CCA Continues Fighting for All California Drycleaners
CCA continues to work representing the industry’s, and our members’, interests on the regulatory front.
It can be one of the most overlooked association benefits because it is so hard to tangiblize it, but it is one of the key responsibilities of the organization.
Over the course of the past two months, CCA has been providing regulatory guidance, input, and education on two key proposed movements: electrification and heat stress reduction. Both are of extreme importance to our industry and many small businesses.
Imagine working with all electric boilers. Imagine trying to run all your equipment and produce steam with 100% reliance on electricity. Seem far fetched? Unreasonable? Make no mistake about it there are some agencies and environmental groups that are pushing hard for this concept: make all commercial facilities 100% electric power. CCA Board Members recently attended a public hearing to appose these efforts. Copies of the bullet points are available upon request. In light of the PG&E power outages only lend more credence to our efforts.
Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Employment
CCA was contacted by an academic research company working on a project on behalf of the California Department of Industrial Relations about indoor heat illness prevention. CCA is providing input and guidance on properly protecting workers in high-heat occupational industries. As drycleaners, we are all concerned with heat stress and how it affects our employees and have done a great job as an industry to abate those dangers. CCA is working to ensure the proposed regulations are tough -- but fair and reasonable. A complete copy of the proposed regulations can be found on www.calcleaners.org. Call Peter Blake at 617-791-0128 for more information.
Sasha Ablitt, A THIRD GENERATION OWNER OF aBLITT’S fINE cLEANERS IN sANTA Barbara, was recently featured in an article for the Santa Barbara independent.
In many ways, Sasha (shown on a wood-alternative deck made with recycled plastic), is a typical drycleaner, a hard working entrepreneur, but her road to drycleaning is anything but typical.
“It’s the best thing I could have done,” says Sasha Ablitt about taking charge of Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners and Tailors, Santa Barbara’s multi-generational, family-owned dry cleaning institution at 14 West Gutierrez Street. “I love the business. It’s about the people — the customers and my employees.”
More than 40 people work for Ablitt’s. Sasha proudly uses open-book management, providing her employees with transparent financial information so that they can make better business decisions. “I teach them how to run a business,” she explains. “I teach them how to forecast. They all get interpersonal leadership training, and they get to be heard. I love to do that for my employees. They all take pride in what they’re doing.”
While it was her grandparents that started the business, they did not want the family going into the industry. They wanted more for the generations to come, so her parents moved from the area to pursue other career paths. Then the family decided to move back to the area and re-purchase the drycleaning business that had been sold out of the family.
“When I moved back here, everyone thought I was Canadian,” laughs Sasha, who entered Carpinteria High as a sophomore and then attended SBCC — “the best thing that could have happened to me!” she says. She transferred to UCLA and got a degree in aerospace engineering in 1992. “I wanted to be an astronaut and a pilot,” she admits. “Too much Star Trek.”
After graduating, she got an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and was hired by Honeywell Aerospace in the turbo machinery department.“I have a patent for the environmental control system fan for the Boeing 737, the fan that pushes the air that cools you off,” she admits casually.
“My story is a bit weird,” confesses Sasha. “I gave up on engineering. It was just too boring. It was so tedious and time-consuming. I love the idea of science, but I was a female in engineering in aerospace, and there weren’t a lot of us.”
Honeywell offered her work on the corporate side of the business as an internal auditor. “I learned how a CEO runs a multinational conglomerate,” she explains. “I lived in Hermosa Beach and traveled all over the world. Every six weeks, they sent me to a different business unit and I learned how that business worked, their strengths, their weaknesses, and I’d make recommendations to corporate. It was a lot of fun.”
In 2001, Sasha got pregnant and quit Honeywell when they wanted her to move to their Phoenix headquarters. She decided then to return home to her roots and bring a world of knowledge with her to transform the family business. Not only did Sasha kept up the standards of Ablitt’s, but she implemented eco-friendly practices that were ahead of the curve including sending her recycled poly to Trex to make outdoor decking like she has in her home.
Meet Your Executive Director I am very excited to be working with the California Cleaners Association. I have been involved with the North East Fabricare Association for over 25 years, and I am excited to bring some of that experience and knowledge to the West coast. We are currently reviewing our programs and services to see what we can improve, strengthen and add. I have been a featured speaker on marketing, social media, customer service and OSHA training.
All members are encouraged to call or contact me at anytime. I want to hear from you! If there are ways we can better serve you, or things you thing the association needs to be involved in, let us know:(916-239-4070) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.