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The STMA Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for the 2016 STMA Board elections. Anyone who is interested, please fill out this simple form. Uncertain about the responsibilities of an STMA national board member? Click here to review our Board Handbook that provides detailed information.

Immediate Past President David Pinsonneault reflects on his past six and one-half years of board service and offers this advice to those who are considering running. "Board service is a great way to give back to the organization. The great thing about STMA is that we all share a passion, and we all have knowledge to share. Serving on the Board of Directors provides an avenue for sharing that passion and knowledge, and together with great staff and the Strategic Plan positions our members to succeed. These are exciting yet challenging times that through your service we can influence for the benefit of our members and elevate safe fields for all users of our facilities," says Pinsonneault.

As Pinsonneault notes, STMA uses its strategic plan to guide the work of the board. The new 2015-2017 plan began its implementation in January, and staff and committee work is concentrated around the goals of the plan. At each quarterly meeting the Board reviews the plan and the association's progress to it. Adjustments can be made and resources redeployed to focus on areas that may need more attention. New Board members also spend time during their orientation learning about how STMA functions and the importance of the plan to the association. Read the plan here.

For 2016, three category-specific Director positions are open. They include Director – Academic, Director – Parks & Recreation, and Director – Higher Education. To be eligible to be slated in one of these positions, you must be a current voting member of STMA in one of these categories. You quality as a  member in Higher Education if you manage sports fields for institutions that provide education beyond the secondary level. To qualify in the Parks and Recreation category you must manage sports fields for a parks and recreational facility, municipality, city or other non-profit entity. Academics are defined as anyone who is engaged in research, education or in extension outreach programs related to sports fields. Directors who are elected to represent specific categories hold two-year terms with the opportunity to be re-elected to a second term.

One additional Director position is up for election: the Director – At Large Elected. Any category of voting membership is eligible to be slated for this one-year position.

The deadline to submit your interest is Fri., Aug. 14. The Nominating Committee will begin its work to vet candidates as they develop the slate for the election process. The membership will receive the 2016 ballot in November, and the newly elected Board will take office in January during the STMA Annual Meeting on Jan. 21, 2016 in San Diego, CA.

STMA and its charitable foundation, SAFE, (Foundation for Safer Athletic Fields for Everyone) remind you that they have jointly created two valuable educational DVDs for your library about baseball field maintenance.

Join Bob Christofferson of the Seattle Mariners and Larry DeVito now of the Minnesota Twins as they guide you through basic baseball field management practices. Topics covered in these DVDs are Mound Building and Home Plate Maintenance, as well as Maintaining a Baseball or Softball Skinned infield. The DVDs also include a version in Spanish.

The DVDs can be purchased for $15.00 each or $25.00 for the Combo Pack. Shipping and handling are not included. Click here for the order form, or to watch a condensed version of the educational videos for FREE, click here.

STMA's Technical Standards Committee learned that the ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) is developing a Standard Practice for Creating a List of Invasive Plants that are Environmentally Harmful (ASTM Standard WK40773). This list will include turfgrass. If successful, this standard could make turfgrass illegal for use on landscape that choose or are required to conform to ASTM standards.

ASTM develops voluntary consensus standards used internationally in a variety of industries. Approximately 12,000 ASTM standards are currently and actively used, according to ASTM. Although voluntary, ASTM standards are often cited in regulations. According to the ASTM website:
"ASTM standards are voluntary in the sense that their use is not mandated by ASTM. However, government regulators often give voluntary standards the force of law by citing them in laws, regulations and codes. In the United States, the relationship between private-sector standards developers and the public sector has been strengthened with the 1995 passage of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Public Law 104-113). The law requires government agencies to use privately developed standards whenever it is at all possible, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in formerly duplicative standards development efforts."

STMA's Technical Standards Committee Chair Jason Henderson, Ph.D., represents STMA on several committees of ASTM. Its committees develop and revise the standards. He will continue to research this issue and will take appropriate voting action on behalf of STMA and its membership.

Each month two speakers presenting at the 2016 National STMA Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, California will be featured. Don't miss the educational opportunities offered at the conference!

Bob Campbell, CSFM is a retired Sports Field Director from University of Tennessee. On Wednesday, January 20, he will be presenting "Sports Field Management, Past, Present, and Future."

The sports turf manager has always been a builder of dreams and memories. This presentation takes a look back at some of the people, innovations, and events, both famous and infamous, that have helped build some of these memories over time and shaped this profession to what it is today. We will also discuss ways in today's environment that the sports turf manager can define himself before others have the opportunity. Finally, we will look at our opportunity and obligation to be a builder of dreams and memories.

Attendees will learn:

1. The history of sports turf management to better understand the profession.
2. How to be more professional on the job.
3. How to improve appreciation of customers.

John Fech is an Extension Educator for University of Nebraska – Lincoln. On Thursday, January 21, he will be presenting "Keys to Success in Media Interviews."

Excelling in a television, radio, or social media interview is a crucial component of promoting your facility, profession and self in a positive and professional manner. This interactive presentation will provide the essential nuts and bolts of communicating effectively in a media interview through setting objectives, development of talking points, creating a positive message, gaining insights into how a news room functions, viewing successful media interviews, anticipating tough questions, learning how to control an interview, developing brand identity, avoiding reporter tricks and practice sessions in a risk-free atmosphere. The opportunity to develop a valuable media communication tool kit will bolster the capacity of sports turf managers to confidently communicate the positive aspects of their facility and frame discussions with stakeholders in an upbeat, accurate and convincing manner.

As a result of participation in this program, attendees will be able to:

1. Pitch ideas for media interviews to reporters.
2. Create succinct message points for interviews.
3. Effectively deliver message points during a media interview.
4. Promote the value of their sports turf facility to stakeholders and various media audiences.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

Thinking about volunteering to run for Board Service, other association activities or on a community board? It really is okay to ask, "What's in it for me?" Check out the benefits to you of volunteering.

Turf Rundown

Water is a critical issue for sustainability of agriculture and urban areas in the North American West. Turfgrass areas are asked to do more and be used by more people. Turfgrass with high quality, greater salt tolerance, and greater drought tolerance is essential. Click here to see how researchers at Utah State University and the USDA-ARS Forage and Range Laboratory are evaluating sustainable turfgrasses.

International Resources