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San Diego played host to one of the most successful conferences on record for STMA . Approximately 1200 attendees were represented from 48 states. A record high of 175 exhibitors sold out the trade show floor and with more than 600 exhibitor personnel on-site, created the largest conference STMA has hosted. Attendees and exhibitors agreed it was an exceptional event.

Here is a sampling of comments STMA received:
"This was the first time that I had ever been to San Diego and the STMA national conference, and it has left lasting memories."

"I would just like to add my thanks to you and the STMA and as a "first timer" I was impressed by the whole week and in particular the education program."

"San Diego was by far the best STMA show I have attended since 2005. The venue was perfect."

"Everyone I have spoken with had a great time and found it very worthwhile -- this included exhibitors and visitors as well."

"I spoke with many attendees and they all agreed that this was the best conference to date, everything from the golf outing to trade show to banquet dinner was in perfect order and went off without a hitch."

"I just wanted to say thank you to you and all of the STMA Directors for putting on another wonderful conference. It is always such a great way to start the new year and get everyone motivated to be the best groundskeepers, and people, that we can be."

If you were unable to attend, STMA is offering recordings of the Education Sessions.

Don't miss the chance to see photos of all of your friends!

STMA and SAFE thanks its conference sponsors for their support in making this a valuable learning and networking event for attendees. The sponsors include Barenbrug, Beacon Athletics, Bush Sports Turf, Carolina Green, Covermaster, Diamond Pro, Ewing, FIELDS Inc., Gail Materials, Graff's Turf, GreenOne Industries, Hunter, John Deere, JSM Services, Kubota, Pioneer, Rain Bird, Syngenta, Team Premier Pro, Toro, Turface Athletics, TurfStar, Vescio Sports Fields, and World Class Athletics.

Be sure to sign up for committee service by Feb. 11. Even if you served on a committee in 2015, you must sign up to serve again on that committee or a different one for 2016. To avoid overburdening our volunteers, you are asked to sign up for just one committee. Uncertain about which committee you would be interested in serving on? Review the complete list here to find out the committees' charges and approximate time commitment. Committees help to guide the programs and services that STMA offers and ensures that we achieve our strategic plan.

Thank you to those who served in 2015, and thanks in advance to those of you who sign up to serve this year!

At the STMA Annual Meeting, held Jan. 21 in San Diego, Calif., the 2016 Board of Directors officially took office.

Following its introduction to the membership, newly elected President Salmond made two appointments. Those appointed to the 
Board include Jeff Fowler, Penn State Extension (left), to the At-Large Director position, and Randy Price, Tri-Tex Grass (right) to the Commercial Director position. 

The 2016 STMA Board of Directors also includes:
Immediate Past President: Allen Johnson, CSFM, Green Bay Packers, Green Bay, WI
President: Jeff Salmond, CSFM, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
President-Elect: Tim Van Loo, CSFM, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Commercial VP: Doug Schattinger, Pioneer Athletics, Cleveland, OH
Secretary/Treasurer: Sarah Martin, CSFM, City of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
Academic: Beth Guertal, Ph.D., Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Higher Education: Nick McKenna, CSFM, Texas A&M, College Station, TX
Parks & Rec: Jimmy Simpson, CSFM, Town of Cary, Cary, NC
At-Large Elected: Weston Appelfeller, CSFM, Columbus Crew SC, Columbus, OH
Professional Facilities: Dan Bergstrom, Houston Astros, Houston, TX
Schools K-12: Bobby Behr, CSFM, Ashley Ridge High School, Summerville, SC

STMA is proud to announce this year's Innovative Award winner for 2016, Royse Green Technologies for their LED Turf Tiles.

STMA recognizes that new technology and advancements in science, equipment, products and services continue to improve the sports turf management profession. To acknowledge those companies that are leading the evolution of the industry, STMA has created the Innovative Awards Program.
Criteria for this highly prestigious award include

• have been introduced for sale between the close of the current year's STMA show and the close of next year's STMA show.
• substantially enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Sports Turf Manager in the interest of making playing surfaces safer and more playable for athletes.

The 2015 winner was GT AirInject, Inc. To view full details of the application process please visit

Every year STMA awards its "Founders Awards", the highest honors in the industry. The four awards, named after STMA's founders, were presented during the STMA annual awards banquet on Jan. 22. Members nominate worthy candidates and the STMA Board independently votes on those who were submitted. Winners names are kept confidential until announced.

One of STMA's two living founders, Dick Ericson, attended the conference and helped to present the award named after him. STMA's other living founder, George Toma, was unable to attend; he was working his 50th Superbowl.

Recipients include:

• Dick Ericson Award: Michael Buras, CSFM, Longwood Cricket Club
• George Toma Golden Rake Award: Ben Polimer, Town of Weston
• William H. Daniel Award: Mary Owen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
• Harry C. Gill Award: Michael Goatley, Ph.D., Virginia Tech University

To see a complete list of previous winners, click here.

SAFE, the charity of STMA, held many successful fundraising events during the STMA conference last month. These events include the Diamond Pro Golf Tournament, FIELDS INC. Bowling Tournament, and the SAFE silent and live auctions, which raised more than $27,000. SAFE would like to thank The Toro Company, Pennington Seed Inc., and all those who donated to SAFE and participated in the fundraising.

The SAFE Foundation awards scholarships and grants, and conducts educational outreach. Its mission is to enrich communities through championing safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.

SAFE elected a new Chairman of the Board who took office Jan. 1: Jay Warnick, CSFM, Director of Sports Maintenance, FIELDS, Inc.

For more information, visit

Congratulations to all STMA Student Challenge participants for their exceptional performance on the 2016 exam! The Student Challenge is presented by SAFE, Founding Partner Hunter Industries, and supporting sponsor Ewing. Ten two-year teams and 22 four-year teams competed for $4,000 awards in each division. Winning the two-year competition was Mt. San Antonio College – Team 208. Penn State University – Team 205 took second place, and Mt. San Antonio College – Team 202 took third place. Winning the four-year competition was Penn State University – Team 409. Iowa State University – Team 402 took second place and University of Georgia – Team 414 took third place. See the full results of the STMA Student Challenge.

STMA partnered with IntelliQuest Media again to record educational sessions at the 2016 conference. Recorded sessions are available through an On-Line Library where users can have access to education at any time throughout the year. The Library features recorded presentations, speaker biographies, and presentation slides and handouts. The Library is accessible on portable devices such as iPad, iPhone, and other tablet devices.

Full conference attendees have free, unlimited, lifetime access to the Online Library. Look for an email with a link and instructions to access the recordings. Conference attendees also have the option of upgrading to a thumb drive hard copy for $50.

Conference recordings are also available to benefit those unable to attend the conference. Price for an all access subscription to the On-Line Library is $159 for all non-qualified registrants and non-attendees. Thumb drives are also available for $199 to those interested in a hard copy backup to the online content.

These recordings benefit conference attendees unable to make it to concurrent sessions and sports turf managers unable to make it to the conference. The recordings are also valuable as a refresher throughout the year for sports turf managers to stay current and educated in the industry. Make sure to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to enhance your education and stay current with industry trends and research!

Access the On-Line Library

Don't forget to visit the STMA Conference Handouts page to download and print speaker presentations and handouts from education sessions at the conference.

We want your feedback! If you attended the 2016 Conference in San Diego, California, please be sure to take a few moments to evaluate your experience using the online survey. The survey has been sent to all conference attendees in a separate email. We value your feedback in developing the conference for future years. You may take the survey anonymously, or fill out your personal information and be entered into a drawing for one free conference registration to the 2017 Conference in Orlando, Florida. Please complete the survey by Friday, February 12.

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