Conference Sessions

ICPI Installer Continuing EducationProfessional Development
for Hardscape Contractors

All conference sessions are approved for ICPI Installer Continuing Education credit. Pick up a CE Tracking Form for your attendance records at the HNA Registration Desk.

Conference Session Schedule

Thursday, October 22

8:00 - 9:30 a.m. – Session 101
Too Hot in the Kitchen? Take Your Customer’s Culinary Skills Outdoors

Carl PetersonOutdoor kitchens are in! Learn the ins and outs of outdoor kitchen design and installation, as well as which appliances are available for your outdoor kitchen project. Carl Peterson Get the inside scoop on all of the different fuel sources available, industry standard ventilation requirements, and issues that can arise from use of dissimilar metals within appliances. Bonus: score tips for deciphering all of the different options in finishes, counter tops, and construction materials to ensure success in each outdoor kitchen you build!

Carl Peterson is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Entertainment Concepts, LLC which manufactures and distributes outdoor room products. He is widely renowned in the outdoor living industry and has facilitated outdoor room seminars for the New Jersey Landscape Architect trade show in Atlantic City, NJ as well as at other northeast regional home shows. Carl Peterson has been a self-employed landscape contractor for more than 20 years.

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. – Session 102
Building a More Profitable Business with Numbers and Efficiency

Monroe PorterGain solutions to the number one problem encountered by contractors; poor financial information and understanding. More than just an accounting seminar, this program Monroe Porter discusses how lack of income and the stressful nature of an unsuccessful business can affect family, personal, and professional life. The subject matter makes this program ideal for owners, spouses, and partners of contracting firms. Participants will learn how to make sure overhead is recovered, build the most efficient business structure and make a minimum of $100,000 a year income.

For over 30 years, Monroe Porter has been a construction industry speaker in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. His humorous and practical approach allows participants to gain practical information that can be put to immediate use. On several occasions he has spoken to both GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America. Monroe has spoken at national conventions for the American Subcontractors Association, Associated Building Contractors, Associated General Contractors, National Roofing Contractors, National Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors and other many other groups.

1:30 - 2:45 p.m. – Session 103
How to Evaluate, Motivate and Reward Your People

Charles Vander KooiIt takes a certain type of person to be able to motivate and effectively manage a construction crew. In this program Charles Vander Kooi draws from over 40 years of experience in Charles Vander Kooi the construction industry to share his expertise on what truly motivates people and shows you a bonus system that works. Learn how to develop a system that recognizes an employee’s contribution to the company.

Charles Vander Kooi has been involved in the construction industry for over 4 decades as an estimator and upper-management employee of companies as well as professional speaker and consultant. He has bid over a billion dollars in work over his career. As a private consultant, he has helped over 1,500 companies in their estimating/bidding systems and has lectured to over 200,000 people nationally and internationally. Constantly in demand, Mr. Vander Kooi speaks at an average of 80 trade shows, conventions, and associations each year teaching his philosophy across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, England and Australia.

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. – Session 104
Estimating Projects with Confidence

Jerry GaetaYou can’t afford not to know your cost of doing business. Do you know your cost of doing business or performing the work that you sell or are you just guessing? You may actually be selling your Jerry Gaeta work for less than it costs you to perform it. The present economic conditions that we face may be here for some years to come. This has caused the consumer to shop more selectively for their services, seeking a low price for the work. You can no longer hope you will become more profitable by guesswork and luck. This seminar will demonstrate the importance of an estimating strategy and show how to develop and implement the strategy to become profitable and stable – to ensure your company’s survival – no matter the size of the business.

Jerry Gaeta is a Green Industry Business Advisor and Coach helping business owners increase their performance and quality of life since 1994. Jerry and his business associate started a design/build commercial landscape, irrigation and landscape maintenance firm in 1975 and sold it 28 years later.

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Friday, October 23

8:00 - 9:30 a.m. – Session 201
Use PICP to Solve Drainage Problems on Residential Sites

Gale SchroederWater is the #1 enemy of impermeable pavements in residential construction. This seminar covers fifteen specific drainage challenges contractors Gale Schroeder encounter and offers solutions that permeable interlocking concrete pavement systems provide.

Gale Schroeder has more than 28 years in the masonry and hardscape industry and is actively involved as an instructor for both the National Concrete Masonry Association and the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. He is a manufacturer representative to architects, engineers, contractors and homeowners. Gale has gathered hardscape industry experience in the Minnesota, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. – Session 202
How to sell, upsell and create exceptional
customer service in hardscape projects

Frank BourqueGet an inside look at the unique qualities of outstanding hardscape businesses and how they get people to buy what they are Frank Bourque selling. This session focuses on what motivates people to buy and how people make buying decisions. It also gives strategies to develop a culture of enthusiastic employees that have the ability to innovate and provide memorable customer service. This presentation will help you sell, upsell, increase buyer frequency and leverage buyers to close more deals. You will also learn a step-by-step approach for creating a winning sales process.

Frank Bourque is an award-winning leader, consultant and entrepreneur with a unique background of knowledge and experience that allowed him to coach various types of organizations in sales, performance psychology and overall maximization of time and efficiency. He has been part of the Green Industry for more than 18 years working in various sectors including retail, landscape management and landscape design/build. He is sought after as a teacher and speaker for his expertise in Green Industry best practices and innovative solutions, leadership, customer service and sales. As a coach, author and certified ICPI & NCMA instructor, Frank offers a variety of courses and conferences to contractors, executives, students and the public. He is also the founder and CEO of Greenmark, a successful landscape design/build firm in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

1:30 - 2:45 p.m. – Session 203
Divas of the Dirt: Connecting Women in Hardscape

Lisa Lackovic“You throw like a girl!” “That’s a man’s job!” “Step aside little lady and let me handle the heavy lifting.” You’ve heard it all before... but in reality, women are 50% Lisa Lackovic of the workforce and are major players in the hardscape industry. Women are not only designing and selling hardscape projects they are installing pavers, walls, stone and more. Let’s embrace women in the hardscape industry and create a network for sharing information and resources. Women are natural relationship builders and can increase sales and grow profits for your company. Divas of the Dirt was started in Nebraska in 2002 with 8 women. The word spread through conversations and soon female landscape architects, designers, engineers, installers and product representatives involved in hardscape projects came together to network and collaborate.

Lisa Lackovic was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication. Lisa has been marketing masonry products to architects, engineers, landscape architects and contractors in Nebraska for over 30 years.

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. – Session 204
Preserve, Enhance, Restore: The Business
of Hardscape Maintenance and Restoration

Phil GravesSean AllisonHardscape maintenance and restoration is an emerging business that brings its own opportunities and pitfalls. Millions of square feet of installed but neglected hardscapes offer a new revenue stream. Learn from industry experts as they provide a road map to success in this low-cost business with potential for high return.

Sean Allison has been involved in the segmental paving and wall industry for 27 years. He owned a business as a paving and wall contractor in New York and has been actively involved as an installer course instructor and member of the ICPI Construction Committee. Sean currently works for Techniseal as a U.S. Technical Sales Representative and conducts national commercial, educational and product training.

Phil Graves is the US Sales Manager for Techniseal and has been with the company for 10 years. He has presented seminars and consulted on jobsites across the US. Phil is a 1994 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY and served five years active duty as an Army officer.

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