17 Nov GIE Conference
The Sun Valley maintenance team spent the week of October 24-29 in Louisville, Kentucky to cover the industry’s biggest conference, Green Industry EXPO (GIE) titled “Landscapes.” With 20,000 industry professionals and contractors in attendance, the tradeshow was nothing short of a success.
The landscape and hardscape industries see phenomenal growth each year and this year is no different. Our team’s positive experience was impacted by interactions with other industry professionals and introductions to a wide range of new market equipment from Ford, ExMark, Bobcat and Stihl, among others. Part of providing the best experience for our clientele is being updated on where things are headed inside the industry, in addition to continuing education, which is an aspect of high importance inside our management team.
“ The GIE provides a venue where I can find the latest innovations in equipment and materials in the industry. Attending this conference affords an opportunity to meet with manufacturers and commercial partners to learn first-hand what is new in the field, as well as build additional relationships with new suppliers and distributors.” –Christine Karloff, Sales and Account Manager.
This year we sent four of our team members to experience the tradeshow and they each brought back a different perspective and enriched knowledge that will enhance our legendary services. Continuing education courses provided at the the GIE conference gave our team the opportunity to engage and network with similar professionals within the industry to share “best practices.” This in turn, helps our industry develop, as well as our individual team enhance our client experience.
“The biggest takeaway for me was the leadership seminars I was able to sit in on. I take a lot of pride in the way I manage our team and client experience. These seminars allow me to continue to grow in this area and develop new ways to improve this experience from communication with our clients and my teams, to the way we coach and develop them throughout their time with our company.”- Josiah Cherry, Maintenance and Production Manager
As stated previously, the opportunity to meet with current and new manufacturers who help our maintenance team conduct their jobs exceedingly is of utmost importance. The specific machines and tools we use in everyday routines allow us to put our clients first and satisfy their needs. Our Maintenance and Production Manager, Josiah, was introduced to new equipment to add to our fleet, which in turn will enhance our client experience and efficiency even further.
The broad range of divisions encompassed inside the title “Landscapes” references why three different departments inside our company attended this conference. There were courses offered to increase the skill base of each manager. Our Productions Manager Josiah, attended courses that dealt with crew routing and managing a workforce in the 21st century, while our General Manager Ashly focused her energy on themes of project and financial management. These in turn led her to insights such as focusing on professional development of crew leaders in the field and new strategies to continue involving our key leaders in the planning processes that take place here in our office as well as out in the field.
Our team members also recognize the importance of a work-life balance and took some time to enjoy Louisville while they visited. Below is a picture of our Sales and Account Manager, Christine winning the game Jeopardy and our Maintenance and Production Manager, Josiah playing the drums on stage during a concert that took place during the GIE conference.
Inside our Sun Valley office, we live each day striving to reach what we call our “BHAG”, or “Our Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” This goal is so large and audacious that it takes stepping stones, such as the GIE conference to help us get our team to where we want to be: leaders in the community and a premiere landscape company in the Midwest as well as the industry as a whole. The GIE conference helps our team establish connections with people who will help us accomplish our BHAG, in addition to providing our managers with world-class education.
Our CEO, Paul Fraynd, repeatedly tells our company that his top priority is to make people’s lives better, this being our employee’s lives and people in the community, which is why he owns a business. The GIE conference pushes our team to do more, to do better and inspires us to bring the industry up. Fraynd’s number one takeaway from the entire conference and the world-class education courses provided can by summed up through, “The most important thing is professional development for our staff to create high-level leaders and develop career ladders to attract and retain top talent in the industry to Sun Valley Landscaping.”