time, actions, talents and dedication outside their workplaces.

    Winners include four linen, uniform and facility services member operators:

    Bates Troy Inc., the Binghamton, NY, healthcare launderer, is in its third decade of collaborating with a host of local businesses on a “Coats for Kids” drive: collecting, cleaning and delivering new or gently-used winter coats for free to children through the Family Enrichment Network. Over more than 20 years, supported by its dry-cleaning division, Bates Troy has cleaned about 30,000 coats. In 2019, they handled 1,244 coats (retail service value of $18,660), picking them up from drop-off points (nine businesses in the area). The effort takes place at one of the company’s busiest times of the year, as the company heads into the winter and holiday seasons). Cleaning staff and drivers share the workload.

    For three years, Health Mats Co., Chester, PA, has sponsored and participated in the Eagles Autism Challenge. Employees join the NFL Philadelphia Eagles’ organization and thousands of supporters to ride, run or walk to raise funds for autism research and programs. This year, the company is waiving the registration fee for participants who want to join Team Health Mats in the event. Health Mats recognizes the complexity of issues presented by autism and the importance of providing necessary resources to thought leaders to advance scientific breakthroughs. The company raised more than $13,000 between 2018 and 2019.

    For the second year in a row, Rentwear Inc. (North Canton, OH) was able to raise thousands of dollars for the Josette Beddell Memorial Foundation, a local nonprofit that gives financial grants to families battling breast cancer. The company also raised funds through the sale of pink ribbon hats and towels as well as a guest bartending night hosted at The Barrel Room, a Rentwear customer and local watering hole. Rentwear donates linens and mats to various community events throughout the year and participates in fundraisers that raise thousands of dollars for other local charities, including the First Tee of Canton and Pathways for Children.

    Unitex, the healthcare laundry services chain based in Elmsford, NY, combines charitable efforts on the local level with others on a global scale. The latter include coordinating humanitarian efforts with organizations to support hurricane victims, donating linen to animal shelter partners in the United States and supporting mobile medical clinics in Kenya. Locally, the company is heavily involved with the Boys & Girls Club and works with its hospital partners across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to create events and activities for their children. Unitex staff also serves local youth by teaching students about sustainability and small ways to help the environment.

    The other two Company Community Service winners are TRSA associate members (suppliers to linen, uniform and facility services):

    Design/build firm ARCO/Murray has supported local charitable initiatives for 50+ unique organizations in communities where its employees live and work. The Downers Grove, IL, company hosts an annual 100-mile Bike Ride for the Kids event in which they bike from Chicago to Notre Dame (South Bend, IN) to raise money for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Most employees bike, volunteer or donate. 2019 was the 12th year of the event, raising a record-breaking $100,000. The ride’s beneficiary is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), known for its inspiring Lego activities.

    Uniforming apparel and accessories provider SanMar Corp. raised more than $120,000 through a two-week charitable-giving event to help patients receiving care at Seattle’s Bailey-Boushay House (BBH). The Issaquah, WA, company made BBH the focus of their 2019 employee giving after learning how BBH serves those with HIV/AIDS and other chronic conditions. The outdoor kick-off in pouring rain attracted 250 participants; the campaign included raffles, dunk tanks and fundraising competitions between departments, involving remote employees and teams from Sanmar distribution centers across the country – totaling nearly 4,000 employees.

    Honorees will receive their awards March 25 at the TRSA Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. To be announced shortly are winners of other TRSA Leadership Awards for customer service, diversity, plant operations, safety and sustainability.

    Article provided by TRSA.


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