What you may have missed

What you may have missed

ASCA - Director's Note

Last month we closed the books on the 2015 Executive Summit, a nearly one-year labor of love that goes from concept to event in what seems like the blink of an eye. Along the way a number of cogs –my team, who are much smarter and a lot more efficient than me – make sure all of the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed before we reach the event site. And if I do say so myself, they put together one heck of an event this year.

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September 24, 2015
Kevin Gilbride, Publisher
Director's Column Executive Summit

Mission Statement

The Accredited Snow Contractors Association is a trade association with the purpose of advancing the professional snow and ice management industry and to promote its role in performing high-risk services to society including:

1. Providing educational programs and publications in all aspects of snow and ice management, finance, business management, marketing and other specialized areas of professional interest;

2. Conducting meetings and other programs designed to promote the exchange of ideas among members and to facilitate the conduct of their business;

3. Collecting and disseminating information pertaining to the snow and ice management industry, including statistical data and other statistical research;

4. Developing and maintaining professional accreditation programs to encourage high standards for snow and ice management professionals;

5. Advocating the interest of the snow and ice management industry to local, state/provincial, federal and international governmental bodies;

6. Advocating the interests of the snow and ice management industry to insurance companies and allied associations.

An event like this kind of puts the whole last year into perspective.

Last month we closed the books on the 2015 Executive Summit, a nearly one-year labor of love that goes from concept to event in what seems like the blink of an eye. Along the way a number of cogs –my team, who are much smarter and a lot more efficient than me – make sure all of the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed before we reach the event site. And if I do say so myself, they put together one heck of an event this year.

Nearly 200 of your peers joined the ASCA team out in beautiful (and that’s no exaggeration) Stowe, Vt., for three days of high-end education and networking. But ask anyone who attended to sum it all up, and it’s a good chance they’ll say those three days were just a lot of fun.

Case in point, here’s some feedback from attendee Brian Kazak:

“Well, it was everything that you said it would be and a lot more... Kim and I really got a lot out of it. We learned so much in the seminars and even more talking to fellow contractors and suppliers at the end of the day. I could not believe how nice and willing to talk everyone was. I think we made many great contacts. What you are doing with legislation is wonderful and we are excited to be a part of it... I was told a few years ago that if we wanted to be outstanding in our field that the ASCA was the place to go.”

ASCA’s Executive Summit continues to grow and expand, and that was evident by the large number of new faces among this year’s attendees. When we first started the Executive Summit conference I made a silent pledge to myself to shake the hands and talk to each attendee. This year, with the evolution of the event as it is, that was a difficult task. I tried my best, and I apologize if I missed anyone. If I did, feel free to contact me privately because I’d love to hear your story.

As we’ve done in year’s past, we paired Executive Summit with our Leadership Awards event. Every year we honor three to four snow professionals for the leadership they’ve displayed in their companies, in the industry and within the communities they live and work in. This year we honored four outstanding individuals Mike Weiss; Jeannie Schenderline; Chad Oberson and Stephen Summer. During the awards presentation we shared their compelling stories with attendees, however, it was their own personal words as they addressed the audience that left the most profound impression on us all. Congratulations to this year’s class of Leadership recipients.

We also recognized the outgoing members of the ASCA’s first advisory panel – Kyle Rose, John Allin, Peter Smolka, and Jeff Herold. Troy Clogg and Matt Peterson have agreed to serve another four-year term. Each should be commended for their contributions and tireless efforts over the last four years. It’s their work that helped shape the ASCA’s direction during its critical formative years; and their keen guidance transpired into establishing the Industry Standards, ASCA-C, ISO 9001SN 9000, a snow industry insurance program, and much of our legislative initiatives at the state and federal levels. All of these things were firsts for the professional snow and ice management industry. We also had the opportunity to welcome our new board members David J. Frank, Matt Boelman, and Mike Jones, who join Troy and Matt as well as current Board members, Dick Churchill and Ken Hucheson. We are excited about this group shaping the future of the ASCA and the snow and ice management industry.

And what’s an Executive Summit without some sort of major announcement. I had the pleasure of unveiling to attendees the association’s new ASCA Action Network (AAN) program. This state-based initiative is intended to build support at a grassroots level for legislative initiatives that will improve the environment you do business in. To date, the ASCA has been successful in getting tort-reform legislation introduced at the federal level. At the state level, the association has gotten bills introduced in Illinois and New Jersey that would eliminate hold-harmless agreements from your winter service contracts. When adopted, this legislation will have an immense impact on how you do business by essentially placing the job of winter snow and ice mitigation into the hands of the professional, where it belongs. It is the association’s intention that AAN will help rally support and influence your legislative officials. Stay tuned for more details on the AAN program.

Lastly, 2015 Executive Summit was a fifth birthday, of sorts. It was at an Executive Summit in Cleveland that attendees, during an industry-issue brainstorming session, said there was a need for a group to take a leadership role and address the needs – primarily insurance and high-end contractor education – of the professional snow and ice management industry. They rest, as they say, is history…

Thank you to all of those over the last few years who have contributed to the ASCA’s growth. Now it’s time for others individuals to pick up the mantel of leadership and work to grow and improve the professional snow and ice management industry.