Undercover Industry Leader

Todd Pugh tracked down 13-year-old Joe at a Lisbon, Ohio gas station and had to hear the young entrepreneur’s story.

Enviroscapes CEO & Founder Todd Pugh recent chance encounter with a teenaged entrepreneur inspired a trip down memory lane. It’s a cool story nearly everyone in this business can relate to.

Todd, a 2018 Leadership Award recipient, was on his way to a business appointment when he spied a young man hauling a spartan landscape rig in a makeshift trailer attached to the back of his mountain bike. Todd tracked the teen down at a Lisbon, Ohio gas station and had to hear his story. Turns out the 13-year-old entrepreneur was the owner of Joe’s Lawn Care. Young Joe pedaled himself and his mowing rig around town cutting lawns.

Todd found this encounter with Joe to be inspiring on so many levels and had to share the story with his Linked In community. For Todd, it was like looking into a mirror at a teenaged version of himself hustling to establish his fledgling landscape company. Today, Todd is the head of a successful multi-million-dollar snow and landscape company. How many of you out there had similar humble beginnings to your careers in this industry?

And I can only image the impact Todd had on young Joe and how Todd’s encouragement may shape his future career. Sometimes all it takes is a few minutes and some words of encouragement to have a tremendous impact on an individual, whether they’re a stranger at a gas station or an employee within your own ranks.

I’m probably not doing Todd’s story justice, so I encourage you to follow Todd on LinkedIn (http://bit.ly/2GK5iuU) and check out his posts for further developments.

Safe salt substitute?

Since rock salt and its use as a deicing agent is getting so much negative media lately, here’s some food for thought on alternatives to rock salt. I came across an interesting salt-and-deicing news nugget that you may find interesting.

According to a Feb 12 Minnesota Public Radio report (http://bit.ly/2MF3rxN), the Minnesota Department of Transportation has been experimenting with potassium acetate as a viable alternative to road salt. Initial trials have been positive, with the deicer melting at lower temperatures than rock salt. Likewise, road crews don’t have to use as much of the liquid as solid rock salt, however the report didn’t specify application amounts or compare them to brine pretreatments.

Potassium acetate’s cost is higher than rock salt, according to the report, and again no dollar amount was given for comparison sake.

The downside, the liquid deicer may be harmful to aquatic wildlife. While more research is needed, if the findings turn out to be true, it would put the quest for a low-impact eco-friendly deicer back to square one.

Giving Back

As part of last year’s Top 100 ceremony, I collected from the recipients who were on hand stories about how they practiced leadership and how they gave back to their communities. Each anecdote was shared with the audience as company representatives received their respective awards. Overall, it added a special touch to that portion of the evening’s event and held true to the overall spirit of leadership that is a huge part of the Executive Summit experience.

Afterwards, I encouraged other snow and ice management companies to continue to share how they give back to their communities. Recently, Jessica French Goyette, vice president at W.L. French Excavating Corp. in North Billerica, Mass., shared their involvement in the Wreaths Across America program and the impact it had on the company’s hometown.

W.L. French employees raised money to ensure that 2,000 Veteran’s graves buried in Billerica, Mass received a wreath – a living memorial to honor their lives. They also captured the event on video to assist in fundraising efforts and to spread awareness of the cause. The video is very well done and is quite moving, and I’d encourage you to check it out – http://bit.ly/2GSHUwH.

As a side note, in 2015, we honored Bill French Jr., the company’s leader, with a Leadership Award.

Lend me your ears

Are you following The Snow Magazine Podcast, hosted by yours truly? If not, then you’re missing out on a wealth of business know-how from influential management experts and industry insiders. Check out these recent episodes, available on the Snow Magazine website, as well as a number of popular podcast hosting sites, including: iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

I try to add a new episode every week, so check the website and social media for release announcements.

Get What You Want

Business coach Mike Hourigan joins the podcast to talk negotiating, including the three words to never use, and getting back a lost power position.


Understanding The Why

The key to a successful negotiation is understanding in advance what’s important to the other party and what you’re trying to accomplish for yourself.


The State of Insurance

Noah Sherman, Mills Insurance, gives the snow industry state of insurance and the liability issues to consider before the start of next season.


Overcome Negativity In Sales

Weldon Long, a 2019 Executive Summit featured speaker, offers timely sales tips and advice for persevering though negativity to achieve sales goals.


A Strategic Plan For You

Leaders must plan for their own development. Consultant Tra Williams outlines the strategic benefits of developing along with your growing company.

August 2019
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