BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — In 1959, Maytag® Commercial Laundry hosted an Annual Meeting at its Iowa headquarters. That inaugural event was created to share news about the brand, educate on products and discuss plans for the coming year. Attendees also celebrated and honored distributor performances and accomplishments of the past year.
The tradition continues. In June, more than 200 people from 18 countries attended the 60th Maytag® Commercial Laundry Annual Meeting and Awards Recognition at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.
The fast-paced, one-day event took attendees through several topics, including an up-close look at the new Maytag® Multi-Load Washer, product insights and industry trends; the Whirlpool® Commercial Portal; and an overview of Maytag® Commercial Laundry marketing support and programs.
“It’s exciting to witness a tradition as rich and storied as the Maytag® Annual Meeting,” says Randy Karn, Whirlpool Global Service Manager, Whirlpool Corporation Commercial Laundry, who has attended 33 of the meetings. “It’s an event that has evolved over the years based on locations, trends in the industry, and customers’ needs, but the ideals on which it was founded have remained steadfast. That is to celebrate our successes, communicate with our customers, and honor the brand’s achievements.”
“The Annual Meeting adds value to our relationship,” says Malcolm Caldwell, vice president of sales and marketing at distributor Harco Co. Ltd. “We look at the Annual Meeting as a comprehensive overview allowing us to learn about the year’s brand goals and objectives, examine products, share experiences with our peers, and perhaps most importantly, gain insights that help us capture sales and grow our business.”
The learning and exchanging of industry knowledge have always been a key meeting component.
“Whether structured as workshops, product demos or peer discussions, the goal is to form a foundation of success for Maytag® Commercial Laundry distributors, route operators and team members,” says Chad Lange, sales director of commercial laundry for Whirlpool Corporation.
Richard and Susan LaMaina with Equipment Marketers, based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, say they look forward to the Annual Meeting for the camaraderie, the product knowledge and learning from other distributors. The LaMainas attended their first Annual Meeting in 1978.
“We appreciate the opportunity each year to learn first-hand about the brand’s strategic plans for products and enhancements being made to product lineups,” says Richard LaMaina. “The event provides a chance for hands-on experiences, product demonstrations and key service topics, all of which help us to run our business more efficiently and successfully.”
During this year’s 60th Fred Maytag Awards Dinner, Maytag recognized the hard work that went into the past year. Outstanding distributors recognized included:
Excellence Appliance Technologies, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines, winner of the Fred Maytag Award. Considered Maytag’s most coveted and prestigious honor, the award is presented to the distributor that best emulates the founder’s marketing philosophy and supports the Maytag® Commercial Laundry brand with salesmanship, professionalism and integrity.
CLA Malaysia, based in Kuala Lumpur, received the Maytag® Commercial Laundry Vended Excellence Award. This honor is reserved for the distributor that best serves its vended store customers with effective and efficient service, Maytag says.
Hercules Corporation of Hicksville, New York, was recognized as the Quality Partner of the Year. The award praises a distributor for its collaboration and dedication to Maytag® Commercial Laundry, and its commitment to advancing the commercial laundry industry.
Harco Co. Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, was given the Marketing Excellence Award, recognizing achievements in the development and implementation of marketing and sales programs, and supporting overall Maytag® Commercial Laundry offerings,
PT Triton Internasional, of Jakarta, Indonesia, was named the International Distributor of the Year. The award recognizes a company’s service, dependability, strong sales and support of Maytag® Commercial Laundry products outside of the U.S. and Canadian markets.
CSC ServiceWorks, headquartered in Plainview, New York, was presented with the Multi-Housing Excellence Award. This award praises exemplary service to the niche market of colleges and universities, condominiums and apartment buildings.
Aqualys of Paris, France, was the Maytag® Commercial Laundry Outstanding First Year Performer. The award is reserved for the distributor that puts forth great commitment to multi-housing sales and the Maytag® brand in its first year.
Richard Jay, with locations throughout Australia, received the International Multi-Housing Excellence Award. This award recognizes companies from global markets that exhibit excellence in business growth and customer service within the multi-housing industry.
“The accomplishments we have achieved thus far as a brand have been attainable thanks to the tremendous dedication and support of our (distributor) customers,” says Lange. “Collaboration is vital. We are not only proud of the successes we have achieved together with our reputable distributors over the past 60 years, but even more excited to witness what the future holds.”