February 2010


Limited EPA Study Finds Low Level of Concern in Samples of Recycled Tires from Ballfield and Playground Surfaces 

The EPA conducted a limited, “scoping study” of artificial-turf playing fields and playgrounds constructed with recycled tire material. The 
Press Release outlines results that conclude concentrations of materials that made up tire crumb were below levels considered harmful. The EPA will use this information to determine the next steps to address questions regarding the safety of tire crumb infill on recreational fields. 

To view the entire 123 page report, 
click here

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

5 Whys - Quickly Getting to the Root of a Problem 

The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps users to get to the root of the problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: "Why?" and "What caused this problem?" 

Very often, the answer to the first "why" will prompt another "why" and the answer to the second "why" will prompt another and so on; hence the name the 5 Whys strategy. 

Benefits of the 5 Whys include: 

• It helps to quickly determine the root cause of a problem 
• It is easy to learn and apply 

How to use the tool: 

When looking to solve a problem, start at the end result and work backward (toward the root cause), continually asking: "Why?" This will need to be repeated over and over until the root cause of the problem becomes apparent. 


The 5 Whys technique is a simple technique that can help you quickly get to the root of a problem. But that is all it is, and the more complex things get, the more likely it is to lead you down a false trail. if it doesn't quickly give you an answer that's obviously right, then you may need more sophisticated technique problem solving techniques.



Following is an example of the 5 Whys analysis as an effective problem-solving technique: 

1. Why is our client, Hinson Corp., unhappy? Because we did not deliver our services when we said we would. 

2. Why were we unable to meet the agreed-upon timeline or schedule for delivery? The job took much longer than we thought it would. 

3. Why did it take so much longer? Because we underestimated the complexity of the job.

4. Why did we underestimate the complexity of the job? Because we made a quick estimate of the time needed to complete it, and did not list the individual stages needed to complete the project. 

5. Why didn't we do this? Because we were running behind on other projects. We clearly need to review our time estimation and specification procedures. 

Key Points: 

The 5 Whys strategy is an easy and often-effective tool for uncovering the root of a problem. Because it is so elementary in nature, it can be adapted quickly and applied to most any problem. Bear in mind, however, that if it doesn't prompt an intuitive answer, other problem-solving techniques may need to be applied. 

Adapted from 

News You Can Use

Expanded Education, Excellent Networking Highlight Return to Disney 

Those who attended the 21st Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition, held January 12-16, 2010, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. were treated to more than 90 hours of top-tier education and numerous networking opportunities, including visiting with more than 140 companies at the Exhibition. 
Click here to read more about highlights from STMA’s return to Disney. 

STMA 2010 Board of Directors Announced 

The results of the 2010 elections of the Board of Directors were announced during the STMA Annual Meeting on Jan. 14, 2010. 
The 13-member Board of Directors officially took office at that time. 

STMA Founders Honored 

STMA honored four members of STMA by presenting them with the association’s most prestigious awards: the Dick Ericson, the William H. Daniel, the Toma Golden Rake and the Harry S. Gill Award. 
For more information, 
click here

New STMA Chapters installed 

Two new STMA affiliated chapters were officially presented their chapter gavels by Chapter Relations Chairman Amy Fouty, CSFM, during the Chapter Officers’ Training Session (COTS) held during STMA’s national conference. The Oregon chapter was formed last spring and the gavel was presented to its president, Debra Kneeshaw with chapter member Mike Hebrard in attendance. The Central Florida Chapter completed the required paperwork, this winter and its chapter president Randy Fisher and board members Scott Grace and George Lawson received the gavel. 

Recruit a Member, Get Merchandise! 

Membership growth is key to STMA’s sustainability. Studies show that the most effective way to grow an organization’s membership is to involve the current membership in these efforts. So, we would like to enlist you! We promise that you will reap great rewards, even if you refer just one new member.* The process is simple: 

• Any member who recruits a new member receives a STMA hat. 
• If you recruit 3 members, you will receive an STMA shirt (in addition to the hat)! 
• If you recruit 5 members, you will receive the hat, shirt and will be entered into a drawing to win a Travel Voucher for $1,000. 
• And each time you recruit 5 members, your name will again be entered into the drawing, so your odds of winning increase. 
• The program runs through April 15. 
• STMA membership forms will have a spot for the new member to list your name, so you’ll get credit. 
• The top recruiter will be awarded a $400 Visa gift card. 

All merchandise will be sent at the conclusion of the program. Remind those who you recruit to fill out the space on the on-line membership form or 
use this one

*STMA defines a new member as someone who has not been an STMA national member since 2004. All categories of membership are eligible to recruit; new student memberships do not qualify for this program. 

Conference Education Sessions Available for Purchase 

If you were unable to attend the conference, missed a presentation, or would like to review any of the education sessions, you have the opportunity to purchase an audio disk. STMA partnered with IQ Media to record the education sessions at the conference and pair the audio with approved speaker PowerPoint presentations. For a limited time you can purchase all of the education sessions for $129 before the price increases to $199. Individual sessions are $17. Please 
click here to order these valuable educational offerings.

2011 Call for Presentations 

Start making plans now for submitting your ideas for a presentation at the 2011 Conference in Austin, TX. Speaker benefits include airfare coverage and one night’s hotel for all non-commercial speakers. Look for the STMA ‘Call for Presentations’, which will be sent electronically to all members in February.


International Resources