May 15, 2008
By Jim Monk CSP

As a longtime member of Landscape Ontario, it is an honour for me to represent our region and country in the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA). Bob Wilton and I currently provide Canadian representation on the board of directors.

When I originally became involved in SIMA, I intended to pick up a few useful ideas to help me improve my company. I grossly underestimated the value that SIMA represented, and soon found myself immersed in many educational, training and networking opportunities. This led to a further involvement in various relevant committees and task forces, then to the board of directors. I currently hold the position of board president.

I use this as a lead-in to the purpose of this article, to invite you to the 11th annual Snow and Ice Symposium. Held in a different city each year, this year’s venue is Buffalo, N.Y., from June 18-21. Buffalo is close enough for most of us to drive, so taking in a single day, or the full show, is very convenient.

The trade show itself is excellent, with new products always on display, as well as improvements to existing products. This year’s show will help break down barriers with vendors by providing free beer and food on the show floor! But maybe more beneficial (especially after this winter) is the opportunity to take in a training seminar, or network with your peers – both local and from other regions. I have yet to return from a show without a bunch of great ideas to improve my company, or new strategies to deal with specific problems.

This year we have two powerful keynote speakers kicking off each day’s proceedings. On Thursday, Mark Mayberry will jump-start the day with a presentation on “Building the Dream Workforce”, and on Friday, Christine Corelli will give us “Businesses don’t do Business, People do Business.” Both speakers have been well received throughout North America, based on their energy and value received by attendees.

Of particular interest to us Canadians is the first-time availability and testing of the Canadian version of the Certified Snow Professional (CSP) designation. It is a valuable opportunity to prove your snow credentials, and is an excellent marketing tool. Even if you’re not actively taking the test, you can find out more about the program.

So, with that said, I cordially invite you to attend the Symposium this year. Whether it is a one-off visit, or an eye-opening experience that leads to further participation, I’m confident you won’t be disappointed! There is plenty of information on the SIMA website at, as well as show brochures which have been distributed by this magazine. And as if that’s not enough, in an effort to increase Canadian representation, there is a $50 discount on registration fees for the show for LO members! If you have any questions about the show, or anything else related to SIMA, or snow in general, please feel free to call me I’d be happy to help out.

Jim Monk, CSP can be reached at (905)-472-4842.