Opening with baseball in April

Former MLB player Ed Hearn speaks first at North American Snow Conference

Winter Maintenance Article April 03, 2001
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Ed Hearn isn’t used to being with people who don’t feel confined around white powder


Ed Hearn isn’t used to being with people who don’t feel confined around white powder. As a Major League Baseball player, Hearn and his teammates played within the boundaries of chalk lines.


He’ll be around a different bunch at the North American Snow Conference April 8-11 at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis. Sitting in on his general session opening day keynote speech will be professionals trained to free everybody from the messy white mixture of winter.


Hearn is one of two featured presenters at the snow conference, which will guide attendees through technical tours on April 8. Bob Ash, a nationally known speaker and trainer, will close the event with a speech on April 11.


Touring the place


A mock snow fight and equipment display and an invitation to the home of Allison Transmission fill the technical tour portion of the North American Snow Conference.


The city of Indianapolis will show off its punch during a trip from 12:30 to 4:15 p.m. The tour begins with a mock snow fight demonstration at Indy’s snow fighting headquarters. From there, attendees will be shipped to Volvo truck, where equipment from various Indiana government agencies will be on display, including trucks and plows used by the Indiana Department of Transportation and local agencies. A brief presentation will be followed by an opportunity to climb into equipment and discuss features of each piece with local representatives.


Participants of the transmission voyage from 11 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. will see Allison Transmissions’ technologically advanced manufacturing facility. The tour will provide snow fighters and users of equipment an understanding of what goes into the design and building of transmissions, along with a hands-on opportunity to drive Allison-equipped vehicles in simulated on- and off-highway environments.


Both groups will then meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a tour of the famous track and race museum.


Greeting bus riders back at the convention center will be a welcome reception and exhibit opening between 4:30 and 7 p.m.


Come and listen


Monday, April 9


Hearn will activate the first full day of the conference with his speech "Conquering Life’s Curves: Baseball, Battles & Beyond."


A member of the 1986 New York Mets world championship team, Hearn shares his journey through a season-ending injury, a kidney transplant and a bout with cancer.


Highlighting the 10 to 11 a.m. education sessions is "Developing Routes for Snow and Ice Control." Here, the town of Brighton, N.Y., shows how it uses an intelligent map of the roads they maintain and a custom computer software program to model proposed changes in plow and salt routines. Thomas Low, commissioner of public works, will present data from the past two snow seasons showing how Brighton has been able to minimize the time, labor and equipment used for plowing and salting activities.


Offering assistance during the afternoon portion of the show (2 to 3:15 p.m.) will be a talk on "Snowfighter Training Resources: Where to Turn for Help." Bruce Drewes of the Idaho Department of Transportation will present a CD-ROM training program he adapted from the Federal Highway Administration winter operations program materials. Alan Gesford from the Pennsylvania Local Roads Program will talk about training materials offered by the Salt Institute.


A roundtable discussion group will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m.


Tuesday, April 10


Reaching a more personal level, the second day will include sessions geared toward the workplace.


Points of interest include "Providing World Class Public Service: It Begins Within" (10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.) and "Bring Out the Best In People—and Keep Them!" (10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.).


Other sessions are: "One Topic the Daytime Talk Shows Have Missed: Anti-Icing/De-Icing Issues—Let’s Talk It Out," "Purchasing: Writing Specifications for Snow Fighting Equipment" and "Snowfighting and Liability Issues."


The day concludes with another roundtable discussion group from 3 to 4:30 p.m.


The conference lets its hair down later that evening during the Snow Celebration Banquet (6 p.m.), which will feature a performance by the Purdue Musical Organization’s PMO Express.


Wednesday, April 11


The stage is set for Ash’s speech, "Great Leaders Always Wear Clean Underwear," (10:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.) on the final day of activity.


Education sessions offered are "Peering into the Future: What’s on the Horizon in New Practices, Technologies, and Products" (8 to 9:15 a.m.); "Automated Anti-Icing Technology (8 to 9:15 a.m.); "Update: Environment Canada’s Road Salt Assessment" (8 to 9:15 a.m.); "Coordinating Services During a Weather Emergency" (8 to 9:15 a.m.); "A 3-2-1 Planned Public Relations Program for the Snow and Ice Season" (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.); "How to Plow Downtown" (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.); "Doing More With Less" (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.); and "New Innovations and Techniques for Snow and Ice Control Management" (9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.).


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