Lapels Cleaners was founded in 2000 to become the 1st Environmentally Friendly Dry Cleaning franchise available. At the time being environmentally friendly was just gaining traction but Lapels saw the Future of Dry Cleaning early on and since has not only been the leader in this space as we continue to define The Future of this great industry.
Kevin started his journey into entrepreneurship at the age of 18 with the opening of his first restaurant, growing that small business into 6 restaurants and banquet facilities in 3 years, all by the age of 21.
Kevin was first introduced to the dry cleaning industry after he purchased an established restaurant from the founder of a nationally recognized dry cleaner in 2001. Drawn to the low cost of industry goods and by the lack of perishable inventory, Kevin quickly became an active partner in this firm. After several years of learning the dry cleaning business, he bought out his partner, and then, as CEO, began growing the brand from 20 storefronts to over 100 storefronts today.
In 2021, Kevin acquired the Martinizing, 1-800-Dry-Cleaning, Pressed 4 Time, Dry Cleaning Station, and Bizziebox franchises and created a newly formed entity, Clean Franchise Brands. Clean Franchise Brands affordss unique value to its franchise partners around the globe by offering operations strategies and marketing systems that continue to propel these brands to further growth.
VP- Franchise Development and Real Estate, After a successful 15 year career in sales and management for one of the largest privately held technology companies in the world, Michael was looking for a change as he was constantly traveling around the country on business. In 2001, Michael became the first franchisee for Lapels Cleaners and has been instrumental in the development of the Award Winning Brand ever since. In 2005, Michael sold his franchise and joined the Lapels Corporate office full time. Today, Michael’s focus is on Franchise Development and growing the Lapels Brand as the Vice President of Franchise Development.
Chief Operating Officer: David Grippi is the Chief Operating Officer at Clean Franchise Brands. Mr. Grippi joined Next Step Franchising in August 2015 as its Director of Store Operations, bringing with him over 30 years of dry cleaning expertise as a 3rd generation dry cleaner. Today, he leads an operations team of 3 assisting our franchisees in quality, brand standards, productivity and profitability.
Business Coach: Keith Kocher has been a dry-cleaning store operator in Austin, TX for over 30 years. Keith supports franchisees with on-site and phone support as well as training best practices from the front of the store (CSR training, Spot POS training) to the back of the store (how to clean difficult garments, equipment preventative maintenance, and handle many questions regarding the day-to-day operations).
Business Coach: Ted Sontag is a third generation dry cleaner. After selling the family business in 2011, Ted became a multi-unit general manager and franchise trainer with Tide Dry Cleaners in Cincinnati, OH. In 2017, Mr. Sontag joined Martinizing International LLC as Field Operations Training and Support Manager, the role he assumed with Clean Franchise Brands in April 2021. Ted works with franchisees across the states from Nebraska to Maine assisting with daily operations to help their business run smoothly.
Director of Information Technology: Alan Janosky has been working in Information Technology for franchises for eight years. From 2013 to 2017 he was the Infotech Analyst for the La Vida Massage Franchise home office in Brighton MI. From 2017 to 2018 Alan worked as an IT consultant, while earning a degree in software engineering. He joined The Huntington Company in Berkley, MI, in 2018 as BI Developer and IT Project Manager. In April of 2021 Clean Franchise Brands brought Alan on as its Director of Information Technology where he heads solutions conception and execution as well as enables the core technology assets that drive company productivity.
Project Manager: Andrea Varga worked as a Program Management Administrator for Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network (CRDN) from 2013-2019. In October of 2019 she transitioned to the role of Right Start Coordinator for Martinizing International LLC. From April 2021 to present, she has assumed the role of Franchisee Liaison with Clean Franchise Brands where she continues to help facilitate the onboarding of new franchise owners.
Director of Marketing: Eileen was brought on board in 2020 to help our franchisees with all marketing initiatives stemming from onboarding to our national marketing campaigns to individual day-day store location marketing efforts. As a member of the Clean Franchise Brands Corporate Staff, she leads the marketing strategy for all brands and ensures brand standards are being met across the network. Eileen has over 30 years of marketing experience, which includes owning her own consulting business to help companies who need marketing assistance, but don’t have full-time staff on board.
Accounting Manager: Working with the franchising world is not new to Laurie. Her first position in accounting was for Showbiz Pizza (Chuck E. Cheese) out of Dallas and she brings to Clean Franchise Brand this past knowledge. Laurie is responsible for executing all operational processes including general ledger, billing, collections, vendors, disbursements, revenue recognition and expense accruals and deferrals. Her duties expand across the accounting realm of preparing tax documents, financial statements and account reconciliations, cash forecasting, management of payroll and benefits and such. Laurie is instrumental in developing accounting procedures and recommending process improvements.
Corporate Paralegal: Jack was brought on with Clean Franchise Brands as a corporate paralegal, where he will assist the legal team with document preparation and franchising compliance. Jack served as a litigation paralegal for two separate business law firms located in New York and Florida. He is a Northeastern University Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Political Science and a focus in Business Law and Policy.