Recap of A Spirited Event: Fall Meeting & Program


A Spirited Event - Highlights of NECA's November 10, 2020 Virtual Fall Meeting

  • Lobbying and Reputation Management updates, election , award presentations
  • Panel discussion take-aways
  • Whiskey tasting

NECA members love meeting in person but since that is not possible, the leadership created an exciting multi-part, virtual program, attended by over 70 individuals. It included our annual business meeting featuring updates on major initiatives, our election and the presentation of awards; an informative panel discussion; and a whiskey tasting ... all of this in just one and a half hours!

Part i -  Annual Business Meeting

This unique special event began with a welcome and special thanks to our industry -leading sponsors: Simoniz USA, AutoWash Technologies and Qual Chem, Zep Vehicle Care, DRB Systems, Sonny's and Washify. Technical assistance and Zoom program moderation, was provided by Washify's  Fernando Santos, VP of Customer Success, and Fabiana Hadrych, Learning and Development Manager.

Participants were advised to use the chat box to submit any questions or comments during the program to the moderators who made sure to find the right time to direct the question to an appropriate speaker.

President Mat Paisner asked for a brief moment of silence to honor individuals who lost their lives during the terrible Coronavirus pandemic. He noted that he recently lost a member of his team to this virus, and as an Association, we urge everyone to please take all safety precautions seriously.

Update:  Lobbying Initiative presented by Mat Paisner

For months, the New England Car Wash Association and our lobbyists, The Public Policy Law Group, have worked closely with Governors' offices across New England to ensure the car wash industry remained open. We are grateful for the support of all our car wash and supplier members who donated to make it possible for us to hire the lobbying group. Special thanks to Golden Nozzle Car Wash Company for helping us lead the lobbying efforts in Maine.

During recent meetings with Governors' offices, we have seen state governments transition from an industry-focused approach (i.e. essential vs non-essential) to a geographic, community focused approach, using  color coded maps showing weekly reporting of COVID risk levels by city or town. This means our industry likely will no longer have to deal with the anxiety of whether we are essential or not essential in New England. We will monitor COVID risk levels in each town and since we successfully lobbied to have car washes open in Phase 1, we are optimistic that all car washes will remain open going forward.

That being said, we have learned there are now government safety investigators showing up at businesses to take pictures to see if employees are wearing masks, if customers and staff are following the social distancing guidelines, and if daily disinfecting procedures in place. We urge everyone to take these safety guidelines seriously because it only takes one car wash not following these guidelines to potentially cause the governor of your state to shut down all car washes.

If you have any questions or concerns on how to navigate the pandemic, please call the NECA Office so we can help you. We are strongest when we speak with one voice.

Update: Reputation Management Campaign presented by Patrick Mosesso

As an Association, we just launched our biggest ever Facebook and Instagram advertising campaign to educate the motoring public about the safety benefits of car washing. The new campaign leverages technology to target every neighborhood of every NECA member car wash. We have launched a new customer-facing website, Carwashsafe.com, as a landing page for our advertisements. It has a built-in car wash locator tool to help customers find the nearest NECA car wash. To do this, our committee created a database of the latitude and longitude of every member car wash location for this campaign and for future targeted advertising campaigns. We urge everyone to give it a try. Go to carwashsafe.com and enter your zip code to see a list of the closest NECA member car washes, directions to the wash, the business phone # and a link to the car wash’s website.

If you open a new location or if one of your locations does not come up in the search, contact the NECA office.

We also professionally produced several YouTube videos, carousel ads and articles to drive more customers to your car washes. We are working to optimize customer online search results so when a consumer Googles car wash, safe washing, car sanitizing, and many other topics, our new landing page carwashsafe.com should appear. The messaging for this first campaign is to promote the importance of cleaning and sanitizing your vehicle while giving the consumer a compelling reason to have their vehicles professionally washed by an official NECA member car wash.

The Association will send instructions to all members, detailing how they can order a Windmaster sign to promote that their business is safe and is now part of CarWashSafe.com. The  instructions will note how to share the videos on their own websites or co-brand with their logo, and how to share with customers. Members were advised to look out for our ads in their Facebook news feed, and to "like" and share these posts whenever possible, to maximize the reach of our new messaging. We are sesignating individuals who will available to any member who needs help using Facebook or has any questions if they are not familiar with using social media.

This advertising campaign and our lobbying efforts are just a few of the strategies our Association has implemented to help New England car washes.

The Election presented by Dom Previte

Domenic Previte, our Immediate Past President, announced the 2021 slate of NECA Board Members, and conducted the election. The slate was developed with the assistance of several past presidents and current leaders.

There being no additional nominations from the floor, Patrick Mosesso, our current VP, cast one vote in favor of the slate.

Awards presented by Patrick Mosesso

Next, Patrick Mosesso had the wonderful job of presenting awards (two very carefully kept secrets) to our very surprised recipients. Please see the news article with presentation remarks about each of our recipients. Al West is our 2020 "You Make It Happen" honoree. A special award was presented to Mat Paisner for his extraordinary service to NECA during the challenges of the Covid pandemic.

Part II  Panel Presentation

Kevin McLoughlin of Sonny's and owner of White Water Car Wash in Dover, New Hampshire, served as moderator for our panel discussion on innovation and operational changes put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The panel included Adam Korngold owner of Waves Car Wash and Washify in West Roxbury, MA; Jim Deak, owner of Jimmy Suds Car Wash in Colorado; Chris McFadden, Regional Sales Manager for DRB Systems; and Mat Paisner of ScrubaDub, with locations all over New England.

Some Take-aways

  • Evaluate your business model to modify and simplify operations, an opportunity you may not have considered and done otherwise.
  • Create a touch less (or less touch) experience to assure customers by providing ways to reduce or eliminate contact with individuals and high touch areas.
  • Collect customer contact information at the point of sale to maintain and grow your customer base, and to stay in touch when in-person contact is limited or operations have changed.
  • Use your technology to give customers who do not choose to buy an unlimited plan a similar experience, a taste of what it is like to be members, when coming in for an individual wash.
  • Utilize well-designed and well-place signage with infographics.
  • Distribute company branded items such as a pay station stylus or interior sanitizing wipes to customers.
  • Partner with local businesses to create good will that can result in repeat business.
  • Adhere to all safe business practice guidelines: mask, social distancing, sanitizing, etc.

Part III  Whiskey tasting: The Highlight of the Event

Everyone was asked to take out their whiskey samples, tasting glass, water dropper with the QualChem logo (provided by Autowash Technologies) to help them customize their whiskey. It also was recommended to have a bottle or glass of water to help reset their palette and an extra glass to dump out any whiskey on hand. Ryan, the owner of Julio's Liquors in Westborough introduced his company as well as Frank and Randall, from the Loch and Key Society, to lead our whiskey tasting of three premium samples: a scotch, a rye and a bourbon.

For each sample, Frank and Randall advised us of what we might smell and taste, and how that particular whiskey is created. We were instructed on how to "nose" the whiskey, how to judge its viscosity or "hang time" on the glass and how to enjoy the finish on our palates. We both tasted the whiskeys neat and then customized with a drop or two of water.

We may not be experts from this one tasting but we certainly increased our understanding and appreciation for fine spirits.

When

Day of Event:11/10/2020
RSVP:10/30/2020
Time Starts:06:00 PM
Time Ends:07:30 PM

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