Wednesday, March 18, 2015
'A well-managed, well-respected certification program can add significant value to an individual’s credentials and help differentiate them in a tough market.'
By Ellen Lobello
Earning your Certified Snow Professional (CSP) designation is a major accomplishment that reflects personal and professional growth. The commitment to apply for the exam, study the material, pass the test, and then maintain the certification is not to be taken lightly. Over the past year, SIMA has taken significant steps to help ensure insurance providers and commercial facility management professionals don’t take it lightly either.
A well-managed, well-respected certification program can add significant value to an individual’s credentials and help differentiate them in a tough market. The key is to invest time and effort not only in the process of earning the certification, but also in the long-term marketing and communicating of the achievement. Whether you are communicating to your current insurance agent or to a potential client, the integrity, longevity and visibility of the certification program must be clearly communicated at the outset.
SIMA recently rebranded the entire CSP program. At that time we took the opportunity to create new marketing and communication resources for those who earn their certification. We created the CSP Marketing Toolkit, which is a sharp-looking package that includes a USB drive with a variety of ideas and tools on how to market the designation. CSPs can use it themselves or share it with a staff person or marketing firm to promote the certification in marketing materials, on websites and more.
SIMA is dedicated to helping CSPs find ongoing value and marketing opportunities with the certification, and the toolkit is a great step toward this effort. By marketing their designation on print materials, websites and social media, CSPs can share their commitment to safety and professionalism with a wide audience to help grow their business.
SIMA is now taking applications for the 2015 calendar year for those qualified to earn the designation. Visit www.sima.org/certification or email Ellen@sima.org for more information.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
'SIMA underwent a thorough review of the show’s structure after June of last year, and we set a goal of simplifying access and registration to the show and its key events.'
By Kaitlyn Herbst
The Snack and Chat roundtable discussions at the Snow & Ice Symposium are typically one of the most important pieces of the annual show, especially on Thursday and Friday. If you aren’t familiar with Snack & Chats, they are a special event at our annual Symposium where snow & ice management professionals come together during a casual networking lunch to discuss some of the most current, interesting and relevant topics in the industry.
SIMA underwent one of the most thorough reviews of the show’s structure after June of last year, and we set a goal of simplifying access and registration to the show and its key events. After much debate, review of attendee surveys, and observation of attendance history, SIMA has officially decided to remove the Saturday Snack & Chat from future Symposiums.
Ultimately SIMA has set a goal of empowering more members and event attendees to access training and best practices. With that in mind, this year we decided to include Snack & Chats in the cost of a full registration or day pass (for Snack & Chats on the date registered), as opposed to them being a separate cost to attendees as they have been in the past. If we were to keep the Saturday Snack & Chat, registration fees would have increased to an amount we were no longer comfortable asking you to pay.
Although change can be difficult, we are very excited with the 18th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium schedule of events. By including Snack & Chats for full registrants and day pass registrants, it allows more folks in the industry to attend, and streamlines the registration process for all – no more purchasing of tickets for these events, just a quick click of a button to RSVP while registering! The more snow & ice professionals in one room, the more wisdom shared regarding best practices in our industry. We hope to see you over lunch in June!
Here are three simple ways you can help SIMA continue to improve Snack & Chats and the Symposium:
- Email Kaitlyn@sima.org suggestions for Snack & Chat table topics, Symposium schedule comments, or any thoughts about the Symposium overall.
- Email Kaitlyn@sima.org to express interest in volunteering during the show as a Snack & Chat facilitator, SIMA booth representative, ticket taker, or other volunteer opportunity.
- Register today for the 18th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium by visiting www.sima.org/show. Be sure to RSVP for Snack & Chats and receptions when you register, as this is very helpful for planning purposes.
SIMA Action Alerts are designed to challenge the membership at large to take action and be informed. Please share any thoughts on Action Alerts with Brian@sima.org, or in the comment section below.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
'It is always fun to read all of the different submissions, and all of the challenges, triumphs, and unique stories that are just waiting to be shared.'
By Elly Lobello
For the fifth year in a row, SIMA and Snow Business are running the Greatest Story Never Told contest. It is always fun to read all of the different submissions, and all of the challenges, triumphs, and unique stories that are just waiting to be shared. In the past 4 years, the winners have had very different stories to tell:
2014 – Greater Texas Landscape Services (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX)
The most recent Greatest Story Never Told winner comes all the way from Texas. Bryan Dubose shared how an unexpected winter event served as the catalyst for Greater Texas Landscape Services’ Dallas branch to step up and become a professional snow & ice management resource in a state unfamiliar with the concept of proactive storm fighting. Read full story here.
2013 – Henderson Corp. (Independence, IA)
Elliott Henderson, owner Henderson Corp., shared his story of how he was able to accomplish 2 life goals simultaneously – plow snow and serve his country. His story of the challenges of keeping his snow business running while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan is both unique and inspirational. Read full story here.
2012 – Northwest Snow Removal, Inc. (Bridgeview, IL)
Maggie Downer, CSP, owner of Northwest Snow Removal, Inc. shared her story of starting a snow & ice management company in the tough market of Chicago. With a focus on balance, identifying quality leads, and building client relationships, this was a great story of what can make a business successful. Read full story here.
2011 – H.A.M Landscaping (North Randall, OH)
As winner of the first contest, Herrick & Lisa Mann told the story of managing their company through snowy winters while sailing to the Caribbean. With the help of technology, capable employees, and a stable client base, the Manns are able to sail midwinter and keep their business running. Read full story here.
What story will be on the 5th Greatest Story Never Told Cover? It could be yours! Submit at www.sima.org/mysnowstory by April 3, and you could win:
- The cover story and feature in the in May/June 2015 issue of Snow Business.
- A professional video shot to share with clients, colleagues, and friends.
- Free registration (including all ticketed events) to the 18th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium in Schaumburg, IL, June 24-27.
- Recognition at the annual Snow & Ice Industry Awards night.