Dave Vine, from Swingle, was our speaker for Seminar today. Swingle was founded in 1947 with the mission to "stay ahead of the pack". They specialize in lawn care, tree care, landscape care, and holiday decor (being the largest Holiday Decor franchise in North America).
Dave spent a lot of time talking about Swingle's "secrets to success". First, he talked about always being in pursuit of new ideas. Along with that, investing in equipment and technology keeps them on top of the game. They also value customer service. They guarantee their customers' satisfaction 100% offering refunds for less than satisfied customers. Their employees are also enrolled with "Swingle University" because they believe that "education is the essence of growth." Swingle University offers employees specialized training manuals, written and practical field testing, training videos and workbooks, certifications and licenses among other things. Swingle also values cross-training of employees to improve staff versatility, improve customer service, expand opportunities, and continue education. All of these things combined can attribute to the success of Swingle as well as the growth. Dave told us that Swingle is expecting 20% growth during the year 2011 as well as each year after that for about 5 years.
Dave also talked about qualities he looks for in hiring new employees. He said education and experience is extremely important as well as passion and a 'do whatever it takes' attitude. He also said that he looks for leaders as opposed to managers. He said, "Leaders do the right things, managers do what's right." The essence of a leader is change, while the essence of a manager is stability. He said a leader leads people, takes risk, and paves new roads while a manager manages work, minimizes risk, and takes existing roads. While neither is bad, being a leader is certainly a good quality to have for progression in your career. Doing all you can in gaining an education and experience will certainly give you a 'leg-up' on the competition as well as helping you gain those leadership qualities.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.