Kroeger Resigns, Larko Named NAPSA president

Jim Larko, Katsam LLC, named NAPSA president after Kevin Kroeger, DSS Sweeping Service, resigns

A difference of opinion concerning the newly created 1-800-SWEEPER organization and its membership in the North American Power Sweeping Association (NAPSA) has resulted in the resignation of Kevin Kroeger, DSS Sweeping Service, Dayton, OH, as president. Kroeger remains a NAPSA member and supporter but has been succeeded as president by Jim Larko, Katsam LLC, St. Louis.

Kroeger had served roughly nine months of his two-year term before deciding to step down October 27 following a September board meeting at which 1-800-SWEEPER was approved as a NAPSA bronze member.

Developed at least partly to combat national service providers, 1-800-SWEEPER is a lead-generating “marketing cooperative” in which members pay monthly fees to lease telephone area codes. When a business calls 1-800-SWEEPER that lead is funneled to the sweeping contractor who has paid to lease the area code in which the call originated. Only one company can lease each area code. 1-800-SWEEPER is an independent for-profit business and decisions for the leads they generate are processed by that organization. 1-800-SWEEPER is one lead generating organization however there are others. This business model isn’t new to the sweeping industry.

“A lot of NAPSA members were excluded from participating in 1-800-SWEEPER at launch because some area codes were pre-assigned to inaugural members,” Kroeger said. “Many of the NAPSA board members were members of 1-800-SWEEPER at launch.”

At each partner level of NAPSA, specific benefits apply. Each partner selects the benefit they offer the membership.“Some benefits might not apply to you or you might not want to participate in a NAPSA program, but you can if you want to,” Kroeger said. “I was opposed to 1-800-SWEEPER becoming a bronze member because not all NAPSA members could take advantage of what they had to offer.”

He says he might have felt differently had there been a waiting period at the launch so all NAPSA members would have had the opportunity to become a 1-800-SWEEPER member. “But that was not the case. Some NAPSA members are excluded from 1-800-SWEEPER so I felt I couldn’t support the board’s decision,” he says.

As an example Kroeger says there are 16 NAPSA members in Ohio and at the launch of 1-800-SWEEPER “at least 10 of them couldn’t participate because their area codes had already been assigned to other NAPSA members.” (The state of Ohio has 9 different area codes).

“I applaud those who took the initiative to craft this potential solution to the third-party provider problem the industry has been facing. It may be a good solution for people and hats off to them for doing it and for trying to address a problem we all face,” Kroeger says. “I just don’t think NAPSA board members should have been involved in it before it was available to all members.”

Kroeger says that after extensive consideration he felt he had to resign his presidency because as president he was “responsible and accountable” for decisions made collectively by the board. “I think that’s right, I think that’s how it should be,” he says. “There have been other decisions made by the board in the past that I didn’t necessarily agree with but I was in close enough agreement that I felt I could support them. But in this case I just didn’t think I could support this decision so I resigned as president.”

Larko, who will complete the remainder of Kroeger’s term, is a member of 1-800-SWEEPER. He said the disagreement between Kroeger and the board is an honest disagreement that reasonable people often have.

“Kevin said he felt there was a conflict between board members of NAPSA being initial members of 1-800-SWEEPER and the board just didn’t see it that way. Six of fifteen Board members are part of 1-800-SWEEPER,” Larko said. 1-800-SWEEPER is a business, a lead-generating business, and as a business it is eligible to be a bronze member of NAPSA. So when they applied they were voted on like every other business and accepted. NAPSA has no input as to the distribution of the area codes for 1-800-SWEEPER participants.

“I disagree with Kevin’s concept.” Larko says. “Participation in 1-800-SWEEPER is an independent business decision for any sweeper and I don’t see that this business decision conflicts with NAPSA in any way. As a 501 C organization, NAPSA is managed as such so that it’s a better association for sweepers. NAPSA is about improving the sweeping industry and in the capacity as its Board President, that’s what I’m all about.”

Larko says if the general membership of NAPSA has any questions regarding this decision, invites them to attend NAPSA’s general membership meeting at National Pavement Expo, Feb. 15-18 in Memphis to express their concerns. Non-members are always welcome to speak with Larko or any Board member for further clarification.

Other changes in the NAPSA board include: Ken Lindsey, Commercial Power Sweep, Napa, CA, vice president, and Gregg Blair, Superior Tire and Rubber, Warren, PA, treasurer, succeeding Rod Savage who resigned from the board as a result of career changes. Carl Barton, Aardvark Sweeping Services, Memphis, TN will remain as the Immediate Past President.