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2020 Honorees: Al West and Mat Paisner

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Presented at our November 10th Fall Meeting by Patrick Mosesso

Al West Makes it Happen!

Al West IMG_1970.jpg

This year's You Make It Happen award recipient is a lifelong car wash guy, just like many of you. It all started in Marlborough where his wife noted that "he was the man": handsome, athletic, popular and with his motorcycle and leather vest, "very cool". They grew up right down the street from each other and went to high school together ... although they didn't really know each other since she was a freshman and he was a senior but he was friends with her brother. While working for Scrubadub Car Wash, he flirted with her, insisting he wasn't flirting, just "trying to upsell car care" as she had a very nice car, a red Camaro. This carwash inspired romance started in March, they were engaged by June and are married 29 years ago today (11.10) so we need to thank him for sharing his anniversary with us tonight.

This Year’s “You Make It Happen” Award recipient continued to work for Scrubadub for 10 years, rising to manager. He left Scrubadub to work inside sales for Engine Connection but not long after, Simoniz, then a much smaller Syndet Products, courted him. In the summer of 1996, nearly 25 years ago, he started in sales. He now is the Simoniz Northeast Sales Manager, directly supervising the sales team from Maine to Buffalo, and down to Southern New Jersey. Simoniz is like an extended family for him, and he has enthusiastically brought that family into New England Car Wash Association. He has served on the NECA Board of Directors and was actively involved in starting our annual golf NECA outing.

If you haven’t guessed his name yet, you may know him by nickname, “Westy” as he is know in Marlborough to this day. This year’s 2020 recipient of the New England Carwash Association's “You Make It Happen Award” is Al West.

Throughout the pandemic, Al has been instrumental in supporting our NECA Board with the lobbying efforts to reopen all carwashes that were shut down by Governors due to COVID. He checked in regularly with both myself and NECA President, Mat Paisner, to provide meaningful and scientific documentation that ensured our lobbyists were able to get car washes re-opened in Phase 1 in Massachusetts and Maine. Al worked hard to make sure our Association had the correct information to fight science with science.

Al West is an industry leader and a man of integrity. He will not just “sell” you the next best thing. He cares about your business and how he can help you improve, and is committed to developing long term relationships. Al is described as relentless in helping bring new and innovative ways for car washes to put out drier, cleaner, and shinier cars.

We are honored to recognize Al who is always coaching and helping motivate others to do better. He sends inspiring quotes to his customers while also finding time to volunteer in his community, in the schools and as a coach. He is the proud father of Connor, a 27 year old high school English teacher, and Callie, a 19 year old sophomore at Stonehill College who was recruited to play field hockey. He also is devoted to his third child, his dog Bradley Cooper. Al and his very active family, who until recently lived in Westborough, are building a home in Osterville so that they can live near the beach when they retire.

Thank you Al West for all you do as we are proud to name you NECA’s first industry supplier member to receive the “You Make It Happen” award. You have more than earned our gratitude, respect and admiration. Al West: You truly make it happen!

Al was presented with the traditional, engraved Paul Revere bowl. READ AL WEST'S THANK YOU TO NECA

A Very Special Award to a Special Leader: Mat Paisner

Mat Paisner head shot.jpgI don't think anyone will dispute that this has been the most challenging year ever for our Association and industry. It's unusual --- in fact I don't think it has ever happened --- to honor a sitting Board member but nothing has been as usual. So, I have the great pleasure on behalf of the leadership and membership, to present a “special award” for extraordinary effort and leadership to our President, Mat Paisner, who more than rose to the challenge.

When this pandemic hit, Massachusetts started classifying businesses as either essential or non-essential, and car washes were deemed non-essential, triggering closings for many of us. Mat immediately called an emergency meeting of the NECA Board which quickly formed a committee. It was all hands on-deck as we networked with as many influential connections as possible to correct this misclassification. Because of the generosity of many NECA members, NECA was able to hire an influential lobby group who had direct access to those in Governor Baker’s administration responsible for which businesses were classified as essential in MA.

I can tell you firsthand, to say Mat stepped up to lead us through this challenge is an understatement. The effort needed in the following months turned into more than a full-time job. Mat spent all hours, too many to count, making phone calls, scheduling conference calls, video calls and texts, with our members, state and local boards of health, government officials, law enforcement, the lobbyists, the Governor’s office and the list goes on. I am not sure which was worst, the internal pressure of his family business, ScrubaDub, that was being forced to close many its locations or the external pressure of many of the NECA member car washes that also were forced to close. Many operators were calling, texting, or emailing the NECA board asking for updates on when car washes would be able to open. This was a very stressful time for a lot of us.

During this uncertain time and chaos, we had the right person, at the right time, doing what is best for our industry. Mat maintained a high level of professionalism and composure, taking on the huge task of compiling all the information sent to him by many of us, disseminating the information, arguing, debating, calling on local officials and with the lobby group. Ultimately Governor Baker’s administration was convinced that car washes are essential. The NECA Board is very happy we were successful in reopening the car wash industry in Phase 1, with only three other industries, and we have been assured that we will remain open throughout this pandemic by Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito.

So Mr. Mat Paisner, Mr. President, on behalf of the New England Carwash Association, we thank you very much and would like to present to you this award of appreciation for all the hard work you have done for all of us. Congratulations!

Mat was given a beautiful clock, with an engraved plate that reads:

Presented in recognition and appreciation to

Mathew Paisner

for his tireless efforts on behalf
of the car wash industry.

November 10, 2020

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