NAPA, Calif. — David W. Dawson, of Naperville, Ill.-based R.R. Street & Co., was honored with the J. Morry Friedlander Award at the Annual Management & Educational Conference of the Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA), held earlier this month in Napa, Calif. The award is the association’s highest honor.
“Tonight, I am extremely pleased to honor someone who has made enormous contributions to TCATA, and to the textile-care industry,” said association president Alex Atwater in presenting the award. “It would be difficult to find someone else who has given back more to the association than the person we honor tonight. Tonight’s recipient embodies the kind of person that helps keep TCATA strong by finding the time to contribute his ideas, time and energy despite a very demanding schedule.”
TCATA established the J. Morry Friedlander Award to honor outstanding dedication and service to the association, naming it to acknowledge the unrivaled enthusiasm, dedication and goodwill Friedlander generated in his more than 40 years of service. Only six people have won the award since it was introduced in 1994.
“There are so many good people who give so much of their time to benefit the industry that this award came as a complete surprise,” Dawson says. “I feel very honored.”
Dawson entered the drycleaning industry as a teenager, when he and his brother helped out at their father’s plant in Detroit. He joined R.R. Street & Co. in 1974 upon graduating from college as a sales representative, serving East Coast customers from Miami to Boston.
In 1984, Dawson was promoted to the position of advertising and marketing manager, and he subsequently became vice president of marketing for the company. Along the way, he was influential in the invention and introduction of the CAREfill closed-loop delivery system, which changed the way perc is delivered to drycleaning plants. In his current role as senior vice president of distribution, he is responsible for Street’s considerable solvents business.
Dawson served as TCATA president from 1998-2000, and led the association’s Core Mission project, helping define its strategic roadmap for the future. Additional positions he has held with the association include board member, vice president of the Supply Manufacturers Group, and member of the Executive Committee. Today, Dawson is a member of TCATA’s Health & Environmental Leadership Committee and chairs its Government Affairs Committee. The association named him Young Timer of The Year in 2001.
In his spare time, Dawson is an avid woodworker and golfer. “It might be more accurate to say that if given a choice, he would rather golf than eat,” Atwater told the conference crowd. “He has supposedly scored two holes-in-one, but we do not have independent proof of that.”
Dawson remains committed to the drycleaning industry, and says operators should get involved with their associations as much as they can. “I would like to see several things happen [in the industry],” he says, “beginning with an improvement in the way the industry is viewed by the media and consumers. I would also like to see an improvement in the fundamental skills of many operators, both as drycleaners and businesspeople.
“There is a lot of good work going on in those areas now among industry groups such as the FabriCare Foundation (FCF), IFI and NCA, but the work has really just begun, and a lot more needs to be done,” he says. “In my view, all businesses operating in this industry need to be involved in their trade associations in order to make these things happen — even if that involvement is just to take advantage of the educational opportunities and provide financial support through their membership dues.”
David Dawson’s TCATA Legacy