Tom Austin, CEO:
Tom began his career working in the Industrial Laundry business in 1994, and has served as CEO since purchasing the Linen Service Division from Universal Uniforms, Inc. in 2002. He is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction, maintaining the financial strength, developing the Leadership Team, Human Resource oversight, Marketing and Acquisitions. He has lead the company in acquiring new business and building relationships with existing customers through consistent and friendly service. Under his leadership, Universal has purchased their largest competitor, managed all the land and property, and built a new state of the art laundry facility that opened in 2008.
In 2012 Tom acquired American Towel and Rental Service, located in Nashville, Tennessee. American Towel and Rental Service was the perfect addition to the Universal Linen family, with small town values, and a desire to please their customers, there couldn't be a better match.
Tom led the company rebranded effort with focus and tag on “Every Piece Counts” to redefine our perception and commitment to our team members, our customers, and our community. Recently, the green movement is defining the company as one of the largest recyclers in the community. His focus is maintaining a safe, clean, work environment for our team members, as well as long term customer loyalty by delivering clean, pressed linen, towels, mats, and garments, on time and complete.
Tom graduated from Denison University in 1989 with a B.S. in Geology, and attended Graduate School at The University of Oklahoma. He remains active as a member of the Young Presidents Organization serving in a leadership capacity at the local, regional and international level and is a proud member of the International Board of Directors. He also serves as a Director and on the Executive Committee for Eclipse Bank in Louisville, a Board Member of the American Red Cross, Louisville Chapter, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Board for the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District.
Tom travels frequently and globally for YPO, and in his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, sailing on Lake Michigan and golfing.
Don Dimmitt, President:
Don joined the family business, Spalding’s, in 1976 and came to Universal Uniforms in January of 1980. He has served as president since 2008 with primary focus on sales & service functions. Prior to 2008 Don held the position of general manager. Don also served as president of Universal Denim Service from 1990 – 1994.
Don oversaw the building of Universal’s first two laundry plants in 1980 and 1988 and worked with Tom Austin to open their newest laundry in 2007.
Don attended Indiana University before entering the industrial laundry field and completed the Effective Executive Program in 1990 through The University of Louisville’s School of Business. He is a past president of the New Albany, Indiana Rotary Club and later served as an assistant district governor.
Kurt Rutkowski, General Manager (American Towel):
Kurt has a Culinary Arts Degree from Johnson County Community College in Overland Park Kansas, and has owned and worked in restaurants all across the U.S. With his extensive background in the food industry, Kurt uses this knowledge as a way to better understand our customer base.
Kurt started his work at Universal Linen in 2007, after the acquistion of the American Towel and Rental Service plant in Nashville, Kurt relocated to Nashville and began overseeing the new facility. Kurt is continuously finding ways to improve, and brings a positivity to our work environment that's contagious.
Robyn Wigginton, Office Manager/Controller:
Robyn Wigginton started with Universal Uniforms in 1989 as the Executive Assistant to the owner, Bill Tate. Robyn supported the entire Universal staff for 14 years as well as managing the marketing and telecommunication efforts. In 2002, when Tom Austin purchased the Linen Division from Bill Tate, Robyn joined Tom as the office manager. Robyn has worked for the family for 22 years, and continues to serve as office manager/controller, purchasing agent, lead on technological projects and assistant to Tom.
Robyn graduated from Louisville College of Medical Careers and worked for Baptist Healthcare Organization as a medical assistant and administrative assistant before joining Universal. She is currently attending Sullivan working towards her accounting degree.
Bethany Columbia, Marketing and Social Media Specialist
Bethany began her career at Universal Linen in October 2012, after recently graduating from The University of Louisville with a BSBA Marketing Degree. Bethany works closely with our sales team, and has proven to be a great addition to the Universal Linen family.
Karla Sallee, Human Resources Manager:
Karla began her career at Universal Linen in April 2012 working in accounts receivable, and was just recently promoted to HR Manager. Karla's problem solving qualities and calm nature made her a natural choice for the HR position, and we are thankful to have her as part of the team.
Cori Bakos, Plant Manager:
Cori started working as Plant Manager at Universal Linen in November 2012. Cori's extensive background in the service industry provided her with the knowledge and skills she needed to oversee the day to day production in the Universal Linen plant.
Cori grew up in South Texas, and joined the military right out of high school. From 1985-1989 she was based in Hawaii, after which she moved to Louisville. Cori received her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Finance, as well as a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from Sullivan University. After atteneding Sullivan, Cori continued on to Bellarmine University and obtained her Masters Degree.
Dennis Taylor, Route Manager:
Dennis Taylor Started with Universal Uniforms in 2001 as a route driver in the Louisville and Southern Indiana area. Dennis was promoted to Route Manager and is responsible for the logistics of all our Louisville/So. Indiana routes.
Doug Ramsey, Customer Service Manager:
Doug has over 40 years experience in the linen industry, and is our customer service manager. Starting fresh out of school as a route salesman he has held many different positions including service supervisor, service manager, inventory control manager, production supervisor and general manager for both linen and uniform divisions.
Doug’s job focus now is customer service for both new and existing customers, working with them to design linen programs that meet their needs. Doug works directly with the route salesmen, sales team, supervisors and production team too provide feedback directly from our customers. Doug strives to relay the customer’s voice to the company as Universal works towards providing excellent customer service.
Karen Hill, Customer Relations Manager:
Karen Hill has been a part of the team at Universal since July of 2003. Karen stared in the linen industry with Spalding’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service in December of 1988 giving her 22 years of experience in this industry. Although Karen has worked many positions her primary focus over the past 16 years has been in customer service.
Karen is in contact daily with our customers and provides vital information to our Management, Production and Sales teams. Because of her experience she does a variety of task daily such as being the first responder on the phone, to data entry and scheduling all new installs and working closely with our sales staff, to generating artwork and order all customer logo mats and garments, to setting up customers on our on-line ordering system, and communicating customer needs to our productions staff.
Karen works hard daily aside Doug Ramsey and the team at Universal to provide the highest level of customer service possible to our customers as we strive for excellence daily.
Karen Hill is a graduate for DuPont Manual High School and has an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Sullivan University.