In 1959, Maytag® Commercial Laundry hosted the first Maytag® Annual Meeting at the company’s headquarters. Attendees gathered for that first event, which was created to share news about the brand, educate on products and discuss plans for the coming year. Attendees also took the opportunity to celebrate and honor the exemplary customer performances and accomplishments of the past year.
Fast forward 60 years and that tradition of collaboration, education and celebration continues. In June, more than 200 individuals from 18 countries attended the 60th Maytag® Commercial Laundry Annual Meeting and Awards Recognition at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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,” said Randy Karn, Whirlpool Global Service Manager, Whirlpool Corporation Commercial Laundry. Karn has attended 33 of the past 60 Maytag® Annual 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 with Maytag® Commercial Laundry,” said Malcolm Caldwell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at 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.”
A key component of the Maytag® Annual Meeting has always been the learning and exchanging of industry knowledge. “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,” said Chad Lange, Sales Director of Commercial Laundry for Whirlpool Corporation. “In addition, it provides our customers with a chance to talk with brand leadership and hear about future plans for the brand.”
Richard and Susan LaMaina with Equipment Marketers, based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, look forward to the Maytag® Annual Meeting for the camaraderie, the product knowledge and learning from other distributors. The Lamainas attended their first Annual Meeting in 1978.
“As a Maytag® Commercial Laundry distributor for over 60 years, 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,” said 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.”
LaMania added that he has seen the annual gatherings evolve over the years but the focus on service, training and product knowledge has remained the foundation for each meeting. “The meetings have always been service-oriented,” said LaMania. “Maytag brings the meetings to different locations and work with the distributors to provide a lot of service training. The brand would tear down products and share with the distributors everything about the products.”
In addition to educational opportunities, the Maytag® Annual Meeting has also been known for offering a center stage to celebrate commitment and dedication within the industry. During this year’s 60th Fred Maytag Awards Dinner, Maytag recognized the hard work that went into the past year and outstanding customer performances were acknowledged in the following manner:
- Taking home the most coveted and prestigious accolade, Excellence Appliance Technologies, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines won the Fred Maytag Award. This honor is presented to the customer that best emulates the founder’s marketing philosophy and supports the Maytag® Commercial Laundry brand with salesmanship, professionalism and integrity. Established by Fred Maytag in 1959, this esteemed tribute recognizes a Maytag® Commercial Laundry provider for outstanding achievements and remarkable performance. Pictured above: (L to R) are: Chad Lange, Whirlpool Corporation; Tanny Chu, Whirlpool Corporation; Carlos Vasquez, Whirlpool Corporation; John Sioco, Excellence Appliance Technologies; and Trey Northrup, Whirlpool Corporation.
- CLE Malaysia, based in Kuala Lampur was honored with 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.
- Hercules Corporation of Hicksville, New York was recognized as the Quality Partner of the Year, which praises a distributor for its collaboration and dedication to Maytag® Commercial Laundry, and its commitment to advancing the commercial laundry industry.
- Honoring achievements in the development and implementation of marketing and sales programs, and supporting overall Maytag® Commercial Laundry offerings, Harco Co. Ltd of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, was given the Marketing Excellence Award.
- SEBCO Laundry Systems™ of Raritan, New Jersey was presented with the Red Carpet Service® Award, which recognizes excellent service and dependability characterized by Maytag® Commercial Laundry.
- Winning the International Distributor of the Year Award, PT Triton Internasional, of Jakarta, Indonesia, was recognized for its 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.
- The Maytag® Commercial Laundry Outstanding First Year Performer was Aqualys of Paris, France. This award is reserved for the distributor that put forth great commitment to multi-housing sales and the Maytag® brand in their 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 customers,” said 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.”