Dixi's 50th Anniversary Celebration Is Tremendous Success
50th Anniversary Celebration of Dixi in Germany Is a Tremendous Success
“It was like I never left. The culture that we established in 1973 still exists today.” These inspiring words from Dixi Founder Fred Edwards summarized his and wife Carmen’s trip to Ratingen, Germany for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the company that he created with a service truck and 30 fiberglass units.
Some 150 guests from around the world gathered on Sept. 7 to reflect upon the past and the present of Dixi Toi Toi, now the largest portable restroom company in the world, operating in more than 25 countries on 3 continents—Europe, Asia, and North America.
Fred and Carmen arrived several days before the celebration and visited dear longtime friends and made new acquaintances. One of the most cherished visits was with Fred’s longtime mentor, Dr. Rinke, now age 98. Sharing coffee at Dr. Rinke’s home, they were able to reflect upon the conversations and action plans that they initiated some 50 years ago. From that first business plan, Fred was able to begin to build and establish Dixi as the first portable restroom company in Europe.
Another moment of reflection occurred when Fred was able to visit his original Dixi automobile—the namesake of his company. Dixi automobiles were manufactured in Germany from 1904 to 1928 and were “Europe’s answer to the Model T,” according to automotive history sources. Fred held a contest to name his company, then known as Port San Ser, and Frau Gabriele Prosch won with the submission of “Dixi.” Incredibly, she was also able to attend the celebration event!
Meeting and interacting with the current employees brought Fred and Carmen the greatest sense of amazement and pride. “Everyone wanted to shake my hand,” Fred shares. Although many of these employees were born after he founded the company in 1973, each had a sense of the history and the culture that remains with the company today. The connection between these individuals, from throughout the many countries that Toi Toi Dixi services, and Fred, along with company he established, should serve as inspiration for all in our industry. In my many conversations with Fred Edwards, I would summarize this culture as a family environment where everyone works together and helps one another to grow and to achieve. An unexpected joy of the trip was the warm and enthusiastic reception from everyone that Fred and Carmen met. This friendliness and kindness were very memorable and touching.
Fred and Carmen had dinner with Toi Toi USA executives Jeff Tankersley, CEO, and Bobbi Hardison, CFO. Based in Atlanta, Toi Toi USA is a proud PSAI Member, as was Fred with his many years of service to the Association, serving as President in 1985-86.
On the evening of Sept. 7, the official event was hosted by Toi Toi Dixi CEO Max Teichner. Max had been in constant contact with Fred in the weeks leading up to this event and the two had a great rapport for their onstage discussion. Fred shared his story and the origins of the company to a very receptive and engaged audience. His reflections on successfully handling Pope John Paul II’s visit to Germany in 1980 was a highlight. The success of this event (with an estimated crowd of 1.5 million over the 5-day tour) showed that portable restrooms could be successfully implemented at large special events throughout the world—inspiring other large events, such as the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
The program continued with speakers further tracing the history of the company. Dixi and Toi Toi merged in 1997. In 1999, the combined company provided 5,000 toilets for World Youth Day in Rome, Italy. That same year, Toi Toi & Dixi began independent production of units by one of their subsidiary companies. The next year saw the company also become independent in their vehicle production. Another record number of units was provided for the 2006 FIFA World Cup—more than 10,000 units. The year 2013 was significant in that Dixi celebrated 40 years while Toi Toi celebrated 30 years.
Max Teichner became CEO of Toi Toi & Dixi in December 2019. Today, according to their website, this amazing company operates in 25 countries on the continents of Europe, Asia, and North America. Further, they report in excess of 425,943 restroom units and 5,320 employees. A growing percentage of their service fleet is electric; the company has made sustainability a major focus. This year the company introduced “Sea TOI Toilets” made from 50% recycled plastic, most coming from old fishing nets recovered from the ocean. Toi Toi & Dixi continue to be the innovative leaders in our international industry.
“A wonderful and rewarding trip” is how Fred summarized this amazing event. Congratulations to him for being a true pioneer of our industry.
Fred Edwards’ incredible story will be told in all its amazing detail in a future chapter of the ever-growing book, PSAI Through the Decades: A History of Portable Sanitation.