NEFA's Fall Fest '19 Draws Rave Reviews
NEFA’s annual Fall fest program on November 16 & 17 in Worcester, ma featured a packed house and a diverse collection of speakers.
“This was an incredible conference,” exclaimed Larry Fish, NEFA President. “We had amazing speakers that spoke from experience and shared their stories of success. I absolutely loved it. I really enjoyed learning from icons of the industry like Bobby Patel of Kona Cleaners and Rita Foley of Regency Cleaners. We all have a lot we can learn from their successes.”
“I also thought it was really enlightening,” continued Fish, “to hear a speaker from outside the industry like Sean Abbas. I thought he was one of the best speakers I have heard at Fall Fest -- or any other industry conference for that matter. His life experiences in developing his staff and corporate structure really resonated with me. It was a very timely topic and one that I am sure the audience needed to hear.”
With over 30 different drycleaning plants represented, 18 vendor companies at the event, and even more sponsors, Fall Fest ‘19 was one of the largest and best attended events to date.
“It feels great when you have an event like this,” offered Peter Blake, NEFA Executive Vice President, “and the feedback was as good as it was. I can honestly say I wouldn’t really change a thing. From the venue, to the speakers, to the food -- it was all top-notch and really made for an excellent conference. The roundtable lunch remains a highlight of the program, and the Silent Auction Cocktail reception provides some great social interaction.”
“Fall Fest is a great conference,” observed Carlyn Parker of Dependable Cleaners. “We do whatever we can to attend and to bring our key staff. Employees and managers can often have a much different perspective than me, and by attending together we all learn the same and it sparks some great conversations. I really am impressed with the entire event, and am shocked that more companies don’t take advantage of the opportunity to learn.”
“NEFA really knocked it out of the park,” offered Joel Bien-Aime of New process Cleaners in New York. “I make it a priority to come every year. I am very thankful NEFA continues to put on this conference. It gives me an opportunity to learn from the best, see some great companies and exhibits, and even pick up some valuable items at the auction. There really is no other opportunity like this easily available for cleaners like myself.”
Top Industry Speakers
Thanks to the generous support of our Session and Breakfast Sponsors (AristoCraft Supply, Kreussler, Aldrich CleanTech, Dark POS, National Waste Clean, and Spot Business Systems), we were able to bring in dynamic speakers from all over the country.
Corporate Culture Expert, Sean Abbas one the most popular speaker. By sharing his life experiences, owners and managers were able to see the positive effects of team building and learn the importance of focussing on key attributes when assembling your team.
“Sean’s talk was unique,” observed Blake, “it is rare for a speaker to be as effective for the drycleaners in the room as well as all the vendors. His presentation reached the entire room.”
Rita Foley of Regency Cleaners in NC was able to show effective ways to diversify and capture the wash-dry-fold market.
“There can be a lot of resistance to change, “cautioned Blake, “but Rita was able to dispel attendees’ concerns, and demonstrate the profitability of the service.”
As NEFA’s 2019 Spotlight Cleaner, Bobby Patel of Kona Cleaners captivated the audience. He shared his experiences and explored his best operating experiences.
“He was terrific,” offered Joel Bien-Aime, “and from the largest to the smallest of cleaners we could all take away key points and use them to make our businesses stronger.
Sunday’s program was equally as strong. James Peuster lead a discussion over maximizing your staff’’s strengths. With every cleaner faced with doing more with less -- it was an important topic. You need to understand how to motivate your team.
Chris Allsbrooks, of Zips Drycleaners (and former DLI Instructor) highlighted the important role the front counter plays in the success of a business. She was able to share effective tools to empower yourstaff and to ensure they are portraying your business in the best possible light.
With Fall Fest ‘19 in the record books, NEFA is already planning for 2020! Keep watch on nefabricare.com for updates.
NEFA's Mission: To provide leadership, services, information and further infrastructure for the betterment of members and industry.
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The North East Fabricare Association (NEFA) is a regional trade association for professional drycleaners and launderers serving all six New England states, New York and New Jersey. NEFA is proud to be partnered with the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (formerly IFI) and maintains a 100% overlapping membership. Simply put, if you are a member of one, you are a member of both!
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