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On his way how? According to the PWNA he doesn't even have a business? Could you lay out any possible scenario where Ron could "take over"? Give me a scenario with some numbers and I'll consider that possibility. I told you I will research that. If you are unprepared to continue on with the certification issue I will give you time also. If you insist on dealing with the other issue first I will need a few days. (you know what's coming, get ready for a boatload of references and links) Right now I've got a dance to go to with the most beautiful daughter in the world (Can I say that?)
The industry is what puts food on your table. Family farms used to be a big industry, regulated very little and left to thrive. They failed to come together and defend the value of their enterprise and now they are practically gone because the larger corporate farms banned together and lobbied them out of existence. The ones that are left just barely scrape along. That is exactly what is happening to your industry, my industry, our industry. The industry is not an org. An org is a tool the industry can use.
Premise dropped. The org membership and the certs are not a lot of money to begin with first off. Training isn't too much either, less than $350 at the best school in the world!! (I can't help myself lol) New guys, especially residential, are paying between $150 and $4k for lettering and vehicle wraps already just to get started in many cases, not to mention the cost of the equipment, insurance, etc. I know a few hundred dollars is not chump change, but I doubt you will be able to find a single new contractor who has spent $1000 on training that won't say it was worth every dime. Regarding competition: I only have three direct competitors here in Las Vegas who are doing in the millions. One of them is the past president of NAFA. How many times do you think he slaps that NAFA certification up in the face of my customers? Who knows? Who cares? I sell my own product on its own merits. I guess you could call my competitor and ask him how many times the NAFA certs have taken a deal from me. If it has ever happened I am not aware of it. I think you are shadow boxing an opponent that isn't there. I would like to challenge you to document a case where the scenario you described has happened. Usually a certification or a membership, is used to close a deal quickly and put the customer at ease, not pit yourself against the competition in an ongoing bid battle. Personally I think the valuing the certification on that basis alone is a bit of selling hype that is unproven. Maybe there will be some isolated instances of what you describe. Customers aren't stupid. Most customers aren't going to give a flip about certifications. But every now and then you will run across that regimented government employee who needs a certification to make him fill better about his purchase. For those customers I'd recommend a big $5.00 sticker that says "Cyclone Certified". :) Sometimes that's all it takes for a customer to justify their purchase in their own mind. On the other hand, many pressure washers, especially those coming from the regimented background of government or union employment, feel the need to have that certificate on their resume. In their minds it creates a sense of accomplishment and gives motivation. See, there's a lot more to this than simply "one guy trying to say he's better than the other". Barry, if you were to ever join the *****, with your personality, I would hope that you would join for the purpose of giving back to the industry that provides a living for you. You don't seem like the type who would ever join because you were "forced" to by a competitor. Sometimes being a part of something that has such potential to do good in the end (even if it is just on the environmental end, in your opinion) has its own rewards that are more satisfying than the financial rewards. Personally I'd like the membership to be driven by volunteerism, especially in these early building stages. And that is what I'm seeing much more than any desire to just "get certified". You would really be surprised how many volunteers we have working on the EPA issue. I'm shocked to be honest. I think that is why the ***** is so strong so early on. The members have realized it's not all about "bennies", and I'm proud to be associated with them.
James, certification is just a small part of what the ***** is doing. It just happened to be the most complicated and controversial part so it it better that we tackle it first. Should be smooth after this. :)
Michael, can we put the vendor issue on the backburner for a while and come back to it later and discuss the other issue. I'll be glad to re-address the vendor issue later. I'd like some time to research the law on this a little deeper than what I already did back during the time of the old *****. Would you mind elaborating on: "who are they to certify anyone??" and "I don't believe in certs for many reasons." so we can see if there is any common ground?
Rob, that is very clear. You don't want the org to change, you want it to close. Thanks for your input.
Barry, we are just friends here having a discussion about something that we disagree about. I know we have a lot of the same opinions. That should tell you something. It should be a red flag for you that we disagree so vehemently about this issue and about Ron. In the case of Ron is is possible that maybe I am privy to information about Ron and his motivations that you are unable to comprehend being outside the close friendship Ron and I share? As far as the certifications go, I'm listening. Convince me. I will explain my reasoning and you explain yours and we will either agree, or agree to disagree as friends. 1) The certifications are not law. They are simply certifications. NAFA is the largest air filter org. I am not a member. I never saw any need and I don't think they are doing anything good for the industry, so, for almost nine years I have chosen not to support them with my money nor get their certs. In all those years I've only been asked once if I was NAFA certified. Turns out it was a setup for a fake bid by a competitor trying to suck information about our operation and get our pricing and other info. Thousands of buildings from the Veterans Administration to Cities and Counties all the way down to a single AC unit on the roof of a nail salon and not one of them ever asked if I was certified by NAFA. NAFA has been around for a long time. Their certifications are not a requirement to work like the PW#A higher ups have worked to make KEC certifications a requirement to work. As long as the ***** is controlled by men of integrity (and that is up to the members) nothing of the sort will ever happen. That was one of my principal concerns about certs in the past. But IF we get enough participation and there are enough people of integrity in the industry I can't see that ever happening, just like it has never happened with NAFA. Plus it is difficult to do. The KEC industry was able to do it (to the detriment of small cleaners all over) because they could show a demonstrable life and death issue that they could use to shore up their argument. I don't believe, just like the air filter industry, that the powerwashing industry as a whole will ever come to that. So I do not oppose the certs because I don't believe they will ever become a requirement to work. I have played out all kinds of scenarios in my head and I can't see it ever happening. 2) I support them because they help the new guy. Now before you get all up in arms about his hear me out. Right now there are 20 guys spraying something with an inferior power washer, doing a bad job, probably within 200 miles of your house. Out of those there is probably 1 that likes the work and sees it as a career. He gets on the internet to look for help, in say, dealing with rust, and he finds there are thousands of us, working as professionals. He learns what he can on the internet, finds a school (Doug **********'s the best in the world. lol) or events to go to, or training from the PWNA or any of many different sources. He learns what he can, uses the attendance at the school to show he is serious about the business, even though he has only been in business for six months, then he takes a ***** certification test to check his knowledge. The tests aren't easy. Let's say he fails the first time. He goes back and studies and passes the second time. Now he is "Roof Cleaning Certified" or whatever cert he went for. Guess what.....by this time he has learned from the boards, met other successful contractors, laughed about all the mistakes he made early on and learned the basics of how to do a great job for his customer, AND has passed a test showing that he has learned. Now he has a certification that he can bring to his customer. What does that certification mean? Exactly what I said in the previous sentence. That's all it means. It doesn't mean he's better, it doesn't mean he has a better method, it does mean he has ambition and the desire to learn to do things right for his customer as opposed to the guy who sees gum on the sidewalk and takes out the hammer and the screwdriver because he's never had the ambition to look up the right way and find out about hot water. I am in favor of the certs because it is an inexpensive way for a new guy with ambition to learn proper methods that do no harm to his customer's property and something he might be able to use as a psychological advantage to those customers who are on the edge about hiring him, but are taken over the edge by consoling themselves with the idea that "he's certified" so he must be ok. Some customers are just like that. 3) I like the way the ***** has it set up because it takes them completely out of the training process and has them simply administering a knowledge test. Currently the ***** is accepting schooling from any number of places for knowledge in lieu of 5 years experience. The mere fact that they are accepting PWNA courses should speak volumes about the integrity of this BOD. I'm ready for the onslaught about Doug's little school..... The fact is, anyone, any member, non member, BOD or not can teach anyone anything. If you have ever had a contractor tag along and help with a job for free just for learning you have "schooled" them. You didn't get paid cash for that, but you were paid in labor. Doug's school, or any school for that matter doesn't guarantee a certification. You still have to pass the test. If Doug made a living teaching these classes I would be in 100% agreement with you. But the fact is, already this year Doug has made NEW sales that are probably 10 times what he will make on the school in the whole year! He is a contractor. I believe Carlos should qualify as a contractor, along with many others who supplement their income by selling this or that, or teaching this or that. My problem with Carlos and the ***** before was that he had left contracting for the most part and was planning on relying on income from the org. I think that opens the door for all kinds of impropriety and I argued my case about it back then. There is a line where a contractor becomes a vendor. We simply need to monitor that line and make it "reasonable and rational" lol. But you will be hard pressed to find contractors who haven't sold something or hired out some work or trained someone, or built a website or any number of other things that couldn't be construed as "selling to contractors" As long as we use some common sense and keep an eye on things we should be able, as honorable men, to keep ourselves in line and watch out for others who are getting close to or crossing that line into impropriety. Few things are ever black and white. We have to use judgement and rely on integrity and watch each others' backs. None of us are immune to the temptations of doing something wrong. That is why we need to work together and watch out for each other. On the other hand there are those who will justify any illegal or immoral actions to "provide for their families" or some other nonsensical excuse. It is our job to remove them from our midst when we find them. And I am here to tell you Barry, Ron and Doug are not of that cloth. I know them very well, Ron especially. I don't expect you to believe that, but I'm putting it here on record so that years later you can look back and shake your head in agreement. I will start with those Barry. Those are some of the reasons I think the certifications, the way they are set up, are a good thing for our industry. Convince me otherwise.
Michael, I defend Ron because I've watched the drama and exaggerations that have snowballed and turned Ron into a caricature of what he really is. For example, Ron didn't send Rob 80 texts. And he didn't threaten his family. That's just one of the most recent ones I can think of. I hope Rob will come out and say that and begin a new dialogue in our industry that doesn't rely on exaggerations for effect and doesn't rely on calling someone a "blob" just because you don't like them. (or a clown) Sure Ron sent some texts to Rob, he brought up the past to point out that he thought Rob was a friend and felt betrayed. He was hurt and that's how he reacts. That's a personality issue, not an integrity issue. People get offended over the silliest things these days. That word doesn't carry too much weight anymore when the word "threats" is thrown around to the point it could mean something as simple as Ron saying "If you don't help me I won't buy you dinner", or pay for your hotel room. It has gotten ridiculous. As far as Doug's school goes....Really? First, I think Doug's school is $325 for two days. I don't know if he has ever had seven guys, but lets assume he has. That's $2275 or $1137 per day. If $1137 per day a couple of days a month seems like a windfall to you then either you've got another job or you don't have any expenses. That is just another illustration of how things look different through the eyes of those who have a safety net job like you have the luxury of having. See how it make you view things differently? And as far Ron's opinion of Doug's school goes...... "I've got the best wife in the world"...... Is that a false statement? Who is going to ever be able to prove me wrong? And who can ever tell me that I can't say it? Ron doesn't get up out of bed and strap on his ***** President skin for the whole day and unzip out of it when it's time to go to bed. He can say what he likes regarding his own opinion. There is nothing illegal or unethical about that. In the end we are all human beings and we all have the right to say whatever we like unless we are speaking on behalf of others in an official statement. It's just a goofy position to take especially when you do the math and realize there is no desirable amount of money to be made from it. And how, pray tell is Ron going to line his pockets with a measly $150 here and $99 there from the org? His fuel bill each month is more than the org would take in over a year if the membership tripled. I've seen his monthly bill. That's why all of this seems so ludicrous when I hear it. Maybe his goal is to get enough members to make a dent in his monthly fuel bill. lol. The math doesn't add up. Here's the truth about the certifications Michael. There's nothing more to it than this...No one kept track of who worked on them. When I was done with the five people who helped write the coil certs with me I turned them over to Bill and told him to find other coil cleaners to look them over and make changes as needed. I directed him to a few of the largest coil cleaners in the US that he could use. (don't remember if I told him, Ron or Doug) That was the cert with the fewest in the pool to help write, yet at LEAST five helped on just the coil part not to mention the OSHA safety part that I didn't have anything to do with. So, to be honest I have no idea how many people worked on the coil certification in the end. I have no idea who all helped on the others and why should I care? This isn't about ME. This isn't about one contractor and his OPINION of how things should be done. This isn't about taking names and "who gets credit for what" or "who is qualified to do what", this was a group effort with many contractors who worked together towards a common goal of putting together tests that measure knowledge of different aspects of our industry. I personally think it worked out better that way. I think we got a great cross section of the industry. You were asked numerous times for input. Don't be angry with those who chose to accept the offer to help just because you wouldn't.
My Bio will be available on DVD for $49.95, you can find it at tonywash.com. If you buy it Doug will send you a bucket of whatever that stuff is he uses for 2% off (if you are a ***** member) lol. I'm glad we can laugh about all that silliness. The convention thing was just a joke. Personally I got the impression that you did a great job from practically everybody. People were mad about the money issue and that tainted views of the whole thing. I think if you guys had let John pass out more plaques he would have been satisfied too. :) Sorry about the clown thing. I thought I read it somewhere. I've never been a horse person (I'm a little scared of them) but Fayth has begun taking riding lessons and it looks like she's a natural. Regarding the Certs: Can you make some suggestions? What would you like to see? We already know that the certs testing won't be perfect right off the bat, but we've done the best we could trying to get something out there that can be a general test of knowledge that shows that a guy knows better than to get up gum with a zero degree tip or clean coils with ammonia (it's been done). This isn't Ron's org Rob. This is our org. Yours. Barry's. Michael's. John's. Nobody needs credit for this. Nobody needs a plaque. This is for all of us. Please give some suggestions and let's discuss them. - - - Updated - - - Russ Spence. A dear friend to this day.
After we spoke I did relay the suggestions you had to Ron. He initially told me he thought it would be too expensive for the ***** budget at the time. I never thought much about it after that because, to be honest with you I don't know a lot about all that web stuff. My own site hasn't even been touched in a few years. The only reason I brought it up was because the stance you have taken on here recently is far more vehement than it was when we talked. I just wondered what could have happened to make you take such a stance after offering your services and thought maybe you felt slighted.
I love it Rob! Makes me think of Las Vegas and CSI. I will be more than happy to answer that question. I'm a nobody. I'm a contractor that uses a power washer to clean things. I've been in this particular business for over nine years. Prior to that I owned other businesses beginning in the late 80's. My first foray into entrepreneurship was as a licensed private investigator in Mississippi in 1989. To be honest, there were times when I was a part-timer in those businesses and was not successful enough to make it without selling cars, repairing computers and software and even selling and building franchises. I did what I had to do just like many here. I haven't cashed a paycheck in almost 17 years. That doesn't make me any better than anybody else, but it puts me in a position of being on guard all the time for things that might disrupt my income. I am not on the ***** Board of Directors. Unfortunately during the time of the ***** elections I had complications from a stroke that caused memory problems that lasted almost two months. I couldn't even find my way home. I would have to speed dial Shelly for directions back to the house many times. I had no idea when it would stop. Even though Ron respected my views and we are best friends, he used his own judgement and suggested to me that he would advise that members not vote for me at that time. It was the right thing to do. I was in no condition to deal with the pressures of being a BOD. I may have not been elected anyway. Who knows? All I know is, during the time of the elections I couldn't read a full paragraph in a book and I refused to talk to people on the phone because it was embarrassing to forget who and what you were talking about. That was no condition to be in as a BOD. Thankfully whatever caused the problem disappeared in January of that year and the doctor says it's over with. Earlier this year I was appointed as the Region 9 Environmental Director. It's not a lofty position. It simply means that I have volunteered my services to continue researching and studying environmental issues and trying to keep on top of what is happening. It means I have the responsibility for working closely with ***** State directors in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and the Tribal Nations. We are currently looking for more help in parts of California, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and the Tribal nations. I have no doubt good people will step up and volunteer soon. There are 9 other regions of the EPA. So not only am I not a BOD, I'm not the Environmental Chair, and I'm not even 1/10th of the regional directors. So Rob, I'm a nobody. But I'm a nobody with business experience, ethics, and power washing experience under my belt (if I could ever see my belt), that I have offered up to the ***** to help them redefine our industry. However, with the help of the BOD, the Environmental Chair, all the other chairs, the state directors and every other voluntary position on the ***** ........ I am somebody. I'm part of something that isn't about putting a few bucks in their pockets at the expense of the industry as a whole. I'm part of something that doesn't need a lofty title to put our noses to the grindstone and get to work. I'm part of something that doesn't care who gets the credit for a Convention. (come on, laugh, that's a joke) I have always paid for my membership even when I could have gotten it for free at one time because I believed in it. So, Rob, I'm nobody, but together we are somebody. We need as many nobody's as we can get. Does that answer your question?
I don't know what John did with my original post, nor how he even accessed it, but here it is. I'm only posting to try to get some clarification on what John is doing with my posts: Sometimes certs are simply about learning new things as the industry progresses as Ron pointed out. [h=2]BArry Please ask some questions here about the ***** certification[/h] Originally Posted by Russ Spence So in all truthfulness what about any certification makes someone better than someone else? I have never had someone ever ask if I was certified, not ever. No insurance requirement to do it, not required to purchase the equipment nor to even get a business license. Did *** make you better? Doesn't learning make you better, on going learning will always help you not hurt you. Text me anytime for question 480-522-5227
I don't get it. I pulled the quote and removed it within seconds. How are you able to go back and repost things I've edited? And what happened to the rest of the quote? Do you do this often with other people's accounts? Is that what happened at the other forum that caused you to lose your controls?
John, there is no way I can respond to that other than time will tell. What you see as throwing others under the bus, I see as pointing out hypocrisy. I explained the difference between a part timer and a full timer. Maybe it would help if you go back and reread it. Thanks for your input John.
I was going to post some info copied from Ron on the other forum about more info on the certs, but I will keep it here.