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2017 Concurrent Session Speakers

Randy Adams
Since starting his business in 1982, Randy has grown RM Adams from a small trucking company into the largest and most well respected landscape supply company in all of Waterloo Region. In addition to trucking and Landscape supply, Randy has been doing snow removal for over 30 years.

He currently manages several large commercial properties and operates a fleet of approximately 12 snow plows, 6 salters and 4 loaders. After starting to sell ice-melt products in 1987, Randy made the decision that they would retain the snow removal customers they had but would not actively try to grow this side of the business. 
Randy has been using liquids for many years and was instrumental in pioneering the use of liquids among contractors in Kitchener Waterloo and surrounding areas. He is the past President of Landscape Ontario’s Waterloo chapter and was the second contractor to ever achieve the Smart About Salt certification. Randy has been an active SIMA member for over 10 years and is a certified licensed mechanic who is also a member of the TTMA trucking association.

John Semas
John Semas serves as Case Snow Management’s Director of Operations for Connecticut, Rhode Island, and South Eastern Massachusetts.  He has 17 years of experience in the construction and emergency restoration industry, and holds a training license for OSHA 10 & 30-hour General Industry courses.  Over the past 10 years John has taught hundreds of property management firms and individuals the benefits of good general safety practices.  

Aaron Smith
Aaron began in the snow removal business during the 4th grade in Essex Vermont.  Using his 1964 Ariens 728, Aaron cleared driveways up and down his street as well as the sidewalks for a local church.  During college and graduate school he moved to Minnesota where concurrently with his studies he worked as a manager for a large landscaping firm clearing snow for industrial, commercial, and multi-family clients throughout the Twin Cities Metro.  Upon moving back to Vermont in 2008 Aaron swore to his wife he would never do snow removal again....until he had employees that grew transient with no winter work.  Aaron "met" Paul Vanderzon on and after one phone call purchased his first ag tractor.  Now he runs S & D Snowblowing in Essex, Vermont doing a mix of residential and municipal work with his three tractor blowers and he is the operational consultant for PlowGuys Snow and Ice management out of Massachusetts where they are developing software enhanced residential snow removal via tractors and trucks.    

Kirk Armstrong
Kirk is the owner of Armstrong Sales Coaching, where he is a trainer and coach to his clients in over 50 different industries, including the snow industry.  With more than 20 years’ experience in the areas of sales, sales management and interpersonal communication, he has helped to grow sales and profits of his clients with his no-pressure sales process.

Known for his experience in developing and training sales tactics and strategies to fit clients, they learn how to win more sales, in less time, while creating a common sales language and culture for their organization.

Shane Belvin
Shane joined Nobel Weather Associates in 2010 at its inception under the name Snowcast Solutions. During that time, he has been focused on developing the analytics, product capabilities, and patent expansion.  Prior to joining the firm, Shane spent 15 years in a variety of leadership positions, ranging from managing a business line for a public company to financial analysis in the investment banking sector.  Mr. Belvin began his professional career as a Field Artillery Officer in the United States Army, where he finished as a Captain and served during the initial campaigns of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Brian Birch, CAE
Brian is the Chief Operating Officer for SIMA. He has served in many roles during his 10+ years at the association. Brian's focus today at SIMA is in technology, marketing, and operations, but he also serves as a project manager on new initiatives and projects for the industry. Most recently he served as Project Coordinator for SIMA's Standard Glossary of Terms and the Best Practices Guidelines: Service Procurement: 52-week Visual Timeline.

Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley founded TBG Landscape out of his backyard 18 years ago. Since then, TBG has won many Awards of Excellence for its innovative design-build work and has also grown to be one of the Top 100 landscape contractors in North America. Based on TBG’s solid reputation in the landscape industry, Mark was able to start two additional adventures where he is CEO of TBG Environmental and TBG Logistics. This combination provides a fully integrated premier package for environmental, site development and transportation projects in Ontario, Canada. In addition to founding the TBG Group of Companies, Mark established LMN in 2009, now the industry’s most popular landscape estimating and timekeeping software. Mark is never short on ideas on how we can improve our companies and our industry. He is highly sought after to speak and deliver his invaluable knowledge on industry best ideas and practices at events worldwide. 

Pam Buckley
An International Communication major at American University’s School of International Service, Pam joined the SnowEx team in 2010 where she has leveraged her diverse project management skills to drive growth and product quality. As a key member of SnowEx’s Liquid Solutions team, Pam heads up the market research and business case development segment for Liquid Solutions projects focusing on emerging technologies and industry trends in both the private and public sectors.

Pam has played a pivotal role in the development of the go-to-market strategies and training components of liquid product lineups and is currently developing training modules for their application. Due to her extensive knowledge on a variety of subjects related to liquids Pam has been invited to speak at numerous industry events.

Currently she is traveling nationwide conducting training seminars on the issue of sustainability relative to the environmental impacts of winter services and how liquid approaches can mitigate those impacts.  

Jason Ciavarro
Jason Ciavarro started Supreme Metro in 1988 after he graduated high school with a $500 loan from his father.  Today, Supreme-Metro has grown to over $13M in sales and employs over 50 employees.
Jason’s entrepreneurship vision has enabled Supreme Metro to thrive during economic downturns. Jason’s commitment to his company and employees is evidenced by the high standards of quality that he demands on each project. In 2015, Supreme Metro was a finalist in Equipment World as Contractor of the Year.

In 2010, Jason started The Green Ways Plus division of Supreme-Metro.  Green Ways Plus was created to reduce property damage by using less harmful de-icing materials, and distributes environmentally friendly winter products to schools and universities, commercial, industrial and residential markets. Green Ways Plus holds many educational seminars to encourage the use of safer and more effective products which include liquid and granular options.  

Jason attends various peer groups throughout the year in constant effort to better himself and his companies and holds numerous certifications within the asphalt and concrete industries.

Donald Cooper
Donald has been in the trenches. From humble beginnings, Cooper Sporting Goods became a global leader and a Canadian brand icon.  Cooper Canada exported, imported, opened an offshore factory, went public, bought competitors, and through it all attracted the top talent in the industry. After selling Cooper Canada, Donald “accidentally” became a retailer of ladies fashions and gifts. He fundamentally reinvented the customer experience for which he received seven Awards of Excellence, including being voted Canada’s “Outstanding Innovative Retailer” by the Retail Council of Canada.

Cooper speaks to and coaches over 20,000 business owners, leaders, and managers each year. He often delivers multiple sessions at events and is delighted to include one-on-one or small group business coaching sessions. His unique insights and clear implementation tools create extraordinary organizations…and extraordinary lives.

Yeh Diab
Yeh began in the snow & ice industry in 2012-13 with the first (to his knowledge) on-demand consumer mobile app. He quickly learned that was the proverbial square hole in a round peg: snow management should not, and will never be, on-demand. He iterated the business in 2014 to be route-centric, then got into the tractor/equipment side with the help of Aaron Smith in 2015, all the while taking the customer and technology lessons he picked up. In 8 months, after pivoting to a subscription revenue model, the business has gone from $0 to over $250,000 in Annual Recurring Revenue, in the tight geographic area in the Boston market, and growing month over month.      

Dan Foley, MCLP, CLP, CLP
Dan Foley, MCLP, CLP, CSP is President of DHCC Management Corporation where he serves as a Success Coach and Advisor. Dan started his own company (D. Foley Landscape), when he was sophomore at Babson College in Massachusetts. He earned a business degree from Babson and studied Horticulture at Massachusetts Bay Community College.  For 22 years, he served as founder and President of both D. Foley Landscape, Inc., a full service landscape/snow management firm and also CampusCare, which specialized in providing exterior services for private educational facilities. 

In 2009, he sold both brands to The Brickman Group, and then served as the Vice President of the New England Region at Brickman.  In November of 2014, Dan retired at the age of 47 years old.  He is a Past President of the Massachusetts Landscape Professionals (MLP) and PLANET (now NALP).  He is also a past recipient of MLP’s prestigious Beacon Award.  Other awards include: the Philip Charm Prize Business Plan Competition at Babson College; Lawn & Landscape National Leadership Award; Inc. 5000 award (in 2008) for fastest growing private companies in America; and the Lifetime Leadership Award from NALP (in 2015).

Dave Gallagher
With over 20 years of experience in the green industry, David recently joined the team at Five Seasons Property Management in Pennsylvania. For over 10 years he supported LandOpt customers and the coaches that served them with his extensive landscaping background and management skills. As the Director of Success, David led LandOpt’s Success Coaches to deliver products and services to customers, and assisted customers during the product implementation process. Through solid training and mentoring support, David ensured customer success and satisfaction.

David graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Science. Throughout his entire career, David filled many roles within the green industry. Working as a consultant with various companies, he developed systems to be scalable and repeatable. David’s 20+ years in the industry has included a large focus on Snow and Ice Management with some of the industry’s largest customers and contractors.

Jim Horning Jr, CSP
Jim is a graduate of Canisius College and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership & Strategic Entrepreneurship. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2008 by the Snow & Ice Management Association, where he previously served as Board Chair. Jim serves as the President of both of his family's company's; Elbers Landscape Service & Great Lakes Athletic Fields.

Since 1919 Elbers Landscape Service, Inc. has provided landscaping and snow and ice management services to residential and commercial customers throughout Western New York.

Dave Huffman
Dave graduated from the University of Western Ontario before embarking on a successful career in Sales. He has worked with Innovative Surface Solutions for over six years and has taken a great deal of pride in his role of becoming an expert in the snow and ice industry. Since starting with Innovative, Dave has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of customers on improving their winter maintenance strategies. He takes a consultative approach to the sales process and is constantly looking for ways to help customers to improve safety while reducing their overall operating costs.

Currently, Dave is responsible for sales and customer relationship management for his territory covering Southwestern Ontario. In addition to dealing with snow and ice contractors, he also spends a great deal of time educating municipal roads departments on the benefits of using premium products. When bringing on new customers, Dave is also responsible for conducting winter maintenance training for all of the customers in his territory.

Dave is an active member in 13 different municipal AORS road associations throughout Southwestern Ontario. He is also a member of OGRA, Landscape Ontario, APWA and SIMA. He has received several key industry certifications including OGRA Snow School and Smart About Salt. In his six years with Innovative, Dave has conducted over 50 presentations to various groups relating to winter maintenance.

Sean Hudson
Sean was born and raised in Niagara Falls, ON, moving away to College, at Sir Sandford Fleming, School of Natural Resources in Lindsay, north east of Toronto. 

Having worked in the Natural Resource field with the Ministry of Natural Resources in various capacities and projects across the Province and while between contracts, returned to Niagara and has been employed full time by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission since.   The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission is a bi-national agency which owns and operates three International Bridges spanning the Niagara Gorge. 

25 of his 27 years with the Commission have been in the maintenance side of the operations, with approximately 2/3rds of that time spent at the Rainbow Bridge – less than 1 kilometer down river from Niagara Falls itself. 

In his current capacity, Sean is responsible for the day to day Operations at the Rainbow and Whirlpool Rapids Bridges for the Commission.   As part of a collaborative effort, his responsibilities include, budgeting, staffing, equipment and material selection.  Although the NFBC is responsible for all aspects of facility maintenance functions, during the winter months our focus is snow and ice control on roads, parking lots and bridge spans. 

Paul Johnson, CET, CST

With over 34 years of experience at the County of Wellington, Paul is currently the Operations Manager for the county, is the Director of the Smart About Salt Council, the Director and instructor of the OGRA Snow School and Mechanics Snow School and is the founding member of the Ontario Road Salt Management Group and of the Environment Canada Multi-Stakeholders Working Group on Salt Management. 

Paul has been a member of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists for 33 years, earning the CET, CST designations. He is also currently Chairman and trainer for Training Committee SAS, Chair of the Training Sub Committee of ORSMG and is one of the authors of the EC Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts.

In the past, Paul has been a member of the American Public Works Association Winter Maintenance Sub-Committee, is the Past President of the Ontario Good Roads Association and is Past Chairman of Training Committee APWA which developed the Winter Maintenance Supervisor Certificate Workshop.

Paul has taught courses on winter maintenance and use of liquids in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Alberta, Newfoundland, Quebec, Ontario and the USA, has made over 100 presentations and has written dozens of articles over the last 30 years. 

Rick Kier, CSP
Rick has been a successful contractor in the Syracuse, NY area since 1978, where winters with over 150” a year are common. He is a Certified Snow Professional and one of the founding members of SIMA. He has written numerous articles in industry publications and is a seasoned speaker on snow and ice management topics.

Mark Bradley
Join Mark Bradley, CEO of TBG Environmental Inc. and LMN for a look at some under-the-radar numbers that will help you win more and more profitable snow bids. Everyone and their brother knows about Gross Profit and Net Profit, but do you know how to use Throughput to identify the most profitable work?  Or if/when/how/and by how much to reduce your pricing when aggressively bidding large opportunities?  Join this session as we open your eyes to some new numbers that are likely to change the way you think about your snow bids.

Thomas J. Marks, Esq.
Tom Marks is legal counsel for Case Snow Management in Massachusetts.  He has practiced business law and litigation since 2003.  As general counsel for several small-mid sized companies, he focuses on risk management and strategic legal planning.  Attorney Marks routinely drafts and negotiates service contracts and litigates contractual disputes.  He also trains business owners and employees in proper use and wording of written communications.  

All of his work is designed to best position his clients in case a legal dispute arises.  Attorney Marks lives in Norton, MA.  He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2003.

Patrick McGuiness
Patrick McGuiness is an attorney, consultant, speaker, and author. He consults for a variety of organizations on Strategic planning, governance, and regulatory matters. McGuiness is a regular contributor to Snow Business Magazine, Turf Magazine and Tree Care Industry Magazine. In addition to being an attorney, McGuiness is a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, an Adjunct Representation Professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and serves as on the Board of Directors for a credit union with over $1 Billion in assets.

Christian Messina 
Je suis dans le domaine des technologies depuis 20 ans. Plus jeune, j’ai travaillé durant 6 ans dans le déneigement en tant qu’opérateur de machinerie. Je travaille avec les technologies web depuis maintenant 10 ans et je compte parmi ma clientèle des entreprises de déneigement depuis 8 ans. J’ai fondé mon agence de marketing web il y a 5 ans et je développe maintenant des solutions spécialisées pour les déneigeurs.

Robert Reale
Rob has been a part of WeatherWorks for nearly 10 years, interning while attending Rutgers University and working as a full-time meteorologist upon graduation in 2010. Since that time, Rob has become an expert forecaster of snow and ice, and has taken on a role of education and training within the company. He has expanded this education to numerous clients and has taken part in several snow and ice workshops including the SIMA Think Tank in 2016.

His main areas of research include radar meteorology, snowflake formation, and the impacts from major snow storms. Outside of work, Rob frequently hits the golf links and uses his weather knowledge to stay dry, but not necessarily on the fairways.

Paul-Andre Savoie

A man with ideas constantly ahead of the times, Paul-André Savoie co-produced, in 1993, a cellular research system which permits stolen vehicle tracking. This tracking product called Boomerang was bought out by the US Company LOJACK.

In 1999, on a second wind, Mr. Savoie targeted the exploding telematics market and created Datacom, a company specialized in vehicle-fleet management and control of industrial processes. He is the creator and architect of Datacom’s Mobilus system, which provides car theft protection and allows for stolen vehicle tracking. Paul-André Savoie's experience in the wireless communications industry and the Internet is highly recognized.  

In March 2002, at the young age of 29, he was recognized by the business world and was named one of Canada's" Top 40 Under 40 ". This prestigious award acknowledges the accomplishments of men and women under the age of 40 who have become leaders in their fields. Paul-André Savoie was born in Montreal in 1973 and earned his Bachelor of Commerce at Concordia University. 

Currently Paul-André Savoie is President and Chief Executive Officer of Operasoft.

Un homme aux idées sans cesse innovantes, Paul-André Savoie a coproduit en 1993 un système de repérage de voiture par transmission cellulaire qui permet de localiser des véhicules volés. Ce produit de traçabilité nommé Boomerang fut vendu à la société américaine LOJACK. 

Dans un second souffle en 1999, M. Savoie a ciblé le marché de la télématique en pleine croissance et a créé Datacom, une entreprise spécialisée dans la gestion de flottes de véhicules et le contrôle des processus industriels. Il est le créateur et l’architecte du système Mobilus de Datacom, qui offre une protection contre les vols de voitures et permet le repérage de véhicules volés. L’expérience de Paul-André Savoie au sein de l’industrie des communications sans fil et d’Internet est hautement reconnue.

En mars 2002, alors qu’il est âgé seulement de 29 ans, il est reconnu par le monde des affaires et nommé l’un des « 40 Canadiens performants de moins de 40 ans » (Top 40 Under 40). Ce prix prestigieux reconnaît les réalisations des hommes et des femmes de moins de 40 ans qui sont devenus des chefs de file dans leur secteur d’activité. Paul-André Savoie est né à Montréal en 1973 et a obtenu son baccalauréat en commerce de l’Université Concordia.

Actuellement, Paul-André Savoie est le président et chef de la direction d’Operasoft. 

Jeremy Swenson, CSP
Jeremy Swenson is an active member of SIMA, and a CSP.  He owns Snowmen, Inc. which is one of the larger snow and ice removal companies in the country.  Jeremy is an expert witness in the snow and ice community and works with plaintiff and defense lawyers around the country on slip and fall cases specifically related to snow and ice. 

Steve Wheatcroft

Steve Wheatcroft is the owner of Spectrum Equipment Inc. and has offered consultation to the University of Calgary, the University of Edmonton and various municipalities on snow melting, storage, and general snow operations.  Steve is also a graduate of the Haskayne School of Business at the U of C, and is the CEO and Founder of ULS Maintenance & Landscaping Inc.