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Snow fighters preparing for conference

This spring, more than 1,500 snow fighters from North America will converge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the American Public Works Association (APWA) North American Snow Conference.  Known as the “The Show for Snow,” the conference attracts winter road maintenance professionals from cities, towns and counties, as well as state and provincial transportation departments. The “Show for Snow” will offer winter maintenance education and exhibit programs at the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee, April 29 – May 2nd, 2012.

“The Snow Conference education program has been developed by a committee of APWA members and winter maintenance professionals.  Winter maintenance and weather presentations are critical, but there will also be a focus on fleet, sustainability and emergency management in winter operations sessions,” said APWA Executive Director Peter B. King. “If your job involves any aspect of winter streets, transportation and public safety, the North American Snow Conference has something for you.  It includes four days of quality educational sessions and networking, technical tours, as well as an exhibit floor with more than 130 companies featuring the newest equipment, technology  and products available, and opportunities to exchange ideas with manufacturers, distributors, consultants and other public works professionals,” King said.

This year’s General Session Talk Show,  titled “From Shop to Storm and Back Again – Best Management Practices for Operators and Fleets,” is an interactive session that will focus on the relationship between fleets and equipment operators, with specifics on what can be done to enhance communication and understanding between these two critical components of storm response.

Also featured is the Winter Maintenance Supervisor Certificate Workshop, which made its premiere as a pilot program at the 2011 Snow Conference in Spokane, WA. Designed for individuals charged with supervising their winter maintenance operations, this one-day workshop provides a well-rounded overview of all aspects of snow and ice control. Held on the first day of the conference, it provides a foundation for deeper investigation into specific topics of interest that are included throughout the rest of the conference.

The Closing General Session on Tuesday will feature Mark Mayfield, adept at presenting high-content speeches and performing standup comedy.  Both entertaining and inspiring, Mayfield will present “The Glass Ain’t Half Empty, It’s Just Too Big,” which is a fast-paced program about change theory that will leave participants with great change management skills.

The conference ends on Wednesday with technical tours.  There will be three local tours this year, which includes the City of Milwaukee’s Repair Garage. The other two will visit the facilities of snow plow manufacturers, Wausau-Everest and Western.