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.
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 28 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.
Tonya Long, Plant Manager
Tonya has been with Universal for two years. Tonya has been married for 9 years and has three sons. She likes to travel and spend time with her family. She loves to go fishing and baseball.
Cori Bakos, General Manager – Lodging
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 attending Sullivan, Cori continued on to Bellarmine University and obtained her Masters Degree.
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.
Dave Brittingham, Service Manager
Dave is a longtime employee of Universal Linen and has been working as Service Manager for many years. Dave manages our Route Service Team in the Central Kentucky area and ensures our customers receive deliveries on time and complete. As a resident of Lexington, this gives Dave the opportunity to work with familiar faces and support the businesses in his local community.
Sean Hall, Louisville Service Director
Sean Hall started at Universal Linen right out of high school in the washroom in 1991. Sean has held a number of positions at Universal Linen, such as: Quality Control Inspector, Shift Supervisor, Quality Control Manager, Assistant Plant Manager, and Route Service Manager. The skills Sean acquired working his way up in the company, have lead him to his current position as Service Manager. As Service Manager, Sean manages a wide range tasks related to logistics and customer service. With Sean’s expertise and his dedication to Universal Linen, he has become a strong component of our team.
Lonnie Thurman, Customer Relations/Account Receivables Manager
Lonnie is a Louisville native who began his work with Universal Linen in 1972. Working in Customer Relations and Account Receivables, Lonnie monitors the check-ins of our Route Service Managers, as well as their sales. With about 40 years under his belt, Lonnie has an immense amount of industry knowledge, which has proven to be beneficial to his position at Universal Linen.
Sterling Campbell, Nashville Service Manager
Sterling became part of our team with the acquisition of American Towel Linen Rental Service in Nashville, TN. Sterling came equipped with 18 years of experience in the Nashville marketplace and has helped a great deal in the overseeing of plant employees. Sterling is originally from Phoenix, AZ, and has been living in the Nashville area for over 20 years. In the past 6 years Sterling has been working at American Towel as the Service Manager. Sterling is well versed in customer service and management, and has had great success as the American Towel Service Manager.
Keith Bell, Production Supervisor
Keith Bell has been working in this industry for 40+ years and has held multiple positions within our company. He started as a Route Service Manager in the Uniform Division and was then promoted to Service Manager. After several years as a Service Manager Keith was promoted to his current position as a Production Supervisor. As Production Supervisor, Keith manages around 75 plant employees on a daily basis.
Mary Jo Hourigan, Route Administrator
Mary Jo started as an employee at the Spalding Laundry Facility and has been with our company for 35+ years. As the Route Administrator and Accountant she tracks all of our vital statistics and keeps our staff informed on a daily basis.
Kimberlie Thompson , Territory Sales Manager
Kimberlie has been part of the Universal family for nearly 8 years as a Territory Sales Manager.
She has a beautiful 17 year old daughter, Kat, who is going into her senior year. Kimberlie loves and is very active in her community. Being involved in several organizations (including non-profits), such as The Kentucky Restaurant Association, Bourbon & Bow Ties, Taste of Louisville, and the American Cancer Society, she is constantly achieving her passion of giving more than she takes. Kimberlie, more than anything, loves spending time with her daughter and making new memories with her. We here at Universal thank you for your dedication and hard work, ensuring that our winning team can make every piece count!
Dennis Miller, Sales
Dennis Miller began his career with Universal Uniforms, Inc. in March of 1987 as a route driver in the company’s uniform rental division. In 1992 Dennis was promoted to the position of route manager and filled that position until 2002 when Universal sold their industrial uniform division. As part of the purchase agreement Dennis transitioned over to G&K Services for a period of two years. When his non-compete agreement expired he returned to Universal in the company’s linen rental division and started his career in sales. In 2013 Dennis was asked to transfer to Nashville Tennessee where he has worked in sales for the company’s American Towel & Linen Rental affiliate. Dennis graduated from Iroquois High School in Louisville and then graduated from the Louisville Police Academy where he served as a police officer for the Louisville Housing Police Department for several years.
Jennifer Hale, London General Manager
Jennifer became part of the Universal Linen Team with the acquisition of Coyne Textile Services medical linen accounts in 2015. Jennifer was previously the General Manager of Coyne’s London Kentucky laundry facility and remained with Universal Linen Service in that same role.Jennifer has 12 years of industry experience in customer service and management. Jennifer is originally from Louisville, KY, and has been living in London for the past 16 years.
Corey Whatley, Winchester General Manager
Jeff Laymon, Connersville General Manager
Jeff joined Universal Linen Service in 2018 as the General Manager of the newly acquired Hassler Textile plant in Connersville, Indiana. Prior to Universal, Jeff worked for Aramark in their Healthcare and Facility Management division at University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. Jeff possesses strong sales, service, and operations management skills, is a US Navy Submarine Service veteran, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Operational Management from Indiana University.