Show Preview: GIE+EXPO 2014

The Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) will be held Oct. 22-24, 2014 in Louisville, Ky. The Hardscape North America (HNA) conference and show will once again co-locate with GIE+EXPO. In addition, PLANET’s Green Industry Conference and the Professional Grounds Management Society’s (PGMS) School of Grounds Management will also take place in Louisville during GIE+EXPO. GIE+EXPO will also once again feature a 19-acre outdoor demonstration area, allowing users a chance to get their hands on some of the latest industry equipment. Education, equipment, networking and even entertainment are all part of GIE+EXPO 2014. The following is our preview of some of the key offerings for landscape and irrigation industry professionals.

GIE+EXPO workshops for landscapers

Lawn and landscape pros interested in improving profitability have a variety of valuable opportunities to learn during GIE+EXPO.

2014 GIE+EXPO Workshops include the following:

Thursday, October 23

8 – 9:30 a.m.

Hardscape Workshop: Outdoor Kitchen Design and Installation (breakfast sandwich & coffee provided)

Carl Peterson, Owner, Outdoor Entertainment Concepts, LLC

This educational program will cover all aspects of outdoor kitchen design and installation, as well as the wide variety of appliances available to complete your outdoor kitchen project. Learn about the different fuel sources available, industry standard ventilation requirements and issues arising from use of dissimilar metals within appliances. The presenter will also explain the differences in finish options, counter top options and construction materials to ensure success in each outdoor kitchen you build.

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Hardscape Workshop: How to Survive and Prosper as a Hardscape Contractor

Monroe Porter, President, PROOF Management Consultants


Is your business prepared for change and truly understands where it is making and losing money? Merely surviving can be a challenge when faced with trends like shrinking margins and more complex jobs with tighter deadlines. This program will help you establish goals and strategies to keep pace with the lightning-fast changes in the market. Learn how to avoid plunder, determine your best business structure, deal with enabled employees, cut costs, market in a more competitive market, and more.

1 – 2:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Financial Budgeting for the Land Care Company – What are your 2015 Goals?

Dan Gordon,, PLANET Consultant Member

Budgets are enormously important to the operation of your business; not only do they help you manage your costs, but they also help you determine whether your profit goals are within reach, and keep you on the right road from month to month. A properly crafted financial budget will show a business owner or manager how much revenue is likely to be brought into the firm and how much a firm can spend on marketing, business expansion or employee benefits. This talk will focus on the importance of realistic assumptions and how they are used to develop budgets that will be a planning tool all year long.

3 – 4:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Marketing That’s More than Lead Generation

Andrew Pototschnik, Lawn Care Marketing Expert – PLANET Consultant Member

From Onboarding to Upselling – 5 Ways to Use Marketing to Boost Your Profits. Lawn care and landscaping business owners tend to treat marketing like something you do only when you need to add some new clients. But marketing is much more than simple lead generation. It’s how your company looks, sounds and acts. In this talk, Andrew Pototschnik, founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, will outline five ways you can market more effectively everyday in your business.

Friday, October 24

8 – 9:30 a.m.

PLANET Workshop: Adopting Best Practices in Advanced Snow Management (breakfast sandwich & coffee provided)

Phill Sexton, Snow & Ice Association

Building a sustainable, long-lasting service model in snow and ice management is extremely challenging. There aren’t many methods that snow contractors can employ to benchmark their services and gain insight into areas of improvement. The Best Practices Checklist for Snow & Ice Management is a simple resource that a snow business can use to align the company and its business functions with critical areas. Phill Sexton will walk attendees through some of the major elements on the checklist and provide key details and insight into how any snow company, regardless of size or market, can use “Best Practices” to improve and grow quality and consistency in service.

8 – 9:30 a.m.

PLANET Workshop: Cycle and Soak – The Methods and Reasons (breakfast sandwich & coffee provided)

Alan Richmond, Southern Botanical, and Kurt Thompson, Massey Services

This session will center on the concepts and methods of cycle and soak irrigation practices. Discussions will surround new controllers and how to utilize, as well as how cycle and soak can help during water restrictions. In the cycle and soak method, you water in increments (or cycles) until the soil has absorbed the maximum moisture before water starts running off. This session will teach the attendee the reasons and science behind cycle and soak, and how to set and utilize a control and navigate water restrictions by getting the most out of watering times.

10 – 11:30 a.m.

PLANET Workshop: Advanced Snow Management Focus: Equipment Capacity & Managing Expectations

Phil Harwood, CSP, Pro-Motion Consulting/SIMA Member and PLANET Consultant Member

Each season, snow professionals are stressed about the estimating process as they try to understand how many customers they could serve without overextending themselves. This concept, called capacity, is one of the most challenging things to define for a snow management service. Without a solid understanding of your true operational capacity, you leave yourself open to major financial and legal risk if you overestimate your abilities or if a major snow event hits. In this best-practices deep dive for snow management, Harwood will walk attendees through some techniques that help identify operational capacity and leverage that knowledge effectively to reduce service failures and manage quality.

10 – 11:30 a.m.

PLANET Workshop: Utilizing Drip (Micro) Irrigation

Robb Kowalewski, Jain Irrigation, Inc., and Marcus Duck, Michigan State University, Horticultural Department

This class will be dedicated to basic drip irrigation principles, examination of key products and some general discussion on issues and design. Attendees will leave this session understanding basic and intermediate knowledge of all drip systems’ components along with when to use drip and be successful.

1 – 2:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Business Essentials – Do the Right Things and Do Things Right

Ken Thomas, Envisor Consulting, PLANET Consultant Member

Ken Thomas will outline key leadership principles followed by the hard metrics that support these. Taking business to the next level is a matter of engaging the hearts and minds of the team and empowering them with tools and metrics required to be successful.

3 – 4:30 p.m.

PLANET Workshop: Controlling the Sales Beast. Sales Systems and Finding Peace

Domenic A. Chiarella, 7 of 7 BEST Business and Life Strategies, LLC

Chiarella will show you sales systems that help make estimates, proposals and tracking consistent and effective. He will also show you how to flow sales better and have the ability to track your clients’ work throughout the sales process. The objective will be to improve sales flow for the salesmen and administration; understand estimate work orders, proposal templates and tracking; and learn how the sales system is connected to production and accounting.

Registration in advance is required; each of the GIE+EXPO Workshops is $50. Those who register for one of the Hardscape Workshops listed above will also be admitted free to the technique demos in the HNA Outdoor Arena tent. Those who only want to attend the HNA Demonstrations and trade show can upgrade their registration for $25 to include all the following demos. Register for all sessions online at

HNA demonstrations

HNA demonstrations will be held in the Hardscape North America Outdoor Arena (this tented arena is located in the Outdoor Demonstration Area within steps of the indoor exhibits at the Kentucky Expo Center.)

Thursday, October 23

11 a.m. – Noon

Basic Concrete Paver Installation

Pat McCrindle, regional sales manager, GST International, Inc.

1 – 2 p.m.

Fire Pit and Outdoor Fireplace Construction, Safety and Design

Carl Peterson, owner, Outdoor Entertainment Concepts, LLC

3 – 4 p.m.

Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement Construction

Andrew Vear, general manager, Southwest Specialties, Inc.

Friday, October 24

11 a.m. – Noon

Tools for Paver Installation Efficiency

Bill Gardocki, owner, and Tom Gardocki, hardscape operations foreman, Interstate Landscape Co., Inc.

1 – 2 p.m.

LED Lighting – Impress your Clients and Increase your Profits

Jeff Hesser, mid Atlantic regional sales manager, Cast Lighting LLC

3 – 4 p.m.

Raised Paver Patios and Segmental Retaining Walls

Pat McCrindle, regional sales manager, GST International, Inc.

Each HNA demo is eligible for one ICPI Certified Installer Continuing Education (CE) credit. Make sure to pick up a CE tracking form at the HNA registration desk.

Spanish-language seminars

Attendees at GIE+EXPO will have the opportunity to attend two free Spanish-language seminars from the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance.

Thursday, October 23

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Becoming a Leader in the Green Industry

Industry leaders will share the keys to their own success in the green industry. They will provide valuable tips and recommendations for taking the next step in your career.

Moderator: Pam Berrios, ALS Services


Juan Torres, President, Nextstep Solutions

Jesus “Chuy” Medrano, Chairman, CoCal Landscape

Ivan Giraldo, President, Clean Scapes Landscaping

William Cruz, Branch Manager, Gachina Landscape Management

3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

The Keys to Satisfied Long-term Customers

Regardless of your role, learning the keys to positive customer engagement is essential. Meeting the customers’ needs with prompt responses and accurate execution is guaranteed to increase your bottom line.


Jose Tinajero, Account Manager, Landscape Management

Arnoldo Diaz, Director of Sales, Ground Pros

For information and online registration, visit

PGMS School of Grounds Management at GIE+EXPO

Grounds professionals looking for a diverse lineup of educational topics, all available in one location, should make sure they are in Louisville Oct. 22-25 for the Professional Grounds Management Society’s (PGMS) highly anticipated 2014 School of Grounds Management at GIE+EXPO. This year’s event is offering 12 education programs, a pre-conference field trip, live concerts, networking and much more.

PGMS will kick off this four-day event on Oct. 22 with a pre-conference field trip to Cave Hill Cemetery. The tour will be followed by a welcoming reception where professionals from across the country meet, mingle and exchange ideas. Ten education programs will be offered during the GIE+EXPO Oct. 23-24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. PGMS courses will be focused on the latest techniques and practices with topics such as “Elements of a Snow Management Plan,” “Best Learned Practices of Bio-Swale Installation as Related to the Maintenance Budget,” “Woodland Wonders From the Wild” and “Lowering Liability Exposure in your Snow Management Operations,” among others.

Back by popular demand, PGMS will host a speaker breakfast on Oct. 25. From 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. attendees will learn about “Back Health” and from 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Tom Hayes, Ph.D., chair and professor of marketing at Xavier University, will present “Groundskeepers: The Guardians of the Gate.”

Grounds professionals can earn Continuing Education Units at the School of Grounds Management. Strategically integrated into the schedule of events offered at the GIE+EXPO, the PGMS School focuses on four core competencies of grounds management. Those who complete the entire program (usually taking two years) are awarded an SGM certificate by PGMS. More information on the SGM program can be found at [ital><ITAL]

Free Concerts at GIE+EXPO

On Wednesday, Oct. 22, Montgomery Gentry will be the headliner for the first concert in three nights of free entertainment at GIE+EXPO. The concerts will be presented on the Nissan Commercial Vehicles Stage at 4th Street Live in downtown Louisville after the trade show closes each day.

Montgomery Gentry is a country music duo of Kentucky natives Eddie Montgomery from Lancaster and Troy Gentry from Lexington. They will perform from their list of 14 Top 10 singles, including five No. 1 hits: “Something To Be Proud Of,” “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All” and “Roll With Me.”

You can also expect to hear something different from Montgomery Gentry as it recently released a new album, “Rebels on the Run.”

Entertaining GIE+EXPO attendees on the night of Thursday, Oct. 23, at 4th Street Live will be the regionally and nationally established group, The Crashers. From the official pre-game band for NBC at Super Bowl XLVI to the backing band for national artists like Luke Bryan and Kid Rock, The Crashers have performed all over the country since 2008.

On Friday, Oct. 24, the stage at 4th Street Live will be reserved for Olivia Henken, The Voice finalist. As a member of Team Christina on Season 5 of NBC’s hit TV show The Voice, Henken captivated the imagination of the country with her stage presence, singing ability and charm. Since the show, she has headlined at major festivals and graced the stage with Kip Moore, Charlie Daniels, Dustin Lynch, Chuck Wicks and Jason Jones. She will be performing songs from her recently released original album, “The Ride.”

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