I attended the 2018 Executive Summit for a few reasons. First, my family and I vacation in Hilton Head every few years, and this happened to be the year we were going back. So, the ASCA’s annual summit ending up at the Sonesta Resort in Hilton Head was perfect timing for us.
The second reason I chose to attend, quite frankly, was because ASCA Executive Director Kevin Gilbride had been telling me for years that I needed to attend. So, I finally listened. Truth is, I almost went a few years back but couldn’t make it with my schedule at the time. I had been meaning to get back and this year all the stars aligned.
I really didn’t have any expectations as to what to expect during Executive Summit. I’d seen photos in Snow Magazine over the years and read the articles about past events. So, I had a general idea of what it would be like, but it wasn’t like I anticipated.
I hadn’t been on Shipyard plantation ever as we usually stay in Sea Pines. The resort was first class, the food was first class, and the whole presentation from the keynote address and welcome dinner to the closing ceremony were all first class.
The Top 100 and Leadership Awards dinner was very nice, as well. I understand the after party was even better, but I had to get the kids to bed. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to attend.
I probably got the most value out of the speakers and the networking equally. The speakers were geared toward the executive/top-level manager mindset, which was great and very interesting. I got the most out of David Rendall, who kicked off the event. His presentation really resonated with me on finding the right alignment for your team. He talked about not always trying to fix your employees’ weaknesses, but rather try and use their strengths to your benefit. It was a completely different way of thinking and one that actually made perfect sense from an HR standpoint. I purchased his book and have begun using some of his techniques/strategies already in the business.
I met some really super men and women from other markets and states at Executive Summit and had the opportunity to bounce ideas off of them and talk shop, which was nice. Shout out to Dave Ross and Michelle Gadaleta from Snowscapes in New Jersey. They were my seminar buddies. I wish I would have been able to take that boat out with you guys, but again the kids called, lol. It was nice to meet some of the guys I’ve read about over the years who are big players in their markets and pick their brains a little. The one thing that stood out from Dave to Jerry Schill to Troy Clogg is how professionals these guys are. Our industry gets a bad rap from those uneducated about it, and these guys are businessmen who just happen to do snow and ice control and landscaping.
If I was to recommend this summit to others in our industry, I would tell them when they are ready to get serious about their business and mindset and want to take it to the next level, then Executive Summit is the place to start.