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SYMP24_Education

Galvanize your team’s industry expertise

FOUR DAYS OF SNOW & ICE EDUCATION

Galvanize your team's industry expertise with SIMA's workshops and sessions for key roles in snow & ice

TUESDAY   |   WEDNESDAY   |  THURSDAY   |   FRIDAY

Download the app for a full schedule.

New in '24

Session Tracks

 Each session has a color coded dot representing various roles in snow and ice and recommendations on experience level of the information being presented.

TUESDAY / JUNE 25

002.SYMP24_Title Graphics_Pre-conference

*Workshop fees are $95 per person and must be selected in advance. Limited availability.

 

OPTION 1: Sales & Estimating Workshop

🔵🟢🟠

Novice, Intermediate

Winning business in the snow and ice management industry requires precision-like focus on setting goals, knowing your numbers, choosing your ideal clients and building and presenting proposals to help you seal the deal. Learn all of this and more during this interactive workshop:

  • Prospecting and Qualifying Leads - Marty Grunder, The Grow Group

    Not every lead that comes your way may be a good fit for your business. Refining how you prospect for and qualify potential clients can improve your sales process and lead to higher close rates. 

  • Estimating and Job Costing - David Gallagher, Spiritus Business Advisors

    Having an accurate estimating and job costing process is critical to being able to provide a price that takes into account ALL of the costs you’ll assume to service the contract. Cracks in the process mean you could be leaving money on the table or, even worse, losing money because your calculations are inaccurate. 

  • Developing and Presenting Proposals - Andy Lakatosh, Inspire You

    Learn how to develop your proposal and the strategic art of proposal delivery, mastering the balance of simplicity and robustness in conveying information to prospective clients.

  • Sealing the Deal + Bonus Sales Q&A - Michael Sloopka, Selling Solutions

    Unlock the power of negotiation with seasoned Negotiating Coach Michael E. Sloopka. His presentation will focus on sales-specific negotiation insights, tailored strategies, tips, and secret questioning techniques to improve results. As someone entrenched in the industry, Michael advises condo boards, property managers, developers, and institutions on navigating negotiations with vendors. Seize this opportunity to enhance your sales negotiating prowess to close profitable deals faster.

OPTION 2: Hiring & Retention Workshop

🔵🟠🟣

Novice, Intermediate

Consistently named as the #1 challenge in the snow and ice management industry, this workshop will cover the key topics that should be part of your hiring and retention efforts:

  • Hiring Today’s Team Members - Eddy Zakes, CSP, Earth Development; Amy Tincher and Allison McDowell, Rocky Fork Co.

    It’s no secret that today’s job seekers want more than a paycheck. While offering a competitive wage is important, you have to come to the table with much more. Learn what it takes to set yourself apart from the competition, make better hiring decisions and why culture counts now more than ever.

  • The Interview Begins Long  before the Meeting - Scott Lesak, CSP, Kasel Rocks Landscaping

    Making a bad hire can be costly, which is why a clear, professional interview process is key. Hear tips for successful interviewing and then we’ll put them to the test with interactive exercises. 

  • Onboarding and Training - Michael Vollmers, ASM, Iron Valley Equipment

    Onboarding and training are essential for a healthy company and to keep team members engaged and excited for the future. Learn key strategies to successfully onboard and foster a commitment to learning to build a successful team. 

  • You Have a Great Team...Make Sure You Can Keep Them - Team Presentation and Q&A

    A lot of time and investment goes into making the right hiring decisions. Hiring, onboarding and training set the stage for making your company one that people can see a future of possibility and fulfillment. Once you have them, the hard work of keeping them begins. 

CLASSROOM SESSIONS

Charles-Glossop

Is your business ready for brine?
 
Charles Glossop, CSP
 

Jumping into making your own brine is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Charles Glossop, CSP, has spent nearly 30 years refining his brine making operation. He’ll discuss the factors that should be considered to determine whether brine making is your next move.

SYMP23_Mike-McCarron

Costs and processes for implementaton
 
Mike McCarron, Imageworks Landscaping, VA
 

Don’t dismiss the costs that go into adding brine making to your operations. Adding brine will require investments in labor, materials, equipment, storage and more. Mike McCarron will share how to identify and assess those costs and provide strategies to ensure you achieve a return on that investment.

SYMP23_Diana-Clontch

Guided by science
 
Diana Clonch, DW Clonch, OH

 

If you’re going to invest in liquids, you need to make sure you know the science behind successful application strategies. Diana Clonch is a long-time consultant to the industry and will teach attendees how brine works, when it doesn’t, the importance of scenario planning, application and treatment options, common issues and how to troubleshoot if your first attempts don’t achieve your desired goals. Much of this class will be reinforced in the outdoor sessions.

OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES

1: BRINE MAKING
2: BLENDING & NON-CHLORIDES
3: CALIBRATION
4: APPLICATION BEST PRACTICES
5: EQUIPMENT SAFETY
  • 1Best practices for brine making

    Jeremy Darling / JC Grounds Management

    Learn the basics of how to make brine, including the tools and equipment that are needed, measurement tools, and quality control best practices.

  • 2Blending best practices and non-chlorides

    Joe Cashin / Innovative Surface Solutions and Dave Lenz / Middlesex Ice Control

    Salt brine only gets you so far — for enhanced performance you’ll need to learn how to blend brine with other chemicals and explore the non-chloride options that are available to amp up performance.

  • 3Calibration

    Outdoor Pride Landscaping

    Brine is on board and your application rates are set. Confirm your equipment is spraying the correct rate by calibrating your equipment for optimum application.

  • 4Application best practices

    Ryan Jackson, Zach Kulasa and Tyler Clemans / EMI

    See application best practices in action. We’ll get equipment moving to show proper spray patterns, nozzle types, etc. to ensure you’re maximizing your investment and your service applications.

  • 5Equipment maintenance and safety

    Alex Glossop / Hantho Farms

    Extend your investment by making sure you safely know how to make the brine and how to maintain your equipment.

Sales & Estimating Workshop

🔵🟢🟠

Novice, Intermediate

Winning business in the snow and ice management industry requires precision-like focus on setting goals, knowing your numbers, choosing your ideal clients and building and presenting proposals to help you seal the deal. Learn all of this and more during this interactive workshop:

  • Prospecting and Qualifying Leads - Marty Grunder, The Grow Group

    Not every lead that comes your way may be a good fit for your business. Refining how you prospect for and qualify potential clients can improve your sales process and lead to higher close rates. 

  • Estimating and Job Costing - David Gallagher, Spiritus Business Advisors

    Having an accurate estimating and job costing process is critical to being able to provide a price that takes into account ALL of the costs you’ll assume to service the contract. Cracks in the process mean you could be leaving money on the table or, even worse, losing money because your calculations are inaccurate. 

  • Developing and Presenting Proposals - Andy Lakatosh, Inspire You

    Learn how to develop your proposal and the strategic art of proposal delivery, mastering the balance of simplicity and robustness in conveying information to prospective clients.

  • Sealing the Deal + Bonus Sales Q&A - Michael Sloopka, Selling Solutions

    Unlock the power of negotiation with seasoned Negotiating Coach Michael E. Sloopka. His presentation will focus on sales-specific negotiation insights, tailored strategies, tips, and secret questioning techniques to improve results. As someone entrenched in the industry, Michael advises condo boards, property managers, developers, and institutions on navigating negotiations with vendors. Seize this opportunity to enhance your sales negotiating prowess to close profitable deals faster.

Hiring & Retention Workshop

🔵🟠🟣

Novice, Intermediate

Consistently named as the #1 challenge in the snow and ice management industry, this workshop will cover the key topics that should be part of your hiring and retention efforts:

  • Hiring Today’s Team Members - Eddy Zakes, CSP, Earth Development; Amy Tincher and Allison McDowell, Rocky Fork Co.

    It’s no secret that today’s job seekers want more than a paycheck. While offering a competitive wage is important, you have to come to the table with much more. Learn what it takes to set yourself apart from the competition, make better hiring decisions and why culture counts now more than ever.

  • The Interview Begins Long  before the Meeting - Scott Lesak, CSP, Kasel Rocks Landscaping

    Making a bad hire can be costly, which is why a clear, professional interview process is key. Hear tips for successful interviewing and then we’ll put them to the test with interactive exercises. 

  • Onboarding and Training - Michael Vollmers, ASM, Iron Valley Equipment

    Onboarding and training are essential for a healthy company and to keep team members engaged and excited for the future. Learn key strategies to successfully onboard and foster a commitment to learning to build a successful team. 

  • You Have a Great Team...Make Sure You Can Keep Them - Team Presentation and Q&A

    A lot of time and investment goes into making the right hiring decisions. Hiring, onboarding and training set the stage for making your company one that people can see a future of possibility and fulfillment. Once you have them, the hard work of keeping them begins. 

WEDNESDAY / JUNE 26

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What Makes the Great Teams Great

002.SYMP24_Webpage Graphics_Don Yaeger
Don Yaeger
 

Great teams understand their “why.” They feel collectively connected to a greater purpose. Learn how to constantly remind your players and employees of who they are in service of while being acutely aware of the downstream beneficiaries. The impact is often much more than the immediate customer—when we can connect and truly feel why what we do matters, it heightens the amount of discretionary effort we put into our tasks and responsibilities. The more a company creates “Feel-it Moments” or “Mission Moments” for team members to understand their greater purpose, the better off the team will be when it comes to enduring any challenges along the way.

Sponsored by Caterpillar
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Break the Blue Collar Stigma to Attract Next Gen Talent

Mikayel Ter-Grigoryan🔵🟣 | All

Mikayel Ter-Grigoryan, Just for Snow

Many say Gen Z is the hardest generation to work with, citing lack of motivation, productivity, and drive. I would say they are the most different generation to work with, requiring a completely reimagined culture to attract, retain, motivate and drive them forward. They are most certainly the NEXT generation of talent that will build the companies of tomorrow. I'll share the strategy behind creating one of the fastest-growing companies in snow & ice management with a team primarily made up of Gen Z talent. 

 

CapX, Labor & ROI of Liquids

Jordan Smith🔵🟠 | Novice, Intermediate

Jordan Smith, Storm Equipment

Jordan will explore capex, labor, and the return on investment of using liquids in your commercial snow and ice operation. He’ll lay out the liquids equipment that may be needed to support certain business sizes in unique markets and how much it may cost to set up and maintain. He’ll explore the expected ROI based on market conditions, material and labor costs, and average weather events in those markets.

 

 

Death & Destruction - Are You Ready for It?

🔵🟠🟣 | All

Amanda-Pruss_Square-for-Website-1Doug FreerBill Akehurst

Amanda Pruss, SIMA; Doug Freer, CSP, Blue Moose Snow; William Akehurst, Akehurst Landscape Service

The snow industry is not for the faint of heart. You are strong, but are you prepared? How resilient are you? Is your team adequately prepared to handle a worst-case scenario? Amanda, Doug and Bill will  discuss how their team handled death, fire, cyberattacks, theft and more and the lessons they learned.

 

 

Negotiate Your Way to Success

Michael Sloopka🔵🟢🟠 | All

Michael Sloopka, Selling Solutions

Refine your negotiation prowess with Michael E. Sloopka, an expert Negotiation Coach attuned to our industry’s unique challenges. Elevate your success in various aspects of life, from negotiations with suppliers, customers, and employees to navigating relationships with family and business partners. Join this dynamic session to unlock the secrets to negotiating your way to success in today’s competitive marketplace. You’ll learn exclusive insights, proven strategies, and powerful tips and questioning techniques. 

 

Team Productivity & Performance Management

Rick Kier-1🔵🟠 | Novice, Intermediate

Rick Kier, CSP, Forge Ahead Consulting

If you have ever wondered how to send 100 trucks in 100 directions and still have the team thinking and performing with the same goals in mind, this session is for you. Learn how to set reasonable goals for your team, keeping them focused on getting the work done in a timely fashion while maintaining safety and quality as their top priorities. Create a culture where everyone thinks about the enterprise core values as they perform their tasks. Make the work exciting and enjoyable by keeping score. We’ll cover the techniques and tools you need for successful performance management.

Service Partner Relationships — A Two-Way Street

🔵🟢🟠 | Intermediate, Advanced

BOD_Jeff Heller Jeff Heller, CSP, Innovative Maintenance Solutions & Christopher Kolt, American Snow Pros

Learn how to manage contracts, pricing, forecasting, operations and communication working with a customer that is several states away and handling properties across several states.

Accounting for Inflation in Your Snow & Ice Business

Sydney Smyers Conway🔵 | Novice, Intermediate

Sydney Smyers Conway, Know Your Worth Pittsburgh

Everything today costs more, which can negatively influence your profitability if you don’t have guardrails in place. Sydney will share how you can account for inflation and adjust your snow business for the changing economy to protect your bottom line.

Mergers & Acquisitions in the Snow Industry

🔵 | Intermediate, Advanced

Don Mahoney, CSP, Mahoney & Associates; Roger Zino, Socratic Dialog & David Hare, Kian Capital

M&A activity in the snow and ice / landscape industry has been particularly strong in recent years. Don sold his company after nearly 25 years in business. He, Roger and David now work in tandem to take Mahoney & Associates to the next level. Hear from them on the process, benefits and considerations that need to take place before you decide to buy or sell. 

Staff Accountability Secrets for Rapid Growth

Danny Kerr🔵🟢 | Novice, Intermediate

Danny Kerr, Breakthrough Academy

When your company grows and you aren’t in the field all the time, problems can creep in. Deadlines get missed. Your staff lacks focus. Quality starts to dip, leaving you to deal with mistakes that shouldn’t have happened. Petty finger-pointing becomes an issue. And you start to bleed profits because of all the inefficiency. The solution is to rethink your system for holding your team accountable. Danny will share four signs your company has an accountability problem and how to regain control; how highly effective leaders get staff to understand expectations; and a weekly management ritual to beat targets while strengthening relationships.

Operations Managers Talk Trends & Challenges

🔵🟢🟠🟣 | All

Panelists TBD

Members of the SIMA Operations Management Peer Group will come together to share stories, insights and solutions to challenges being faced by today's operations managers. Communication strategies, industry trends and regulations, resource allocation and scheduling, emergency preparedness, building the next generation of operations managers and more will be discussed.

Strive for a Win-Win with Property Managers

🔵🟢🟠| All

Panelists TBA

Snow professionals and property managers that have relationships built on trust can result in a win-win situation. Hear from both sides on how they approach the procurement process, pain points that can affect the relationship and more.  

How Much are Your Clients Worth? 

Doug Freer🔵🟢🟠 | Novice, Intermediate

Doug Freer, CSP, Blue Moose Snow

How do you decide how much to invest in both retaining clients and selling to prospects, and how do you decide which clients provide you with the best return on your investment? Hear from Doug on how to calculate current and lifetime customer value to help you make those decisions. 

Leadership Lab: Get Unstuck!

🔵🟢🟠🟣 | All

Christy Uffelman, CEO & Founder, EDGE Leadership Solutions

What has you stuck or feeling like you aren't living to your potential, professionally or personally? Leadership development coach Christy Uffelman, MHCS, BCC, will facilitate a dynamic group coaching experience where the participants guide the interactive experience. Don't solve your challenges alone! Own your career and ignite the leaders around you by sharing best practices — as peers — together. 

Christy's book, "The PEER Revolution: Group Coaching that Ignites the Power of People", will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit the SIMA Foundation's Alan Steiman Scholarship Fund.

Tame the Chaos: SOPs for Overwhelmed Owners

Danny Kerr🔵🟢🟠🟣 | Novice, Intermediate

Danny Kerr, Breakthrough Academy

Some companies scale fast and ride that wave of breakneck growth; others, not so much. The solution for scaling contractors is to stop charging through your growth like a bull in a china shop. Instead, you need to add structure by intentionally using standard operating procedures (SOPs) and overcoming your biggest headaches. Danny shows you a practical walkthrough of how to build SOPs, hand over more responsibility to your team and drive fatter net profits. BONUS: You’ll get ready-built templates to make implementation easier!

Documentation: It's in the Details

Jenny Girard🔵🟢🟠🟣 | Novice, Intermediate

Jenny Girard, ASM, RM Landscape

Get ready to slay your documentation game! We’ll unravel the mysteries of snow documentation with a sprinkle of fun. From turning organizational headaches into a winter wonderland, we're here to show you that documentation isn't just cool—it's your secret weapon for a snow-tastic business. Say goodbye to the frosty pitfalls and hello to a flurry of returning clients and team high-fives. Let's make snow documentation the coolest thing since snow cones!

THURSDAY / JUNE 27

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Improve Hiring with Tech & Flexibility

🔵🟣 | All

Laura Means, Brian-Kyles Landscapes; Carlos del Pozo, Team Engine

Taking the same old approach to hiring could be limiting your prospects. Laura and Carlos will share how a flexible approach and the use of technology can improve the hiring, onboarding and retention process. From changing shift schedules and payment timing, wage transparency and offering different benefits, to snow-specific training, the keyword is flexibility. 

Is Your Company Ready for a Business Management System?

🔵 | Novice

Stephanie Leveling and Tina Shaw, The Integra Group

A business management system can streamline processes and create workflows that can eliminate manual tracking, increase efficiency, reduce manual labor and more. Stephanie will guide you through the steps you need to make for a successful purchase and integration into your business.

From Team Member to Team Leader

🟠 | Novice, Intermediate

Jacob Howard

Angel Campos-Chavez, Imageworks Landscaping; Jake Howard, ASM, Outdoor Pride Snow & Ice Management

Operations team members seeking advancement opportunities will hear advice from team leaders on what it takes to grow from team member into leadership positions. 

Marketing Your Business to the Next Level

Darci Knowles🔵🟢 | All

Darci Knowles, Darci Creative

Marketing is a complex machine with many moving parts. This session will touch on a variety of tools and tactics you can use to elevate your brand and reach for the No. 1 position in your market. We'll begin with the power of Branding: What is it and why is it important? Then we'll talk about Strategy: What are the absolute necessities for any marketing strategy, and how can you get the most from your marketing budget? And then, we'll talk about Execution: How can you consistently communicate your brand promise to the right people for the best results? And finally, we'll walk you through a case study that demonstrates everything we've talked about!

 

Reduce Salt without Reducing Service

Michael Wagner-1🟠| Novice, Intermediate

Michael Wagner, CSP, ASM, Designscapes Colorado

Monitoring and reducing your salt usage doesn't have to negatively impact your operations. Don't just consider how much you use on-site as the only way to reduce your salt usage. Think about product storage solutions, equipment calibration, timing of use and training. This session gives you tools for planning, analyzing, and making decisions for salt usage while maintaining a service level that keeps you competitive in your market.

002.SYMP24_Title Graphics_How Do I

New for 2024 are our “How do I? …” mini-sessions. Hear quick tips covering these topics:

10:45 am

  • Conduct an effective meeting 🟠🔵🟢🟣
  • Melt more in less time 🟠
  • Develop an onboarding program 🔵🟠🟣
  • Use social media effectively 🔵🟢

11:10 am

  • Conduct a job hazard analysis 🟠
  • Sell liquids to my property managers 🟢🟠
  • Reduce the risk of an insurance claim 🔵🟢🟠🟣
  • Conduct a client lunch and learn 🔵🟢🟠

FRIDAY / JUNE 28

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The Power of Women in Snow

🔵🟢🟠🟣 | All

Amanda OchoaJillian BurnsKatelin Pufnock

Amanda Ochoa, Tricon Group; Jillian Burns, CSP, Burns Landscaping; & Katelin Pufnock, ASM, emi landscape

The snow and ice industry has been dominated primarily by men. But more and more women enter the field each year. The panelists will share the importance of women in leadership roles, how to navigate bias, adopting a growth mindset and more. This isn’t a women-only session—all are welcome! 

Emerging Climate Trends Impacting the Industry

🔵🟠 | All

Frank Lombardo Rob Reale

Frank Lombardo & Rob Reale, WeatherWorks

The snow industry is under increasing pressure due to challenges posed by severe winter storms, shifting climate patterns, and a rise in mixed events. Meanwhile, property owners are seeking innovative technologies and strategies to reduce costs while ensuring their properties’ safety. Frank and Rob will identify emerging climate trends; distinguish between winter weather variability and climate change; and discuss how these factors are impacting the industry as well as how property managers are responding and adapting.

 

 

 

SIMA Foundation Research: Snow & Ice Workplace Survey

Steve Wolf🔵🟣 | All

Steve Wolf, WolfWorks Consulting

Steve will introduce findings from the SIMA Foundation's first ever study on the nature of snow providers' labor dynamics. Based on a survey of 129 firms, findings include workforce composition, average salaries, use of subcontractors, recruiting methods, employee tenure, and benefits offered among small, medium and large S&I operators. The study also focuses on best practices and pitfalls behind strong workplace cultures.

Build a Seasonal Staffing Plan

🔵🟢🟠🟣 | Novice, Intermediate

Evan Tachoir

John Mocharko, Acacia Facility Services & Evan Tachoir, Consultant

This session will help you build a seasonal staffing plan with perspectives from field operations and HR/office staff.  You will learn why you need both to successfully hire and train a snow team, what functions should fall under each area, and practical communication tips for effective collaboration.  We will cover building and executing a staffing plan for the upcoming snow season, including practical tips on recruiting and training. In addition, you'll learn how to develop a recruiting and training plan to allow people to develop careers with your company and build your workforce for the future.

 

Practical Approach to Using AI & Tech for Growth, Efficiency & Execution

🔵🟢 | All

Patrick BaglienTodd Reinhart

Patrick Baglien, Vue Robotics; Todd Reinhart, Reinhart Landscape & Snow;  Isaac Howell, Acacia Facility Services; and Eric Faulkner, Vaisala  xWeather

Learn how your SIMA peers use AI, camera, and sensor technology to expand their business, find operational and cost efficiencies, and use it to execute in the middle of winter events.

 

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Understanding & Influencing Modern Consumers

002.SYMP24_Webpage Graphics_Steve Lerch
Steve Lerch

Our collective culture and modern consumer behaviors are changing and evolving faster than at any other point in history. The way consumers spend their time, gather information, make purchases, communicate, and even the voices they trust look drastically different than they did even two years ago. If you expect to sell to these people, to influence these people, to form relationships with these people, you have to start by understanding them and understanding how to talk to them.

Sponsored by Skyline Salt Solutions


Thanks to our 2024 Symposium Sponsors