Q2 2021

DLI’s Inner Circle Group Members Forge New Relationships at First Meeting

DLI’s Inner Circle is a virtual management group program spearheaded by Diana Vollmer with Ascend Consulting Group.

DLI Forming New Groups, Space is Limited

DLI’s Inner Circle, The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s new, virtual management group program, held its first meeting Thursday, February 25. The program is spearheaded by Diana Vollmer with Ascend Consulting Group, a veteran management group director. The group is composed of 13 members from the U.S. and Canada. While this group is up and running, DLI plans to add more groups to the program and is currently accepting registrations for members to join a group.


“We talked about the state of the industry and what immediate opportunities are available, what you can do now, during Covid, to help sustain and grow your business,” said Brian Johnson, DLI’s Director of Education and group liaison.


Members of the group also forged new relationships, with some members sharing contact information to discuss ideas in more detail between quarterly meetings.

“With the introduction of DLI’s Inner Circle, there is unprecedented access to one of the savviest minds in the fabricare industry, Diana Vollmer,” said group member Jamin Soehn, owner of Classic Cleaners in Red Deer, Alberta. “After completing our first four-hour online meeting in the comfort of my own office I am already impressed with the value gained from the group,” he said.


“Every Inner Circle member has certain performance indicators and metrics that could and should be improved upon to maximize profitability,” Soehn said. “I cannot think of a greater way to explore new services and how we offer those services effectively to our current and prospective clients than to join a group of like-minded peers who share a lot of the same hurdles in their operations.”


“With more than 20 years’ experience running similar management groups specifically for drycleaning business owners, I know firsthand that everyone who participates wins,” Vollmer said. “The price of participation is dwarfed by the gains you can make by being involved. Being 100% open and honest will yield the best results and assure we will help you draw a realistic roadmap to increased profits.”

Group member Jim Gilligan agrees. He owns and operates Snedicor’s Cleaners, a DLI professional member business in Howell, Michigan. After the first meeting he said, “Outstanding! This group is already paying for itself.”


Group member Kathy Benzinger said, “A lot has changed in our industry since the pandemic began. Diana’s wisdom and knowledge of the industry are a great benefit for all of us.” Benzinger owns Benzinger’s Clothing Care in Hamburg, New York.


Management groups have traditionally been expensive for many members. In addition to fees, travel, meals, lodging, and entertainment costs add up quickly as participants visit each other’s businesses for tours and day-long face-to-face meetings. While those aspects of being in a group are educational with the ability to see other operations, the current situation precludes travel and meetings. That simple fact gave rise to the idea of virtual management groups – and a major byproduct of removing those costs is affordability.


Your New Advisory Committee

DLI’s Inner Circle gives members a confidential and structured method of getting together to assess each other’s performance and share observations. Quarterly half-day meetings will be held online and hosted by Vollmer, whose experience in this field spans decades. Group meetings constitute a tool for increased profitability offering members benchmarks and best practices that participants can use to implement practical tactics and strategies to improve overall performance. Participants gain access to multiple perspectives in the form of informal auditors without hiring a costly review board service.

How to Join a Group

DLI’s first Inner Circle filled up very quickly, so the Institute is starting a second group. Space is very limited. All cleaners are invited to join a group at $198 / month. A 50% discount applies to DLI members bringing participation costs to just $99 / month. A link to DLI’s Inner Circle program is on the DLIonline.org homepage.

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