Q. Tell me about your path into the car wash industry.
A. In 1966, my grandfather Richard Baright noticed a self-serve car wash being built while commuting to work. He had been interested in owning his own business, and he worked to purchase that car wash and another that was behind on their bills. Together with my grandmother Carleen and their three sons Todd, Gary, and Scott, they developed a thriving car wash business. Most of my weekends growing up were spent at the car washes, tinkering and fixing equipment. This connection to the industry led me back after college, as a manufacturer of built-for-car wash lighting and lighting controls.
Q. What does a typical day look like for you?
A. I am accountable for the future direction of the company, big problems, big relationships and culture. I am lucky to work closely with our exceptional leadership team on a daily basis. No day is quite the same, and I truly enjoy coming to work with this team every day.
Q. What keeps you coming back every day?
A. The people. Not just internally, but throughout the car wash industry. We are involved in other markets, so we can say for certain that car wash people are one of a kind. Hard working, entrepreneurial, respectful, resourceful and creative. Folks look out for one another and help when they can.
Q. What do you think car wash professionals need to be watching out for and paying attention to right now?
A. Given the consolidation and volume of new construction, operators must work to provide a remarkable customer experience. Your customers may have more options now, and they will gravitate toward what’s new and exciting.
Q. What has been your biggest learning from the car wash industry?
A. My experiences in the industry have taught me that nothing worth having comes easy. It’s hard to grasp until you’ve been through it. The difficulties you’re facing will only serve to reap greater rewards. Anything worth having takes effort, so don’t get discouraged when you’re facing an uphill battle.
Q. What trends or potential trends are you watching in the industry?
A. Our company is obsessive about the wash customer experience, so seeing the increased interest and attention to this area is exciting. We want to make the car wash experience something the customer will not forget, and now more operators do too. We’ve had some exciting developments in the pipeline.
Q. What do you do for fun? What do you do to refill your tank?
A. As those who know me will tell you, I thoroughly enjoy all things related to airplanes and aviation. It’s something that I got into after seeing how excited my dad was after coming home from a flight lesson. At this point, I can’t imagine my life without the freedom and enjoyment it provides.
Q. Tell us something we’d be surprised to learn about you.
A. Well, now that we are talking about airplanes, I’m a crew pilot for Angel Flight Northeast. We provide free air transportation for passengers in need of medical treatment far from home. It provides for someone in need, but also puts things in perspective and I get a lot out of it