I travel the country attending conferences, trade shows, speaking engagements and legislative events, and along the way I talk to a lot of people. From owners and employees of snow and ice companies, to industry suppliers, professional speakers, and legislative representatives and their staffs. It affords me the opportunity to gain insight into a variety of perspectives on people’s daily lives – both personal and professional – and what makes them a success.

A common theme I have been thinking about lately is the roots for a successful life: Success in business. Success in marriage. Success in family.

I had breakfast with the young owner of a snow and ice management company who wanted to pick my brain on industry topics. After an hour and half, we wrapped up the meeting and he asked what the most important thing he can do first to set a strong foundation.

The week prior to this meeting, I was in front of the Colorado House of Representatives to testify on the ASCA’s model legislation. As we listened to testimony on a few other bills, I heard time and again references to Colorado law and proposed legislation that would lay a strong foundation for the future of Colorado citizens. It made me think there is a common denominator in our industry for success. It’s foundation comprised of a defined mission and having good people in place to carry it out.

As I reflect on my home life – my wife Annemarie, and my children Danny, Jake and Elizabeth – I could not do what I do at the ASCA – the travel, the nights away from the family while Annemarie does the work of two parents – without a strong foundation. I thank her, and the kids, for being that foundation that allows me to pursue what I love.

The ASCA with a strong foundation in mind and includes the ANSI Accredited Industry Standards. Our Four Pillars, starting with the Industry Standards, are the cement and rebar of our foundation and include: Education – ASCA-C verifies for those in the outside world that you a knowledgeable of the Industry Standards the snow business in general; Verification – ISO9001 and SN9001 verify you have the processes and procedures in place to provide the service you promised and you’ve implemented the standards; and Legislative Change – Without the industry taking responsibility for itself (Industry Standards), we would not have the ability to ask for legislative help to change laws.

A strong foundation allows great things to happen. ASCA-member companies benefit from ASCA-C with more knowledgeable staffs, reduced insurance rates, and a sales and marketing advantage. ISO 9001 and SN 9001 provides improved processes and procedures, assurances in their business that their team is on the same page and working together, a significant sales and marketing message, reduced risk, a significant rate of dismissed slip-and-fall claims, and a significant reduction in insurance costs.

A strong foundation ensures anything can be accomplished. While we can’t do all of the work, the ASCA will provide you a clear and defined blueprint to begin building your foundation.