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One of the things I am going to miss most about not having Executive Summit as an in-person event this year is missing out on our annual Top 100 and Leadership Awards banquette. This event has become one of the highlights of not only the annual event, but of our entire year.

On Executive Summit’s second night, attendees gather together for an evening of networking over drinks and a nice meal. Scanning the banquet room, I always witness old friends gather and invite new attendees to their tables to learn about their businesses and families. This always intrigues me as I see these relationships grow into true friendships from year to year. I often hear on the back-end about how these conversations don’t cease when the summit concludes, but rather grow and prosper. And it’s not unusual to hear accounts of contractors jumping on planes to visits each other to learn firsthand more about each other’s operations. Executive Summit has evolved into a launching pad for not only new friendships, but to broaden horizons and learn from each others success and mistakes.

The highlight of the night, without a doubt, is always the awards ceremony, which includes presenting plaques to the year’s Top 100 companies in attendance and then honoring a group of our industry leaders. These leaders are defined as people who exemplify “leadership” in their businesses, in the snow and ice management industry, and in the communities they call their homes. In addition, we not only get an opportunity to hear their stories, but we experience through their acceptance speeches touching moments that define the person and often the struggles they have endured to get to where they are today. I always walk away from this evening inspired.

In today’s environment, I can assure you, those leaders aren’t hanging their heads about the potential struggles their businesses face due to unforeseen circumstances. Instead, they’ve circled their wagons, put together a plan, and are leading their teams through the storm. Most will engage their own approaches based on their unique business strengths. Without a doubt, though, these leaders are talking to each other throughout the industry, bouncing different ideas and challenges off of each other. But rest assured, they are out their leading.

I am also aware there is a new group of up-an-coming leaders out there who are beginning to make names for themselves in the professional snow and ice management industry. While we may not be gathering in person this year, I look forward to hearing all of the stories next year of how you’re leading your teams through the storm.

September 2020
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