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VOL. 3, NO. 1 WINTER 2018






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Letter from the Editor

Detail Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Packaging & Pricing Detail Services

Faith & Perseverance . . . . . . . . . 9 How one detailer in Puerto Rico survived Hurricane Maria

Hall of Stains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Head’s Up!

One More Thing . . .

Porsche or Pinto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 It’s all fun & games!

Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rupes Grand Opening . . . . . . . . . . Business Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Detailers in the news . . . . . . . . . . . Now Open for Business . . . . . . . . . History BUFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

16 17 18 19 19 19

Innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Nitty Gritty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Getting to know Shawn Rowan of Ardex Laboratories

Cover Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Always Bet on SEMA

IDA Column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Mobile Tech Expo: An Invaluable Investment for IDA and Its Members

Vol. 3, No. 1, Winter 2018 Publisher: Jackson Vahaly Editor: Debra Gorgos Design: Katy Barrett-Alley Auto Detailing News is published 4 times per year and is independently owned by Jackson Vahaly. Web address is

All inquiries should be directed to: Auto Detailing News 110 Childs Ln. Franklin, TN 37067 Copyright © 2016

As the holidays are winding down and I am easily 15 pounds heavier and many dollars lighter in my wallet, I cannot help but feel blessed. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking with William Cátala Landry of Puerto Rico (see story page XX). My publisher, Jackson Vahaly, met Landry at the SEMA Show. “This guy has a great story,” he said while handing me his business card. I looked down on it, saw the words “Puerto Rico” as his location and immediately felt a pit in the bottom of my stomach. I don’t want to hear a sad story, or write about one, I thought. My nerves of empathy cannot handle a tale of loss and devastation. Selfish, I know. But, when your publisher makes a suggestion, you follow through. I, personally, don’t do well with sad stories. I bawled uncontrollably after seeing Cool Runnings and my friends had to comfort me outside the movie theatre until I was okay to drive. I am actually not even sure if that movie is even sad? When I was studying journalism in college a fellow student was interning at the local daily paper. She had to cover a story about a family cat that died in a house fire. “Nuh uh, not me,” I said. “I can’t do that.” Once again, selfish, I know. I called William and got his voice mail. He immediately called me back and greeted me with a happy and buoyant, “Hello, Debra! Thank you

so much for calling me!” His friendliness was palpable. What happened next will change my life indefinitely. William revealed that even though property was destroyed. Even though markets were bare for weeks. Even though they were told it would take 10 years for the island to bounce back, he still felt very blessed. I repeat: He. Still. Felt. Very. Blessed. Huh? I remember thinking. Why? How? “Because,” he said, “I feel so much love around me. That makes me blessed.” But, how do you feel blessed when so much bad has happened? I pondered. “You just have to believe it,” he said. Start there. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need that wake up call. Back in November, a boy’s request for snacks for Christmas went viral and made international news. Things of our Very Own, a non-profit that helps out families in need, shared his tag on Facebook. continued ...

2 Dollar Enterprises/Auto Detailing News All Rights Reserved.



Letter from the Editor

One More Thing continued ...

This happened in my hometown as Things of My Very Own is based only a few miles away from my home. The response to this post was inspiring. People, including my own friends, pooled together their resources to make sure this child would no longer be without snacks. A friend who lives outside New York City collected all the snacks from her co-workers and immediately shipped them in. When I went down to the organization’s headquarters, I was told people from all over the world were sending in snacks. This boy will not be without one for the rest of his schooling career. And other children’s tags were soon adopted thanks to the momentum and attention garnered from child 2117.


Attention to Details


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The world is a good place. Good outweighs evil. We are all blessed. You just have to believe that. In other news, I absolutely love the responses we have been getting, both from the people I met with at the Northeast Regional Carwash Convention in Atlantic City and at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. At both shows I met people who are feeling positive about the industry as a whole. It seems as if car care/maintenance and the many associated professions are at a higher echelon. I recently signed on as the editor of the long-standing and successful Self Serve Car Wash News publication. Similar to Auto Detailing News, it is another fun publication, but

DOUG PARFITT Eye for Detail

also full of powerful and prominent information. If you happen to also own a self serve car wash, please let me know, I would like to talk to you. And, one more thing before I sign off, I will be at the 2018 Mobile Tech Expo. Please let me know if you would like to meet up — send a text to 518-5982287. Share with me any story ideas, or just tell me about your business. Also, happy new year to all of you. I hope everyone reading this knows how much I appreciate you and your support. I hope you all have a wonderful 2018. Now, according to Chinese astrology, 2018 is the year of the dog and the Feng Shui prediction is that, “The financial potential created by star 9 will concretize


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in new business opportunities, increased cash flow, building good reputation and a high social status.” I have no idea what star 9 is or what “concretize” means, but that sounds good to me! Until next time,


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Packaging & Pricing Detail Services By Bud Abraham

In the early years of detailing, auto dealers were the main customer and they set the price for a complete detail. A detail business owner either accepted that price or did not get the business. And, because most operations were not operated professionally, the operator had no real idea of their operating costs and obviously could not base prices on costs of operation. However, increased labor costs and operational expenses are forcing most operators to readjust their attitudes on pricing detail services. And as auto detailing continues to gain popularity as a retail service, operational costs will continue to grow. These costs include higher rents for locations that are more visible, facility improvements, equipment that is more sophisticated, insurance, advertising, and other expenses. While these costs are the key factor in

In the many years I have been involved in the auto detail industry it is clear that how detail services are priced is the key to success in the business. determining price, you also need to consider pricing in the market area to ensure you aren’t too high or too low in your pricing.



The most fiscally responsible approach to pricing detail services is to determine your costs of operation and arrive at an hourly rate for your service time. Then calculate the time required to do the job and price accordingly. Following the competition’s prices can be very dangerous, because your costs of operation may be far higher than theirs.



As mentioned, for many years detailing was strictly a wholesale service. Done for the auto dealer who told the detailer what they would pay. Today they pay from $100 to $200 per car for a complete detail. Assuming that an operator runs a legitimate detail business, your costs of operation may be too high to price detail services at the above-mentioned prices. Remember detailing is a legitimate automotive service. A professional detailer provides value and quality in exchange for a reasonable price to the customer. Therefore, detail services should be priced as any other retail business would

price their services. Certainly, you can look at what the competition is doing in the area, but keep in mind their pricing is not based on “your cost of operation”, and that their operational costs may be lower, or even higher than yours.



Keep in mind two things: No more than 25% of the motoring public knows what detailing really is and why they should use the services. And, less than 15% have ever purchased detail services. continued ...

Editor’s Note: While we here at Auto Detailing News admire and appreciate Bud Abraham, please note that his opinions expressed in his Detail Doctor columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Auto Detailing News. If you have a strong opinion about Bud’s article, feel free to write a Letter to the Editor and send it to Debra Gorgos at VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018 | AUTO DETAILING NEWS |


DETAIL DOCTOR So, can the motorist then determine what the price should be? Not really! Some would say: “They know what they don’t want to pay.” To an extent, this is true, but in a large part, we have found from market testing that few customers complain that prices are too high. That is, if the detailer is selling the “need” first, and the value you provide, and not price. Remember, you are dealing with services the majority of your customers have nothing to compare with. Therefore, if you sell need first and value you

can generally sell the service because the customer needs it and wants it. If they did not they would not be talking to you in the first place. You need to always sell your detail services for what they are worth. However, you have to know what they are worth and believe that. What are they worth? First, determine your costs of operation, plus a reasonable profit margin. Next is “what will the market bear”? You can look at the cost of like automotive services. For example, labor alone for a tune-up can run from $80 to $100 per hour, depending on the shop. A lube, oil change, and filter will cost nearly $40 for 15 minutes of work. A full service car wash is nearly $20 for a 10 to 15 minute service. A professional detail business, operating in a good retail area with good equipment and trained employees, can have as much invested as an auto repair shop. Why then can’t they charge accordingly?


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VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

They can! Price is only a problem if you allow it to be. First and foremost, you must sell your services from a position of strength. You must know and believe in the worth and value of your service. If you convey this attitude, the customer will immediately feel your confidence. If the price objection does arise, it can be overcome by using techniques that minimize price and maximize benefits, thus creating value. If the customer does not want value and only price, let them go to the price shop, “good riddance”.



Remember, not every customer who objects to price has the same reason. Some customers will have a legitimate budget problem. They really do not have the money. They may be a business or

government agency with a set budget for vehicle maintenance. If the customer has a legitimate budget problem, you can offer more services for the same money, or better yet, offer a less expensive option while making it seem you are not lessening the value. For example, offer a trunk shampoo and engine clean for the same price as an exterior/interior detail. Alternatively, sell an exterior/interior in lieu of a complete detail by indicating the trunk and engine are in good condition and do not need cleaning. You can also sell a simple one-step polish and wax instead of a more time-consuming buff, polish, and wax. Many customers who claim they cannot afford your detail services are saying they are not convinced the services are worth as much as you are asking. These customers are often the type who have a psychological need to “get a deal”. However, this does not always relate to price.

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DETAIL DOCTOR Normally this buyer wants you to justify the high price. You must convince the customer their vehicle has the need for the services you are offering and you will provide the best value to get them to pay your price. Your job is to point out the “Need” the vehicle has for the service and that your business is the only one to fill that need. Remember, if price were the only concern, your customers would all be driving a Yugo and eating at McDonald’s. In general, most people who contact a detail business will not question your prices if your presentation is correct. If price is a factor, they generally will thank you and walk out.



It may be a cliché, but “an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.” If you plan your sales presentation properly you won’t have a price objection and you’ll be able to close the customer who thinks he doesn’t want to pay the price. To do this you must plan your sales pitch so price does not play a determining role in the sale. 1. We have found there are three key factors for an effective sales presentation: 2. What does the customer think they want or need?



3. What does the vehicle actually need? 4. Are they price conscious?




Listen to everything the customer says about their perceived needs. Next, look at the vehicle reinforcing what the customer’s perceived needs are. For ex|

VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

ample, “Yes, your car’s paint does need buffing. It’s oxidizing and must be stopped before it creates further damage.” To determine if they are price conscious ask if they want the interior cleaned. If they are price conscious they will either say, no, they don’t want these services, or they will immediately ask, how much? If they say no, it is generally best to back off and simply sell the service they indicated they wanted. If you feel the door is still open for an upsell, carefully reinforce the need for the additional service(s) to protect the car’s value. Selling the need and value of the service(s) can generally eliminate price objections.

Keep in mind there will always be customers to whom price is the only concern, no matter how great the value. For these customers, “it is you against them”. You cannot win, so do not try. Most customers are concerned about getting the most for their money. If you sell value, they will pay.



In spite of the best-planned sales presentations, price can still be a problem. Preventing price from becoming a major issue is a key to successful sales and profitability. It is important to prepare for the customer’s price objections, verbal or not. Successful salespeople anticipate objections and prepare a way to overcome them. There are three steps to follow:

If your price is based on an hourly shop rate, then what you do is evaluate the customer’s vehicle and the needs and then refer to a Service Menu (with no prices) and make a recommendation for a particular package:


1. Clarify the objection. Repeat the protest. Raise it as a question: “Is price the only reason you do not want to buy?” If the only reason is cost, clarify what is meant by “too expensive”. Is the price higher than the competition or higher than they expected to pay? 2. Have empathy for the customer’s price problem. Do not contradict the customer by claiming your prices are not too high. You will create ill feelings or an argument by telling them they are wrong. Instead, let them know you understand their position, but explain your position as a businessperson and justify your price by highlighting the benefits. For example, “Yes, I can understand your desire to save money because

you are selling the car. Think of the additional value you will add to the car by having it completely detailed.” 3. Immediately follow the empathy statement with a solution to their price problem, by either informing them of additional benefits or explaining how the service will meet their vehicle’s needs.


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The pitch would go like this: “Well Mr. Jones, after evaluating the condition of your vehicle, I would recommend the X Package which includes (list all services) and the cost is only $XX. Shall we make an appointment? Or better yet, I can get you in today. Do you need a ride home or to work?” If you have any questions or need any assistance, please feel free to contact me at

Bud Abraham, founder of DETAIL PLUS Car Appearance Systems, is a noted speaker and writer in the detail industry. Was a founding member of the International Detailing Association and its first executive director. He writes and consults on auto detailing all over the world. He can be reached at buda@

Faith & Perseverance

How one detailer in Puerto Rico survived Hurricane Maria By Debra Gorgos

On September 5, mobile detailer William Cátala Landry of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, posted the following to his Facebook page: Hang tough my good friends I’m praying the storm passes you by. The storm, which turned out to be a category 5 hurricane, didn’t pass by.

Instead, it crashed and barreled through the island, causing catastrophic destruction. Named Hurricane Maria, it is now the listed as one of the 10 most intense Atlantic hurricanes in recorded history. Right now, losses are estimated to be about $103 billion. Landry, and his wife, Caridad, were able to survive the hurricane’s path of destruction. And, although their lives were greatly affected, Landry said they

are staying positive. Landry was even able to attend the 2017 SEMA Show, even though things back home were less than ideal. He said his reason was because the money had already been spent on the plane tickets and admission. “I am glad I went, even with the way things were back home,” he shared, “because I got so much support from other detailers.” And, even though, the island is still not back on track (only 20 percent

of the population has electricity at the time this article was written), Landry truly believes in the power of positivity. ““I still feel blessed. We will be okay. You just have to believe that.” Before the hurricane struck, Landry had been running a successful mobile detailing business which specialized in paint corrections, paint coatings, rock chip repairs, interior shampoos with excontinued ...



tractions and steam cleanings. He got his start five years ago and immediately fell in love with the profession. “My dad and my uncle were always car guys, and I inherited that passion. After I lost my job in 2012 my dad encouraged me to start my own detailing business.” He soon earned certification from the International Detailing Association and even his wife was becoming an accomplished detailer and would help him out on the weekends. “My wife is a second grade teacher. She loves working with me, and she has developed great passion to detail cars




and work with me on weekends, holidays and sometimes after school.” Landry loved to work on classic cars, but said his clientele consisted of just about anything including exotic cars, bikes, golf carts, fleets, industrial equipment, and airplanes. His favorite part about this job? “Offering solutions to customers’ needs,” he shared, “and creating a bond with our customers that results in a long-term relationship… plus I get to work on cool things!” Landry noted that even with a struggling economy, business was flourishing. “Puerto Ricans take pride on their


VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

cars, and having more than 2 million cars on the island we had plenty of work.”



Hurricane Irma had already hit Puerto Rico the first week of September, leaving 1 million residents without power. Two weeks later, 80,000 were still without power. Landry, who still had power, said he was aware of Hurricane Maria, and prepared for the worst. “It had been a long time without a major

hurricane hitting us. But we knew what to do. We had plenty of canned food for at least a month, enough bottled water for 12 to 15 days, eight to 10 days’ worth of gasoline for the generator and our cars’ tanks were full as well.” When Hurricane Maria made its way onto Puerto Rican soil, Landry described it as terrifying. “It was one of the scariest experience of our lives.” Their house is made of concrete and was able to withstand major destruction, but they were not necessarily free from damage. “We stayed in our bedroom until a window broke and we had to put some

pillows and blankets to stop the water from coming in. [Then] at that point we moved to the bathroom where we felt more safe. The wind gusts were so hard that you could feel the walls vibrating.” Landry admitted he doesn’t know how he and his wife survived the ordeal. “Thinking back, I will say that I felt a natural instinct for survival, trying to be logical about each decision. It also took a lot of patience because some things you just can’t control. But, having so much love for my wife was the key.”



The destruction from Hurricane Maria was palpable and devastating. Landry said that because they lost power they had no way of making sure their families were okay. Even when power was regained there were no TV stations on the air and only one radio station was


broadcasting. “This lasted for more than two weeks. We were basically uncommunicated from our family members who were also in Puerto Rico as well as those in the United States.” Everything changed after that, Landry said. “The life you had known had changed forever. It was like going to sleep in modern time and waking up to a battlefield or waking up in Puerto Rico in the 1940s where there was no communication, Internet, or electric power on

the island. We didn’t have running water for a few days and to get gas you had to wait in six- to 10-hour wait lines to get $10 to $20 worth. And, you couldn’t drive too far because of the debris.” Landry and his wife slowly started to put the pieces back together. His wife’s mother and her sister loss their roof along with everything inside. “They are staying with us until we can rebuild their home again. But, thank God all our family are they are ok.” Fifty-four days after Hurricane María

struck, Landry was still without power. He wasn’t alone as 60 percent of Puerto Ricans were also off the grid entirely. He was told it could take between four to six months or even more depending on the extent of the damage in each area. “Communications and water are not 100 percent either. The first three weeks we had no cellphones or Internet, bur around the fourth week [post-Hurricane] our cellphone signal and Internet connection are both runcontinued ...

P&S Sales coming at end of week



ning, but very weak.” During the first month, Landry said almost every grocery store aisle was empty and nothing fresh was available — no meats, no fruits, no vegetables, no eggs, no dairy products or bottled water. But, now, according to Landry, supermarkets are about 85 percent full. “…The power situation and the structural damages have caused many schools, companies, malls, hotels and pharmacies to close, both temporarily or permanently. Many people have been laid off or have moved to the States in search of a better life. Our lives changed after the hurricane — we’re living on generators, and there are still long lines in many places like banks, gas stations, stores, and government agencies.”








VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

We can say that this Hurricane has brought families, friends and neighbors closer, Landry shared. “We are very blessed and positive, but we will be closely watching our economy in the [upcoming] months. We are pretty sure that we will move to the States in search of a better opportunity for my business. Although we already started working again, we know that it will take Puerto Rico many years to fully recover from this event.” Landry noted that being able to attend the 2017 SEMA Show with his wife was a dream come true, even though they were still suffering from the Hurricane’s

destruction back home. “We had the opportunity to attend SEMA and it was a life changing experience. We were blessed enough to work with the Flex Tools demo team and help all the Hispanic people who attended the booth. Being able to network with many colleagues and being able to see all the new products and the trends for this next year helped us set our new goals. Next year we will definitely attend again.” The support the couple received at SEMA was just what the couple needed to charge ahead and stay the course. “There’s no way how to express our gratitude to all our friends in our detailing industry from the top detailers, to the trainers and suppliers. We look up to all of them and are thankful for how they are all helping us. They have also helped us so much before the Hurricane, too.” And, with a positive and even altruistic pronouncement, Landry said the power and beauty of the island will prevail. “We can say that this hurricane has brought families, friends and neighbors closer. And we want to let everyone know that we are #prstrong, and looking forward to seeing our island rebuilt, and back on her feet showing the world her beauty.” And, with that, Landry’s words of positivity and gratefulness send out a powerful message. It isn’t about the destruction, but more about the resolve, which is stronger than any storm or setback. “I still feel blessed. We have been through so much, but I will stay positive because I know we can [bounce back].”

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11/28/2017 2:04:01 PM

Hall of Stains

Stain horror stories

Head’s Up!

Chances are, as a detailer you have probably seen horrible messes. Pigment, odors, or just plain grossness can turn stomachs and perhaps even make you wish you were doing something else for a living. This section is dedicated to those horror stories and will share the tales of the really bad spills and stains that took special treatments and extra man hours to eradicate.

The Survivor: Heath Slaughter (yes, that’s his real name).

The Victim: Ford Single Cab Truck

The Gory Details: Overall what had happened, now I live in Iowa mind you, I was working at a local car lot in Iowa City. And there on the lot was an old Ford single cab truck that was your typical ragged out smelly farm truck. The truck was a trade in and I’m not sure who owned it (which was probably for the better). I got to work and just started throwing away stuff. I didn’t look under the seats, but would put my hand under them and would feel around to see if there was anything to

throw out... This went on a bit until I felt something weird under one of the seats and then noticed my hand was wet... I pulled it out and looked at it and my hand had blood on it. I yelled and looked under the seat to find a pig’s head.

The Exorcism: The mess from the pig’s head was basically blood, etc. I hit the area under the seat with Real Clean and followed up with some ammonia then a splash of Nature’s Own. It was a chore... But living in Ainsworth, Iowa, it’s hard telling what you’ll find in a farm truck. The entire job took 12 or more hours. However, once I was done, and got the pig’s head remnants extracted, the truck was [back to ‘normal’].


Got a scary stain story to share? Send it to Editor Debra Gorgos at!





VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018



Porsche or Pinto?

It’s no secret that detailers know their cars. But, let’s put the skills to the test. Can you tell the make, model and year of each vehicle posted below? Answers are on the bottom of the page. Good luck!

___ 2016 Toyoto Highlander ___ 2009 Toyota Prius ___ 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe ___ 2017 Kia Forte ___ 2018 Honda HRV ___ 2013 Chevy Silverado







a. 2013 Chevy Silverado b. 2018 Honda HRV c. 2017 Kia Forte



d. 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe e. 2016 Toyoto Highlander f. 2009 Toyota Prius




2018 Mobile Tech Expo

JAN 25-27, 2018

Caribe Royale Orlando Orlando, Florida

Autogeek’s 2018 Detail Fest & Car Show MAR 17-18, 2018

Palm Beach County Convention Center West Palm Beach, Florida

The 2018 Car Wash Show™ APR 26-28, 2018

Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, Nevada

Who’s going to Mobile Tech Expo 2018? The 17th annual three-day International Mobile Tech Expo is just around the corner and new things are in the works. The Expo, which will take place at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, from Friday January 26-28, will, for the first time, offer education sessions segmented by subject matter. The categories include: • Business • Detailing by IDA • PDR by NAPDRT • Digital Marketing A total of 60 sessions will be offered. Home of the only International PDR

Dent Olympics, the Expo will have hundreds of booths and exhibits on display. There will also be drawings for $500 in cash, a 60” TV, two iPad minis and two Apple Watches. Education day is Friday, and the show days are Saturday and Sunday. According to Show Director Kevin Halewood, the 2018 event is a larger show floor consisting of both the original Main Hall & the Pavilion at the Caribe Royale. “There are also a number of first time exhibitors and a much more extensive presence of the IDA and seminars.





VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

Additionally, the demonstration area is larger and Education Day has been upgraded to include tracks and a Keynote by Renny Doyle.” Halewood added that this year’s Expo is headed towards being the largest show ever in terms of exhibitors with new accessories, products and services for detailers. “As far as attendees,” he said, “we are pacing way ahead of previous as we opened registration earlier. Attendees can go to our Facebook page to see all the exciting new items at the show.”


MAY 15-17, 2018 Stuttgart, Germany homepage.html

Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC) OCTOBER 1-3, 2018

Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ

2018 SEMA Show

OCT 30-NOV 2, 2018 Las Vegas Convention Center



RUPES HOSTS GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION IN LOUISVILLE, COLORADO Immediately following the 2017 SEMA evert in November, RUPES USA held a grand opening celebration of its new state-of-the-art manufacturing and training facility in Louisville, Colorado. Noted as a huge milestone by the company, the new facility will mean expanded manufacturing capability for the North American market as well as a need for more staff to fill positions in sales, service, manufacturing, support, etc. Chip Case, General Manager/CEO for RUPES USA, stated in a press release last April, “In such a short time RUPES has established a meaningful and powerful commitment to this market and

this new facility will be a monument to that dedication.” This venue will become a destination for all serious professionals looking to learn from the very best trainers in the industry. Completion of the new facility is expected in late 2017, the press release stated. RUPES is an Italian and family-owned and operated company based in Milan. It started out in 1947 and last year marked its 70-year anniversary. RUPES USA is currently based in Longmont, Colorado. Photos as well as more details of the finished facility will be showcased in the Spring 2018 edition of Auto Detailing News.



Business Briefs SEMA accepting scholarship applications T he Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is now accepting applications for the 2018 SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund for students preparing for careers in the auto or auto parts industries at, a press release reported. Starting this year, high school and part-time students can also apply for a scholarship. “SEMA is dedicated to activating the next-generation automotive workforce by providing financial support and career resources to students enrolled in various high schools, universities, colleges, and/or vocational schools in the United States,” said SEMA Chairman-Elect Tim Martin. The SEMA Memorial Scholarship program offers financial assistance of up to $5,000. Students can apply online at: www.sema. org/scholarships . The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2018. Scholarships are available in a variety of categories, such as accounting, sales and marketing, and engineering.

Dozens of awards ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 will be given out, with a $5,000 award going to the top student, the press release stated. The program also offers a loan forgiveness feature for SEMA member-company employees who are paying off a loan for a program of study at an accredited university, college, or vocational/technical program within the U.S. For more information, contact SEMA Manager of Student Programs Juliet Marshall at 909-9786655 or

Ziebart names Brian Jackman as Corporate Controller Ziebart International Cor poration of Troy, Michigan, has promoted Brian Jackman to Corporate Controller. Jackman, a nine-year employee, will now oversee all accounting functions within the company, a press release stated. He will be “directly responsible for




preparing and issuing the consolidated financial statements, cash flow, forecasting, and the annual budget. Brian will also coordinate the annual external audit performed by BDO.” Jackman previously s e r ve d a s Z i e b a r t ’s Corporate Accounting Manager.


VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

Tint World® Partners with Consumer Priority Service Tint World® Automotive Styling Centers™ has partnered with Consumer Priority Service (CPS), an innovator in the field of service plans, to provide customers the option of extended warranty coverage for mobile electronics. “CPS is trusted by millions of customers worldwide and our partnership will give peace of mind to Tint World® customers,” Charles J. Bonfiglio, Tint World® CEO, stated in a press release. “Accidents and defects happen. By giving our customers the option to purchase an extended warranty through CPS, they will rest easy knowing that their mobile electronics investment is protected. On top of that, CPS handles the entire claims process with their five-day service

guarantee, so the customer gets their repaired or replaced product, and our franchisees can focus on running their stores.” Tint World® customers will now be offered to types of programs, according to each franchise location. “Tint World® customers will have the option to extend their coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty for up to four years,” said Nelson Muniz, executive sales manager at CPS. “Or, if they’re interested in accidental coverage, which covers everything from manufacturer defects to water and impact damage. No matter the warranty, our ultimate goal is to give the customer a complete, hassle-free service plan experience, on and offline.”

SONNY’S The Car Wash Factory partners with Diamond Shine Diamond Shine has been acquired by SONNY’S Enterprises, LLC, of Tamarac, Florida. “Our vision is to deliver a complete bundle of products and services that enable our clients to excel at what they do,” said Paul Fazio, CEO of SONNY’S, in the press release. “That vision has driven us to become the largest manufacturer of conveyorized car wash equipment in the world; to stock 12,000 parts for 14 brands of equipment; to build the most technologically-advanced POS and controls package in the industry; to deliver the industry’s most comprehensive hands-on training; and now, through the acquisition of Diamond Shine, we are now able to deliver to our clients a world-class line of chemistry – extending upon our brand commitment to bring cost-per car

economics, chemical management, and operational efficiency to a whole new level. Things are about to get really exciting!” Scott Soble, President of Diamond Shine stated in the press release that both SONNY’S and Diamond Shine have served many of the same clients across generations of car wash business owners. “Our shared commitment to their success isn’t as simple as delivering a brush or a drum of soap on time – it’s about finding ways to create a competitive edge for their business. SONNY’S is the perfect fit for us. Our clients’ needs come first, and both Paul and the team at SONNY’S understand that. By working together, our companies can elevate the quality and effectiveness of the solutions we deliver.”


Detailers in the news Detailer wins $750K in lottery Auto Detail Shop manager Marco Amador of Encinitas, California struck it big after winning $750,000 from a scratch off ticket. According to Times of San Diego, after Amador scratched off his $10 ticket, he just stood there staring at the numbers. An employee asked him if he was

Six detailers team up to raise money okay. Amador said in the story he, “normally plays Mega Millions or Powerball games, but a friend convinced him to try scratchers.” Amador said he will use the money to purchase a new home. No word on whether or not he will keep his job a the Auto Detail Shop.

Now Open for Business

Six detailers in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, joined forces with Coggin Honda in St Augustine to raise money for the Salvation Army’s local Hurricane Irma relief efforts, First Coast NBC News reported. Mark Elliott of Firehouse Auto Spa, Lawrence Evans of Proshine


Auto Detailing Services, Don Goll of St. Augustine Mobile Detailing, and technicians from Sparkle N Shine Mobile Detail, The Detail Shop, and Eco Tech Mobile Detail, spent a Saturday afternoon in late September washing cars for various donations.

History BUFF My cup holder runneth over

Anacortes, Washington Bubba Sudz Car Wash of Anacortes, Washington, has new owners. Married couple Erin and Steve Meissner, according to Goanacortes. com, “were looking to buy a local business to support their hometown, and Bubba Sudz Car Wash came on the

market at the right time.” Bubba Sudz offers automated and self-serve car washes, vacuum services and full car detailing. Erin said they were able to retain the wash’s longtime employees and also hire new ones, the story reported.

Mammoth Spring, Arkansas Mammoth Spring Car Wash and Custom Detailing is now open for business in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, Ozark Radio News reported. The business offers self serve bays, vacuum stations and custom detailing. “We see this business as a way to provide a needed service to the residents of the Mammoth Spring/ Thayer Area”, owner Lane Rogers

told Ozark Radio News. The car wash, which sat vacant for the last two years, was completely redone with new equipment. Chamber President James Spurlock, stated in the story, “The chamber was very glad to learn that the car wash was reopening. This is just the latest piece in the on-going revitalization of Main Street Mammoth.”

Port Townsend, Washington Now in a new location, Lytle’s Auto Detail is open for business and servicing autos, boats, RVs and motorcycles. Owner Paul Lytle has more

than 20 years of professional detailing experience, according to a press release. The business was previously located in Burlington, Washington.

If you’ve gotten frustrated when cleaning coffee stains and who knows what else out of a cup holder, you have Dodge to blame. According to Bon Appetit magazine, the demand for a cup hold began in the 1950s due to the popularity of drive-thru and drive-in restaurants. Back then, a newspaper clipping from 1950 regaled a “snack try for car” which hangs from a dashboard and included two holes for beverages. A few different models debuted, including the 1953 Automobile Seat Article Holder which was a tray that lowered between the back seats. Also a 1955 Chevy included a cup holder

on the back of the glove compartment. However, all of the attempts for proper beverage holding were noted as weak and cars would end up with a mess if they were to suddenly make a sharp turn or drive over unlevel pavement. It wasn’t until Chrysler debuted the Dodge Caravan minivan and Plymouth Voyager in 1983 equipped with two sturdy and sensible cup holders in the dashboards. More and more vehicles started coming out with the same cup holder feature, but it was about 10 years until they became ubiquitous features, according to Bon Appetit.



INNOVATIONS RUPES SpA – Polishers & Sander


Joining the BigFoot family of tools, the LK900E “Mille” is an all new design centered around a gear driven orbital movement; a technology that was first developed by RUPES in 1996 when their EK150 combined an orbital movement with a gear driven rotation for polishing applications. While other companies have adopted similar tools to this application RUPES now reenters the category with their signature mix of performance, ergonomics, and system based solutions. The LH19E rotary polisher also joins the growing BigFoot tool range. Using a double gear reduction process this lightweight rotary polisher produces immense amounts of torque and performance in a package that is ergonomically ideal to reduce operator fatigue. Like all tools in the BigFoot range the LH19E will feature a system that includes various pads and compounds, all designed to provide complete solutions. Lastly, but certainly not least, is the debut of the Skorpio E palm sander featuring advanced brushless motor technology. The Skorpio E will be the first electric palm sander for RUPES in the North American market and its custom brushless outrunner DC motor was designed, engineered, and built in the state of the art RUPES factory in Milan. With many innovative features, this sander promises to revolutionize the palm sander category.


Griot’s Garage - Wash & Wax Griot’s Garage Best of Show® Wash & Wax cleans and protects paint in one step. Its thick formula quickly creates lasting suds that safely removes dirt and grime while leaving behind a layer of high-quality carnauba wax protection. Best of Show® Wash & Wax is a great way to add color, depth, and clarity to paint every time you wash.





VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

Griot’s Garage Foamer

Hot Wheels™ Americana Series Car Care Products Americana Pro™ unveiled Hot Wheels™ Americana Series Car Care Products at the 2017 SEMA Show. The new consumer automotive appearance line features professional-grade, made in U.S.A. car cleaning and finishing products that promise to “Clean. Enhance. Protect.” The initial launch is focused on exterior detailing formulas. Wash & Wax is biodegradable, pH balanced, and it quickly dissolves dirt and road grime while the soft, high-lubricity Brazilian carnauba wax shines and protects in one easy application. Epic Shine™ is a synthetic polymer-based five-minute spray detailer provides an unparalleled quick and easy hand shine. It creates an intense depth and gloss on any clear coated or chrome

surface. All Wheel Cleaner is a foam-activated spray dissolves brake dust, grease, dirt and road grime. Its non-acidic formulation is safe for stainless, chrome, aluminum, painted and coated finish wheels and rims. Pro Tire Cleaner is a bleach-free formula safely “Breaks Down The Brown” returning tires to a like-new rubber surface. It rids tires of old dressing and road grime while making black walls black and while letters white. Pro Tire Finish is a solvent-based silicone tire detail spray creates a crisp, dark long-lasting showroom finish. The dual action formula “Dials In Your Shine,” either Satin Sheen or Ultra Shine, based on the number of layers applied.

The Griot’s Garage Pump-Up Foamer supercharges cleaners and degreasers by creating a rich foam for extended dwell time and an enhanced cleaning action. The Pump-Up Foamer produces up to 43 psi and is ideal for use on paint, trim, engines, wheels, undercarriages, carpet, upholstery, convertible tops, and more. The Pump-Up Foamer produces a deeper clean while saving tons of time.

Griot’s Garage - Spray Wax Griot’s Garage Best of Show® Spray Wax doesn’t just add gloss and shine, it leaves behind carnauba wax protection. Developed with a mix of polymers and waxes, Best of Show® Spray Wax maximizes color, depth, and clarity on any painted surface. Save time by using Best of Show® Spray Wax for regular wax maintenance to extend the time between major waxings. Griot’s Garage Best of Show® Spray Wax can be applied once the car is dried after a wash or wiped down. Simply mist on, spread and wipe off with a PFM™ Dual Weave Wax Removal Towel.

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Nitty Gritty

Getting to Know...

Shawn Rowan of Ardex Laboratories

For this issue’s Nitty Gritty column, I turned to industry icon and Auto Detailing News columnist Bud Abraham for input. I asked him to give me an interviewee who would offer up great information as well as a great story for our readers. Bud wasted no time and got back to me quickly with the name: Shawn Rowan. And, in true Bud fashion, his suggestion did not disappoint. Rowan, as it turns out, is a 25+ year veteran of the detailing industry and also a big proponent of its reputation and clout. Read on to find out how Rowan got started at Ardex Labs, Inc. and what three things helped build his character and devotion to hard work.

By Debra Gorgos

Full Name: With a proud Irish brogue: Patrick Shawn Rowan.

Location: I work in Philadelphia and live with my wife in Somers Point, New Jersey.

Occupation: I am the Vice President of Sales & Global Marketing at Ardex Labs. Inc

How did you get involved in the detailing industry? Shawn Rowan: I have been working with automobiles for most of my life. My family owned an automobile franchise and I started working there at 15. I worked there as a detailer, although back then I was called an automobile “cleaner” or “car clean-up guy.” In 1981 I left the family business to work for Ardex as its first route sales/service person.

What kind of work did you do at Ardex when you started? Shawn Rowan: I started the first dedicated route truck in November 1981

and ran that truck until 1984 and when I came back in 1990, I, then, with the help of Fred Goldman (owner of Ardex) put another 23 route trucks on the street about one very other year. I also worked with distributors around the country teaching them how to put route truck on the road and how to sell out of them.

Coming from an automobile dealership background, why was Ardex a good fit for you? Shawn Rowan: I worked on the automobiles in the dealership and I understood the kind of hard work that went into detailing an automobile. I would

spend hours working on a putrid automobile and would shine it, buff it, spend hours on it and make it beautiful. I started realizing back then that auto detailers were not well respected in the retail automobile industry. The hours I would put into an automobile and the value I would add to it equaled about $1,200 back then. I remember thinking, wait a minute, what I just did for that automobile is in line with any auto mechanic. Why wasn’t I just as respected as the guy who fixed the automobile’s brake pads? I didn’t understand why the auto detailing trade wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. continued ...



Nitty Gritty

And how did you get to meet Bud Abraham? Shawn Rowan: Back in 1991, I met Bud when the Professional Detailing Association (PDA) was started out. I liked Bud right away. He seemed to have such a passion for the detailing industry. He is an inspiration to our whole industry and he always is promoting the professionalism and pride of being a detailer. I have known Bud for over 27 years and I have relied on his knowledge many times.

How do you think the detailing industry’s reputation has changed over the years? Shawn Rowan: Back when I was working on automobiles in the 1970s no one knew what detailing was. At my 5-year reunion people would ask me what I did for a living and I would tell them about Ardex and that I sold detailing products and they had no idea what I was talking about. But, then at my 20 year reunion, when I mentioned detailing products, everyone knew about auto




detailing and what it involves as well as the products that are used.

How has Ardex changed over the years? Was it effected by the ‘green’ movement at all? Shawn Rowan: My boss Fred Goldman always was and is extremely smart and always spent time researching everything. He would read every trade magazine, every article, and would even read Wall Street Journal every day to keep up on what was going on in the world, and how it would affect his business. He was ready for everything. And, even with the eco-friendly trends, he was ahead of times and ready for it.

It is impressive that you have been in the industry for almost 37 years. What has made you stay?

shampoo an interior on a Saturday night when it is 20 degrees outside and you’re freezing cold. I know how hard these men and women work. I often speak at trade school and vocational schools and it really bothers me when I see people so bored while I am talking and not even paying attention. I don’t understand how they are in school to learn a trade, yet aren’t showing any passion for it. To be a professional detailer you really need to work hard and cannot expect to be successful otherwise.

Is there anything about you that might surprise our readers? Shawn Rowan: I have been a volunteer firefighter for almost 40 years. In fact, today I will be detailing the firetrucks.

What advice do you have for others looking for a Shawn Rowan: I am extremely pas- long-lasting and successsionate about the detailers out there who ful career such as yours? care about what they do. I know what it’s like putting my knee on concrete for 6 to 7 hours a day. I know what it’s like to


VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

Shawn Rowan: I credit three things that have built up my hard-work ethic. 1. I’m persistent as Hell. I like a chal-

lenge and I would treat my sales calls with Ardex as a challenge. In fact, my wife would accompany me on some sales/service calls and she turned to me one day and said, “I get why you’re so good at this, because it is ‘fun’ for you. 2. I like meeting people. I love getting to know people and doing this work you get to meet a lot of people and I just love that. My wife would also say that when I would visit each client I would almost treat it as if it were a TV show and each week it would be a different episode. I would hear their stories and they would tell me about their lives. Then, I would visit another client and that would be a whole other show. 3. When I was 7 yearsold my father let me take up wrestling. He said it would be good for me as it is one-on-one. If I win, it’s on me. If I lose, it’s on me. And, he was right.

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VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

in Las Vegas Detailers win big at the recent show By Debra Gorgos

All five senses were ignited at this year’s SEMA Show. From the cars whipping round the racetrack outside the Las Vegas Convention Center to the products on hand which you could touch and test, to the celebrities being interviewed on live TV, to even the gourmet food trucks serving up grub worthy of a tattoo displaying, hardworking car enthusiast’s pallet, it was a site to be seen, heard, smelled, touched, and tasted. The Restyling and Car Care Accessories booths were located in the North Hall. Covering 409,077 of exhibit space in that Hall alone, you could find anything from detailing chemicals, to tools, to towels. Compared to past SEMA Shows, detailers this year were well represented and held a strong presence on the showroom floor. According to Juan Torres, SEMA’s Media Relations Specialist, “…There were 250 companies exhibiting in the Restyling & Car Care Accessories section of the 2017 SEMA Show. This number is up from the 175 companies that exhibited in the Car Care section of

the SEMA Show 10 years ago.” Renny Doyle, founder of Detailing Success and Renny Doyle Detailing, the official detailer of Air Force One, and leader of The Detail Mafia, noticed the growth as well. “SEMA was incredible in 2017. Why? Just a decade ago, you could count professional detailers on both hands and have fingers left over. Very few took interest in SEMA. This year, our annual social had over 200 professionals and industry giants, a massive change in just a decade. Also, the dedication of the vendors, suppliers and manufactures is changing. We are gaining respect as a trade, as an art.” This was the seventh SEMA Show for Kyle Clark’s of Xtreme Detailing in Fontana, California, and he echoed Doyle’s sentiments. “This was one of the best SEMA Shows in the last seven years. There were a lot more detailers, a lot more products. They are definitely catering more to the detailers.” Clark, who was one of the people honored at SEMA by the Detail Mafia (see sidebar) also added, “Also, the International Detailing Association (IDA) was huge at this year’s show, along with the Detail Mafia. It was a great place to meet with and talk to others in the industry.”



This was Robert Wiener’s 6th time at SEMA. Wiener is owner of Finer Details of New Jersey, a member of the Air Force One Detailing Team, a member of the IDA and is part of the Detail Mafia, and like Clark, was also honored at this year’s show by the Mafia. “It seems to get bigger and better every year,” said Wiener. “I have had the pleasure of working in several booths for the past few years so I haven’t spent as much time walking around the show as I would like, but there were a few products that stood out. First, Flex released two new polishers, a rotary and a dual action...and they’re cordless! They have the same power as the corded versions and I think they are going to be game changers in the industry.” Wiener, who said he was able to test them both out at the show, added, “They will be great for many different types of applications, including quick touch ups, scratch repairs and especially for mobile detailers. I will certainly be ordering them continued ...

JAY LENO DEBUTS DETAIL LINE AT SEMA For the first time in several years, Jay Leno attended the SEMA Show and was even on hand on Friday, November 3, to sign autographs and promote his new line of detailing products, Jay Leno’s Garage Advanced Vehicle Care. Jay Leno’s Garage also hosted product demonstrations at their booth, located outside the North Hall. Leno also appeared at the SEMA Cruise Stage in the Silver Drive and served as the SEMA Cruise Grand Marshal in the Silver Lot. It was also there that he signed autographs.




when they are available in March.” Another great new release is Envy Polish, which is in the Renny Doyle Double Black line by P&S Detailing Products, said Wiener. “It is a finishing polish and leaves a crazy gloss, is extremely workable and has some correction ability as well. Sonax has a couple new items that I will be adding to my arsenal. Spray & Seal is their new sealant that is super easy to apply and is longer lasting than normal detailing sprays, about three months.” Wiener said they also released a kit for headlight restoration that comes with everything you need to professionally restore headlights. And, “finally Cool-A-Zone has portable cooling fans that you just fill with water and plug in. You can easily move them to any area of your shop and it can lower the temperature anywhere between 10 and 25 degrees. It’s much more cost effective than installing air conditioning and more convenient than a portable air condition-


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er because there is no venting needed.” According to Doyle, tools and coatings were causing a great deal of buzz and for good reason, “Both categories are changing the game for us all!,” Doyle exclaimed. “But again, I will fall back to the fact that detailers are finally starting to turn into serious entrepreneurs …the suppliers and manufactures are creating products and equipment that are making our efforts easier while increasing quality. I mean, we now have cordless polishers and compounds and polishes that make our outcome insanely high with far less time investment.” Bill the “Buffman” Quinn of Bill the Buffman Detailing & West Coast Hogfather in Ephrata, Washington, who was also honored by the Mafia, also noted the cordless buffers and new Sonax products were some of the main attractions. “I was able to see some new products from CarPro as well. They have some new liquids this year for polishing. Also, P&S Sales has two new

products coming out. One is a Jeweling Polish and the other one is a one-step cut and polish that you can coat over it without prepping the panel! This is big! GTechniq has a new coating on the market as well Crystal Serum Ultra. I have used it and it’s a beast for coating. I haven’t had to hand wash my car for months due to the fact that nothing sticks to it. I’m betting we will see many buffer manufacturing companies with new buffers next year now that Flex has made the big change.” Clark said he was impressed with the fact that you were able to test out the products. And, like Quinn, Weiner and Doyle, he was excited to try out the cordless buffers. “The fact that I was allowed to test them out was huge — I had a blast getting to test drive them and I also liked that there were so many detailing products there. From lifts to chemicals to lights. The Show just keeps getting better for us.” continued ...





Similar to the detailing industry, the Restyling and Car Care Accessories section of the massive convention center has also grown in terms of size, respectability and merit. And now, more than ever, de-

tailers are considered serious businesspeople, skilled entrepreneurs and buyers with discernable taste. According to Doyle, the educational and networking offerings piqued his interests, more than ever before. “The IDA was the largest ever and I think that a good indicator of where we are headed as an industry. Then, the various ‘after hours’ events were incredible and well attended.”


Three longtime “made-men” of The Detail Mafia, and five-term members of the Air Force One Detailing Team at Seattle’s Museum of Flight — both for which are prerequisites — were awarded Master’s Certifications at the Annual Detailing Success Meeting & Continuing Education Event at the SEMA Show. Quinn, Clark and Wiener achieved the highest measure in terms of skills, achievement, and integrity available in the detailing industry. To date, there are only 12 Masters among the 100+ members of the nationwide Detailing Success Network. A Detailing Success Master requires four to five years of continuous growth and development in five major areas of detailing: • Craftsmanship and skill • An extensive history of service, mentorship, and leadership to the detailing community




• Professional integrity and stability as a detailing business owner • Hands-on specialized project work • Active participation in automotive-related education and technology Masters must also be “Made-men” of the Detail Mafia & members of the Air Force One Detailing Team for at least three years. All three men have held leadership and supervisory positions on the AFO Team, and have served as mentors to many rookie detailers within the detailing Network. Masters must be active leaders in the automotive appearance industry overall, and all three men have represented companies like Flex, Sonax, P&S Detail Sales, and ScanGrip as celebrity guest detailers at SEMA. They have actively field-tested new products and equipment, and instruct rookie detailers in the safe and proper use of a machine polisher so as not to burn or damage the paint.


VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018

Doyle noted that detailers are really stepping up the game, and getting less ‘gypsy like’ and more professional. And, he added, “the 2017 SEMA was just overthe-top cool. The top level of detailers are uniting and realizing they need each other to push the industry ahead. We are on fire and years ahead of where I believed we would be. It’s exciting for folks like [my wife] Diane and I who have been working

on making this happen for nearly two decades and we are seeing our dream happen right in front of our eyes. Our industry is uniting and on fire with not just passion, but on fire with true business skills, we are doing the right things for the right reason finally and I am loving the ride!”

They have appeared on episodes of Velocity TV’s popular Competition Ready with AutoGeek host Mike Phillips. Some Masters sit on Boards of Directors for professional organizations like the IDA, and are part of detailing teams for Barrett Jackson and Mecum Auto Auctioneers. Masters must own their own detailing businesses for a minimum of five years, and have no financial or significant marks against their reputations from their local Better Business Bureau. Their work ethic must be unmistakable in their communities. Continuing education such as workshops and seminars must be prevalent in their backgrounds and as members of the AFO Team, their skills involve detailing collections valued in the multimillion-dollar price range. Although it takes several years of very hard work and long hours to achieve Master status, Master detailers promise to bring a higher quality of service to their customers, who have high expectations when it comes to their automotive investments. Also at SEMA, Maine’s only Air Force One Detailer, Scott Macha of Total Eclipse Auto Detailing & Design, was selected Rookie Detailer of the Year at the Annual Detailing Success Meeting & Educational Event. Macha was also inducted as a “Made-Man” into the famed Detail Mafia, making him a celebrity guest in the Flex exhibit at SEMA. There he demonstrated the versatility and proper use of the professional Flex machine polisher line

to thousands of attendees. Also, Maine’s only dually-certified (CD) and Skills Validated (SV) detailer by the International Detailing Association (IDA), as well as certified by Master aircraft and automotive detailer Renny Doyle’s Detailing Success Network, Macha has reached a very high level of detailing excellence as a detailer and paint correction specialist, capable of repairing extremely dull, cloudy, and neglected paint and aluminum (bright work) caused by oxidation. Macha is also required to attend automotive-related tradeshows and seminars as part of his continuous educational training as required by his membership, which ensures that customers receive the absolute finest and most innovative detailing and paint correction services. Macha must also participate in weekend-long Detailing Challenges where he competes with other members of the Network to solve car and motorcycle appearance problems like damaged paint, oxidized metals, and removing difficult stains and odors. “I have been working towards becoming a member of the Detail Mafia ever since being chosen for the Air Force One Detailing Team this past spring, one of the most prestigious opportunities in which I have ever had the pleasure of participating,” says Macha. “To have achieved the level of Mafia was somewhat expected, but I was completely blindsided by being chosen Rookie Detailer of the Year! There are so many excellent detailers in the network, I am genuinely honored to have been chosen from among my peers.”


The IDA had a great turnout for its 3rd annual SEMA Detailers Meet & Greet on October 31. (Photo Credit: Prentice St. Clair, Detail in Progress, Inc.)

Mobile Tech Expo:

An Invaluable Investment for IDA and Its Members The International Detailing Association gears up for its 10th annual appearance at MTE By Erin Reyes

IDA Communications Specialist

A lot can change in 10 years – technology, fashion, pop culture. One thing that has not changed over the last decade? The International Detailing Association’s (IDA) devotion to Mobile Tech Expo (MTE). This year will mark the IDA’s 10th appearance at Mobile Tech, to be

held in Orlando, FL, January 26-28. The IDA made its debut at MTE in 2009, when the Board held its first meeting at the show. Since then, the IDA’s participation at MTE has grown exponentially. “At first, we were just trying to hold three to four education sessions at the show, and trying to bring detailers in,” explained Keith Duplessie, CD-SV, RT, a member of the IDA Board and the Founder’s Club. “But when the IDA

started putting more education programs together, that’s when more detailers began to attend, and we have grown every year since.” It comes as no surprise that the IDA/ MTE partnership has endured this long. Called the “mecca of all things detailing” by IDA President Mike Dickson, CD-SV, RT, Mobile Tech has easily become the must-attend event for detailers and IDA members around the world. This de-

velopment can, in part, be attributed to the efforts of the IDA making MTE its “keystone event” each year, according to Duplessie. “Mobile Tech has quickly become a show that provides a lot of concentrated focus for the detailing industry,” Duplessie said. “As our keystone event, it is where we have the most contact with our constituency, and will be the largest gathering of IDA members at any time during the year. This is our golden opportunity to continue to help the tide rise for our industry.” Over the years, the relationship be-




Detailers showed up in droves for the 2017 SEMA Show The 2017 SEMA Show drew its largest attendance yet from IDA members. The Detailers Meet & Greet hosted twice as many guests as the previous year. Numerous IDA Supplier members exhibited at the show, and several new certifications were granted at the CD event. The IDA is excited to further increase involvement with the show in 2018. Show attendees flocked to booths of IDA Supplier members during exhibit hours. (Photo Credit: Prentice St. Clair, Detail in Progress, Inc.)

New Certified Detailers proudly showed off their patches after passing the Phase I - CD exams offered at SEMA. (Photo Credit: Prentice St. Clair, Detail in Progress, Inc.) tween IDA and MTE has proven to be mutually beneficial. While the IDA has acted as a gateway for suppliers and exhibitors to directly reach detailing professionals by bringing them into the show, MTE has given the IDA an indelible platform to connect with members and educate the masses. With a vision of being the premier source of information for the professional detailing community, the IDA is always working to provide valuable educational opportunities for members and non-members alike. Every year, more members get involved in that process by presenting seminars on Education Day, which will be held on Friday, January 26 this year. Experienced IDA members will speak on topics ranging from technology trends to marketing best practices to employee management. They have dedicat-

ed time and energy into bettering their careers, and they are excited to share their expertise with fellow detailing professionals to help the industry continue to grow. Someone who knows a lot about working hard and investing in his own career is IDA Founder’s Club Supplier member Renny Doyle, CD-SV, RT, who was selected as the expo’s keynote speaker. His presentation will focus on how to succeed in business and life, a topic on which he has great personal experience, having built his million-dollar business out of a “meager $20 investment.” “For my entire career, I have invested in myself,” Doyle explained. “I believe we are either growing in knowledge, or we are causing our own future shortcomings by not making those investments within ourselves.”

His initial investment has obviously paid off in dividends, and he wants to use this opportunity as MTE’s keynote speaker to encourage others to invest in themselves as well. “One of the key elements to my success has been the investment I’ve made within the development of my personality, my communication skills, and my ability to adapt to ever changing business environments.” Those who make the decision to attend Mobile Tech are already one step closer to achieving a similar level of success. One thing that all of the IDA’s seminar speakers have in common is that they have worked hard to become experts in their field, and they now want to share their knowledge with others. “There is someone here that has been where you are, has gone where you want to go, and is doing what you strive to do,” said Duplessie, a presenter this year. “And they are willing to share that experience with you, just like someone did with them. If you aren’t here, you won’t know what you don’t know, so invest in attending the show and come see how to get to the next level!” Besides the live seminars, the IDA has a new event on the docket this year – a webinar hosted live from MTE. This two-hour webinar will feature a rotation of IDA members speaking on various topics including branding, customer retention and management, social media and online marketing, profit centers, efficiency, safety and compliance, and light-

ing. The IDA is excited to expand its use of technology in order to meet the needs of and grow with its members. As at most events it attends, the IDA will also host certification seminars. Mobile Tech is the perfect venue for this, since many detailers are in attendance and can earn their certifications all in one place. Certified Detailer (Phase I) exams will be offered on Saturday, while Skills Validated (Phase II) testing is available on Sunday. Phase I certification evaluates and affirms an experienced detailer’s technical knowledge and proficiency. Successful completion of the ten written exams will grant the detailer the title of IDA Certified Detailer (CD). Phase II consists of hands-on assessments that, upon successful completion, award the detailer a title of IDA Certified Detailer, Skills Validated (CD-SV). Registration fills up fast, so make sure to reserve a spot at Certification events are indeed an investment, requiring a detailer’s time, money, and preparation, which is an important consideration to make before signing up. However, earning a certification is a worthwhile investment to provide detailers with a distinction that helps set them apart from competitors in a field experiencing such rapid growth. Gordon McKerchar, CD, President of IDA’s New Zealand Chapter, finds the value so worth it that he is travelling all the way from his hometown of Auckland to attend the show for the first time and



attempt to earn his SV certification. “It’s a significant event [for the IDA] and a great opportunity to connect further with fellow IDA members and some of the best detailers in the world,” McKerchar said, “as well as keep up with the leading techniques and technologies.” Most IDA members who have previously attended the event agree that while the exhibits, education, and certification offerings are great, it is the opportunity to network and catch up with old friends that truly makes MTE a valuable investment. “I like Mobile Tech a lot because it is a great place to network,” said IDA Past President Rob Schruefer, CD-SV, RT, who has been attending MTE for ten years. “It is small enough that you can actually spend time with other detailers, but large enough to make it worth the trip.” IDA Treasurer Dan Baker, CD, concurred that the best part is “networking and seeing many detailing industry leaders in one place.”

The prime place to network and meet with industry leaders is IDA’s Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation, scheduled for Saturday, January 27, 5:007:00 pm. All detailing professionals, not just IDA members, are welcome. There will be an update on the state of the industry and the association, and attendees will have the opportunity to visit one-onone with other detailers and IDA members at a reception following the meeting. The Awards Presentation will recognize those who have invested their time over the last year to the betterment of the IDA and the industry as a whole. Any detailer that wants insight on where the industry is headed, or to get an idea on who industry leaders are, should carve out two hours from their schedule to attend. Another such networking opportunity is available right at the IDA booth (open Saturday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm, and Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm), an MTE mainstay since 2013. Enjoy refresh-

ments while talking with detailers and industry experts, and learn about the IDA’s program offerings at MTE. Stop by the product displays to see the latest technology and products in the detailing industry. The booth is manned by member volunteers, who can discuss the value of making an investment in your career by joining or renewing membership with the IDA. Non-members can even sign up for membership right at the booth and receive a complimentary gift. Certified Detailers can also buy extra patches to show off their achievement. Since attending Mobile Tech is understandably a big expenditure for some detailers, IDA volunteers and staff work hard each year to ensure that all IDA offerings make it a worthwhile investment. “Take the leap and attend MTE,” advises Dickson. “It widens horizons and pays back dividends to your business – far more than you invest!” Duplessie, who will be attending his

last show as an IDA Board member this year, concludes, “I promise you, if you come to this show, you will get something out of it that will help improve your business. All you have to do is be there, be awake, and be open.” Registration for the show is now open at If you have any questions about IDA offerings, please contact the IDA at info@the-ida. com or 651.925.5526. The IDA wishes to thank our 2018 Mobile Tech Expo sponsors and member volunteers. Our continued growth and success at the event would not be possible without your dedication and generous support.

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VOL. 3, NO. 1 • WINTER 2018




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