The Southwest car Wash Association’s Annual Convention and Car Wash Expo for 2021 took place at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX, Wednesday,June 9 through Friday, June 11. Originally scheduled for February 17-19, the event was postponed as a matter of caution due to the then-prevailing situation with regard to COVID-19.
Enthusiasm among attendees was palpable, which was also reflected in the turnout. According to the organizers, attendance was north of the 2,400 mark — an all-time record.
The CEO Forum, the opening session on Wednesday, featured Michael Dominguez, president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). He gave a rousing presentation, touching on post-COVID recovery, advancing technology, and management.
During the general session on Thursday morning, the association posthumously bestowed its highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, on Sonny Fazio (1926-2013), founder of Sonny’s the CarWash Factory. Accepting in his stead was his son Paul, Sonny’s current CEO. Sonny started in the car wash business in 1949 as the owner of a full-service car wash in the Boston area. With the founding of Sonny’s Enterprises in 1978, he switched to the supply side of the business. Today, Sonny’s is the world’s largest manufacturer of conveyorized car wash equipment. A touching video tribute, featuring Sonny himself, highlighted his dedication to innovation and improvement as well as his commitment to the larger car wash family. He disclaimed the title “manufacturer,” declaring instead, “I’m a car washer!”
Steve Forbes, chairman of the Forbes media empire, was the keynote speaker for the event. His presentation covered a wide range of issues including government spending, interest rates, inflation, and, of course, a flat tax. A question from the audience even solicited a comment on election integrity. But when it came to monetary policy, he demurred, “because,” he quipped, “you’re nice.”
The SCWA 2022 Convention and Car Wash Expo is scheduled for February 27-March 1 at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
For further information, visit www.swcarwash.org or call the Southwest Car Wash Association at (800) 440-0644.