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Long-time Industry Professional Andy Feldman Joins Gurtler Industries

Gurtler Industries is pleased to announce that Andy Feldman has accepted an expanded role with Gurtler Industries. In this role, Andy will be responsible for enhancing Gurtler’s company-wide sales growth. He will be leading Gurtler’s sales efforts by supporting and coaching Gurtler’s outside personnel through all stages of the sales process up to and through post-installation. Additionally, he will be charged with helping create, implement, and lead Gurtler’s marketing programs beginning in 2024 including augmenting Gurtler’s presence at industry events. Further, he will be tasked with managing existing customer relationships in which he has cultivated a long-term partnership. Lastly, Andy will continue to support the assimilation of the Vis-Tex Tunnel UV Systems acquired earlier this year including harnessing the full innovation potential of this innovative technology.

Gurtler acquired the Vis-Tex Tunnel UV technology for commercial laundries from OMNI Solutions in March 2023, when Andy joined Gurtler on a consultant basis. Greg Gurtler, president of Gurtler Industries commented, “I have known Andy for almost 30 years. He is the fourth generation of his family to work in the commercial laundry industry and his family still owns and operates laundries. During his three decades in the industry, besides working production and running laundries, Andy has been a vendor for both chain and independent laundries nationwide.” In the industry, Andy has served as the chair of the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) sales and marketing committee and has been a contributor to TRSA’s Textile Services magazine. In addition, Andy has taught classes at TRSA’s Professional Management Institute (PMI) and Executive Management Institute (EMI) and led training with CSCNetwork and the Association for Linen Management (ALM).

Most recently, Andy helped grow OMNI Solutions from a small OPL provider into a multi-million-dollar business. Andy is also a professional sales trainer and coach and has worked with many companies, including AFLAC, T-Mobile, the US Army, Capital One, Lincoln Financial, and the NY Mets.

Andy has spent the past eight plus months learning the Gurtler way and spent considerable time in the field with many members of the Gurtler team. Andy says, “After interacting with Gurtler’s management and their sales and service team, I learned of Gurtler’s commitment to service, quality, innovation and personal training and development of employees. These factors made my decision to join Gurtler very easy.”

Greg continues to say, “I believe Andy’s experience and expertise will assist Gurtler in further establishing our company as the leading chemical supplier to commercial laundries across North America.”

Gurtler Industries is a leading manufacturer of advanced detergents, specialty chemicals and injection systems for the commercial laundry industry. From its headquarters and research center in suburban Chicago, Gurtler supports the entire spectrum of the laundry industry, including healthcare, hospitality, industrial uniforms, shirt laundries and textile rentals. Gurtler is a family company now in its third generation, maintaining its tradition of excellence, innovation, and service.

For more information, contact Gurtler Industries at 1-800-638-7300, or contact Steven J. Tinker at 708-331-2550, or at sjtinker@gurtler.com.

Gurtler Congratulates Wildman on their Acquisition of WM Uniform

Wildman Business Group based out of Warsaw, Indiana recently announced the acquisition of and partnership with WM Uniform of Holland, Michigan. In their announcement, Wildman observed that as another independent, family-owned business with shared values, they are honored that WM Uniform chose Wildman as their partner to continue their family’s legacy in quality customer experience and exceptional team member care. For the most seamless customer experience, both companies will retain their independent names and individual branding – and continue to serve customers with the same sales and service teams.

Gurtler is proud to be a trusted partner with both Wildman and WM Uniform. Founded in 1952, Wildman has been providing industrial laundry, uniform and rental services throughout the state of Indiana and beyond. WM Uniform is in their 3rd generation of ownership and services a large part of Michigan, providing uniform rental services, mat and towel rental and restroom products, plus custom logo apparel programs.

Wildman, as a family-run business, has grown substantially, as three generations have been involved with the success of Wildman Uniform. Gurtler has been a valuable partner to Wildman in this highly competitive market. Like Gurtler, Wildman relies on their knowledge and expertise to keep ahead of the competition. “Helping Wildman find ways to conserve energy, save water and still produce top quality garments will not only help them grow in the future – but benefit Gurtler as well,” says Greg Gurtler, President of Gurtler Industries.

Wildman’s CEO, Josh Wildman, says of Gurtler, “Doing business with another family-owned company that shares our values and commitment to customer relationships and excellence in service and products has been the perfect partnership for Wildman. We have remained not only business partners for over 20 years, but we consider Gurtler part of our family.”

Drew Scholl, Wildman’s VP of Operations says, “Gurtler’s innovative Work•Clean Team chemical program has enhanced our cleanliness and quality of finish, while delivering reduced costs in water and energy, improved wash turn time, and increased productivity.”

Steven Van Tuinen, VP of Operations for WM Uniform has also expressed his appreciation of Gurtler’s service, innovation and people: “Gurtler is a trusted partner with WM Uniform. Doing business with another family-run and operated business that shares our values and understands our challenges is a big plus. Their commitment to quality service and innovative technology helps WM Uniform excel. Gurtler’s Work•Clean Team of products has reduced our wash formula run times, improving productivity, saved water and energy, all while maintaining our high quality standards. There is no better partner!”

Gurtler congratulates both Wildman and WM Uniform on their partnership and commits to work with them to continue their record of success.

STRONGER TOGETHER— NEW BOARD MEMBERS: GIVING AND GROWING WITH TRSA & THE INDUSTRY

By Jack Morgan, Senior Editor, Textile Services

As part of its regular rotation last September, six new members of TRSA’s Board of Directors were elected during the association’s Annual Conference in Nashville, TN. The reasons they cite for taking time out from their busy lives to lead the association include a desire to give back, while strengthening the linen, uniform and facility services industry.

One of the six members is Jake Gurtler, vice president of corporate accounts of Gurtler Industries, a third-generation leader of this laundry chemical supplier that serves customers across North America, the Caribbean and Australia. Gurtler started in the industry in 2008 after graduating from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. He began as a Midwest sales rep. and has worked his way up in the company that his grandfather Bill founded in 1982. Jake’s father Greg leads the company today as president of Gurtler Industries Inc. Jake currently co-chairs TRSA’s Next Generation Executives Network (NGE) and has completed TRSA’s Professional Management Institute (PMI) and the Executive Management Institute (EMI). His service on the TRSA Board is a step forward in his career development, as well as an opportunity to give back to the industry that’s fueled his success. “It is an honor to be called to service on the board,” he says. “I am passionate about our industry, and I want to do my part to ensure its success for future generations. As an association, TRSA has provided me with countless opportunities to learn, grow, network and form many excellent friendships. I encourage anyone interested to attend a meeting, join a webinar, sit in on a committee meeting, attend a PMI/MMI (Maintenance Management Institute)/EMI course. Get involved, and you will quickly see the impact that this association makes in strengthening our industry.”

(Excerpted from Textile Services, Volume 106, Issue 7, March 2023)

2022 TRSA Above and Beyond Service Award Nomination – Nicolas Legault

Nicolas Legault is the Regional Director of Gurtler’s Canadian business unit, based out of Montreal, Quebec. In addition to managing our Canadian sales team he has one of Gurtler’s largest sales territories that he personally services. Gurtler surveys our customers annually as part of our ISO certification program. In 2022 Nicolas’ customer ratings were a consistent 5 out of 5 for his quality of service, response time for problem solving, and his technical support. Nicolas received a “perfect” score, 120 out of a possible 120 points from his customer ratings. At the recent Gurtler Global Sales Meeting Nicolas was recognized by Gurtler as the 2021 Salesperson of the Year for his excellence in customer satisfaction, customer retention and sales volume and growth.

One of Nicolas’ customers, David Diachidos, chief of laundry and linen services at Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec has the following comments: “It is important to me that you know how satisfied I am with the service we receive from Gurtler. Everyone we deal with is kind and helpful, extremely responsive. I would particularly like to highlight the quality service we receive from Nicolas. He always makes time to talk to us and explain all about the industry. It is always a pleasure dealing with him and everyone on the team. Please keep up the great work!”

Chad Laframboise, general manager of Northern Uniform, Sudbury, Ontario, also comments about Nicolas: “In my 16 years in this industry I have never encountered another individual with his work ethic and deep concern for customer well-being.  Every action is deliberately planned, satisfying today’s needs while positioning wisely for the future.  His contributions far outreach his responsibilities; he is not just a vendor rep, Nicolas is a part of our team, a true friend of Northern Uniform.  I would go so far as to say that we have a competitive advantage in the marketplace with Nicolas on our side.”

Gurtler Acquires OMNI Solutions UV Technology for Tunnel Systems

Gurtler Industries announced this week an agreement with OMNI Solutions to acquire full rights to OMNI’s SULAOS, Smart Ultraviolet Light Advanced Oxidation System. Under the agreement, Gurtler will own the SULAOS technology exclusively for the tunnel system markets across the world. Gurtler will also partner with Omni’s current users of their technology in existing tunnel systems. Greg Gurtler, president of Gurtler says, “We are very pleased to be able to acquire this technology. The Omni UV System enhances the oxidation process in tunnels, increases stain removal and whiteness, and most importantly, significantly reduces microbial contamination in the tunnel.”

Gurtler will be rebranding the system under the Gurtler Vis•Tex™ family of equipment and dispensing systems. The system is designed for today’s modern tunnel washers and will be renamed as the Vis•Tex Omni UV Tunnel System. The system treats press water with a combination of potent oxidizers and ultraviolet light and returns the treated water to the rinse zone, virtually eliminating organic contaminants, which provides reduced microbial contamination in the rinse zone.

Two years ago, Gurtler and OMNI Solutions entered into an exclusive marketing/distribution agreement for the SULAOS equipment. Matt Wenzel, executive vice president of Gurtler observes, “The decision to fully acquire this UV Tunnel System technology was natural outgrowth of our exclusive distribution agreement. Over the last two years Gurtler has learned about the major benefits of this exclusive technology and how to best adapt it to today’s tunnels operations and the market’s needs.” Under the terms of the agreement, Gurtler will take responsibility for the existing Omni UV Tunnel Systems in the market. Matt says, “Gurtler will be contacting all of the current users of the UV system in their tunnels and reviewing their operations to make sure they are taking full advantage of this unique technology’s capabilities.”

“We are excited about the adoption of this technology by Gurtler,” OMNI Solutions founding member Andrew Rupnow said. "We look forward to working with their talented team throughout this process to ensure a smooth transition for our existing SULAOS customers. Gurtler's advanced support infrastructure and deep knowledge in the commercial laundry industry will help advance this technology to the next level. OMNI will continue focusing on its primary business, the LUX™ UV Laundry Program, and would like to sincerely thank the Gurtler team for their continued partnership and support over the years."

Gurtler Logistics Celebrates First Year of Service

One year ago, Gurtler Industries launched Gurtler Logistics, a fully owned and operated division of the company, a division dedicated to providing product-delivery services to our customers. Over the last few years, our industry has experienced increased challenges with delivery services due to the availability of appropriate trucks and drivers. To meet these challenges, Gurtler invested in our own fleet of semi-tractor/trailers and bulk tankers and hired our own staff of fully qualified drivers. Greg Gurtler, President of Gurtler Industries, explained, “The formation of our Logistics unit allows us to better control our delivery services, keeping our promise of on-time delivery. Plus, our customers benefit from having a Gurtler employee on site for personalized delivery service.”

After one year of operation, Gurtler Logistics has been an unqualified success. Our new unit has enhanced customer service, improved on-time delivery, and provided more flexibility in scheduling. In addition, our team of Gurtler drivers are trained and certified in hazardous materials handling and safety, assuring that our bulk chemicals are safely off-loaded, and packaged goods are safely handled and delivered.

Gurtler now delivers 100% of our bulk chemical orders and most full-truckload orders for packaged goods. Also, Gurtler delivers less-than-truckload orders and combined customer orders wherever possible. Recently Gurtler Logistics made the first run to the West Coast from our Chicago-area headquarters. Gurtler’s fleet now consists of eight tractors, six 53’ trailers, one 53’ insulated/refrigerated trailer, three multi-compartment bulk liquid, 4000-gallon tankers and two single compartment tankers. Plus, there are plans to add to the fleet, as we continue to expand our service areas. Gurtler now employs eight company drivers and one contracted owner/operator, plus two logistics planners in the South Holland, IL headquarters facility.

In addition to delivering customer orders, our bulk liquid tankers also pick up bulk chemical raw materials from vendor terminals in the greater Chicago area. As an additional service to our customers our trucks pick up empty containers such as chemical 220- or 330-gallon totes and 55-gallon drums across most of the eastern US.

Greg Gurtler is encouraged by the successes of this initiative: “Our customers say they appreciate our continued commitment to being a value-added partner. Plus, they see this as another example of how Gurtler reacts to problems and implements solutions.” Brett Jasik, director of Gurtler Logistics says, “I am extremely pleased at how fast our operation has grown and met our early goals. Having our own drivers and trucks gives us better control over continually rising costs and ensures more efficient and safer delivery of our chemicals. And on-time delivery performance makes our customers’ operations run more smoothly.”

Gurtler Holds Global Sales Conference

Gurtler Global Sales and Service Team

Gurtler Industries held its Global Sales Conference in December. The three-day conference was held at the Briar Ridge Country Club in Schererville, IN, just outside of Chicago, and was attended by over 75 members of the Gurtler sales and service team, headquarters support team, and management. Representatives were present from the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Due to the pandemic, this was the first time since 2018 that Gurtler brought together the sales and service team for the conference which focused on technical and safety training, recognition of top sales performers, and a celebration of Gurtler’s 40th Year Anniversary.

As part of Gurtler’s continuing effort to improve customer service, Gurtler invited four customers from the industrial/F&B and healthcare laundry markets to participate in a panel to review how they perceive their expectations and standards for service from their chemical representatives. In addition, during the conference representatives from six major manufacturers of standard and tunnel washing systems shared their latest innovations and technology with our sales and service team and the manufacturers heard feedback from our service team on how the systems perform in our markets.

At the conference, Gurtler recognized the top sales and service performers from the last few years. The salespersons of the year for the last two years were also announced. Nicolas Legault from Ontario, Canada, earned the honor for 2021 and Joe Valdez of the Pacific Northwest was named salesperson of the year for 2022.

Lastly Greg Gurtler, President and Bill Gurtler, Chairman of Gurtler Industries shared their thoughts on the 40th Anniversary of Gurtler’s founding in March of 1982. Plus, they presented an employee appreciation video that focuses on the role that our entire team plays in providing superior customer service across the entire laundry market. The video is posted on the Gurtler YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDTeicneR5c.

The TRSA Production Summit & Plant Tours series, has returned!

Gurtler’s customer, UniFirst in Hammond, IN was one of the facilities highlighted on the recent TRSA Production Summit Plant Tour. The UniFirst plant, opened last summer, has an eye on the “greener” side of operations, supporting greater energy efficiencies through numerous investments including all cleaning formulas and detergents that are described as 100% environmentally friendly. Gurtler is proud to be an integral part of the overall operation of the plant, supplying our latest generation of specialty chemicals and our exclusive Vis-Tex Central dispensing technology.

Pictured (left to right) are Jake Gurtler, VP Corporate Accounts, Gurtler Industries; Paul Brady, Regional Vice President, Unifirst; Michael Croatti, Executive Vice President, Unifirst; and Greg Gurtler, President, Gurtler Industries.

Gurtler Forms Logistics Group


Gurtler Industries is pleased to announce the formation of Gurtler Logistics, a fully owned and operated division of the company. Gurtler Logistics is dedicated to providing product-delivery services to our customers. Over the last few years, our industry has experienced increased challenges with delivery services due to the availability of appropriate trucks and drivers. To meet these challenges, Gurtler has invested in our own fleet of semi-tractor/trailers and bulk tankers and hired our own staff of fully qualified drivers. Greg Gurtler, President of Gurtler Industries, explains, “The formation of our Logistics unit will allow us to better control our delivery services, keeping our promise of on-time delivery. Plus, our customers will benefit from having a Gurtler employee on site for personalized delivery service.”

Brett Jasik, who has joined Gurtler as our Director of Logistics, USA, will manage our fleet. Brett foresees numerous benefits as we expand across the nation: “As the United States continues to struggle with supply chain and driver shortages, we face continued increases in delivery costs. Having our own drivers and trucks gives us better control over costs and ensures more efficient delivery to our customers.”

As we roll-out our delivery service from our Chicago production headquarters, Gurtler plans on expanding its fleet. In addition to semis for delivering packaged goods, we have invested in tanker trucks that will each be able to deliver up to 4000 gallons of bulk liquid laundry specialty chemicals. As Brett explains, “in the next few years we aim to handle delivery of 75% of our packaged goods and 90% of our bulk chemical products.”

Our tankers will not only deliver our products; they will also be able to pick up liquid raw materials in bulk and bring them to our plant to support production and help eliminate issues with timely delivery. Additionally, our expanded fleet will be able to pick up empty 220- or 330-gallon chemical totes and 55-gallon drums and return them for recycling.

Greg Gurtler is encouraged by the early response to these initiatives: “Our customers say they appreciate our continued commitment to being a value-added partner. Plus, I have been told that they see this as another example of how Gurtler reacts to problems and implements solutions. Keep your eyes peeled to spot a Gurtler Industries truck on the road to a valued customer!”

TRSA 12TH ANNUAL LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE

Gurtler Industries continues to support the professional laundry industry through participation in industry associations. Last month, Steven Tinker, Gurtler’s Senior VP of R&D and Marketing, attended the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) Legislative Conference in Alexandria, VA. The key issues discussed included a proposed requirement for healthcare facilities to maintain an inventory of reusable PPE, such as isolation gowns, of at least 50% or their requirements. This would help prevent future shortages of critical healthcare workers’ PPE, similar to what we experienced during the initial months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The members also proposed that the federal government require all healthcare facilities to provide industrial laundered, hygienically clean healthcare uniforms and scrubs for staff to change into before and after each shift, preventing the public health issues associated healthcare staff travelling to and from work in potentially contaminated uniforms or scrubs. Steve attended meetings on Capitol Hill at the office of Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator from Minnesota, and other Representative offices to review these important industry issues with congressional staff.

In addition to Steve’s lobbying efforts, he also participated in the TRSA Healthcare Committee meeting held at the same event. The Healthcare Committee has several projects and programs in progress, including development of the agenda for the annual TRSA Healthcare Conference to be held in November. Another initiative is focused on developing a marketing and communications effort that will promote the use of professional laundry services for the long-term care market.

Gurtler Industries is committed to supporting our industry through our participation in industry associations like TRSA.