Laundrylux is pleased to announce that Jon Gershman has been hired for PLUS National Business Development. PLUS – the Professional Laundry Utility Service – by Pluslux, is the revolutionary program that creates cloud-based laundry solutions for the healthcare and hospitality industries, seasonal businesses, drycleaners, and other institutional laundry customers. It is available currently for the on-premises market and will be introduced to the coin-op business in 2015. With PLUS, customers receive brand new Electrolux Professional laundry equipment with no capital expense, a lifetime parts & labor warranty, and industry-leading Smart Dosing System which eliminates over-consumption of water and laundry chemical resources. PLUS customers only pay for what they use, so it functions like other utilities such as water, gas, and electricity.
Jon’s main tasks are to drive growth through PLUS distributors nationwide, develop new National Accounts for PLUS in addition to prestigious PLUS National Accounts such as Hilton.
“Jon comes to us with a proven track record of building best-in-class brands as well as sales organizations,” shared Neal Milch, Laundrylux CEO and founder of Pluslux. “His entrepreneurial experience and innate sales professionalism make Jon the perfect fit for creating new strategic partnerships and driving the PLUS business to new heights.”
Cody Milch, Vice President for OPL and PLUS, notes, “We have already seen the impact with Jon on-board, and his base in Los Angeles allows us to cover a national geography effectively. We have already added two additional dedicated professionals to the PLUS inside sales team so that Jon, our Regional Business Development Managers, and myself can rapidly scale PLUS and our OPL opportunities.”
After graduating from the University of Arizona in 1998, earning a Bachelor’s degree and a spot on the water polo team, Jon began his sales career in commercial real estate, first for Insignia/ESG based in Connecticut, and then Cushman & Wakefield in New York City. While there, he also established the philanthropic Caring and Warmth Foundation, providing resources for Manhattan’s inner city public schools.
In 2002, Jon launched his first entrepreneurial endeavor – EATS.com. Serving as president, Jon helped grow EATS.com into a leading restaurant informational portal and social networking site for food enthusiasts. After being acquired by Delivery.com in 2009, Jon continued his career at the online ordering website as the vice president of sales until 2012, when he decided it was time for something new.
Staying on as a Delivery.com shareholder, Jon launched Lights In The Business, a consulting service providing high-level sales and marketing strategies for a wide range of businesses, from hospitality to consumer products. However, when he heard about PLUS, Jon couldn’t imagine a better career move.
“When I first learned about PLUS, I immediately realized that Neal Milch and I shared a philosophical vision on the future of the industry,” said Jon. “PLUS is a game-changer, offering amazing solutions and financial advantages for a wide array of businesses from hospitals to hair salons. I had to be a part of it and make a contribution. I’m excited about getting the word out and furthering its expansion.”
“I am honored to be a part of an innovative company that is expanding its product offering, merging modern technology with the needs of the customer,” shared Jon.
Jon currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife Andrea and his English Bulldog Carmine.
The Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda in Italy is situated in the spectacular Riviera dei Limoni, surrounded by rolling hills overlooking the shores of Lago di Garda. It belongs to the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Healing Hotels of the World, Virtuoso and Kiwi Collection, and was the first 5-Star Superior Resort on Lake Garda.
The creation of the brand Lefay Resorts dates back to 2006, with the aim of building a collection of eco-resorts based on a modern interpretation of luxury, a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, and an innovative new concept of overall wellness. The Lefay Resorts Spa combines classic Chinese medicine with Western scientific research to provide a unique environment where mind and body are rejuvenated and balance is restored.
Why Lefay Resort and Spa chose Electrolux Professional
Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda was designed and created with a focus on environment sustainability, renewable alternative energies, and cutting edge technology — and Electrolux Professional is a global leader in those areas. The products fit right in line with the hotel’s vision of sustainability and 5-star service.
Electrolux Professional machines & solutions
- (2) 145 lb. soft-mount washers – W4600H
- (1) 60 lb. soft-mount washer – W4240H
- (2) 135 lb. dryers with sliding doors – T41200SL
With the help of Electrolux Professional laundry equipment, Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda provides the highest quality results to their clients, as well as the fastest productivity for the rooms, spa and restaurant departments.
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As you leisurely indulge yourself in a microbrew and a Panini, made with goat cheese from Portland Creamery, you receive a text message announcing your laundry is done. Glancing around the retro-mod lounge you just might have to remind yourself, “Oh right, I’m in a Laundromat.” Obviously this is not your typical college-town Laundromat – this is Spin Laundry Lounge.
Located in Portland, Oregon’s Historic Mississippi District, Spin Laundry Lounge encompasses everything owner and founder, Morgan Gary, originally had in mind when it came to putting her, well, unique spin on the laundry business. “My goal was to redefine the Laundromat,” explained Morgan. “And a big part of that was creating a community space that functions as more than just a place to wash and dry your clothes.”
Warm and inviting
Stepping inside the 5,000 square foot space, you can feel the warmth of Spin’s open and bright café environment inviting locals to stay awhile; take in a Blazer’s game on the high definition projector or check emails, thanks to free wifi, whether you’re doing laundry or not.
Spin’s café / bar menu boasts a selection of coffee, tea, beer and wine, pastries, small bites, and fresh salads – all made with ingredients sourced from local farms and companies. “We’ve also partnered with a local company called Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade,” shared Morgan. “Ground Kontrol provides Spin with a few arcade games.” Right now Spin customers can enjoy a timeless game of Ms. PacMan on the mezzanine level.
While the circa 1951 warehouse building where Spin is housed offers up an unhurried atmosphere and tons of character, such as the 1-ton Shepard overhead crane, customers will find there’s nothing slow-moving and vintage about Spin’s ultra energy-efficient and water-saving Electrolux Professional laundry equipment.
“In the end, sustainability was always my main focus,” shared Morgan. “From the Electrolux Professional washers and dryers, to the eco-friendly products and cleaners, right down to the local and organic food and drink in the café – Spin is as green as can be.”
A focus on sustainability and making an impact
Morgan always knew she wanted to make a lasting, positive impact on the environment and her community. She had been working in management for a while when she decided to head to business school. “I had always dreamed of starting my own
company,” said Morgan, “and the laundry business seemed like a perfect fit because typically it’s an industry where lots of water, energy and chemicals are being used.”
In 2012, she graduated with an MBA in Sustainable Business, and, what’s more, a comprehensive business plan. “My final project was a 100-plus page business plan on how to make my efficient and inviting interpretation of a Laundromat a reality,” said Morgan. “I studied trends, visited stores in the area, and read every book I could find about Laundromats and the laundry industry.”
She also kept a running list, jotting down every idea that could make her Laundromat distinctive and sustainable. “From wine tastings, to donating clothing (that was clean and folded) to area shelters, to using compostable to-go containers, to installing energy-efficient lighting – my list kept right on growing,” joked Morgan. “That’s when it really hit me that the laundry industry could greatly benefit from a new way of thinking.”
The dream takes off…
With her redefined Laundromat model firmly in place, Morgan now focused on connecting with the right laundry distributor – one who felt as strongly as she did about sustainability. She found such a partner in Lisa White, owner of Absolute Laundry Systems.
“Lisa, her husband, Scott, and the entire team at Absolute Laundry Systems are incredibly knowledgeable about creating stores built on sustainable business practices,” explained Morgan. “Lisa helped me with everything – lease negotiations, design and layout of the mat, construction, training, even finding the ideal location.”
After a year of searching high and low for the right building and neighborhood for her brand new Laundromat, Morgan fell in love with the “amazing old warehouse building” that Spin now calls home. “It was perfect!” exclaimed Morgan. “In addition to the parking lot, the space offered up plenty of on-the-street parking – and was surrounded by like-minded green businesses.”
It was also close to busy downtown Portland, college campuses, and many older and newer efficient / LEED certified apartment buildings. The renovation from warehouse to Spin Laundry Lounge took approximately four and a half months. “From day one, Lisa and Scott were invested in my business; they cared and wanted me to succeed,” shared Morgan. “Even after our doors opened, their expertise and support continues to be invaluable. What I appreciate most about them is that they really listened to what I wanted my Laundromat to be.”
And the number one way to create a distinctive and sustainable laundry…
Remember Morgan’s extensive laundry list of cool features and sustainable items? Well, topping her list was having “the most energy efficient laundry equipment in the world.”
“That would be the Electrolux Professional 450 G-force soft-mount washers,” said Morgan. “It has a unique feature called Automatic Water Savings (AWS) that automatically adds the correct amount of water to match the load size, which is incredible. The water saving is up to 30 percent!” 450 G-force extraction removes more water, which in turn saves time and energy in the dryer.
The speed of the cycles was also very important to Morgan – and her customers. “Most of our customers are shocked and excited to find out they can complete up to eight loads of laundry in one
washer and dryer in as little as 45 minutes.” Plus, Morgan is mighty pleased that she’s able to save on utility costs and pass on those savings to her customers.
Spin – A New Way to Laundry
Ever since opening its doors in March, the community response to Spin has been overwhelmingly positive. “Customers love the complimentary sanitizing rinse, and all of our Nellie’s All Natural Laundry products,” shared Morgan. “And that they can get all of their laundry finished – washed and dried – in only 45 minutes. They also enjoy the atmosphere and the fact that they can order a coffee (or beer!) while they wait.”
Perhaps one of the biggest satisfactions for Morgan is being involved in the daily operations of her store. “I wanted to change people’s perception that ‘laundry day’ had to be this monumental time-consuming chore,” said Morgan. “Looking around at my customer’s faces, I can honestly say that I’ve absolutely changed their laundry experience for the better. And that feels great. Mission accomplished.”
“Electrolux professional equipment helped turn my vision into a reality. Our customers are able to save time and money, reduce their carbon footprint, and enjoy every minute of the redefined Laundromat experience.”
Electrolux has published the annual Sustainability Report for 2013, highlighting a new target to halve the Group’s CO2 impact by 2020 compared to 2005.
The report, available here, focuses on how the business strategy and the approach to sustainability are intertwined.
“At Electrolux we want to deliver smarter, more resource-efficient solutions to more people around the world. To make this kind of positive difference every day, sustainability has to be fully embedded across our organization and right at the core of our business strategy,” said Keith McLoughlin, President and CEO of Electrolux.
Addressing energy constraints, maximizing product efficiency and reducing carbon emissions are top management priorities. The new carbon target to halve the climate impact by 2020 compared to 2005 will cut greenhouse gases from approximately 50 to 25 million metric tons in four key areas: product use, manufacturing, transport and elimination of gases with high global warming potential. Click here to read more.
Other report highlights:
- A review of Group’s sustainability strategy, now in its fourth year, and targeting three main areas: Products, services and markets, People and operations, Stakeholders and society.
- An illustrated overview of the Group’s value chain, providing a helicopter view of where impacts occur, which partners need to be engaged, and how the greatest value can be created for Electrolux and its stakeholders.
- With sharp focus on areas within human rights, Electrolux is working harder to align new acquisitions, such as in Egypt, the Ukraine and Chile, to our high Group standards. Click here to read more.
Have you ever walked past a downtown coffee shop and glanced in the window? What did you see? A counter full of people perched on stools staring back at you. So why, in our industry, do we think our customers should sit with their backs to the window and stare in? Is watching a stainless steel cylinder spin our unmentionables in soapy water that interesting?
These are the types of questions Colleen Unema asks. The answers, and in some cases a lack of decent answers are the foundation for how she built her Bellingham, Washington-based Q Laundry. Yes, retirement may have taken Unema, a former teacher, out of the classroom, but that doesn’t mean her thirst for learning stopped…or that she might not be poised to teach the vended laundry business a thing or two.
Scientific approach… proper investigation and research
Unema didn’t jump quickly into the coin laundry business. No, this nationally certified science teacher formed her hypothesis, questioned, researched, and interviewed over the course of two years.
“We never came across a ‘game over,’” she said of not finding a sticking point in her business plan, which started with an exit strategy first.
Along the way, Unema crunched numbers, talked with industry veterans, and studied the competition. She also stressed how important it was to surround herself with good people, those who forced her to be firm in her plan and numbers. She jokes that her brother, a CPA, and a “conservative” one at that, “holds me to the fire” on pro forma projections.
Electrolux distributor, Rich Boyd, owner of SeaTac,Washington-based CESCO Laundry Systems, was another of her team of trusted experts. “He is much more than our consultant; he has become a trustworthy friend,” Colleen shared. “We leaned heavily on his advice, recommendations and insights.”
The culmination of best practices – and something completely different
When it came time to put her plan to action, Unema adopted industry best practices, and as the “Monty Python” show used to say, “…and now for something completely different.”
So in an industry as mature as ours what could possibly be new? Well, you won’t find a 50-inch HDTV…or any TVs for that matter.
“We have a great sound system,” Unema said of letting her music soundtrack set the atmosphere of her 3,000-square-foot laundry. But that’s not where the atmosphere stops.
Forget about those tired, old drop tile ceilings, boring white walls, and cold lighting. Q Laundry features natural wood, warm colors, and complementary lighting. How about that hole in the wall that an attendant peeks out from? Not here. At Q Laundry, the service counter is an attractive, sweeping, focal point.
“It’s artistic and crafty…it’s not what everyone would do,” Unema said. Very true. Not every store boasts a custom chandelier from Italy hanging above the front counter.
“I wanted to raise the bar and create a whole new laundry experience – and Electrolux was the perfect partner to help make that happen. It’s important to me that my customers know we chose equipment that is not only innovative and produces great results, it fits with our community’s philosophy on sustainability,” she added.
The ABCs of community and custom
Bellingham is an outdoorsy community situated 90 minutes north of Seattle and about 45 minutes south of Vancouver, Canada. There are a lot of rentals within a mile of the store and houses within the community are mostly small. “You can’t really get big machines in most of the homes around us, so our laundry comes in handy,” explained Unema. The store is near a big university and two community colleges as well.
This is the type of place where the term “green” means something to people. So when word spread that Unema was installing a laundry that wasn’t just “green” in name, but had ultra-efficient Electrolux Professional laundry equipment to be green in practice, people wanted to be part of it.
How else do you explain a man stopping in during construction to tell Unema one of his cedar trees fell over and he was going to use the wood to make her custom coffee tables and stools…for free? Or the concrete contractor who decided stained concrete would work well with her store’s color pallette and did the staining work for free?
Clearly, there was a buzz in this small community well in advance of her grand opening.
“People just want in on this,” Colleen shared. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in building this business and serving my community.”
Plenty of other custom elements await the Bellingham community. A local sail-maker is creating custom bags to fit Q Laundry’s carts, while folding tables feature solid butcher block tops.
What Q Laundry customers won’t find much of is plastic. Those stiff, slippery plastic chairs that are almost standard issue for many laundries have been replaced by comfortable wooden stools.
The green machines
Unema explains that machine selection was one of the first decisions she made. And this science teacher wasn’t going to be fooled by green claims. The company she chose wasn’t just going to be efficient it was going to be dedicated to manufacturing in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“I’ve been watching what they do,” Unema said, adding that Electrolux’s role as one of the most sustainable companies in the world is impressive. Every year since 2006, Electrolux has been named sector leader in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for long-term economic, environmental, and social performance. Equally impressive, however, is the company’s track record of customer satisfaction, durability, and world-class products. “I wanted a machine that’s going to last 15 years or more.”
Q Laundry offers customer 39 washers, ranging from 62 and 45-pound capacity solid-mount units to ultra-high 350 G-Force extract soft-mounts in Energy-Star rated 18-, 25-, and 45-pound capacities. Eighteen Electrolux 45-pound capacity stack dryers complement the washers. Even the installation of the washers veered from the norm. Those with a keen eye will note there are no chases — those narrow walls that run from the ceiling to the bulkhead to house utilities. CESCO installed the equipment with utilities hidden in the floor and bulkhead.
“I’m really proud to offer the community the Electrolux products I have!” Colleen exclaimed. “Whenever I’m asked the question ‘what makes your store green,’ the answer is simple: It’s the machines. The Electrolux models use less water and less energy – plus they dry faster, which my customers appreciate. Electrolux delivers on its promises and I couldn’t be more satisfied.” Rebates the business received for installing the efficient products are a testament to their green status.
Elevated customer service
Those arriving at Q Laundry with baskets and bags of bulky items to wash will find unique amenities to help them efficiently accomplish their task.
Unema programmed her Electrolux Professional washers with special cycles for materials like Gore-Tex, fleece, nylon and canvas. She added a roll up overhead door for ease of loading and unloading. With Bellingham being a hub for outdoors activities, she also created a unique drying area that utilizes a hanging metal frame for hoisting laundered tents for drying. The space has floor-to-ceiling tile and two large fans to make short work of the drying process. It’s the perfect spot for really tough clean-up jobs.
Customers are also treated to free wi-fi access and a store that is fully attended. In addition to offering drop-off service, once a week Q Laundry hosts a professional to perform alterations.
“Go big or go home,” Unema joked of her approach to the business, including a heavy focus on marketing to the community.
With Q Laundry’s location in a busy strip mall that’s anchored by a Trader Joe’s, the store is sure to see ample traffic and excellent visibility. There is also a large university and two community colleges nearby.
“We have a great neighbor in Trader Joe’s, an amazing and supportive community, and a great landlord,” Unema said. “Top that off with Electrolux Professional equipment and we have a real recipe for a sustainable and successful business. We are thrilled to be part of it all.”
This expansion, the second in three years, will help support the Electrolux Professional and Wascomat commercial laundry equipment brands as they continue to grow in North America.
The new six-floor, 375,000-square-foot building featuring LEED certification and solar panels, is needed to meet Electrolux’s 3-year plan to hire 810 new employees. The jobs are in the areas of research and development, marketing, design, engineering, supply chain, finance, IT and executive management.
“We are excited to see Electrolux expanding as Electrolux Professional and Wascomat laundry equipment brands continue to rapidly gain market share in North America,” states Neal Milch, Laundrylux CEO. “Electrolux is a global leader in sustainability and innovation, and we are proud to have our distributors come to Electrolux North America’s world-class facility for hands on product training. This expansion further illustrates the company’s commitment to its customers and partners.”
Electrolux Professional announces Energy Star® qualification on larger models, providing customers with more solutions and greater flexibility.
New ENERGY STAR qualification demonstrates Electrolux Professional’s continued commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.
Electrolux Professional Laundry, distributed in North America by Laundrylux, recently announced that its range of High Spin Washers which have earned Energy Star ratings has now been increased to include washers up to 45 lb. capacity.
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Established in 1992 to help save money and protect the environment it provides customers with guidelines on energy efficient products and practices. The strict conditions that a product must fulfill before qualifying for the government-backed label are reliable insurance that the product contributes significant measurable energy savings.
Reducing energy consumption and pollution while strengthening the economy are compelling ambitions of the Energy Star program. By producing equipment that fulfills all the Energy Star specifications, Electrolux Professional meets these ambitions and is therefore not only passing energy savings on to its customers but also actively taking part in reducing greenhouse gas emission thus contributing to important health and environmental benefits on a global scale.
Smart, green and economical
The Electrolux High Spin Washers (H series) have been shaped with contributions from users and experts in the professional laundry field all over the world. Their insights and know-how helped drive improvements in laundry equipment mechanics, ergonomics and design all the while ensuring energy-efficiency and sustainability.
“We are very proud that now an even larger range of our laundry equipment solutions is part of the ENERGY STAR® program” says Esther Staskiewicz, Head of marketing at Electrolux Professional (Business Unit Laundry Systems). “As part of our company philosophy we invest significantly into sustainable product development leading to exceptional solutions that are environmentally friendly and save our customers up to 70 percent on utilities.”
Electrolux’s High Spin professional washers combine technology with green thinking and low running costs. Durability, robust construction, and high performance set the machines apart. They are designed to respect the environment at every point of production usage and disposal. Products are built to be 95% recyclable. All of these factors exemplify Electrolux Professional’s commitment to continued sustainability.
Electrolux H-series provides your laundry with real savings and improvements in three crucial areas: time savings, enhanced economics, and flexibility.
- Time savings: Electrolux’s High Spin Washer can complete a wash and dry cycle in less than 50 minutes without compromising the quality of the wash results. Coin laundry customers appreciate the time savings and superior results, coin laundry owners have the ability to serve more customers and generate more business, and on-premises laundry operators save time and money while increasing production.
- Economy: Its unique efficiency means using less water and energy for wash and dry cycles. This can help lower laundry operational costs by up to 70 percent while cutting the environmental footprint. Automatic Water Savings (AWS), unique to Electrolux Professional washers, adjusts the water level to the weight of the laundry, meaning up to 30% in water savings for half load, as well as energy savings since less water needs to be heated. Another unique Electrolux feature, Eco Power for dryers, measures when garments are dry and automatically turns the heat down to the cool-down temperature, resulting in up to 15% in energy savings. In addition, Electrolux Professional dryers come standard with reversing cylinders which also speeds up the drying process, saving time and energy.
- Maximum flexibility: Ergonomics, performance, safety, and labor effectiveness are key factors in Electrolux designs. The user-friendly Compass Pro® interface is intuitive, intelligent as well as easy to use, and available in 20+ languages. Compass Pro® is the intelligence inside the H-series washers that enable Electrolux to provide customized laundry solutions for every kind of business including vended / coin laundries, hotels, hospitals, firehouses, schools, nursing homes, restaurants, sports teams, and more. There are up to 55 programs available, of which 15 are customizable. The Compass Pro® interface also features a USB port to facilitate installation of the latest software updates and a real-time clock for time of day pricing or delayed start (Smart Start).
Want to learn more about Electrolux Professional H-Series washers and how they can help you lower your expenses and improve your profitability? Click here to read an article about Connie Ihrke, owner of Belmont Coin Laundry. Her utilities are only 9-11% each month and she saved more than $25,000 in construction costs by installing Electrolux soft-mount H series models.
Electrolux Professional is a leading global supplier to the hospitality, healthcare, and vended / coin laundry industries providing professional kitchen and laundry equipment solutions. With the most comprehensive range of machines for food preparation and preservation, dishwashing, and professional laundry systems, Electrolux is a brand synonymous with reliability, innovation and sustainability. It has 90 years of experience and a portfolio of products designed according to the strictest quality, safety and sustainability standards. Electrolux Professional is recognized worldwide for its social and environmental performance and its product lines meet and exceed international standards. In 2012 Electrolux Professional had sales of about $900 million, approximately 2,600 employees, 7 factories, over 1,000 distributors and almost 2,000 service partners located in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit the web site: http://www.electrolux.com/professional