DLI & NCA Escaping To The Caribbean This Winter

The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute and the National Cleaners Association are taking their annual Brainstorming & Five Star Conference to Secret’s newest resort: Akumal Riviera Maya in Cancun, January 14th – 17th, 2016.

Each morning of the conference features one seminar session with a professional speaker. Afternoons and evenings are free time to relax in the Caribbean sun, network, or get in adventures.

Focus is the key element to all three scheduled presentations. Returning presenter Rory Vaden will discuss how you can focus your efforts by saying “no” to unnecessary goals that distract from your overall vision. Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” will help you zero in those things that make people say or post great things about your business. Helping focus marketing tactics, Amanda Johns Vaden will discuss how to target marketing pieces to today’s generational mix of Boomers, Gen-X, and Millennials.

The Secrets Resort at Akumal Riveria Maya promises to deliver the exceptional atmosphere, customer service and amenities past attendees know and love. The associations leveraged their collective bargaining power to negotiate reduced rates.


Junior Suite – Garden (not ocean) View: Single occupancy is $339 and Double occupancy $438

Preferred Club floor – Jr. Suite – Ocean View: Single Occupancy or Double Occupancy is $558
* all inclusive – room rates include all food, drink, room service, snacks, pool fees, tipping, taxes, etc.

Rory Vaden stole the show when he last spoke for a DLI/NCA conference in 2014. He returns in 2016 with all-new material to help cleaners focus on improving their businesses. Ken Kinzer from Bridgestone Cleaners in Brooklyn, New York, attended the previous conference and said, “Rory Vaden was a ‘grand slam’ from start to end. He immediately engaged me by saying he enjoyed studying our business. He’s an excellent motivational speaker and was the high point of my conference.”

A new face at the 2016 Conference is Jonah Berger, author of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, a world renowned expert in what makes something go viral. Jonah Berger’s presentation will focus not on the technology of where services and products are discussed, but WHY they get talked about.

“We’ve all seen it; technologies go in and out of vogue,” said NCA’s Executive Director Nora Nealis. “Where is MySpace today? That’s why cleaners want to know the psychology of harnessing the power of word of mouth for their businesses, not just the technology. People will always find a place to talk, but you have to give them something to talk about.” Berger has researched thousands of pieces of content, brands, and purchases, and identified six principles to getting people to talk. He’ll be sharing and exploring them with attendees Saturday morning.

Mark Scott, CEO of Bakker’s Fine Drycleaning in Kirkland, Washington, said the DLI/NCA conference was “one of the most beneficial conferences I have been to yet! Both from the speakers, and possibly more from interacting with other drycleaners.

“The ‘biggest’ thing I took away was the information I learned having dinner with one of the participants,” Scott said. “Since that dinner, I created a list of ‘change now’ items that I am halfway through. It re-energized me in the business.”

Bob Fogelsanger, president of Balfurd, Inc. in Tipton, Pennsylvania, also enjoyed Vaden’s previous talk. “Rory’s ‘take the stairs’ was my biggest take away,” he said. This involves “doing the necessary legwork for any issue immediately and making sure my daily activity is what I need to do as a leader and not just busy work,” he said.

DLI CEO Mary Scalco said the tropical setting helps people open up and share ideas. “The backdrop to our seminars is a tropical paradise,” she said. “It’s the middle of winter and everyone’s relaxing in shorts or bathing suits. You get to meet up with people you may only see once or twice a year but talk to on the telephone or by email all the time. The speakers always have great ideas but many attendees have told me they enjoy talking informally with other drycleaning business owners and operators the best.”

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