Nominations Open April 1 for Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s New Hall of Fame Award

Nominations open April 1 for the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s (DLI) all-new Hall of Fame Award, the Institute’s highest honor. All industry professionals are invited to nominate a candidate for the award. Membership in DLI or any other organization is not required to nominate a candidate or receive an award. DLI’s Board of Directors established the Hall of Fame Award to recognize and acknowledge individuals who have contributed to the betterment of the drycleaning and laundry industry.

“Pioneers, heroes, innovators – the Hall of Fame forever memorializes those who shaped our industry’s past and ignites its future,” said Jeff Schwegmann II, DLI’s current Chairman of the Board and Owner of Sunshine Cleaners in Cold Spring, Kentucky, and U.S. Leather Cleaning.

Nominations for DLI’s Hall of Fame Award are open April 1 – May 15 and will be accepted from and for any industry participant, regardless of organizational membership, through a form available at DLI’s Board of Directors will review applications and recipients will be announced to the industry by mid-September.  

Candidates for the award include industry pioneers, exceptional business leaders, and community advocates. DLI intends to shine a spotlight on individuals who have made alasting positive impact on the industry.

Mary Scalco, DLI’s CEO, said, “Professional drycleaning and laundry operators from all over the world contribute to the betterment of our industry every day. Our goal with the Hall of Fame is to recognize contributions made by any professional in our industry who has made a positive impact and honor them as examples for other members of the industry. All cleaning professionals, regardless of membership, are welcome to nominate industry professionals they see as inspirational for this award.”

Norman Way of Puritan Cleaners in Richmond, Virginia and District 2 Director on DLI Board, said, “At a recent DLI Board meeting, we all thought of people in our industry who helped us grow personally and professionally and how we might honor them. We know others feel the same and the DLI Hall of Fame Award seems like the perfect way to commend and recognize these impactful leaders who left a lasting effect on us all.”

“The introduction of DLI’s Hall of Fame award is just one of many aspects that makes our industry great,” said Mark Albrecht of The Route Pros in Woodbury, New Jersey. “We all have so many true mentors and drycleaning superheroes. This award will ensure that those peoples’ legacies are at the forefront of so many of our minds as we move into the future.”

Online Nominations Due May 15

To be eligible for nomination, candidates must have a minimum of 10 years of experience working in the drycleaning and laundry industry. The selection process will involve a two-stage voting process by DLI’s Hall of Fame committee, and the awardeeswill be publicly announced and celebrated.

Inaugural Inductees

DLI’s inaugural group of Hall of Fame inductees includes previous recipients of DLI’s Diamond Achievement Meritorious Service Award. DLI recognized eight industry legends with its Diamond Achievement Award over a 25-year period. Their names are etched in bronze on a plaque that hangs at DLI’s offices by the entrance to DLI’s School of Drycleaning Technology in Laurel, Maryland. Industry professionals who received DLI’s highest honor are:

  • Barney Deden, retired drycleaner in Omaha, Nebraska (1999)
    For his deep commitment and untiring efforts on legislative efforts for the industry
  • Stan Golomb, Founder of The Golomb Group, Chicago, Illinois (2001)
    For helping generations of drycleaning & laundry professionals achieve success
  • Chris Edwards, A Cleaner World, High Point, North Carolina (2005)
    “For his work to enhance the industry’s image through tireless charitable and environmental community service
  • Jeff Miller, Miller’s Fine Drycleaning, Hendersonville, North Carolina (2007)
    “For helping hundreds of WWII Veterans visit their memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.”
  • Sid Tuchman, Tuchman Training Systems, San Francisco, California (2011)
    For his unwavering dedication to helping hundreds of drycleaning & laundry professionals achieve success
  • Don Fawcett, Dependable Cleaners, Quincy, Massachusetts (2015)
    For his unwavering commitment to excellence and lifetime of selfless service to the industry”
  • Milt Chortkoff, Milt & Edie’s Drycleaning & Tailoring Center, Burbank, California (2018)
    “For a lifetime of demonstrating excellence in customer service and charitable service
  • Walter “Buster “Bell, Bell Laundry and Cleaners, Spartanburg, South Carolina(2018)
    For his deep commitment and lifelong dedication to helping people succeed in the drycleaning business

These individuals consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication and achievement in their respective fields. DLI’s Hall of Fame was created to honor outstanding industry individuals and businesses. The new Hall of Fame award succeeds the institute’s highest honor, celebrating excellence in leadership, business operations, community involvement, environmental stewardship, and a deep-seated passion for the industry.

All 2024 recipients of the Hall of Fame Award will be recognized at state or national events, further highlighting their significant contributions to the drycleaning and laundry industry.

For more information about the DLI Hall of Fame Award and to make a nomination, please visit DLI’s official Hall of Fame page at

About DLI:

The Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI) is the premier international trade association for garment care professionals since 1883. DLI represents over 2,000 retail drycleaners in the United States, Canada, and around the world. The organization’s mission is to promote excellence, professionalism, and the ongoing success of the retail drycleaning, laundering, and textile-care industry. DLI offers a wide range of resources, education, and support to its members. For more information, please contact DLI at 800-638-2627.

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