A lot of laundry has passed through the hundreds of plants that have benefited from Bill Mann’s expertise since he entered the industry as a teen-age ‘bundle boy’ in September 1958, writes TRSA, the North American textile care trade association. Now, after a 62-year career in the laundry industry and a key post as director of industry affairs for TRSA, Mann will retire next month after the 21-22 April TRSA HR, Health and Safety Summit.
Noting that he wants to spend more time with family, including his wife Charlene and their children and grandchildren, Mann is stepping away from a part-time role he’s continued as liaison to the TRSA Safety Committee, serving as an inspector for TRSA’s Hygienically Clean certification program and guiding the production of the Laundry Operations and Management manual published in 2017. Mann’s latest move comes eight years after his ‘official’ retirement in 2013, following a nine-year stint as TRSA’s director of industry affairs.
“I’ve always said, ‘If you’re going to do a job for someone, do it right,’” he said. “I feel now is the right time to step back from the industry.”
TRSA president and CEO Joseph Ricci praised Mann’s many contributions to TRSA and the linen, uniform and facility services industry. “Bill has given so much to the industry and TRSA through our educational programs, Hygienically Clean certification, the Safety Committee, advising individual members and so much more,” Ricci said. “He will leave a huge space to fill. But we understand he’s ready to retire. Soon, Bill will have a chance to reflect on his many accomplishments during an outstanding career.”
Mann cited three key areas that he’s proud to have contributed to, including:
· Hygienically Clean certification: as director of industry affairs in the early 2000s Mann served on the steering committee that organized an initiative that evolved into the Hygienically Clean certification program. Since 2012, the certification effort has helped elevate standards to protect laundry employees as well as hospital staff and personnel at other organizations served by the roughly 230 plants that are now certified to the Hygienically Clean standard.
· Textile Laundering Technology: Commonly known by its acronym “TLT,” this 2007 publication offers laundry operators guidance on wash formulas and all facets of chemical use and handling, fibers and fabrics, finishing, energy and troubleshooting throughout the laundry process.
· Laundry Operations and Management: Published in 2017, this book offers an overview of the laundry industry, from soil sorting to washing, drying and finishing, packout and delivery. An incoming manager who’s new to the industry or an industry veteran can gain insights from the work of dozens of operators and supplier partners who contributed to this publication.
Before joining TRSA, Mann had an outstanding career in the laundry industry, beginning with the laundry and dry-cleaning business of Mary McIntosh Services, York, Pennsylvania. After starting part-time in the wash aisle while still in high school, Mann learned quickly. Within 12 years he had advanced to general manager for Mary McIntosh. During this period, he also completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration at York College.
Mann later entered the supplier partner ranks, serving as a chemical sales representative for BASF Corp. and later UNX Chemicals Inc. Mann also attained a certificate in accounting to buttress his management skills.
Mann was active in community affairs as well over many years. He served as president of the Spring Creek Lions Club, Macungie, PA; and he played a key role in the founding of a bowling league for developmentally disabled children and adults.