"Round Table" Business Organization Hosts 78th Annual Meeting

Updated 3/29/2017 8:08 AM

Northbrook, IL, March 21, 2017: The Round Table of Launderers and Dry Cleaners, a unique gathering of the top 16 leaders in the cleaning industry, recently held its 78th annual meeting in Aruba. The group of experts gathers each year for an open exchange of ideas and innovation while collaborating to find solutions to challenges in their ever-changing industry. This emphasis on working together clearly differentiates the Round Table from similar organizations in other industries; as a result, the Round Tables membership attracts top executives from laundry, linen, industrial and dry cleaners whose companies have developed the best practices in the industry.

In keeping with the theme of collaboration, everyone in attendance has a leadership role at some point during the 5-day conference. Topics covered during the 2017 Round Table meeting included route growth, communication, human resources, as well as the ever-popular "best and worst 'proven' ideas" session. The group also heard updates from two established members of the group, as well as an "Invitee Presentation," an honor afforded to a special guest who's also a candidate for membership in the Round Table.


Tom Zengeler, President of Zengeler Cleaners, had the opportunity to host one of the member update sessions. These sessions provide an up-close and personal view of the presenting member, including information about their family life, rather than a more traditional emphasis on sales and revenue topics. Tom used the opportunity to present the group with a comprehensive overview of the 160-year Zengeler family history that began before the U.S. Civil War and culminated in the building of a brand new, ultra-modern facility in 2015.

"Our open exchange of ideas is the life-blood of our group, where each participant's 'price of admission' is to play an active part in the presentation of at least one topic at the conference," said Zengeler. "Since no two companies are direct competitors, we can freely exchange highly confidential information. This approach creates an environment where we can openly share our best ideas so other forward-thinking operators can learn from each other's success. To me, this makes the Round Table Conference a 'must-attend' event every single year."

The Round Table was founded in 1940 when Herb Koch, Lee Workman and Barrett Finn, industry leaders of that era, called for a "Sales Managers Pow-Wow," which was held in Allentown, PA. The meeting moved to NYC for the next 5 years, and became known as the Laundry Management Group. In 1950, the name was officially changed to the Round Table Conference and has remained that way ever since. Today, many "2nd-generation members" are part of the group. The Round Table has never had a paid facilitator; rather, the responsibility is passed from member to member.

For information about the Round Table, please contact Tom Zengeler, President of Zengeler Cleaners, at 847.272.6550, ext. 14. Zengeler Cleaners' has eight (8) retail locations, with stores in Deerfield, Hubbard Woods, Northfield, Winnetka, two Libertyville stores, Long Grove along with the company's headquarters store in Northbrook, Illinois … and Online at zengelercleaners.com.