Model Cleaners' LaCarte named Entrepreneur of the Year
By Chris Buckley
Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Waiting patiently throughout the evening to hear his name ultimately called, John LaCarte said with a smile he felt a little like a nominee at the Academy Awards.
“They had sealed envelopes and no one knew who won,” LaCarte said. “And we were the last category.”
But the waiting was worth it for the president of Model Cleaners and a partner of Fratelli Brothers. LaCarte was named Entrepreneur of the Year for 2013 by Ernst & Young for Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia at the gala held last week at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh.
He will now compete for the national awards Nov. 13-17 in Palm Springs, Calif.
“The award really recognizes what we've done building a company in the Mon Valley,” LaCarte said. “My message is it's possible, you can invest in places like the Mon Valley.”
The company employs nearly 300 at 28 locations in western Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio. Including its real estate operations, the company has added over 700 jobs to the region.
Model Cleaners was formed in 1930 at 140 Lincoln Ave.
But Jack LaCarte – John's father – bought Model Cleaners of Charleroi Inc. in 1986.
Jack LaCarte serves as general manager of RTS Packaging in Charleroi, where he was first hired in 1980.
In 1994, the business was moved to 100 Third St., Charleroi. Although not necessarily chosen for that reason, the former Fib Chem building was familiar to the LaCarte family. It was there that Jack LaCarte's father John J. LaCarte, operated Lock-Fold Paper Box Co.
The business expanded into Ohio, acquiring Fussy Cleaners in Akron –owned by their uncle, who passed away in 2008.
Operating as Fratelli Partners – translated means Brothers Partners - the firm also has diversified into real estate, including buildings in the Alta Vista industrial park in Fallowfield Township. These include homes for Gardner Denver Nash, Progeny Systems, Exide Technologies and Techno Care.
While he was honored, LaCarte said the award recognizes the work that he and his brothers have done to build Model Cleaners.
Model now employs leading technologies such as permanent bar codes and multi- read frequency chips to track garments.
Model Cleaners has also developed cellular phone applications that allow customers to accomplish task like checking on the status of pick-ups and deliveries.
The award continues what LaCarte called “a pretty amazing year.” In March, LaCarte's firm won the Build-to-Suit Industrial Award winner by The National Association Of Industrial and Office Properties, Pittsburgh Chapter.
The awards are recognition of the company's mission statement “to care for our customers, community and each other like family.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two Mon Valley educators up for state’s Teacher of the Year honor
- California council accepts police officer’s resignation
- Judge tosses railroad crossing case against Charleroi school bus driver
- Worker finds man’s body in Monessen
- North Charleroi pair to stand trial on charges they left children unattended
- Cardinals’ tribute to Donora’s Musial may interest even Bucs fans
- Sellew: Enough of Mike Tomlin already
- High schoolers head to Cal U for ‘College Knowledge’
- Storm brings snow-rain mix
- Photo gallery: West Newton’s annual ‘Miracle on Main Street’ celebration
- Dom Amoroso, 70, beating the clock by staying strong