About Champion Cleaners
David and Sherry Whitehurst, Owners
David, Sherry and Granddaughter, Callie
After David invested 30 years in the corporate world and Sherry being a full-time Mom raising three sons,they wanted to own and operate a business of their own. Of course, Sherry thought David was out of his mind. But with his background as a CPA and years of business operating experience first as chief financial officer and later as president of several insurance companies, David decided to bail out of the corporate world and pursue his own business.
In November 2002, David and Sherry opened their first Champion Cleaners dry cleaning plant on Rocky Ridge Road in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. And in July 2006, they opened their second plant on Highway 280 at Highway 119 in Hoover, Alabama. In November 2010, we converted another dry cleaner in Calera to Champion Cleaners and now serve that part of Shelby County.
All three plants are full service dry cleaning operations which means customers' clothes are not shipped away to central plants as many dry cleaning competitors do, sometimes to distant cities. While operating separate dry cleaning plants costs more than building a single, central plant with retail store locations, David and Sherry concluded early that service to their customers would be better, including fewer lost garments and better response to special customer needs, with separate, local dry cleaning plants.
Today, David focuses on customer service, advertising and the long-term direction of the business. Sherry handles most of the back-office aspects of the business as Office Manager. Matt Whitehurst has joined the business and assists in some of the back office operations, assists with customer service activities at Rocky Ridge and oversees our smoke, fire, water and mold restoration business through a division of Champion Cleaners known as CRDN of Birmingham. Matt is also responsible for our dry cleaner locker service to high-end condominiums, apartments and office buildings in the Birmingham area (Jefferson and Shelby counties).
David is a Certified Wedding Gown Specialist.
Terry Hall, CPD, CED, CPW, CGCP, Plant Manager – Calera
Terry joined Champion Cleaners in 2003 as a Customer Service Representative. He quickly showed interest in the technical aspects of dry cleaning. With practical, hands-on experience supplemented by industry training courses, Terry attained the ultimate in dry cleaning credentials, the Certified Garment Care Professional (CGCP) after completing the professional designations of Certified Professional Drycleaner (CPD), Certified Environmental Drycleaner (CED) and Certified Professional Wetcleaner (CPW). Terry is one of fewer than 100 such individuals with the CGCP designation in the United States.
Terry is our Plant Manager at Calera...and lives in Calera.
Billy Mims, Route Manager
Billy joined Champion Cleaners in 2003, initially working part time as a Customer Service Representative while he also worked full time in sales for another company. When Champion Cleaners had an opening for a Route Manager, it was a natural fit. Billy has responsibility for maintaining our high standard of service for our pickup and delivery customers and for growing our list of about 1,000 customers we visit twice a week for home and office pickup and delivery service.
Billy is married to Sheila Mims, our Acting Plant Manager at Greystone, and lives in Alabaster.
Craig Ledwon, CPD, CED, CPW, CGCP, Plant Manager – Rocky Ridge
Craig joined Champion Cleaners in 2006 and was the first person hired for the Greystone plant opened in July 2006. Craig had several years experience at another dry cleaning plant in Birmingham before joining Champion. He has earned the designations of Certified Professional Drycleaner and Certified Professional Wetcleaner and Certified Environmental Drycleaner. Craig also holds the ultimate distinction of Certified Garment Care Professional.
Craig and his wife live in Birmingham.
Sheila Mims, Acting Plant Manager, Greystone
Sheila was the second person hired at Champion Cleaners and served as Customer Service Manager at Rocky Ridge before moving to the Greystone location in a similar position. Sheila has many years of dry cleaning experience, including service as plant manager and customer service manager for other dry cleaners. Already known to many of our customers even before we opened for business, Sheila knows most of our customers on a first name basis.
Sheila, her husband Billy (see above) and daughter Amy, live in Alabaster.
Matt Whitehurst, Manager, CPD
Matt is David's and Sherry's youngest of three sons. He worked summers while in college doing different jobs, including pressing...a very hot job in the summer with a lot of steam combined with the natural Alabama heat. He has also worked as a Customer Service Representative, a Route Driver, a Spotter and Cleaner...just about every job we have. He now handles our Information Technology, back office duties including payroll and financial reporting and customer service. Matt also coordinates our rug services and fire, smoke and water restoration cleaning services.
Matt is a Certified Professional Drycleaner.