Video Short Celebrates TRSA’s 100th Anniversary
“TRSA’s First 100 Years: Past, Present and Future,” the six-minute video commemorating the association’s centennial that premiered on Oct. 16 at the gala closing dinner at the Annual Conference & Exhibits in Chicago, is now available for all to see below.
Loaded with still photos of yesteryear capturing textile services facilities at work and TRSA events, the presentation features shots and video of present-day laundering activities as well, with commentary by:
- Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Uniform & Linen Supply, Scranton, PA
- Bernard Ehrlich, retired CEO, Institute of Industrial Launderers (IIL, later UTSA and blended with TRSA in 2008), Washington, DC
- Michael Potack, Unitex Textile Rental Services, Mount Vernon, NY
- Roger Cocivera, TRSA and Penn Linen, Allentown, PA
- Joseph Ricci and Steve Fellman, TRSA, Washington, DC
TRSA traces its roots to 1912, when Ohio’s Board of Health passed unworkable regulations on rental towels, thus threatening the linen supply industry and prompting industry operators to form the Ohio Linen Supply Association. The Ohio group soon attracted applications from linen suppliers in other states and was renamed the Tri-State Linen Supply Association in 1913. Three years later, the group became the Linen Supply Association of America (LSAA). In 1979, the increased importance of the industrial segment prompted the redefinition of the industry as “textile rental” and the switch to TRSA.
Participating in the Oct. 16 dinner were 14 active and retired industry executives who once held the top office at TRSA and IIL/UTSA, as well as winners of the associations’ highest honors. (IIL changed its name in 1994 to reflect the prominence of uniforms in industrial textile service.) The senior such attendee was Don Buik of Chicago’s Roscoe Co., who headed IIL in 1973-74. The individual present who played the lead role for TRSA longer ago (1977-79) than anyone else at the affair: Donald Struminger of Mohenis Services, Petersburg, VA.
Chicago was a fitting setting for the event as both TRSA and UTSA headquarters had been located there. TRSA had moved from Chicago to the Ft. Lauderdale, FL, area before settling in Washington in 2002; UTSA, founded in 1933, shifted from the Windy City to the nation’s capital 20 years later.