The Greatest Four Days of Snow


14th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium – June 22-25, 2011 – Schaumberg, IL

For over a decade, The Best Show in Snow has helped professionals in snow and ice join together to discuss all aspects of the work they do. Join SIMA as we help educate each other on the best principles of business management, snow and ice operations, leadership and more.

For complete show information, go to

Pre-Symposium Workshop

Wednesday, June 22, 12:30 – 5 p.m.

In the face of increased pressure to do high-quality snow and ice management for less, it’s important for professional snow contractors to be as efficient as possible and compete in a now globally-driven snow market. SIMA’s efficiency forum will feature an eye-opener session and then allow attendees to visit with experts at numerous efficiency stations to hear short presentations. Each station will be staffed by experienced experts who can provide case studies and helpful tips, with plenty of time for attendees to sit down, discuss, share and ask questions.

Begin the workshop with an “efficiency eye opener” with Mark Bradley from The Beach Gardener. Mark will show you first-hand how technology can improve operations and profits. Following this first session, attendees will visit a number of stations to hear short presentations on the following topics. There is a separate fee to attend this session. Registration is limited, so register early.

  • Microsoft Excel Efficiency Station: Phil Harwood, CSP, is an Excel guru who can help you understand how to use Excel to increase your efficiency in bidding snow, as well as estimating your capacity to do work with equipment and subs. Bring your Excel spreadsheets for discussion at this station, or watch Phil demonstrate some of the tools he has used in the snow business in the past.
  • Salt Efficiency Station: Using less salt without reducing service is achievable only by implementing a series of steps to ensure you are calibrating, monitoring and measuring how much you use. Connie Fortin of Fortin Consulting will be at the booth to walk you through some simple steps you can take to learn how to calibrate a spreader; learn some recommended application rates; and have a chance to ask questions. (Sponsored by Meyer Products LLC)
  • Plow Efficiency Station: Every lot is different, so why do you plow them all the same way? Dave Hessong, an extremely knowledgeable snow logistics expert, will share some tips and techniques, as well as provide some real-life examples of how to tackle even the toughest properties more efficiently.
  • Liquid Efficiency Station: Join Scott Zorno, CSP, of Care Enterprises, and Carl Bolm, CSP, of BSR Services, two contractors who use liquids, as they provide some guidelines and examples on how to utilize liquids to save time and money in your snow business or at your facility. (Sponsored by Chemical Containers)
  • Bottom-Line Efficiency Station: Join Mark Bradley and Mike Lysecki of Landscape Management Network as they answer questions and provide examples of how you can leverage equipment and people to increase the bottom line without increasing the number of employees or headaches. (Sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc.)
  • Shop Efficiency Station: Join Rick Huffman, CSP, of The Pattie Group as he shares information and answers questions about using the tools of lean management to create a shop that is highly organized and efficient, saving you time and money.
  • Operational Efficiency Station: Join David Gallagher as he shares insights and tips on routing efficiencies, as well as managing your overall snow logistics and planning in an efficient manner.
  • Measuring Efficiency Station: In today’s competitive market, measuring every site you bid on becomes increasingly time-consuming and offers no guaranteed return on investment. Being as efficient as possible in measuring sites will save you time and dollars and differentiate you from your competitors. Join Grant Gibson, an expert in GIS mapping software, as he walks attendees through some basic principles of measuring parking lots online using any service.

Keynote Session

Thursday, June 23, 8 – 9:30 a.m.

Seven Decisions that Work 100% of the Time with Andy Andrews, International Speaker and New York Times Bestselling Author

Join Andy Andrews on a fast-paced exploration of The Seven Decisions that determine personal success. These life-changing truths are based on extracts from his international bestselling book, “The Traveler’s Gift.” In this address, Andrews pokes fun at our perception of ordinary themes and explains these seven principles in a way you have never heard before. He doesn’t merely encourage you , he clearly paves the way for the inner change we all long for. The power of this presentation is in the indisputable proof Andrews provides, these seven decisions will work in your life 100 percent of the time.

What could this one man possibly have to say that is important enough for the commander of the Allied Air Forces to ask his help? Why did every senior leader the U.S. Air Force has in Europe and the Middle East recently assemble in one location, at one time, to hear him speak?

Who is this man, that he would walk the golf course with Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez as she played her last tournament as a touring professional? Why was he invited to spend an afternoon with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and his son, who was about to depart from college? What would he be asked to discuss with 91-year-old Bob Hope, alone by the swimming pool in the entertainer’s backyard? Why would Augusta National Golf Club, Home of the Masters, require every single employee (from dishwashers to executives) to listen to this man talk for three hours?

Hailed by The New York Times as a “modern-day Will Rogers who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America,” Andy Andrews is an internationally known speaker and novelist whose combined works have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has been received at the White House and has spoken at the request of four different U.S. presidents. His second PBS special, “Andy Andrews: The Traveler’s Gift,” is now airing nationally to incredible reviews.

Andrews’ best-selling book, “The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success,” is an international sensation, remaining on the New York Times’ bestseller list for four and a half months and being translated into nearly 20 languages. Featured on ABC’s Good Morning America as the book-of-the-month selection, it is the stunning story of one man’s search for meaning and success in life by traveling back into time and conversing with seven historic individuals. Its message of hope, faith and perseverance is transforming thousands of lives worldwide every day.

At the conclusion of the presentation, stick around for Andy Andrew’s book signing. Copies of “The Traveler’s Gift” will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting SIMA’s Alan Steiman Scholarship Fund.

Tuesday, June 21

  • 12 – 5 p.m.: Registration open
  • 4 – 9 p.m.: Board of Directors Meeting

Wednesday, June 22

  • 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.: Registration open
  • 8 – 9:30 a.m.: Committee meetings: Conference, Marketing Fund and Education
  • 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.: Committee meetings: Editorial Advisory, Certification and Membership
  • 12:30 – 5 p.m.: Pre-Symposium Snow Efficiency Workshop – (Sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc.; additional station sponsors: Meyer Products LLC and Chemical Containers) An eye-opener session that allows attendees to visit with experts at numerous efficiency stations to hear short presentations. Each station will be staffed by experienced experts who can provide case studies and helpful tips. Additional fee applies and attendance is limited.
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: New Member & First-Timer Reception – If you are new to SIMA, or are attending the symposium for the first time, this is your chance to meet SIMA staff, volunteers and board members, as well as network with other attendees.
  • 6:45 – 8 p.m.: General Membership Meeting – All attendees are welcome to hear about the newest SIMA projects and goals. New this year, SIMA will moderate a “State of the Industry” discussion, highlighting current trends and issues.
  • 8 – 10 p.m.: Welcome Reception – (Sponsored by Pro-Tech Mfg. & Distribution) Kick off the symposium in style. Special guests, entertainment, food and drink, prizes and fun await you. This is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues and have some fun!

Thursday, June 23

  • 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Registration open
  • 7 – 8 a.m.: Hot breakfast available
  • 8 – 9:30 a.m.: Opening keynote session: Andy Andrews, “Seven Decisions that Work 100% of the Time.” Book signing immediately following session.
  • 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.: Concurrent sessions:
  • Don’t Ask for Referrals: Maximizing Sales Opportunities and Minimizing Sales Overheads – Clifton Pieters, speaker/consultant, sponsored by Pro-Tech Mfg.: Most companies miss out on “low-hanging fruit” because they fail to fully leverage what is universally known as “referrals.” With a few simple adjustments to a business/sales process that everybody is comfortably familiar with, you will be able to enjoy the full benefits of relationship-driven sales; higher close rates; better margins; shorter sales cycle times; and lower sales costs.
  • Win More Work: Streamlining Your Estimating and Bidding Process Using Microsoft Excel – Phil Harwood, CSP, Pro-Motion Consulting, LLC: Managing a snow and ice management business may be complicated, but estimating doesn’t need to be. The key to estimating is how to understand the variables required to compute accurate estimates and how they relate to each other. This session provides attendees with a step-by-step estimating system, using Microsoft Excel, that will reduce the time spent estimating snow and ice management services, increase the accuracy of estimates, and integrate into their sales process for better sales management and record-keeping. Attendees will be given a free version of the program shown in this session.
  • How to Prepare for a Slip & Fall Lawsuit – John Allin, CSP, PJA, Inc., sponsored by CrewTracker Software: Ever wonder what happens when a lawsuit comes into your office, not from your side, but from the point of view of those who are filing suit against you for a slip and fall incident? John Allin has worked with hundreds of plaintiff lawyers over the last decade. His role in the process is to guide lawyers when they seek to find out if snow contractors have acted in a reasonable and prudent manner. He writes discovery requests and deposition questions to be asked when drilling down on your “systems.” Come find out exactly what plaintiff’s lawyers are looking for when trying to prove you are at fault for the alleged slip and fall, so that you can guard against it when it happens.
  • Treated Salt: Leveraging the Benefits of Liquid Deicing – Jason Bagley, North American Salt: Use of deicing liquids in private/commercial applications has grown substantially over the past few years. However, substantial infrastructure can be required to store, handle and apply liquids. Treated salt allows users the benefits of liquids, without the infrastructure cost. In cold weather, treated salt activates the melting process faster than regular salt. It reduces bounce/scatter and allows better control of salt from spreaders. It further reduces corrosion to equipment. Finally, we’ll discuss how treated salt saves money, reduces liability and how it can fit into your deicing program.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Snack & Chat Lunch – (Sponsored by Include Software) Grab some lunch and join fellow colleagues at the first of three Snack & Chats, designed in a roundtable setting to help you network with people. Register in advance; additional fee applies.
  • 1 – 5p.m.: Trade show open
  • 6:30 – 9 p.m.: Snow Warrior Awards & Recognition Night – (Sponsored by CrewTracker Software, International Salt Co. and Morton Salt) Help SIMA recognize and congratulate all of its snow warriors, including safety award winners, volunteer of the year, excellence in business winners, the Alan Steiman scholarship recipient and more. This is also an opportunity to celebrate SIMA and the snow and ice management industry. Enjoy a night of dinner, beverages, networking and camaraderie. Additional fee applies.
  • 9 – 10 p.m.: CSP Reception – (Sponsored by CrewTracker Software, International Salt Co. and Morton Salt) All certified snow professionals are invited to attend this reception for hors d’oeuvres, beverages and networking.

Friday, June 24

  • 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Registration open
  • 8 – 9 a.m.: Snack & Chat Breakfast – Additional fee applies; register in advance.
  • 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Trade show open
  • 1:30 – 3 p.m.: Concurrent sessions
  • Strategic Social Networking on the Humanized Web – Jeff Korhan, True Nature, Inc.: Success with social media is not about the shiny technology, but about the people using it. This session will show you how to build a solid social media foundation to help you engage in your community, capitalize on emerging business trends, and reach your ideal customers. It will give you a step-by-step approach that other successful green and snow industry businesses are using to avoid the question, “I’m here on social media, now what?” Success means following a systematic approach to social media networking, as well as actually doing it.
  • Creating Your Future: Developing and Executing Your Strategic Plan – Phil Harwood, CSP, Pro-Motion Consulting, LLC, sponsored by Go iSnow: One of the top concerns among all business owners is growth. Another is the execution of plans for growth. Growth requires a strategy – a roadmap – and a system for executing the plan. This session will provide a comprehensive overview of a simple, effective and proven strategic planning model and tools for implementation and execution. Attendees will walk away with a complete plug-and-play process in hand for strategic planning, including how to develop a strategic planning team, the planning cycle, and how to remain focused and committed to the strategic plan throughout the year.
  • Planning for Operational Efficiency – David Gallagher, LandOpt, LLC: This session will focus on the tips and techniques to execute snow operations efficiently through plowing and salting methods; site engineering and planning; and developing an operational strategy prior to the first snowfall. These concepts can provide for the ability to leverage new operational technologies to their maximum and maintain margins in almost any environment.
  • Great People, Great Company: Turning Employees into Entrepreneurs – Mark Bradley, The Beach Gardener/Landscape Management Network, sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc.): The real secret to building a business is getting people to think, and behave, like they own the business. In this seminar, Mark will detail the systems in his company that turned his employees into mini-entrepreneurs, engaging everyone with a stake in productivity and profitability. The results are what every contractor is looking for: improved profits, better customer service, reduced re-work and great employee attraction and retention.
  • 3:30 – 5 p.m.: Concurrent sessions
  • How to Create a Winning RFP & Response – Robert Smart, CSP, Rich Arlington & Associates: Bob will motivate attendees to participate in an interactive, open dialogue regarding the wording and clauses in an RFP that often create confusion between facility management and snow contractors. He will then explain why this occurs and why such language is included in an RFP even though it often creates confusion. Facility managers will learn best practices for obtaining complete and qualified RFPs back from snow contractors in order to avoid long-term issues that impact their budgets. Snow contractors will learn how to best respond to RFPs when questions arise and how to present qualifying bid proposals. The discussion will include effective turn-around times for RFPs; key language necessary to avoid later confusion and improper results; and other pitfalls of RFP creation and of the bid response process.
  • Relationship Selling in the Local Economy – Jeff Korhan, True Nature, Inc.: Fortune 500 corporations are actively using social media marketing to be more like you, the local professionals who have personal relationships within the community. Your job is to do the same by extending those relationships. This fast-paced program will show you how. Participants will learn how to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, engage customers with a well-designed sales process, and work more effectively as a team.
  • Contractor Information Exchange – Michael Anderson, CSP, Snow & Ice Pros, Inc.: Back by popular demand is the SIMA Information Exchange. Attendees wanting to participate in this session should bring copies of their contracts (white-out your customers’ names and addresses), marketing materials, phone book ads, flyers, brochures, etc., to share with others, and bring them to the information desk early in the week. Mike will pull all of this information together and lead an interactive discussion among attendees, noting original ideas, notable contract differences and more. Attendees will go home with everyone else’s information.
  • Optimal Application Rates for Rock Salt & Ice Melt – Niles Hysell, Morton Salt , and Russell Alger, Michigan Tech University: Morton Salt, in conjunction with the Michigan Technological University (MTU) Snow and Ice Research Center, has worked to identify optimal application rates of rock salt and ice melter for snow professionals. Research has accounted for different climates and melters (blends, calcium chloride, etc.) to better help snow professionals understand what and how much product to use to reduce environmental impact and reduce waste during application. In this session, Morton and MTU will review testing results and outline application strategies for contractors and snow professionals to improve their bottom line this season.
  • 5 – 6 p.m.: Networking reception – Grab a beverage and reconnect with fellow attendees at the end of the day to talk about what you’ve learned. Friday evening is open for attendees to explore the area and take advantage of local restaurants, nightlife, shopping and more.

Saturday, June 25

  • 8:30 – 10 a.m.: Concurrent sessions
  • New Trends in Property and Facility Management – John Nadler, P.E., Nadler Resources, LLC: In this session, attendees can learn how to capitalize on emerging trends in property and facility management in order to meet the needs of a diverse market. John will describe the changing dynamics of globalization and the focus on efficiency, consolidation and cost reduction, especially related to the rise of national service maintenance companies. As a LEED Green Associate, he’ll also speak to the dramatic changes brought on by the green revolution, and what those changes might mean long term.
  • Property Managers & HOAs: What Makes ‘Em Tick? – Steve Rak, II, Southwest Landscape Management/Rak Consulting: In this fun and candid session, Steve will address the following four areas: communication, relationships, service and price. Steve will use a candid “What Makes ‘Em Tick” and “What Ticks ‘Em Off” type of format to demonstrate his points. Real examples of customer experiences from Steve’s company will be shared, as well as some customer relations programs, such as a bi-monthly e-zine and an open house.
  • Eliminate Waste and Increase Your Sales Capacity – Mike Lysecki, The Beach Gardener/Landscape Management Network, sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc.: As business owners in uncertain times, we need to do more with less. But that concept doesn’t sit well with employees … until they understand the opportunities unleashed by working in a successful company.
  • What’s in it for Us?: Manage, Motivate and Move Your Team Toward Acceptance of New Concepts and Technology – Rich Arlington, CSP, CLP, Rich Arlington & Associates: Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. In today’s continually shifting environment, companies are faced with the challenge of implementing new techniques and structures to create lean management principles as well as more efficient operations. This goes against the grain of the “way we used to do it” theory touted by many employees and co-workers. How do you motivate people to not only accept change, but to embrace new ideas, systems and processes in your organization? Through real scenarios, Rich will guide attendees through the process and systems – that are easily implemented at a very low cost – in order to achieve team buy-in, as well as discuss why understanding human behaviors will only increase your chances of successfully motivating and moving people toward change.
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Concurrent sessions
  • How National Facilities Buy – John Nadler, P.E., Nadler Resources, LLC: Join John Nadler, an experienced retail and commercial property management consultant, as he walks attendees through the complex world of procurement and purchasing for large retail and commercial properties. He will discuss the national trends, and how large national corporations and retail stores manage large-scale outdoor maintenance procurement and outsourcing. John will deliver some tips related to effective RFP responses, and will also share some solid techniques to identify key contacts, establish contact, negotiate fairly and equitably, and build long-term rapport.
  • Making Your Own Brine – Ted Hosmer, CSP, Ted Hosmer Enterprises, Inc., and Jeff Fabry, Chemical Containers: As snow professionals continue to seek better, cheaper and more efficient methods for managing snow and ice, many increasingly are thinking about the process of creating their own brine, which when used appropriately, can be a powerful snow and ice control weapon. There are specific steps and chemical properties that must be observed in order to create a safe mix that does not create worse conditions on the ground than already exist. Join a panel of experts as they discuss the research and time it takes to set up a brine-making system, as well as some helpful tips to get started.
  • Risk Management & Insurance: Balancing Risk and Reward – Sam Rolph & Gary Koperski, CSP, ARM, American Family Insurance: Sam and Gary will explain why contractors and in-house snow and ice managers should develop a job-data management plant to record individual job information, such as start and finish time, weather conditions and chemicals used, etc., to improve job performance and assist their insurance company in eliminating or reducing total cost of legitimate and staged claims. They will discuss best practices for record retention: what to keep and how long to keep it. They will demonstrate how these practices can support any organization in a court of law; how a lack of strong recordkeeping can expose a company to a great deal of risk; and how a data management program can communicate business competency to your insurance provider, with the goal of reducing premiums.
  • 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.: Snack & Chat lunch – Additional fee applies; register in advance.
  • 4:30 – Midnight: Closing event: Dinner in downtown Chicago followed by sightseeing and fireworks at Navy Pier – (Sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc.) Additional fee applies.