Skip To The Main Content
SIMA Symposium-The Best Show in Snow

Elevate

We're going virtual!

Each day will feature live educational sessions, an interactive trade show, Tech Talks, snack and chats on key snow topics, and role-specific and industry wide networking.

In addition, we are creating 6 on-demand tracks as a value-added download to extend the experience post-show.

Featured Keynote Speaker

Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

Wednesday, August 26

Everyday Resiliency through Optimal Stress, Personal Alignment and Purpose

Wow 2020 has put us through the wringer! We’re kicking off the Virtual Experience with featured keynote speaker Dr. Obyne Hanley-Dafoe. She’ll help attendees become more resilient and better able to manage stress as we continue to navigate the changing times.

Closing KeynoteDr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe is an award-winning psychology and education instructor who specializes in resiliency, navigating stress and change, and personal wellness in the workplace. She’ll provide practical strategies, grounded in global research and case studies, that help foster resiliency within ourselves and others. This keynote introduces the concept of resiliency from a broad worldview that incorporates five key areas:

  1. Sense of Belonging
  2. Perspective
  3. Acceptance
  4. Optimism / Hope
  5. Humor / Fun

Sharing from her experiences traveling around the globe, Robyne will share how we can use those five ideals in our own lives to foster resiliency within others and ourselves. Her keynote highlights practical strategies and ideas grounded in optimal stress, value alignment, practical focus and the importance of continued goal setting. She’ll share candid encounters with resiliency that are research informed and readily available to all of us.

Full Schedule

SIMA GOES LIVE

Eight sessions focus on building knowledge for all snow and ice roles.
Speakers will be added as they’re confirmed.

Wednesday, August 26

Jones Loflin, Consultant

Whether you’ve been leading for two days or two decades, a common leadership challenge is how to successfully motivate, develop, and empower a diverse group of people to work together and achieve remarkable results. Learn the four components of how to grow your talent so your whole team and company will flourish.

Ron Lester, Architerra Inc.

Companies with employees whose first language is something other than English need to make sure all touch points — from applying to onboarding to operations and training — are accessible and understandable. Clearing that roadblock will lead to greater success for the team and open business owners to an eager workforce who want to grow into bigger roles.

Thursday, August 27

Mike Scaringe & James Wilson, Skyview Landscapes

You thought you had prepared the newest members of your team who’ve never faced the uncertainty of a monster storm. Will they come back for the next one or did the experience scare them away? Your preparation, training, communication and support will be key to making sure they do so you’re not left short-handed when the next storm comes.

Mike Rorie, GroundSystems

Your company has grown to the point that it’s time to expand from a single-location operation. Explore the logistics expanding into branch locations and understand the capital requirements, equipment purchasing, labor and management, etc. that should be considered before making the move.

Friday, August 28

Brian Birch, CAE, SIMA

Managing the flow of business in today’s tech-laden world can be overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you from leveraging new tools to improve business workflow and solve challenges. SIMA’s tech master Brian Birch will facilitate a forum on tech tools tied to strong business processes, showing real examples from forward-thinking SIMA members who use simple tech tools to solve complex issues in HR, operations, marketing, customer service, and more!

Garrett Smith, WNY Snow Removal and Pinch + Pivot

Social media is a powerful weapon that, if used correctly, can bolster your company’s reputation and exposure to existing and new clients and team members. Part of that is knowing how to manage your online presence, including responding to positive reviews and resolving any negative encounters from disgruntled customers.

Bill Butts, Outdoor Pride Landscaping

Once the deal closes, what is the salesperson’s role? It’s all about understanding the individual needs of each client and being a resource for them as well as the team responsible for the service delivery. Bill will discuss the importance of understanding and managing client expectations, professionally responding to complaints, and coordinating and communicating with snow operations for successful site service. Success in each of those areas can pave a smoother path to renewal and create long-term relationships.

Amy Tincher, Rocky Fork Company

The human resources component for snow and ice can be time consuming, especially if you’re a small company without a dedicated staff person to manage. In this session, we’ll explore how to manage HR with a shoestring staff, outsourcing options that can help lighten the load, and when it may be time to make the investment in an HR staff.

Full Schedule

On-Demand Packages

Continue to ELEVATE you and your team even after the Virtual Experience ends. Six on-demand tracks will be available in the SIMA Training Center beginning September 1. Individual passes can choose 1 track that’s yours to keep (additional packages available for additional purchase) or company passes get access to all 6 packages through 2020.

Packages

Use ROI Targets for Snow Management Business Decisions

Greg Crabtree, Partner, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC

Learn how to use Return on Investment to set profit targets, equipment buying and debt repayment decisions. Avoid the trap of missing out on work by not having the right equipment or being equipment poor and drowning in debt from over buying. There is a right solution for you and learn the best decision framework for the snow management industry.

Expanding Capacity through Subcontracting

Bob Marks, CSP, ASM, emi landscape & Jonathan Wise, Winterstone, LLC

Want to grow your snow presence but need to control overhead and costs or minimize risk? Subcontracting is one option for companies to increase capacity. Looking at both sides — whether you are hiring or serving as a subcontractor, we’ll share the challenges, successes and processes for building capacity through subcontracting.

Changing of the Guard: Preparing for a Sale

Alison Hoffman, The Harvest Group

It’s said that “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” You’ve invested in your business for years and want to make sure you receive the highest possible price. Explore actions you can take now that will prepare you and your company for the best results when it’s time to sell or transition to the next owner. The best news is that these are the many of the same strategies any business can use to run in a more effective way.

360° Approach to Equipment Care

Richard Bevilacqua, ASM, Eastern Land Management

The best snow removal plans don’t mean a thing if your equipment isn’t ready to roll. Richard will share his systematic approach to fleet management. The key is implementing processes, procedures and protocols for every aspect of maintenance and preparation before, during and after the storm and the season — regardless of fleet size. It is a season-long review that has the snow season starting in May instead of November.

Are You Ready for the Storm?

Angela Cenzalli, CSP, ASM

Your field teams are your greatest asset when the snow is flying. Make sure they can be successful by keeping them safe, alert and prepared before, during and after the event. This session will cover the steps all field teams should take to be prepared for winter’s worst. Topics will include nutrition, rest, PPE, communications, site hazard analysis, understanding and executing the contracted level of service, service verification and more.

In for the Long Haul

Ken Ruddock, ULS Landscaping

When the client wants the snow gone from their site, it’s up to their snow specialist to make it happen. From knowing how to bid correctly and sell the service to putting in place hauling logistics and acquiring the correct equipment, hauling isn’t necessarily an easy service to provide. This session will walk you through the steps to building a successful program that is efficient and profitable for you and a valuable service for your clients.

Building a Transformational Culture

Jim Monk, CSP, & Jenna Monk, ASM, MPS Property Services

An industry veteran with many years of experience, Jim Monk realized that recruiting and retaining talent was becoming more and more difficult. Although the company culture was good, Jim knew it needed to be much better. He turned to his daughter Jenna to transform MPS’ culture. Together they will share the impact of an average company culture, their aspirations for transformation, how they’re implementing it, their efforts’ impact on current staff and new hires, and their plans for continuous improvement.

Billing & Collections

Grant Harrison, Nextra Consulting

Prompt and accurate billing is essential in the snow industry. Explore how technology can assist your A/R team to generate and collect payments, and how implementing process management with a strong communication plan may help in timely payments. If all else fails, what should your collections process look like (hint … it starts with your contract)?

Onboarding is Key to Employee Attraction & Retention

Todd Pugh, Enviroscapes

Three years ago, Todd’s company hit a wall. It was struggling to recruit and retain the front-line employees necessary to operate. The results were slowed growth, smaller profits, and an overworked, overwhelmed, burnt-out management staff. Realizing a change was needed Todd shifted the company philosophy to focus on team first. Todd will share some of the tools that were developed throughout this process, including specifics related to their onboarding process.

Know Your Numbers: Sales

Jon Crandall, CSP, JC Grounds

Establishing a sales process rooted in key performance indicators can help any sales person — whether it’s your sole focus or you wear many hats in your snow company. Jon is passionate about sales and will discuss the importance of how to build a process.

Know Your Numbers: Job Costing

Eric Haugen, Landcare Management

Job costing is essential to being able to create a competitive price. If you don’t know exactly how much it costs to perform the services you’re taking to market you may be leaving money on the table — or agreeing to contracts that could leave you in a hole that you may not be able to dig yourself out of. This session will look at the key metrics that need to be collected and measured and how technology can ease the process.

Know Your Numbers: Estimating

Mike Voories, CSP, Brilar

Snow management estimating can be challenging. Many variables can have a major impact on the amount of time and materials it takes to accomplish the work on a site. This workshop works through the building blocks needed to create an estimating process that truly understands client needs, site complexities, timing, weather variability and more.

Become a Best in Class Snow Company

Jason Pirozzolo and Liz Giblin, Associates Glens Falls Insurance

More and more insurance companies are viewing snow and ice as a service that isn’t worth the risk — and policies that are written come at a hefty price. Protect your company and improve your insurance relationship with best practices related to compliance and training. This session will help you assess your risk and offer discussion and tips for how snow and ice management companies can attract the best insurance companies and rates while protecting their company and employees.

Insurance Cost Calculations & Their Impact on Your Snow Budget

Jack Demski, Ansay & Associates

You can’t operate a professional snow business without insurance, but navigating the intricacies can be confusing (and costly). Jack will share what goes into overall insurance cost calculations and why understanding the calculations can help with forecasting insurance costs. He’ll share how to better control costs vs. audits on insurance policies.

Risk Management as a Selling Tool

David Gallagher, Consultant

How you protect your company and your clients goes far beyond mitigating slip and falls by pushing snow and melting ice. When you sell the service, you’re more apt to get caught up in the low-cost provider model. Instead, selling as a risk manager allows you to more clearly convey the true benefits you provide to your clients. Providing liability and risk protection to your customer through clear SOW and SLAs, along with strong documentation and service verification programs, are all key value proposition items you should be highlighting in your sales presentations.

Selling the Benefits of Liquids

Rick Lemcke, RM Landscape and Eric Bartles, Wegmans Food Markets

As more contractors begin to turn to liquids for ice management, it’s important to gain traction with clients and property managers by effectively communicating the cost and service benefits in terms that matter to them. This session will feature a conversation on how Rick, Eric and their respective teams have worked together to implement change.

Moving Away from Sand, Responsibly!

Jay Rottonelli, Piscataqua Landscaping

In many areas of North America, it’s still common to use sand as an ice management tool. Gerry will share why that practice needs a fresh approach. Using sand can damage the environment, increase cleanup costs and raise additional service concerns (while not melting the ice). Discuss options for materials, best practices and training for your team as well as how to help convert the client to a new way of thinking.

Pricing Liquids in your Proposals

Charles Glossop, Hantho Farms

As more contractors embrace the use of liquids in their operations, making sure you’re pricing the service correctly is key. Charles has been using liquids for 30+ years and will share all the factors that need to be built into pricing for profit.

Full Schedule

ENGAGE

Networking is one of the biggest features for the Symposium and we’re bringing some of the favorites to you in our new peer engagement platform that will ensure quality, small-group video discussions.

Snack & Chats

You bring the snacks and we’ll bring the topics! Come prepared with questions and advice for your fellow snow professionals! Whether you are an owner, CEO, ops manager, crew leader or office personnel, you’ll find a table that applies to your area of expertise.

Interested in serving as a snack & chat facilitator?
Visit www.sima.org/volunteer to sign up.

Peer-driven, role-focused insights and connections

The HUB is back for a new year of networking that puts you and your snow and ice peers in the driver’s seat to steer learning and conversation.

Owners/Execs >> Ops & Ops Management >> HR/Office Management >> Sales & Estimating

** A Welcome Reception and New Member Reception will be held via GoTo Meetings to accommodate more large-group interactions

2020 Symposium Sponsors

Thank you to all of our 2020 Symposium Sponsors!