1-800-SWEEPER Blog

Ken Lindsey – NPE Sweeper of The Year

Apr 13, 2017

Ken Lindsey – NPE Sweeper of The Year

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The 1-800-SWEEPER Board and membership congratulate Ken Lindsey and his well-deserved selection as NPE Sweeper of the Year 2017.

Ken was presented with the award during the National Pavement Expo in January 2017. Ken is a true industry leader and educator whose goal is to help others experience growth like that of his Napa, California based company, Commercial Power Sweep.

As a second-generation owner/manager, Ken says that he has learned a wealth of information through attending the National Pavement Expo (NPE) and NAPSA affiliated workshops and 1-800-SWEEPER roundtables.

Most of Commercial Power Sweep’s business is tied to construction sweeping. They subcontract through paving contractors and other major contractors that are building bridges, roads, and some residential construction. In addition, Commercial Sweep provides commercial sweeping for HOAs, industrial parks, strip malls, and other commercial clients. The company operates more than 20 sweepers within their active fleet.

An additional source of revenue for Ken’s company involves sweeper leasing and sweeper vehicle sales. An interesting side business, now offered to the community at-large, stemmed from a state of California regulation for opacity testing required to test the smoke in diesel engines. Recognizing the high internal cost of testing his company’s vehicles, Ken decided to buy the machine needed to perform the tests, which paid for itself within two years. Commercial Sweep now provides the service to other companies.

Ken wasn’t always sure he wanted to be part of the sweeping business that his parents founded in 1965.  Then, in 1997, Ken’s parents were having their business appraised pending retirement. It was at this point that he decided he wanted to go into the family business, calling his dad up to deliver the news that he wanted to carry on the legacy.

Ken explains: “The business was in Napa which is where we all grew up. In 1997, I had graduated from college and was living in Sacramento. I had a job in the computer tech industry selling computer hardware, software, and multi-user networks with mostly state agencies as my customers. Because of my customer base, I had become familiar with working with the government and state procurement processes.

I brought the experience from my current job and combined it with the vast knowledge my parents had. I immediately became a driver, dispatcher, mechanic, book keeper, manager… I wore all the hats. It was a great learning experience. I sure had a new-found respect for my parents. Nothing happened as “quickly” as I wanted it to at the time as far as an acquisition. But now as I look back it all happened “just right”.”

One week later, Ken went to work full time for his parents. He describes the experience as “a great melding of old and new minds. We complemented each other’s styles.”

Ken’s affinity for merging old and new thoughts can be seen in contributions he has made to the power sweeping industry throughout the years, including a stint as President of NAPSA in 2013.  As the new incoming president, Ken introduced a guest speaker during his very first annual multi-day NAPSA Board meeting at NPE. During this session, the Board members were presented with the concept of using “teams” in their organization, versus the more traditional “committees.” As Ken explains it: “The term “committee,” as used by NAPSA, typically required a yearlong commitment to projects or task forces. What the speaker presented to the board – which was then adopted – was a simpler, less time-consuming option of “project teams.” Teams could be organized for specific projects with the expected time commitment obligation ranging from one month up only a few months depending on the project. After a team finishes their project, the team is disbanded.”

Alongside several sweeping company owners, also members of NAPSA, Ken took on a leadership role helping educate the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regarding street sweepers and the newly imposed Truck and Bus Regulation. Through the work of the CA-specific offshoot of NAPSA, Ken and the group worked diligently with CARB for more than a year and half. Their CA-NAPSA group ultimately achieved concessions in the required phase-out and or retro-fitting requirements of diesel powered sweepers.

We look forward to Ken’s continued success, and salute the well-deserved recognition for Ken and his company Commercial Power Sweep.