The 100th anniversary of Arrow means a great deal to me. It is a time of reflection, and a source of great pride in what we have accomplished. I have heard all kinds of statistics about how few companies survive the third generation of family ownership, let alone make it to 100 years. I owe my father a great deal of thanks for giving me an opportunity, and for believing in me. Not long after I joined the business 40 years ago, I remember he said to me, “Don’t say you work for your Dad, but rather say you’re in business with me.” That set me on a path of understanding the feeling of ownership, and whether by happenstance or his plan, he let me do so many things that I felt were necessary to grow the business.
Approximately fourteen years after I joined the business, we executed a stock redemption plan in which I was able to purchase the stock in the company from my Mom and Dad with “sweat equity”. Even though Dad took his social security and a lesser role in the company, he never had any intentions of totally retiring, so over 26 years later he still comes in a few hours each day, keeping his hand in, and he plays an important role in mentoring my sister Susie, the leather department employees, and talking to his many customers and friends on the phone.
Our 100th anniversary means 40 years for me of an incredible education in business as an entrepreneur. It means I have basically grown up in the business, and worn every hat possible that one could wear, from route driver and sales, to fur cleaner, hat blocker, dry cleaner/spotter, leather cleaner, sprayer, fire restoration
sales, pack out, and project manager, just to name a few. I have had a chance to learn every aspect of the business, and steer the company in the direction of diversification that has served us well. That foundation of learning and doing most every job in the business was fostered in me by my Father, and gave me an understanding of hard work, and what it took to be successful.
Above all else it means that over the last 40 years I have come into contact with so many people it would be impossible to count. I have been so lucky to know so many customers, employees, and colleagues that have truly enriched my life. Countless relationships from which I have learned so much; a lifelong relationship of being in business with my family, although bumpy at times, always cherished. It means that I have not only had the
opportunity to work with my wife Stephanie for over 26 years, but have had the love and support of her and my children Brad and Lauren through all of the really tough growth years, when I needed that support system to keep my sanity. I am also lucky to have had my sister Susie join the business 6 years ago, and now enjoy an even stronger bond with her. I have had the great pleasure of getting to know so many customers over the years from all over the country, as well as here in Kansas City, and some of them have become great friends. We have also benefited greatly from being a member of two unbelievable industry groups, made up of colleagues in the leather specialty business, and the textile restoration business that we could measure our company against,
and some of these business owners have been like my board of directors. One man in particular that I have been so fortunate to have known and learned from was Mr. Sid Tuchman, one of the great mentors in my life.
Finally, none of these 100 years of longevity would have been possible without the wonderful employees that enable us to carry out the plans, do the work, and serve our customers. So this 100th Anniversary is very much about our employees, past and present, who have worked the long hours in sometimes difficult conditions,
and have believed in our mission of being the best at everything we do. And so that is why we say…
“With every garment, every customer, and
every employee, Arrow cares”.
President & CEO
To view article please visit http://www.thisiskc.com/2014/04/kansas-city-top-companies-2014-arrow-fabricare-services/
Tune in tonight on Channel 4's FOX4 News at 9:00 p.m. for a feature on how Arrow deals with the high temperatures during this unusual spring hot spell at its dry cleaning plant. Plant Manager, Jim Roddy will be interviewed about the measures that Arrow takes to make the work place as safe and as comfortable as possible for its employees during periods of high temperatures. The hot spell is expected to last through Tuesday. The previous record high of 89 degrees for this date was set in 1963. It is expected to be eclipsed both today and tomorrow.
The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, which is the drycleaning industry's most influential trade association, published a most interesting article in its December, 2009 magazine. The story relates Arrow's history and success as one of the most respected members of the association and also its recent achievement of earning the Institute's highest level of industry certification. Arrow is one of just a few drycleaners in America to reach this pinnacle of recognition. click here to read
On April 25, at approximately 11:30 p.m. Marsha Jackson, an employee in our shirt laundry department heard a loud noise outside her home in midtown Kansas City. She knew it was bad because the house shook. When she ran outside all she saw was a big ball of metal. A man had crashed into a light pole and was completely crushed inside his car. She had no idea how many were even in the car at that point. Marsha immediately called 911 and remained on the line until the rescue crew arrived. At this point there seemed to be only one man in the car. She began talking to him to let him know that help was on the way and started praying until the paramedics arrived which was in about five minutes.
She later found out both his arms were broken, his leg crushed, pelvis broken, and he had many broken ribs and lacerations. The man's wife said if it were not for Marsha he most likely would not have survived. He is now out of the hospital and slowly recovering.
For her charitable actions, Marsha was honored on Fox 4 news on the PAY IT FORWARD program. The photograph above shows Marsha being filmed by the television station at Arrow’s Troost Counter. We applaud Marsha and we at Arrow are very proud of her. Marsha has been a dedicated employee at Arrow for 14 years.
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