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CETA Edge: Why We Are Going

CETA Edge

Why We Are Going

By Diane M. Calabrese / Published June 2022

Photo by iStockphoto.com/rabbit75_ist

Well worth the wait. We write that in advance of PowerClean 2022.

     Why? Because PowerClean 2022—October 12–15, 2022, in Orlando,FL— promises to be the most robust meeting and tradeshow CETA [Cleaning Equipment Trade Association] has ever had.

     For the third time, CETA will be co-locating with PWNA [Power Washers of North America]. The alignment means enthusiastic and committed distributors, manufacturers, and contractors will converge at the same place with the same goal: Make a strong industry even stronger.

     The setting for the meeting is the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The resort and the mild air of the Sunshine State in mid-October ensure that every meeting, conversation with colleagues new or old, and pause for recreation will be a memorable one.

     There’s a bit of poetry written into the name of the Spanish revival-style architecture meeting hotel: Shingles were once made from the cypress trees in the region, an area contiguous to the headwaters of the Everglades. 

     The venue, which is ranked as a top-20 meeting hotel by Cvent, could not be a better one for fostering collaboration and recalibration. Not a distributor, manufacturer, or contractor in the industry has not had one or more significant challenges to overcome since PowerClean 2019. 

     “PowerClean 2022 is a time to get back together as an association, as a group of very hard-working people, and most importantly as a group of good friends,” says Jack Hill, executive director of sales and marketing at General Pump in Mendota Heights, MN. For “the right reasons” difficult decisions had to be made in the two previous years, but now it is the time to move on.

     In any year, the energy generated by the interaction of industry members would be enticing. But this year, members will be able to bounce ideas and concerns around as they identify solutions for some vexing issues, such as those with the supply chain and material and freight increases, says Hill. 

     Also looking forward to interaction with colleagues in the non-virtual world is Jimmy Welch with American Pressure Inc. in Robbinsdale, MN. The opportunity to “see old acquaintances, meet new ones, see new products, and learn new techniques as well as industry trends” begins his list of plusses.

     “From the technical side, the meeting offers the chance to get the latest information on updates to safety standards as well as emission requirements,” says Welch. And he emphasizes the “questions welcome” dimension of the technical sessions.

     Among the technical offerings will be a panel sharing expertise on pump inlet supply systems and a panel sharing the latest on unloaders. There will also be a DOT [Department of Transportation] safety class on hazmat.

     There’s plenty to learn at the CETA sessions. But don’t stop there.

     “I encourage our distributor members to get crossover badges to the PWNA educational seminars and learn what they are learning,” says Welch. “It’s always good to be in the know.”

     Technical, equipment, and regulatory issues coupled with the turbulent global economic situation cover a lot of territory. Yet the whole of that big territory is circumscribed by tax laws, especially how they affect the financial structure and decision-making at companies.

Photo by iStockphoto.com/DepthofField

     Dr. Bart A. Basi, an attorney and CPA, will lead a discussion on the new tax laws, with special emphasis on how a company best maintains its cash flow. He will also discuss options in legal structures for businesses with an eye toward which options provide the most favorable tax status.

     Other notable speakers will cover topics ranging from customer expectations to mentorship. The richness of the PowerClean 2022 program can be perused at the CETA website (www.CETA.org).

     The Women of CETA (WOC) group will meet during PowerClean 2022. Brenda Purswell, president of Alklean Industries Inc. in Pasadena, TX, worked to drive the beginning of the group just over a decade ago. There’s something special about taking the time to convene and talk exclusively with other women members of the association, even though the women are an integral part of every facet of CETA. 

     Karl Loeffelholz, dealer division manager at Mi-T-M Corporation in Peosta, IA, welcomes the ability to get together and network with peers in Orlando. He cites the tradeshow as a great highlight of PowerClean.

     The tradeshow allows attendees to see vendors all in one place and see what’s new and exciting in the industry, explains Loeffelholz. Moving easily between tradeshow floor and seminar sessions can be a great learning experience.

     Attending educational seminars allows members to “pick up new ideas” for their businesses, says Loeffelholz. It’s also a good way “to find out what changes people have had to make through these trying times to stay successful.”

     There’s nothing like being able to affirm that others have “been there and done that” because it’s a reminder of what can be accomplished even in headwinds. But sometimes there are gentle breezes—and they should be appreciated. 

     To be sure, there will be time for recreation in addition to the scheduled sessions at PowerClean 2022. The golf tournament is an excellent way to take in some of the fresh Florida air. CETA’s PowerClean Golf Tournament will offer prizes not only for first and second place teams in two flights, but also for the longest drive, longest putt, and closest to pin.

     Al Bonifas, the 2022 president of CETA and the owner of All-Spray in Swanton, OH, reminds members that changes in the industry have continued apace since 2019. There’s no easier way for a distributor, manufacturer, or contractor to verify he or she is up to date than to attend PowerClean 2022—learn and discuss.

     “There are many things changing in our industry,” says Bonifas. “From UL certification to SORE [small off-road engine] regulations proposed by the California Air Resources Board [CARB] to all the different technologies that contract cleaners are using in their businesses…” 

     Keeping up matters. So does understanding each vital link in the industry. 

     Nothing makes it easier for a distributor to understand a contractor and vice versa than for the two to talk to each another. That applies at every juncture: manufacturer and contractor, and manufacturer and distributor.

     “Fostering ongoing relationships and making new ones to help businesses deal with everything that’s happening and confront the challenges head on is what conventions are for,” says Bonifas. Moreover, the reality is that the amount of information condensed in the sessions “is huge and very invaluable.”

     In its 32nd year, CETA is just a bit older than PWNA, which is in its 30th year. There’s a lot to celebrate for members of each organization. And sometimes there’s no greater motivator than taking a bit of time to celebrate what’s been accomplished. It’s a way of acknowledging that if much has been achieved, a great deal more is possible. So, let’s get going.

     CETA and PWNA have a theme for their co-located meeting: “Two teams. One vision. Advancing the industry forward.”

     Bonifas advises taking the sentiment in the theme to heart. “Invest in your business and come to PowerClean as we bring the industry together.”

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