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STMA recently hosted its 28th annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. with more than 175 exhibitors and a record 1,300 attendees from 18 countries.
The four-day event was highlighted by the "Seminar on Wheels Tours" at various professional, collegiate and youth sports complexes in the Orlando region. In addition, attendees took part in more than 60 educational sessions, visited sports turf exhibits, networked with academics and participated in association business.
SAFE, the association's charitable foundation, raised more than $45,000 during the Conference through its Jan. 24 golf tournament, "Night of Bowling" and silent and live auctions throughout the week. SAFE recognizes scholarship and grant winners during the annual awards banquet. A highlight was a presentation of the Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant, which was presented to Nicholas Lievense, Purdue University, by Terry's brother, David Mellor, Boston Red Sox. Terry passed away as a young man. SAFE has awarded the grant since 2009. Proceeds from SAFE's fundraising benefit educational programs, scholarships and grants with the goal of enriching communities through safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.
Laura Katen, President of Katen Consulting, provided a keynote address on Jan. 26 to the STMA membership. She discussed the topic of professionalism, and how communication at an individual and organizational level influences how you are perceived by your peers, employer and community.
Next year's event will be held in Fort Worth, Texas Jan. 16-19, 2018. Additional future sites include Phoenix, Ariz. (2019) and West Palm Beach, Fla. (2020).
At the 2017 Annual Meeting on Jan. 26, the STMA Board of Directors officially took office. STMA's new President is Tim VanLoo, CSFM and Manager of Athletics Turf/Grounds for Iowa State University in Ames.
Other STMA officers elected to the Board include:
• President-Elect – Sarah Martin, CSFM, City of Phoenix (Phoenix, Ariz.)
• Immediate Past President – Jeff Salmond, CSFM, Director of Athletic Field Management, University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
• Secretary / Treasurer – Jody Gill, CSFM, Grounds Coordinator, Blue Valley School District (Overland Park, Kan.)
• Vice President Commercial – Doug Schattinger, President, Pioneer Athletics (Cleveland, Ohio)
• Professional Facilities Director – Weston Appelfeller, CSFM, Director of Grounds, Columbus Crew (Columbus, Ohio)
Directors fulfilling second-year terms are:
• Academic Director – Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D., Auburn University (Auburn, Ala.)
• Higher Education Director – Nick McKenna, CSFM, Baseball Field Manager, Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)
Members elected to Director positions include:
• Schools K-12 Director – Sun Roesslein, CSFM, Manager, North Area Athletic Complex (Arvada, Colo.)
• Commercial Director – Boyd Montgomery, CSFM, Certified Sales Executive, Regional Business Manager, The Toro Company (Minneapolis, Minn.)
• Elected-at-Large Director – Matt Anderson, CSFM, Grounds Superintendent, University of Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.)
Members appointed to the Board include:
• Randy Price, Tri-Tex Grass (Granbury, Texas)
• Jimmy Simpson, CSFM, Town of Cary (Cary, N.C.)
To read about the Board Members' vision for the STMA, click here.
STMA announces that two facilities in Spain have achieved Environmental Facility Certification. Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and Ciudad Real Madrid, managed by Paul Burgess, achieved certification in January.
Certification entails achieving an 80 percent passing score on 10 sections of best management practices and then having those practices attested by a qualified academic or CSFM during a face-to-face walk through of the facility.
Currently 12 facilities have achieved STMA Environmental Facility Certification.
For more information on Environmental Facility Certification, click here.
STMA's top honors, the 2016 Founders Awards, were presented at the STMA Annual Awards Banquet on Fri., Jan. 27 in Orlando, Fla. These awards are given in a 'surprise' presentation to those who exemplify the leadership traits of each founder. The four founders are Dick Ericson, George Toma, Dr. William H. Daniel (deceased) and Harry C. Gill (deceased).
Tom Nielson, Louisville Bats Baseball Club, receives the Dick Ericson Award
Tom has been cited by his peers as someone who has had a great influence on the lives of others in this profession. Several of the criteria of this award focus on personnel management and being open to the skills and the abilities of their staff members. During Tom's 25-year career, no fewer than seven of his assistants have gone on to high-level positions, managing large and complex field operations. He has served on many committees for STMA and is a true ambassador for the industry. Tom has excellent technical skills and is a master at converting a baseball field into a soccer pitch up to 19 times per year. He has worked in football, too, and is no stranger to receiving a Founders Award, having received one in 2011.
Tom was presented the award by the 2015 winner, Michael Buras, CSFM, Longwood Cricket Club, and founder Dick Ericson -- the award's namesake.
Bruce Suddeth, University of South Carolina-Upstate, receives the George Toma "Golden Rake" Award
The Toma is known as the "and then some" award, because this honor goes to an individual who goes above and beyond what is required. Sticking true to this motto, Bruce was a founding member of the South Carolina Chapter and has volunteered hundreds of hours to insure its success, as well as inspired others to get involved in the chapter. Known as the "man behind the scenes" local members give him credit for all the goals the chapter has accomplished including the development and execution of a very successful annual conference. One letter of support states that without Bruce's vision, dedication and leadership, the S. C. STMA chapter would not exist today.
Bruce was presented the award by the 2015 winner, Ben Polimer, Town of Weston, and founder George Toma, one of the two living founders of STMA.
Jason Kruse, Ph.D., University of Florida. receives the Dr. William H. Daniel Award
Jason has the responsibilities of teaching core courses for the Plant Science degree program and conducting research. He serves as the academic advisor for undergraduate students, is an advisor to the turf club and mentors graduate students as they complete their programs to join the industry. His research is focused on answering the question about the inputs required to maintain a healthy turfgrass system under a variety of conditions. He has also has had an impact outside of the U.S., working on projects in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. An associate professor, he serves as the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Environmental Horticulture Department for the University.
Jason was presented the award by the 2015 Daniel award winner, Mary Owen, University of Massachusetts.
STMA's highest honor, the Harry C. Gill Award, was awarded posthumously to Darian Daily, Cincinnati Bengals
Harry "Pops" Gill, as one of our four original founders, exemplified this commitment by ensuring a still-young STMA would grow successfully as an organization for the betterment of all sports turf managers. Darian exemplified Harry's commitment. This is the first time STMA has given a Founders Award posthumously. Few people have had an impact on the profession like Darian Daily. He was generous with his time, open with sharing ideas and was a true professional. He was dedicated to his job at the Bengals, to his chapter, to the STMA, and above all to his family. His memory will live on in all the things he touched -- in so many articles, presentations, informational resources and most significantly, in people.
Darian passed away unexpectedly in August 2016. He was very active in STMA, previously serving on its Board of Directors and numerous committees.
Last year's winner, Dr. Mike Goatley, Virginia Tech University, presented the award, and the entire membership accepted it on Darian's behalf with a toast. Attendees were invited to raise their glasses and say, "cheers" -- the typical way that Darian signed his emails and ended conversations -- to honor all that Darian did for the industry.
Congratulations to all STMA Student Challenge participants for their exceptional performance on the 2017 exam! The Student Challenge is presented by SAFE, Founding Partner Hunter Industries, and supporting sponsor Ewing. Nine two-year teams and 26 four-year teams competed for $5,000 awards in each division. Winning the two-year competition was Mt. San Antonio College – Team 207. Penn State University – Team 208 took second place, and Mt. San Antonio College – Team 201 took third place. Winning the four-year competition was Penn State University – Team 422. Iowa State University – Team 416 took second place and Virginia Tech – Team 409 took third place. See the full results of the STMA Student Challenge.
STMA partnered with IntelliQuest Media again to record educational sessions at the 2017 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.
Thanks to our sponsor DiamondPro, 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 $129 for all non-qualified registrants and non-attendees. Thumb drives are also available for $179 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 online library here.
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 2017 Conference in Orlando, Florida, please be sure to take a few moments to evaluate your experience using the online survey. Access the survey here. 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 2018 Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Please complete the survey by Friday, February 17.
The 2-Minute Tip for Success
With dress codes blurring from business casual to casual, do you know what's appropriate for your next business meeting? Following an informative presentation by Laura Katen at the 2017 STMA Annual Conference, click here to explore the five levels of dress code appropriate for men and women.
North Carolina State University hosted the 2016 Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education Research Symposium. Nationally recognized speakers addressed how the turfgrass industry may overcome future challenges of changes in climate, regulations, pest populations, and technology. Presentations were recorded and can be accessed on-demand here.