SIMA goal 1000

Mike Nelson

Senior Member
Naperville IL
Well over at the Sima sight there has been a challenge given to us members.

We must try and recruit 224 new members by July 1st.

So I ask anyone who is not a member to please think about joining such a great association and to all members try to recruit at least one new member to help us reach our goal.

Thank you all for you utmost attention to this special request.:D

Mike Nelson
Sima member


Stamford, CT
Sima Challenge

Yes Doc, there is a membership fee. $130.00 per year, but I can tell you that it is a wise investment. I have been a member two years now, and I have more than made up for my dues in the education I received at the Denver symposium alone. Not to mention the networking, the contacts, friends you make along the way.

I issued the challenge that Mike is talking about. I will buy dinner in St. Louis next year for the person who recruits the 1,000th member.
Tammy sweetened the pot by agreeing to hold a drawing of all the names of the recruiters, the winner will receive a free registration to next years symposium.

Joining SIMA is well worth the investment. Go to
and read all about SIMA

:D You won't regret becoming a member.
I don't want to start a big squabble here, but I just can't fathom your "About Us" section in the SIMA website. It says you got 8 contractors, an attorney and an accountant together to pound out by-laws and to make it non-profit to boot. You state that anybody can join as long as they send in the cash. I don't know if you see the humor in this or not. I can't fathom my $130 as being something going to a non-profit organization. If I'm not being too nosey could you tell me where exactly this $130 is going. It just seems to me that you are looking for another $30,000 to add to somebodies bank account by July and that all this is just a huge way to use the internet to bilk us out of our cash. Everybody that I've seen rah-rahs SIMA and I can't seem to figure out why they'd be so gullible over a lousey decal to hang in their window. Don't get me wrong, anything to further advance the industry is an excellent idea. But $130 per member per year? Come on.

Mick Veteran
Doc, I can add my vote with Jeff's that SIMA is well worth the $130. As where it goes, specifically, there are others' who can address that better than I. For instance, as with any non-profit, there are operational costs. As one new to the industry, I joined for the knowledge I could gain for a startup business. I have already made my money back since last January, just in avoiding mistakes in equipment and material decisions, contract development and basic service delivery operations. It's been said that SIMA isn't for everyone but I have seen one of the staunchest challengers, who asked questions very similar to yours become a (I think) very satisfied member.

Besides, I hear the yearly symposium is really a blast (they just got back from Denver and I didn't get to go .:mad: ).
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75 Addict
Doc - wanting to be sure of where your $ are going sounds like good business sense to me. (Since I'm from Canada, and your dollar is currently trouncing ours :( I wondered the same thing: Is it worth it?)

Normally, I try to avoid being a "parrot" when posting (making a post that simply repeats what someone else said) but this time, I feel Mick pretty much sums it up.

I'm in a similar situation, although I've plowed the past 4 winters "in house" (my workplace & a shop I rent) this coming winter will be the first time I look into doing things on a "for hire" basis.

Over at the SIMA site there is a forum set up very similar to this one, and again I can "parrot" what Mick & JCurtis have said about networking, contacts & exchanging information.

True, most of the regular posters on the SIMA forum also post here, but since SIMA's forum is "closed" (members only) subjects such as pricing can be discussed in greater detail than most people would be willing to on an "open" forum.
Jeff and Mick, I can see your point, up to a point. Let me see, you say that education, networking, contacts, friends are all great things to have in an oganization that is specific to your needs as a plowing contractor. And help with equipment selection, material use, contract decisions and service decisions can be of utmost importance along with some of the great discounts I may add. I'm digging myself a hole here, but hang on, I'll be out in a minute. Even the convention may be great for seeing all the new goodys coming out next year. And who can beat the comradery of a buncha naked guys hosing you down at 6 a.m. with the fire hose from the hallway. (I've been to a few firemans conventions. I can imagine a snowplowers convention.)
OK, other than the symposium is there anything you can't get here on this very site. The last time I checked this one was FREE!! And I might add a very knowledgeable bunch.
I can understand operational costs, but, just how big is this organization and what will be it's ultimate funds if you just keep adding people to it with no real outlay of cash other than a computer and somebody to recruit new members. What are they doing that is so great that I should send them $130. This has probably been answered somewhere in another post, but we may as well find out in this dialogue just what and where all this money is going. Remember now there is no end to the money that can be sent in here and SIMA isn't likely to send out a rebate once they've got the amount of money they need to operate in a given year. I realize that nobody works for nothing and there have got to be officers involved that have got to be paid and there are pamphlets that need to be mailed etc., but how much does this really cost? Unless I can figure in my head how much more beneficial it would be for me to join I think I'll keep my $130 in my pocket for now. Doc

BRL - Veteran
Somerset, NJ
Ditto what the other SIMA members already said. For me personally, since joining late last summer, I was able to increase my winter profit margins by 22% over years past and increase sales significantly due to networking and information directly gained from SIMA members, that I couldn't & didn't get at this great site. That alone was worth much more than the $130.00\year. As you mentioned this was brought up before & discussed at length. As mentioned earlier in this thread, SIMA certainly is not going to be for every contractor. As far as where the money goes. There is an office with rent, utilities, office expenses etc. There is an executive director, a full time position. There is at least one part time helper for that person. Before the part timer, the full time person was not paid umtil I believe January of 2000 because after operating expenses, there wasn't enough money left to pay someone (bear in mind at that time there were a lot less members). At this time there are over 750 members. At $130.00 per person this amounts to around 100grand per year. The afore mentioned expenses are probably going to be pretty close to that amount. The leftovers are used to help defray the costs of educational opportunities such as the annual Symposium, snow plowing training videos, literature etc. I believe in the other thread the point was brought up that $130.00 per year is much cheaper than other similar trade associations such as the ALCA which is over $200.00\year. What do you get from joining the ALCA? The same types of benefits mentioned here. Also, the costs of the Symposium are cheaper than similar educational events hosted by those other trade associations, because the leftovers after expenses are used toward it. I hope that helps clear up some of what the dues are spent on. I always said to myself that I can basically get most of the info I need from sites such as this. I found out in Denver that this simply is not true. I probably learned in the 3 days there more than I learned in the whole winter season of reading & posting at the LS snowplowing forum. Here are some threads you may be interested in. The 3rd one is the Grand Daddy of them all as far as arguing about SIMA's worth. FYI Diggerman is the person that Mick mentioned in his last post at this thread.

guido Veteran

For you doughters out there, heres an article from lawn and landscape magazines home page about the symposium and the new certification program, check it out.

I also posted my own little deal there too!

For the first new member that joins under my name, if I win the drawing for a free symposium ticket next year, I will pay for half of yours. Thats worth more than the membership fee for the whole year.

Hope this helps!


Stamford, CT
SIMA Membership


I can understand your skepticicsm, I was skeptical too! I have been a member two years and missed the symposium in Portland Maine last year.

I spent two years reading posts here and at SIMA. I admit, I did learn alot from here for free. But what I learned in Denver far outweighs the general information that is discussed here. Fellow contractors are much more free with their help once they know you. They are willing to talk one on one and will really open up their expertise over a cup of coffee or a beer.

The old saying that two heads are better than one when it comes to solving problems really applies here. Imagine meeting three hundred plus contractors from companies of various sizes and being able to pick their brains.

Your comment about lining the bank account insults me! I was the person who set forth the 1,000 member challenge by July 1 deadline.
I am willing to buy dinner for the person who recruits the 1,000th member out of my own pocket!!! I am not a shill for SIMA, they are not reimbursing me in anyway for this challenge.

SIMA may or may NOT be for you, that is up to you to decide! I am not trying to win any prize, and Tammy and John Allin had nothing to do with me issueing this challenge prior to it being issued. I am not trying to pad the SIMA bank account. SIMA will hit 1,000 members soon enough without my measily little challenge. I was just trying to motivate the people who attended the Denver Symposium to recruit a few new members just a little faster than they are currently.

"Before you darecriticize a man for his deeds or actions, walk a mile in his shoes"

wxmn6 Addict
Claverack, NY
Doc, I had that same feeling you are having, but after I joined SIMA two weeks ago for the first time, I received the binder in just a few days, went through it, and found it to be a great organization. You also will be able to communicate to other members about such thing as contract, getting accounts, etc. Because in SIMA, there are some very experienced members that will be glad to help you out if you have a problem or question. SIMA is there to help improve our snow removal business. I am new to snowplowing and I think SIMA is a good resource to help start a good business. Even through if you are expereinced, SIMA still should be a great benefit. But SIMA is not for everyone, that will depend.

Mike Nelson

Senior Member
Naperville IL

"And who can beat the comradery of a buncha naked guys hosing you down at 6 a.m. with the fire hose from the hallway. (I've been to a few firemans conventions. I can imagine a snowplowers convention.)"

I don't know what bunch of unprofessional firefighters you hang out with,but I have been to many firefighting conventions and none of this ever happened.To include NYFD the largest in the country.

Our symposium is very professional and many members bring their families along.I was really impressed with the amount of families at this years symposium,I think it is wonderful.

Besides what our expenses are,there is a lot of countless time donated by our members and others to make our association work.

As said in the above thread it may not be for you or everyone.It is for someone who I think takes there snowremoval business seriously,looking to grow there business and keep or add profesionalism to there business.

I have made this promise to other new members who were skeptical,if you join and after one year you don't think that you recieved your monies worth,I will mail you a refund personally.That is how much confidence I have in this association.

Thanks for your time and interest in SIMA

Mike Nelson


I have read many threads on this forum and have never replied. This time I find myself needing to reply. First allow me to clear up one thing that was said, SIMA DOES NOT pay its officers. They volunteer their time and expertise! For the past five years, all of their expenses have come out of their own pockets. We are in existence because a few individuals worked together to create an organization with hopes and dreams that it would help to professionalize the industry. Did these individuals ever dream that in five year our membership would be pushing 800, I don't think so. When SIMA hired me just 3 1/2 years ago and our membership was less than 100, did I think we would get to this point this soon? NO! I believe in this organization as does its directors and it is because of this belief that we have been able to grow the association to its current level. Our income at this point barely covers our expenses but we continue to thrive because of our strong member commitment. We don't have to spend a small fortune on marketing because our members market for us. If we didn't have anything to offer them, this would not be happening. What do you get for your $130? Well, first of all, each member costs us approximately $50 a year in materials and mailing costs. The other $80 is for overhead and program development. Many new members contact our office for a variety of things, where they can find specific products or equipment, sample contracts and other documents, where they can learn about pricing or subcontracting. The list can go on and on. We do whatever we can to help our members, if we don't have what they are looking for, we find it for them. All of these things can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars. One situation that I dealt with comes to mind, and that is a new member that asked for sample contracts, loved them and put them to use. Then had a customer line out a specific section of the contract, the new member called the office to discuss the situation. The section that was lined out was the section that covered naturally occurring conditions, without it, it opened him up to all liability. In discussing the situation, I simply asked him if the customer that lined it out was worth the risk?! Some customers are worth the risk, this particular one was not, the contract was simply not worth the risk of a lawsuit. I also put him in contact with a couple of knowledgable insurance agents that helped him to understand the ramifications of deleting that section. If you asked this particular member if his membership was worth the $130, what do you think he would say. I could state many other situations that we have been able to help members with, and the members on this forum could state their views in any number of ways, but it really boils down to whether or not you are willing to invest $130 in yourself!

That's my two cents for what its worth.

Tammy Higham
Executive Director
Snow & Ice Management Association, Inc.


I have not even read this thread but I just wanted to add a note:

I have spent more than $130 this month on fast food.
I just got a great compliment from one of my better customers this morning. I want to pass it on (not to break my own wrist patting myself on the back, but....)

It seems that the fellow who plowed his warehouse two years ago returned two weeks ago with the offer to plow the warehouse for free if he could have a 50' x 70' chunk of the yard for the storage of his driveway sealing and plowing equipment. The owner turned him down, saying he was 110% satisfied with the service he is getting from me. I found out this morning when I called for a mid off-season "social" call to keep in touch. This customer basically committed to spending mid four-figures for reliable service as opposed to a freebee with unknown-ables.

On that note, my SIMA arm is pretty much twisted for the 2001/2002 season. I bet you SIMA folk will be having a "Sign-up-at-par" event really soon ;) for us poor Canadian dollar earners and spenders.

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
I seem to recall a story of a SIMA member, helping another SIMA member... It seems one member, (we'll call them member 1) had a chance to bid a site with 200 acres of pavement, worth millions, but didn't know exactly how to go about it. Another SIMA member, (we'll call member 2) went to the site, which was an 8 hour drive, and worked with member 1, and helped them put together an educated bid for the site. Needless to say, member 1 won the contract, and it was a multi-year contract. What did member 2 get out of it? His expenses for making the trip, and nothing more.

What would member 1 have paid for a consultant on a 200 acre site? I don't even want to think about it!



BRL - Veteran
Somerset, NJ
SIMA yearly membership fee: $130.00

Travel, room & board expenses for consultant: $879.00

A really big ole pile of Magic salt for the season: $18,000.00

Lease for 12 3-yard loaders for season: $108,000.00

SIMA members helping other SIMA members prosper: Priceless


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