Michael Weiss is a big business owner but has a small business way of doing things. Weiss is president of Weiss Commercial Service Properties, otherwise known at Weiss CPS. He has been awarded The Snow Leadership Award for his involvement with the Accredited Snow Contractors Association and display of high leadership qualities. Even though the size and clientele of Weiss CPS, which is based in Peabody, Mass., has grown over the past 26 years, Weiss’s business mission has not changed.
“Our job is to provide clients with a superior job that meets or beats their expectations,” he says. “We try to take care of something that would be a problem before it would become a problem.”
ASCA executive director Kevin Gilbride selected Weiss as one of the recipients. “Michael’s one of those guys, like the other leadership winners, who is defined by his actions,” Gilbride says. “It’s the leadership within their company, the leadership within the industry, the leadership within the community and everything they do, not only for their employees and staff, but for the industry as a whole and their community as a whole.”
Have a single conversation with Weiss and you would know that he is a family man. He says the main downside to his job is “lack of time with family.” But even when he is at work and away from his wife and two daughters, he is still surrounded by his family. Weiss CPS vice president of operations is Michael’s brother, Paul Weiss and the company's office manager is their mother, Elaine Weiss.
Being surrounded by family is important to Weiss and treating his employees like family is another important priority to him. Some employees have been with Weiss CPS for over 20 years, so it’s hard to not consider them as family. “I’m out on the truck with the guys. I’m there before, I’m there afterward. I’m not an absentee boss,” Weiss says. “I got into it because I like doing it. I still like doing it. I believe that when I’m out there working with them or beside them, we are working together so we can all achieve the same goal. I do set a time to sleep. I don’t think I’ve ever been woken up by my guys. I’ve been woken up by friends and they’re like, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Look at the snow.’ They’re good guys. They just take care of it.”
Besides being family orientated and a hands-on boss Weiss is passionate about his customers. John Allin, a consulting client of Weiss, knows that Weiss’s clients come first. “He is customer oriented, not to a fault, but he is obsessed with customer satisfaction,” Allin says. “And he passes that on to the troops. It permeates down through everyone’s psyche. His culture is one that the customer needs to be taken care of. It is probably the biggest reason for his success. Once he gets a customer, it is very rare that they leave.”
Allin, who has done business with Weiss for five years, attests that Weiss’s singular way of running his business has made him stand out.
“Michael is a very private individual, however, people that know him and know how his company operates try to mimic him and espouse to be like him,” Allin says. “I have talked to and have had association with his competitors in his market and even though they are competitors they all look up to Michael. People respect what he does and how he does. He has the respect of both his peers and his competitors. He isn’t going to help his competitors compete against him, but he helps his peers. But his competitors still respect him. Everyone I have ever talked to respects him.”
Weiss’s exemplary business skills haven’t just been noticed by Allin, but also by his brother. “His peers strive to have a company like Weiss CPS and industry consultants from around the country speak very highly of Michael and his accomplishments,” Paul Weiss says. He also gives glowing acclamations about how his brother’s leadership abilities have permeated in all aspects of his life. And he has multiple examples to prove his point.
Paul stresses how Weiss gives back to the community. “Michael has never forgotten his early education years,” he says. “He has donated his time and materials to his elementary school. Michael also serves on the Educational Advisor Board at Essex Agricultural and Technical High School, his alma mater. He believes in serving the youth and developing professional people into the industry.” And Weiss CPS has been a sponsor and donor of the North Shore Cancer Walk for the past four years.
When Weiss is asked about his volunteer and community work, he is modest and humble. “Last year we helped the local Chabad, which is a Jewish temple,” he says. “We ended up having to plow them all winter. It was a chore because of the parking and the location, but I felt like they help out all people, so this is the least I could do. I help them out. Chabad has a fundraiser that I go to as well. I help the Red Cross out. I do work around their property. I donate to the cancer walk. I go to the charity auction for the hospital.”
When asked why he feels compelled to give back he says, “It’s the right thing to do. It’s just because I can. I feel bad and I can, so I do it.”
Weiss CPS was the fourth business to become ISO certified. Weiss works alongside Gilbride helping the ASCA get in contact with top legislators in Massachusetts. This task is like having a second job, and Gilbride and the ASCA appreciate Weiss’s contributions.
“Michael sits on the ASCA government affairs committee,” Gilbride says. “He’s been very active in meetings and conversations and setting strategy, in setting our goals and in setting the initiatives in the direction that the ASCA is working at both federal and state level. At the state level, Michael took it upon himself to personally drive legislative meetings to the point where he got us right to the senate minority leader who we met with earlier this year and has agreed to sponsor a legislation on our behalf.”
Weiss puts in the extra effort for ASCA because he believes in what it is trying to accomplish. “It is unfair right now in how we are being treated as an industry,” he says. Weiss is trying to level the playing field by helping Gilbride and the ASCA change the laws on indemnification.
Weiss’s commitment to the ASCA is unwavering. “He has embraced all of the ideals the ASCA has put forth,” Allin says. “He believes in certification, he believes in legislative change and he believes in making sure that the visitors to his client’s lots aren’t injured. If you were to go down the ASCA written industry standards, he follows them to a T and was following them before ASCA wrote them down.”
All of Weiss’s accomplishments and leadership within the industry can be traced to his work ethic. “I’m a stickler to trying make sure everything’s done to the best we can do it,” he says. “I try to make sure that where the others stop we continue to keep going. We start early and we don’t finish until the job is done. My guys know that.”
Even with all of his accomplishments, Weiss is still driven and humble. Even after being awarded the Snow Leadership Award, he is gracious. With the superior work he is doing for his company, the industry and community, awards are bound to happen. And Weiss humbly accepts them.
“You will never see or hear bragging rights from Michael,” Paul says. “Just the dust from his truck as he swiftly moves onto the next project or community event to stay involved and contribute.”
Sarah Weingarten is a journalism student at Ohio University and a Snow Magazine editorial intern.