Founding Association Members

Melinda Hayes (Bell Hop Cleaners)

David Cooper (General Manager, Prestige Cleaners)

Allan Chartran (Swan Cleaners)

Cheryl Lawson (Sunshine Cleaners)

Pete Collas (Acme Cleaners)

Mike Smith (Carnation Cleaners)

Gordon Oswald (Pride Cleaners)

Lowell Lawson (Laundromat owner)

Laurel Calvert (LaMode Cleaners)

Ed Levine (Viking Cleaners)

Cheryl Schmalzer, Ed Lippman,

Mr. Tingler

(temporary Executive Director)

1983 Founded ADLA

No doubt in the 100+ years of dry cleaning history in Arizona and Nevada there has been many groups by many different names. ADLA was began with a few people in the spring of 1983 in a Coco's restaurant on Indian School Road in Phoenix. A young lady named Melinda Hayes (who initiated the effort to start a separate state association), David Cooper along with some visionaries such as Allan Chartran, Cheryl Lawson, Pete Collas, Mike Smith, Gordon Oswald, Lowell Lawson, Cheryl Schmalzer, Ed Lippman, Mr. Tingler, Laurel Calvert, Ed Levine and additional people whose names were not archived, made up the founding members. There were four women on the founding board at a time when Phoenix had a separate association called "Women in Drycleaning" (WID).

These founding members named the alliance 

Arizona Drycleaners & Launderers Association (ADLA).

-David Cooper was elected as the first ADLA President 

-Melinda Hayes was elected first ADLA Vice President/Treasurer 

With the help of Mr. Frye Sr's (Prestige Cleaners) building the association had a facility to house seminars and meeting and therefore, this first crew of cleaners launched the association.


ADLA joined with International Fabricare Institute (now named DLI) and hired a man named John Young. John would be ADLA's first paid Executive Director who would be assigned an assistant and an office. Serves as E.D. from 1984-1994.



1985 First newsletter is printed and distributed

Charlie Collison named as President of ADLA.

ADLA holds weekly breakfast meetings for associate and allied trade members in Tucson.


1986 Mike Smith elected as president.

Kenney Slatton starts writing a column for the newsletter and assists John with seminars.

1987 Gary Gillespie elected as president. 

1988 The Johnson Brothers elected as president.

1989 Laurel Calvert elected as president.

1990 Mark Witt elected as president.

1995 Jill Andrews hired as Executive President.

Jill lobbies hard at the capital and teaches the association the way around government policy. The first committee for the Arizona Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WAQRF) was formed as the Arizona legislature sought to create legislation that was "less chaotic" than the EPA superfund effort. ADLA was very involved with this legislation along with member help from: Melinda Hayes, Mark Witt, Mike Smith Asa and Mike Jordan. Dave Link and others attend many meetings at the capitol and an Alliance Fund was started and is still in holding as we wait for "the other shoe to drop" with this agency. Melinda Hayes and Natalie Clapick served on the Governor's Advisory committee. Together they attended many meetings and visited MANY plants face-to-face for several years. The association has paid thousands of dollars in lawyer fees to combat the regulations and we owe a great deal of gratitude to the individuals who continue to volunteer their time and keep us up to date on the situation.

1997 Mike Schenck hired as Executive Director.

Since the giant effort of de-regulation our E.D. is forced to work from his home as we can no longer afford an association office. That same year we added an affiliate from the state of Nevada and became known as the Western States Drycleaners & Launderers Association (WSDLA). The battle continues with WAQRF and Mike continues to make our presence known at policy meetings accompanied by dry cleaners and board members helping with the cause. Many Allied Trade members gave time, space and money to help build our Alliance Fund to pay for attorney costs.


1998 Kenney Slatton hired as Executive Director


"We have had six paid Executive Directors in our history, seventeen Presidents and countless board members in Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas. I hope I did not leave anyone out as it took some time to piece together our history. All of these board members continue to give their time free to help serve you. I served as Executive Director replacing Mike Schenck, after fourteen years as a board member and twenty two years as a member and columnist for our newsletter. I am now retired as the Executive Director and living in Amarillo, Texas with my wife and grandson. I continue to write a monthly column for the Cleaner & Launderer. Although I have moved back to my home state of Texas, I still have fond memories of the many years I lived in Arizona as well as the time I spent serving the association.

I feel strongly in the importance of cleaners supporting their local and national associations.

I hope you do too."

-Kenney Slatton