At its "Spring Training" each year, Sun Design Remodeling Specialists, Burke, Va., brings its 25 employees to JLC Live in Baltimore and, offsite, contracts a speaker or speakers to give insight into how great companies operate.

"We're trying to educate them all on business, not just carpentry skills," says Craig Durosko, president. Most recently, Sun Design contracted inspirational speaker Geno Stampora to help the crew better understand client relations, the various ways clients communicate, and how to shock clients with service. Stampora, a well-known speaker, hair stylist, and one-time salon chain owner, gave the largely Gen X crew tips on how to connect with baby boomer clients. He told them how they could break down communication barriers. He also offered tips on how to build and support team spirit.

On a break, Stampora gave lead carpenter Greg Norris -- whose customer service prompted a client to send him on a Paris vacation -- a haircut, to convey to employees the importance of image.