LAS VEGAS, Nev —The American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) and the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) held their fourth Breakfast at Clean at the Las Vegas Convention Center during Clean ’17. The event provides members and accredited laundries the opportunity to enjoy a hot meal and socialize before attending the Clean Show and its offerings.
This year’s event featured several awards including the presentation of the Nate Belkin Award for Excellence in Marketing Reusable Textiles. This new award is presented biennially to the ARTA member company that best exemplifies ARTA’s mission. Nate Belkin, PhD, founded ARTA in 1982 while working for Fashion Seal Healthcare. He passed in 2010.
ARTA President Brendan O’Neill presented the awards, as follows:
- 2017 Nate Belkin Award — Lac-Mac Limited of London, Ontario.
Lac-Mac Limited was established in 1920 and is one of North America’s leading manufacturers of reusable protective technical products for various market segments. The company specializes in high-performance, liquid-proof, breathable PPE products.
For more than 30 years, Lac-Mac has been a licensed manufacturer for products using a family of technical GORE® fabrics. In addition, the company manufactures protective products under the exclusive R.MOR.Tex® brand for the operating room.
- Appreciation Award — Gerald (Jerry) Benstock, chairman emeritus of Superior Uniform Group and Fashion Seal Healthcare, for his role as a founding supporter and friend of ARTA. Benstock was pivotal in ARTA’s formation by providing Belkin the support and time for the ongoing endeavor.
Benstock joined Superior Uniform Group in 1951 shortly after graduating from New York University College of Engineering. He worked as a plant engineer and floor manager before being tasked with designing and supervising the construction of a new corporate headquarters, sewing factory and warehouse in Huntington, New York. By the end of the 1960s, Superior Uniform Group had 12 manufacturing plants in the Deep South and a major warehouse and distribution center in Arkansas.
In the mid-1980s, Jerry expanded into Central America and established a major presence in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti. It was during the early 1980s that Nate Belkin came to Jerry with the request to launch ARTA.
The company filed its first public offering of more than $10 million in 1968. Today, the company’s revenues exceed $250 million. As chairman emeritus, Benstock remains an active consultant to the company, still working five days a week and enjoying the success of his family members.
- ARTA MVP Award — ARTA Past President Don Pedder, for his past and ongoing contributions to ARTA.
Pedder is a 50-year industry veteran and principal of Donald Pedder Consulting. He started his career at Gordon Linen Service as a regional engineer. He later worked for Initial as an engineer, HLS Linen Services in Chicago as president and CEO, and Reino Linen Service as COO.
Pedder was the first laundry operator to join ARTA in 1992. Under his leadership, laundry operators now make up 50% of ARTA’s membership. In addition, Pedder established ARTA’s biennial education conference in 2006 and developed the organization’s sponsorship program. He also supported the creation of a Canadian ARTA, or CARTA, and later oversaw the merger of the ARTA and CARTA.
Today, he works with Centurion Medical Products, consults for laundries, and serves as an HLAC inspector.