Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Old Dog, New Tricks

I used to think I knew a lot about being a snow contractor. I’ve been working Northeast Ohio snow and ice events since the 1970s. I know who the professionals are in my market, who the frauds are, and the manner in which we must conduct ourselves to be taken seriously. I believe being a professional snow and ice manager is an honorable business and a necessary service, one I’m proud to have made a career out of.

So I certainly qualify for old-dog status. That’s why I was leery when I first heard about the formation of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association. I’ve never been big on trade associations, but I was giving them the benefit of the doubt because they were local guys and it was associated with Snow Magazine, a publication I’ve been a big fan of for years.

My involvement in the ASCA has added to the professionalism that I have always maintained throughout my career and the way I approach the business of snow and ice management. Besides the association’s involvement in legislative issues and its initiatives to bring about positive change, the ASCA has exposed me to like-minded constituents looking to improve and develop positive change and who believe in the same values and principals I’ve built my company, Abraxus Snow and Ice Management, around.

Before I joined, I didn’t appreciate the strategic value that comes from fostering relationships with contractors in markets other than my own. When I first joined I was confident I had a lot to offer. However, I never realized how much I could still learn from other business owners who are facing the same obstacles and challenges but in diverse markets like Boston, Chicago and New York. This is one of the doors my involvement with the ASCA has opened for me, and now I call these fellow business owners not only my colleagues, but also my friends.

Case in point, I recently set up a Facebook account to better communicate and stay connected with these new-found friends and colleagues. So what does that tell you?

So I laugh whenever it’s suggested that you can’t teach an old dog like me new tricks. I’m proof that you can... just ask my new friends.

Frank Dedon is the founder and president of Abraxus Snow and Ice Management in Cleveland, Ohio.  He is also a 2012 Leadership Award recipient.

No comments:

Post a Comment