We recently 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, 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 Stowe, Vt., for three days of high-end education and networking. But ask anyone to sum it all up, and there’s a good chance they’ll say those three days were just a lot of fun.
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 hands with 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 because I’d love to hear your story.
As we’ve done in years 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.
You can read about the winners on page 196. 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.
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 his 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 9001/SN 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 Hutcheson. 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, it was at an Executive Summit in Cleveland where attendees 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.
The 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 other individuals to pick up the mantel of leadership and work to grow and improve the professional snow and ice management industry.
Kevin Gilbride is executive director of the ASCA.
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