At Commercial Power Sweep, Napa, CA, Ken Lindsey and wife Teresa direct 22 sweepers throughout the Northern California area.
"I’m proud to be a certified sweeping company and I feel like all sweepers should challenge themselves to be able to achieve this standard. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself from another sweeper and to make sure your company is doing the best job it can. As a level of great standards, being a CSC should be a requirement for all property owners, property management companies and general contractors that use sweeping services, too."
Incoming President of the North American Power Sweeping Association (NAPSA) Ken Lindsey is co-owner with his wife, Teresa, of Commercial Power Sweep Inc. (CPSI), a second-generation sweeping company based in Napa, CA. Founded in 1965 and a NAPSA member since 2008, CPSI employs 17 people and operates a 22-sweeper fleet providing construction, municipal, parking lot, warehouse, mill and prep, and commercial and industrial sweeping and sweeper sales and leasing throughout Northern California.
Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction: Congratulations on becoming NAPSA President. Why is NAPSA membership important to you?
Ken Lindsey: Being a part of NAPSA helps me to focus on the big picture. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day management of our sweeping business. NAPSA helps me to look outside of my area and broaden that sphere. I learn from every person I meet and I hope they learn from me as well. I’m also excited to be involved with NAPSA which has helped give me and our company a voice in the industry. Smaller companies like ours definitely need to band together to make a change through organizations such as NAPSA.
Pavement: That’s a great point, especially considering the wide range of sizes of sweeping companies throughout the country. What have you gotten by being a NAPSA member?
Lindsey: The networking and educational opportunities I have had are priceless, and I’ve grown both personally and as a business owner since being involved with NAPSA. I actually have a group of professionals -- most of them are now great friends -- I can call and ask questions of in a non-threatening environment. NAPSA brings new perspectives and keeps me in touch with what is changing and I have the opportunity to give back to the power sweeping community. In addition the member discounts have saved me more than the membership dues so membership is an easy decision.
Pavement: I think there are a lot of members who would agree with that. What impact do you think NAPSA has made on the sweeping industry as a whole?
Lindsey: NAPSA has worked to increase professionalism and awareness of the industry and its members as well as positively affect the members’ bottom line. Through our programs such as the Certified Sweeping Company (CSC) designation or the discounts on trucks and parts, the NAPSA Newsletter and its industry information or the training at National Pavement Expo, NAPSA makes an impact one sweeper at a time. Every member is our most valuable member.
Pavement: The Certified Sweeping Company program sure seems to have made an impact on the industry. How long have you been a CSC?
Lindsey: My company was first certified in 2010. After looking at the CSC application, I realized that every single item on that application was important and could only make my company better. So I took a look at my current practices and decided that if I needed to make changes to qualify then it would be for the best. As a level of great standards, being a CSC should be a requirement for all property owners, property management companies and general contractors that use sweeping services, too.
Pavement: Well let’s broaden this discussion a little bit and get you to take a look at the whole industry from your new vantage point. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the sweeping industry?
Lindsey: The biggest challenge is government regulation and regulatory issues. I have personally been affected by the barrage of changes in environmental requirements and I see where these changes are rolling out across the United States. NAPSA is continuing to work toward increased communication and positive relations with government officials. Although a slow and sometime tedious process, we are expecting this will result in positive improvement in the regulatory areas.
Pavement: What can you as president and/or NAPSA as an organization do to deal with those regulatory issues?
Lindsey: As the president, as the organization or as the rank and file member, everyone needs to continue to increase their education and communication on topics of importance. NAPSA continues to look for ways to increase communication while improving the outcome for the industry. I will continue to promote NAPSA and the benefits of its membership personally and professionally and I will also do my best to help maintain and promote transparency and integrity between NAPSA and its members.
Pavement: Can you give us an example of some of the regulatory impact NAPSA has made?
Lindsey: Sure. A few years back, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposed a new California Statewide Truck and Bus Regulation regarding diesel emissions. Because of this, many businesses including our industry were definitely going to be impacted. NAPSA decided to form a California Chapter comprised of several California sweeping companies to help fight the fight for the sweeping industry. This was an ongoing process for us for the better part of three years. We actually got concessions written into law for the sweeping industry that would not have occurred if it weren’t for NAPSA.
Pavement: I’d say that’s impact.
Lindsey: Yes, it really is. And NAPSA is also currently talking with the EPA in relation to the benefits of parking lot sweeping, construction sweeping and municipal sweeping. We are helping the EPA to update its own outreach information and hopefully helping them in the process for sweeping requirements for the future on many different levels.
Pavement: Everyone has issues that are of special concern to them, so not including the “biggest challenge” of regulation, what issues are important to you and why are they important? What do you think you can do to impact those issues during your two-year term as NAPSA president?
Lindsey: My special concern is to see that each and every member in NAPSA comes away with some nugget or benefit to their business. What is important to one company may not be relevant to another so NAPSA continues to work on broadening its programs and services to be relevant to every member. We believe that every single member in NAPSA is the most important member and we work to bring value to them. I will also continue to encourage nonmembers to join and for existing members to get involved.
Pavement: That makes a lot of sense. After all, an association is only as strong as its membership makes it.
Lindsey: I truly didn’t start realizing the benefits of this organization until I started attending NAPSA sponsored and industry related seminars and workshops at NPE, both out East and out West. And the information I’ve learned from others in the industry has been “invaluable.” What a great way for any newer member to shorten their learning curve within their own sweeping business… regardless of how long you’ve been in the industry.
For more information on NAPSA visit the NAPSA booth at National Pavement Expo, Jan. 23-26 in Nashville or visit www.powersweeping.org.