TAMPA, Fla. — Members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists met here last month to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary, elect new officers, and participate in presentations with wedding industry experts.
The nonprofit trade group, with members located in the United States, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico and South Africa, specializes in gown cleaning and preservation.
A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the annual Jack Barth Memorial Award of Excellence. Initiated by Linda Stokes-Barth in remembrance of her late husband’s achievements in the drycleaning industry, the award recognizes a member for outstanding contributions and service to the association and its members.
This year’s honoree, Ken Grippi of Dependable Cleaners in Boston, began his career 45 years ago with his father at Beacon Cleaners. Beacon merged with Dependable Cleaners in 1972, and Grippi is currently Dependable’s technical training consultant and preservation and restoration expert. A member of the association since 2003, Grippi serves as national training director.