With over 200 years of combined experience working with and for the linen, industrial and healthcare sectors of the textile rental industry, the Performance Matters team is comprised of individuals with varying backgrounds by design. Our management team takes a hands-on approach and is not content with just sitting behind a desk. They work in the field too and are invested in our clients’ success.


Chief Executive Officer

Blake joined Performance Matters in 2020 after ten years in commercial banking where he worked exclusively with independent and family-owned businesses. He focuses on value-add advice and making sustainable changes to improve small businesses and help them compete.

Blake has his MBA from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina as well.

Blake serves on the executive boards of Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina and the South Carolina State Museum.

He and his wife, Anna, have four children, Louise, Anne Fulton, Jay and Betsy, and they live in Columbia, SC.

Steve Royals


Steve started working with Performance Matters in 2009, being named President in 2020. He brings more than 20 years of global strategy, sales, management, and consulting experience. Steve has worked with a variety of clients from Banks, Colleges, and Universities, and even the Federal Government.

Steve is an accomplished, versatile professional, who is well-versed in running and leading a business. He has a passion for helping others and specializes in strategy, finance, sales, and building a team culture. Steve has a B.S.B.A. degree with undergraduate work from both Wake Forest University and University of North Carolina-Charlotte, as well as an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

When not working, Steve enjoys traveling, watching college sports (his UNC Tar Heels) and spending time with his wife Ainsley, and their two children, Carter and Savannah. Steve and his family live in High Point, NC.

Currie Gilbert

Director of Business Development

Currie joined Performance Matters in 2014 as the Director of Business Development and brings more than 15 years of experience of building strong and lasting relationships with clients and industry partners alike.

He has worked in all areas of developing and growing key partnerships with independent owner-operators in the textile rental services industry. He has always possessed the ability to establish and maintain communications with all levels of organizations from decision makers and executive teams to front line management and end users. Everything Currie does is focused towards adding sustainable value and long-term benefit to our client base. Currie has a BA in Finance from Appalachian State University.

Outside of work Currie is involved with the Youth program at his Church. He teaches 4th-6th grade boys classes on Sundays and participates in youth conferences.

Gary Dean

Director of Client Engagement

Gary joined Performance Matters in 2018 and has been in the industry since 1995 with experience in Operations, Service, Production, Stockroom, Supply Chain and Cleanroom. Gary’s primary industry experience is regional and national level positions developing and training process standardization and improvement.

Gary has owned multiple business start-ups and served as County Chamber Ambassador Chairman. He served as a Helicopter Pilot/Maintenance Test Pilot in the US Army Aviation for six years. He was awarded the Air Medal and Bronze Star for service in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Gary has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems Management from Francis Marion University.

Outside of work Gary’s interest typically involve faith, family, and fun either camping, golfing, or just hanging around the home.

Caleb Gilmer

Director of Sales Consulting

Caleb joined Performance Matters in November of 2021 as a Senior Consultant. After an unexpected move across the US to support family, he sought out Performance Matters, and brings almost 15 years of industry specific B2B sales management experience in the textile rental service industry. The bulk of his experience was working for a premier independent in the Midwest. Caleb was responsible for helping grow a family-owned business from 17 routes to over 50 routes. Under his leadership the company grew organically by over 300%. He was also responsible for and involved in budgeting, pricing, cost control, 3 major acquisitions, and multiple depot openings.

Caleb joins Performance Matters to support and run our Sales Optimization solution for industry clients and sales teams. He is eager to deliver a wealth of knowledge and experience to other independent businesses who are looking to enhance their own sales department.

When not working, Caleb and his wife enjoy time with family on their ranch with their German Shepherd dogs, hiking, tending to their fresh farm vegetables, going to the beach, or playing basketball. He and his wife Dominique, currently reside in Santa Maria, CA and their two grown children, Bear and Bryce, are a recent college grad and senior in high school.

Ray Shabandarian

Director of Service Consulting

Ray joined Performance Matters in November of 2022 as a Director of Service Consultant. Bringing 24 years of industry experience with Cintas, AmeriPride, and eventually Aramark as a Service Sales Rep, Certified Route Trainer, Service Training Coordinator, Sales Rep, Service Manager, and Branch Manager. He moved into Corporate Service Training to help develop, roll out, and manage numerous best practices and service programs across North America.

Ray’s passion is to continue learning, developing, and contributing to the front-line and Management roles. He will take; a lead role in our Training Practice, as well as Circle of Excellence and Product Evaluation Process (PEP). His experience in successfully onboarding, training, and assisting the Service Departments he served will prove to be an excellent addition to the team.

Ray and his wife, Carmen, live in Bakersfield, California, and they love to rescue and help various animals, from fur to feathers, and find time to be present when help is needed. Ray believes if you do the right thing, good things will happen.

Bob Bowe

Senior Consultant

Bob joined Performance Matters in January of 2022 as a Senior Consultant (Production). He brings almost 30 years of laundry experience for all laundry types – Industrial, Uniforms, Food and Beverage, Cleanroom, Hospitality and Healthcare.

Bob has experience at almost every position from Stockroom Manager at Aramark’s largest Stockroom to Production Manager at Aramark Cleanroom, to General Manager of a $15 Million Aramark Facility. In his second General Manager role, he managed the 2nd largest Production Plant for Aramark, processing 50 million pounds annually and supporting 5 Market Centers. Subsequently he served as Regional Industrial Engineering Manager and Regional Engineering Manager for over 37 facilities in the Northeastern and Southeastern regions. He was the Director of Process Engineering for Linens of the Week, a regional Food and Beverage laundry processor. After a five-year sojourn in the Party Rental business where he served in Supply Chain and as Director of Safety for 23 nation-wide facilities, Bob returned to his laundry roots and worked with Turn-Key Industrial Engineering Services as a Senior Consultant. Since 2018, Bob has worked in healthcare laundry operations at both NOVO Health Services and Shared Hospital Services in Virginia. He currently is a Senior Consultant at Performance Matters Consulting, LLC specializing in Production engagements.

W. Kirby Wagg

Senior Advisor

Kirby joined Performance Matters in 2022 after successfully continuing the succession of his 121-year-old family-owned Textile Rental business in Canada, known as Wagg’s Linen & Uniform. Over 45 years in the business, he strengthened the existing business foundation by implementing core business values, developing modernized sales, growth strategies, and ensured an increased commitment to employee and customer satisfaction.

Kirby’s strengths are all the facets of operating a laundry business, such as engaging employees, negotiating with company partners, relationship building with clients, new plant builds, and analyzing production methods (he holds a Stationary Engineer Certificate). He successfully negotiated purchase agreements (M&A) with competitor companies for growth strategies which resulted in an increase in sales year over year. He has developed his son, Billy (5th generation) into a Leadership role as the President. Kirby is a Commercial Real Estate/M&A advisor executive, assisting clients with their growth portfolios across North America.

Kirby leads two Peer Groups and provides his expertise in cost recovery offerings, production, and transition planning for clients in United States and Canada.

Kirby’s family is his passion, which includes his daughter, Christina, his son Billy and four granddaughters all living in Orillia, Ontario. His United States base is in Sarasota, Florida. He enjoys boating, hockey, yoga and Cross-fit during his leisure time.

John Fischer

IT Support

John joined Performance Matters in 2019 and brings more than 48 years of experience in the IT industry. John’s expertise is in Microsoft Azure Server Management, Microsoft SQL Server Management, Continuum Certified IT expert, and Desktop and Web Software Developer.

John has an Associate of Theology degree from The Way College of Biblical Research from Indiana Campus.

Outside of work, John enjoys hunting game birds, fly fishing, hiking on nature trails and spending time with his family. His hobbies include photography and German language translation.

Barbara Trull

Administrative Assistant

Barbara joined Performance Matters in 2018 as the Administrative Assistant and brings more than 20 years of experience in the laundry industry. She worked in Human Resources with a background in employment management, payroll, benefits, workers compensation and employee relations for 5 locations.

She later took on the task of Department of Transportation Compliance Specialist where she ran the company-wide DOT qualification hiring and DOT recertification process for over 100 uniform rental locations.
Barbara graduated from South Piedmont with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting.

Outside of work Barbara loves spending time with her family, grandchildren and her 2 fur babies. Her hobbies are sewing dog harnesses and supporting local hospice dog rescue.

OUR CUSTOMIZED SERVICES cover all your bases

Are there best practices for providing services to a service-based industry? We think so. In fact, our holistic approach to measuring, tracking, and delivering results is unique and proven over the last 16 years to deliver results.