Car Wash - Spring 2014 - (Page 11)

M E ET TH E BOA R D Gary Dennis takes the ICA helm for industry's 100th year FROM THE WORLD of investment banking to the world of professional car washing, Gary Dennis brings a unique perspective to his term as president of International Carwash Association for 2014. Dennis opened his first car wash in Atlanta, Ga., in 2002 with two partners, pioneering the "express exterior" model in that market. An ICA board member since 2010, today he operates six car washes in Georgia and Alabama under the name Ultra Car Wash. Q: You didn't start your career in the car wash business ... what made you choose car washing? A: I was very fortunate to be exposed to a lot of different business models. What attracted me to the car wash business were such features as a basic service, no receivables risk, no inventory shrink or obsolescence and negative working capital. The major drawback is the impact of weather... but we're working diligently on a solution for that! Q: Do you think your banking background gives you a unique way of looking at the business and industry? A: There's certainly nothing wrong with growing up in the industry and knowing it inside and out, and I have been impressed with numerous life-long operators. The one benefit I think I had from a previous life is exposure to many successful management teams from a broad array of industries. Having a different perspective like that has been helpful as I try to find ways to apply concepts from different industries to our industry. Q: What would you tell someone who is now considering entering the car wash business? A: There are a few industry axioms that I would now question, e.g. recession proof or recession resistant. Since we have stores in varied markets, I can now fully appreciate what an economic downturn can do in certain markets that are hit harder than others. I think we still face the challenge of treating new investors as a transaction to be done rather than a relationship to be had. Unfortunately, there are washes still being built in areas where the chance for success is low. Q: What should members and car washers know about the work of the Association? A: From a strategic perspective, I think the Association does a really good job of striking a good balance between the needs of operators and the needs of INTERNATIONAL CARWASH ASSOCIATION 2014 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Gary Dennis, President Pam Piro, Vice President Brian Gleason, Vice President Charnann Cox, Treasurer Mark Curtis, Past President David Begin Richard Belanger Warren Davis Richard Enning William Gorra Jim Mulholland Fred O'Neill Hank Richard Mike Sobie Haji Tehrani Stephen Wade GARY DENNIS Owner Ultra Car Wash Six locations in Georgia and Alabama vendors in a way that supports the industry as a whole; and that's not always an easy, or popular, endeavor. Q: What are you most excited about during your term? A: I believe the Association has become much more forward thinking in the last few years. I'm excited about having such quality people on our board of directors who are thinking about ways to make our industry better by making decisions that will long survive their tenure on the board. I hope that one day our members will look back and think of this as a seminal time in our Association's history. Q: ICA's expansion into Europe is obviously represents a significant milestone. What do you hope to achieve with the Car Wash Show Europe? A: I believe our only regret will be that we didn't do it sooner. I believe the Car Wash Show Europe will benefit from our expertise as the premier producer of car wash trade shows such that it is considered a rousing success in its inaugural year. Through our research and market analysis, there is clearly a need for a car wash specific show, and the early response from operators and vendors alike has been very positive. SPRING 2014 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG | 11 http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Spring 2014

Letter From the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Look Out! Self-Driving Cars Heading Your Way
On the Road, but Still Online
Finding Your Way Through the Mobile Landscape
Take a Tour
Stay Ahead of the Curve
Car Wash Industry Celebrates Centennial Milestone
ICA 2013 Annual Report
Getting to the Point of Biometrics
Fighting for Innovation
Take It From Tech: Entrepreneurial Lessons Courtesy of Google
You Don’t Have to Fail
100 Years
The Innovator’s DNA
Emerging Russian Car Wash Industry Faces Challenges
Rise to the Top
Does a Company Really Need to Innovate?
Watersavers Program Reaches Out During Drought
Blast From the Past
Download It!
Marketing Minute
Ask Champ
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Member

Car Wash - Spring 2014