The 2020 Conference and Exhibition January 13-16 in West Palm Beach, Florida


Header Image Photo Credit: Visit Phoenix


STMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition allows members to share information with other successful members of the sports turf industry at exciting locations. In addition to educational seminars, hands-on workshops and the latest technology on display, conference attendees are able to tour professional, college and municipal facilities that offer a range of insights to take back home. There is simply no better conference around!

2020 STMA’s 31st Annual Conference & Exhibition

January 13-16, 2020
West Palm Beach, FL

Registration will open October 1, 2019.  Click here to view a Schedule-at-a-Glance for the 2020 Conference.

Convention Center

Palm Beach County Convention Center
650 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Explore what the city of West Palm Beach has to offer here

STMA Annual Conference Exhibitor Resources


Marketing & Events is STMA’s Conference Exhibition Partner. If you are interested in exhibiting at the STMA Conference & Exhibition, or are already signed up as an exhibitor and have questions about your booth, contact Marketing & Events at:

David Rosenberg

2020 Exhibitor Contract 
2020 Floor Plan

Donate to the SAFE Foundation!

Don’t forget to donate items to the SAFE Silent & Live Auctions or the large item raffle!  To donate, please fill out the donation form and mail, email, or fax it to STMA Headquarters.

Innovative Awards Program

STMA to Recognize Commercial Companies

The Innovative Awards Program will recognize those commercial company members that have developed a product, service, equipment or technology that substantially enhances the effectiveness of the Sports Turf Manager. The innovation could also make playing surfaces safer and more playable for athletes.

Any STMA Commercial member who is exhibiting at the upcoming STMA Annual Conference and Exhibition is eligible to submit one entry annually. The company must display the innovation in its booth and have introduced it for sale between the close of the current year’s STMA show and the close of the following year’s show. The only criteria that the innovation must meet is that is should substantially enhance the effectiveness of the sports turf manager and/or make the surfaces safer and more playable for athletes.

A panel of non-commercial STMA members representing all segments of membership will judge the entries and may give the award to multiple companies that meet the criteria.

Winner(s) will be kept confidential until announced during the first day of the STMA Trade Show. Winner(s) will be able to use the special logo, seen here, in their promotion of the winning product, service, technology or equipment. STMA will publicize the winners through its communication vehicles, STMA press releases, signage at the conference and with special recognition during the Annual Awards Banquet.

Click here for the electronic Innovative Awards Form.

For more information about the program contact STMA at Submittals must be sent electronically by Oct. 15.

Conference Guidelines, Policies and Permissions


  • Pre-registration is only available until Jan. 4, 2019. After that date, all registrations will be on-site.

If you are registering after Jan. 4th, you will need to bring your registration form to conference with you and register at STMA Attendee On-Site Registration desk located in the Phoenix Convention Center starting Tuesday morning.

Please do not have your office fax it to STMA HQ after Jan. 4th. It cannot be processed.

  • New First Time Member Free Registration Promotion: All New Member Free Registrations must be done online. You need to login in, pay for your New First Time Member Dues then go back in to register for your free registration.

These will not be processed over the phone, by mail, email or fax.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations must be in writing and received by December 15th. All cancellations are subject to a $50 processing fee. NO refunds will be issued after December 15th.

Refunds will be issued within 30 days after conference.

Fax, Mail or email Cancellations to:


805 New Hampshire Street, Ste E                                                   Fax 785.843.2977    

Lawrence, KS  66044  

If the conference & exhibition is cancelled for any cause beyond STMA’s control, registration fees will be refunded at pro rata basis based on the expenses incurred at the date of cancellation.

STMA holds event cancellation insurance that will be used to provide the most equitable refunds possible.

Refunds will NOT be provided to registrants who are unable to attend due to weather.


Policies, Requests and Permissions

  • If you have any reasonable accommodation, special needs or vegetarian meal requests, please contact STMA Headquarters by December 15th.
  • STMA will not accept registrations from countries that are being sanctioned by the U.S.
  • Photography Permission: A professional photographer will be documenting conference events. By registering for the conference, you give permission for STMA to use all photos with your likeness.

Convention Center

Palm Beach County Convention Center
650 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401


Hotel Accommodations

The Marriott Hotel is now open for the 2020 STMA Conference with a rate of $195 a night. The conference will be taking place Jan. 13-16, 2020. The cutoff date for reservations will be Fri., Dec. 20, 2019.

1001 Okeechobee Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone: (561) 833-1234

IMPORTANT: Organizations who reserve multiple rooms MUST release any rooms they do not intend on using by Dec. 1. If you do not drop the room(s) by that date, you will be charged one night’s stay per room dropped after the Dec. 1 due date.

To make your reservation, click here. You can also call 1-800-228-9290 and ask for STMA Conference Rate.


Flight and Travel

Whether you’re flying via a commercial airline or private jet, Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) is right in the heart of The Palm Beaches. Situated just minutes from the Downtown Convention Arts & Entertainment District, PBI offers more than 150 daily flights on 12 major airlines. A bit farther south, Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) is a great option for those visiting Boca Raton, Delray Beach and other areas of South Palm Beach County. Miami International Airport (MIA) is also a great option for international visitors to The Palm Beaches to consider.

Learn more about getting into West Palm Beach here

When arriving at the two other South Florida airports serving The Palm Beaches – Miami International Airport (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) – relax by taking Tri-Rail. MIA has a station right in the airport, or from FLL cruise by free shuttle to the Dania Beach station. When flying in locally via Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), a free shuttle serves the West Palm Beach station.

Find fares as low as $2.50 one-way, and even ride all-day on throughout South Florida on weekends . . . for only $5. Large groups are welcomed, when it’s 25 or more, Tri-Rail offers a 15% fare discount.

Read more about the Tri-Rail here.

Welcome to the 2019 Conference Education page! Here you will find presentations and handouts for education sessions occurring at STMA's 30th Conference and Exhibition.

For 2017 and 2018 conference education, click here.

To purchase the recorded conference education sessions, please visit our online library.

Tues., Jan. 22
1:15 – 5 pm

Educational Demonstrations at Tempe Diablo Stadium Complex
Speakers: Dr. David Kopec and Kai Umeda – The University of Arizona
Get offsite and outside with educational demonstrations at the Tempe Diablo Stadium Complex. New for 2019, pre-conference education will offer attendees the opportunity to experience various sports turf management practices in action. Attendees will rotate through five stations where they can interact with their peers and learn how to improve field operations. Stations will include sprayer calibration, sprayer nozzle selection, using instruments to measure soil conditions, field painting, and infield maintenance.

Wed., Jan. 23
8 – 9:30 am – Opening General Session

Opening General Session – Sports Turf Talk Show
Hosted by Thomas Nikolai, Ph.D. – Michigan State University, Brandon Horvath, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee and John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee
Kick off the STMA Conference with an interactive discussion where our hosts will interview sports turf managers from across the nation. Structured like a late-night talk show, turfgrass experts will sit down and share how they achieve customer satisfaction while still providing safe, high performance athletic surfaces.

9:45 – 10:45 am

Carbon Fertilization: Snake Oil or the Next Big Thing?Preview this education session
Speaker: Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D. – Brigham Young University

Tackling Traffic: Reducing Traffic on Multi-Use FieldsPreview this education session
Speaker: Marc Moran, CSFM – Atlee High School

Synthetic Turf = “Zero Maintenance??”Preview this education session
Speaker: Jeremy Tredway – Indiana University (Bloomington)

Measure Twice, Apply Once: Practical Reductions in Pesticides and Fertilizers
Speaker: Ryan DeMay – Columbus Recreation and Parks Department

Getting a Seat at the Table
Speaker: Jim Speelman, CSFM – Hope College

Budgeting for Your Facility
Speaker: Rebecca Auchter, CSFM – Franklin Park Boro
Ultimately, a sports turf or grounds management program must be funded to succeed. This presentation focuses on the 3 primary categories of budgeting: The Turf Program, Equipment and Personnel. Detailed examples will show sports turf managers how to justify both operational and capital budgets.

11 am – 12 pm

Agronomic Assessment for Sports Fields: Future Implications for Risk Assessment
Speaker: Kristie Walker, Ph.D. – University of Minnesota Crookston
The most difficult turfgrass areas to manage are sports fields due to traffic they receive by players. Sports played on turfgrass can result in injury to players due to diminished field conditions. We will explore the agronomic properties that should be included in field maintenance assessments to reduce player injuries.

Don’t Say the “M” Word: Math
Speaker: Samuel Doak – Virginia Tech

Irrigation Renovation and Troubleshooting Strategies
Speaker: Ashley Wilkinson – Horry-Georgetown Technical College

Healthy Soil, Healthy Turf – Preview this education session
Speaker: Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky

New Trends and Technology in Sports Turf
Speakers: Representatives from STMA Commercial Companies
After a two-year hiatus, this popular session is back! Ten of STMA’s commercial companies have been selected to give a five-minute presentation to introduce and explain the benefits of a new or improved product or service currently available to sports turf managers.

Synthetic Athletic Fields Through the Seasons
Speaker: Jason DeMink, CSFM – University of Michigan Athletics

2 – 3:15 pm

Advanced Weed Control for Athletic Field Turf
Speakers: Jim Brosnan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee and Gerald Henry, Ph.D. – University of Georgia

Practitioners Guide to Managing Infield Skin Surfaces
Speaker: Joseph Potrikus, CSFM – Greener World Athletic Turf Services

Smart Irrigation- Navigating the Market for your Facility
Speaker: Ben Polimer – Town of Weston

Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers, Part 2 (Self-Care)
Speaker: Josh McPherson, CSFM – University of Missouri

Using Drones in Your Sports Field Management Program
Speakers: Tanner Delvalle – Penn State University and Caleb Clements – Blue Valley School District USD 229
This presentation will outline the basics of obtaining a remote pilot license, guidelines for flying legally, equipment available and the types of cameras used. The presentation will also outline a strategy for “selling” the idea to administration or owners on the value and potential cost-saving information that can be gathered from small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).

New Technologies in Sports Field Sod Production, Installation and Maintenance
Speaker: Ross Kurcab, CSFM – Championship Sports Turf Systems

Chapter leaders will hear real-world presentations from five chapters about programs that worked and didn’t work and then have a full audience Q&A on burning questions.

3:30 – 5 pm

Plant and Soil Interactions for Athletic Fields – Preview this education session
Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University
Part 1 – Dr. Nick Christians
Part 2 – Dr. Adam Thoms

Turf and Weedy Grass Identification for the Sports Turf Manager
Speakers: Tony Koski, Ph.D. and Alison O’Connor, Ph.D. – Colorado State University

The Impact of Fraze Mowing on Overseeding
Speakers: Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee and Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky

One Field, One Season: Maintaining Kenan Stadium
Speakers: Casey Carrick, CSFM – University of North Carolina and Chad Price, CSFM, CFB – Carolina Green Corp.

Irrigation Water Testing and Interpretation: Case Studies from the Field
Speakers: Charles Fontanier, Ph.D. and Justin Quetone Moss, Ph.D. – Oklahoma State University

Experiential Storytelling
Moderated by Joel White
This new education format is all about the triumphs, challenges, innovations and failures you as sports turf managers face every day. Nothing is off the table in this moderated session where attendees can share best practices, overcoming adversity when something went horribly wrong, and success stories. Come prepared to learn, laugh and connect on common issues with your peers.

5:15 – 6 pm – STMA Networking Sessions

Meet with your peers during this formalized networking session. Each category of membership meets separately to share issues and practical solutions.

Thurs., Jan. 24
8 – 9:15 am

Stadium Turfgrass Shade Management
Speaker: Dan Bergstrom, CSFM – BBVA Compass Stadium

Event Management: Developing a Landscape Protection Program
Speaker: Michael Stachowicz – National Park Service
Turf Managers are more than ever playing host to a wide variety of events on turfgrass. The ability of a facility to host a concert one night and a sports event the next day is becoming a key to the economic success of a facility. This presentation helps provide the framework for turf managers to develop their own landscape protection program.

Performance of Hybrid Grass Systems
Speakers: Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. and John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

Mentoring/Training the Next Generation of Sports Turf Managers
Speaker: Tim VanLoo, CSFM – Iowa State University

Back to Basics: Improving the Soil Physical Properties of Highly Trafficked Turfgrass
Speaker: Andrew McNitt, Ph.D. – Penn State University

Competition Kills
Speaker: Michael Goatley, Ph.D. – Virginia Tech

9:30 – 10:45 am

Know Your Audience: Strategies for Discussing Pest ManagementPreview this education session
Speaker: Jim Brosnan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

Performance Testing and Player Safety
Speaker: Gerald Henry, Ph.D. – University of Georgia

Development of a Topdressing Program for Athletic Field Managers – Preview this education session
Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University
Part 1 – Dr. Nick Christians
Part 2 – Dr. Adam Thoms

Elevate Your Value Through PR and Social Media!
Speakers: Tomas Silvani and Glenn Gray – Buffalo.Agency

Back to Basics: Understanding Soil Fertility and Soil Testing Results
Speaker: Bill Kreuser, Ph.D. – University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Soil test reports and fertilization programs are often needlessly confusing. This seminar will focus on the nutrients that are really important and explain which nutrients are rarely important agronomically. Attendees will also learn how to develop an effective and affordable fertilization program.

Alternative Infills and Maintenance of Synthetic Turf
Speaker: Dan Strunk, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

11 am – 12 pm

Keynote – How to Grow Weeders Into Leaders
Speaker: Jeff McManus – University of Mississippi
Most organizations can’t pay for the talent they want, but with the right strategy most organizations can GROW the talent they have to get the leaders they need. Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Leadership is a mindset. It begins with aligning the work to a vision of greatness, resiliency, opportunity and wisdom, and then developing an environment based on trust, communication, respect and credibility. Jeff takes the audience on a tour of Leadership Basics, developing a culture of accountability, and encouraging and recognizing the talent within our organizations and ourselves.

Fri., Jan. 25
8 – 10 am

Career Development Panel
Speakers: Allen Johnson, CSFM – Green Bay Packers, Sun Roesslein, CSFM – North Area Athletic Complex/Jeffco Schools Athletics and Tim VanLoo, CSFM – Iowa State University

Baseball Panel Discussion
Speakers: Andy Gossel – Covenant Christian High School, Matt Neri – State College Spikes Baseball and John Turnour – Washington Nationals

University Research Update
Speakers: Academics from various Universities

Moderated by Jeremy Tredway
This session will brainstorm a variety of topics from industry problems to hot topics. Each topic will be taped to the wall and attendees will vote on the topics they wish to discuss during the session by putting a colored dot sticker on that topic. The highest rated topics will be addressed.

1:30 – 3 pm – Repeat Sessions

Tackling Traffic: Reducing Traffic on Multi-Use FieldsPreview this education session
Speaker: Marc Moran, CSFM – Atlee High School
This presentation focuses on techniques used at Atlee High School to reduce traffic while working within a tight budget. Education, communication channels, traffic rotation plans and innovative field layouts have allowed for reduced traffic and wear in high traffic areas. These techniques have allowed us to work within a tight financial structure and still provide STMA FOY caliber fields.

Healthy Soil, Healthy Turf – Preview this education session
Speaker: Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky

Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers, Part 2 (Self-Care)
Speaker: Josh McPherson, CSFM – University of Missouri

2019 STMA’s 30th Annual Conference & Exhibition 

January 22-25, 2019
Phoenix, AZ

View the 2019 Digital Conference Brochure here.
View the 2019 Social Media Toolkit here.
Fill out a Trip Report here.

Convention Center

Phoenix Convention Center
100 N 3rd St, Phoenix, Arizona 85004

  • 2019 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • 2018 – Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2017 – Orlando, Florida
  • 2016 – San Diego, California
  • 2015 – Denver, Colorado
  • 2014 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2013 – Daytona Beach, Florida
  • 2012 – Long Beach, California
  • 2011 – Austin, Texas
  • 2010 – Orlando, Florida
  • 2009 – San Jose, California
  • 2008 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • 2007 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2006 – Orlando, Florida
  • 2005 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • 2004 – San Diego, California
  • 2003 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2002 – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 2001 – Tampa, Florida
  • 2000 – St. Louis, Missouri
  • 1999 – Mesa, Arizona
  • 1998 – Orlando, Florida
  • 1997 – Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 1996 – Anaheim, California
  • 1995 – Bradenton, Florida
  • 1993 – Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1992 – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1991 – San Diego, California
  • 1990 – Houston, Texas
  • 1989 – Vero Beach, Florida
2020 – West Palm Beach, FL

January 13-16, 2020

2021 – Palm Springs, CA

January 11-14, 2021

2022 – Savannah, GA

January 17-20, 2022

The STMA Student Challenge is presented in partnership with the SAFE Foundation, Founding Partner Hunter Industries and supporting sponsor Ewing. Each year students from 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities across the country compete in an exam that challenges knowledge in the sports turf industry. The winning teams receive a cash award, a plaque and medallions for each team member. The prize money benefits the institution’s turf program and creates opportunities for students pursuing a career in sports turf management.

Congratulations to all of the teams that competed in the 2019 Student Challenge!  Winning the two-year competition was Penn State University – Team 203. Mt. San Antonio College – Team 204 took second place, and Mt. San Antonio College – Team 212 took third place. Winning the four-year competition was Iowa State University – Team 424. Penn State University – Team 404 took second place and University of Maryland – Team 417 took third place.  For the full results, click here.

2-year Division Winners – Penn State University  – Team 203: Raul Iurk, Aaron Cabanaw, Marcus Lounello, Alexander Panzenhagen

4-year Division Winners – Iowa State University – Team 424: Alex Polnow, Thomas Gould, Kylah Crooks, Marcus O’Brien

The STMA Student Challenge is presented in partnership
 with the SAFE Foundation, Founding Partner Hunter Industries, and supporting sponsor Ewing.

Note: STMA Education Manager Kristen Althouse oversees the Student Challenge. She teaches first-year botany students who are in a two-year program at Penn State University. These first year students do not participate in the Student Challenge. She also has signed a binding, non-disclosure agreement. For questions or concerns, please contact STMA CEO, Kim Heck,, ph. 800-323-3875.

STMA Student Challenge Participant Code of Conduct and Eligibility Requirements

Code of Conduct
As a participant in the STMA Student Challenge and a guest of STMA, SAFE, and the sponsors of the event, all participating students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional, courteous and responsible manner while at the STMA Conference and Exhibition.

Participants in the STMA Student Challenge competing on a two-year team may compete in no more than three total Student Challenge events.
Participants in the STMA Student Challenge competing on a four-year team may compete in no more than five total Student Challenge events.
Students who have transferred from a two-year program to a four-year program may compete in up to five total Student Challenge events.
Graduate students may not participate.

Should a student be deemed to be in violation of policies by authorized STMA staff or volunteers, the team/school that the student represents may be disqualified from current and future STMA Student Challenge competitions and will be asked to pay for the Conference registration of all team members and forfeit all awards.  Please contact STMA with any questions regarding these policies at 800.323.3875 or

Previous STMA Student Challenge Winners

2018 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition
– Mt. San Antonio College – Team 208
Four Year Competition
– Iowa State University – Team 401

2017 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College – Team 207
Four Year Competition 
– Penn State University – Team 422

2016 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College – Team 208
Four Year Competition – 
Penn State University – Team 409

2015 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Penn State University – Team 207
Four Year Competition – University of Maryland – Team 414

2014 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – 
Mt. San Antonio College – Team 202
Four Year Competition – 
University of Maryland – Team 410

2013 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – 
Horry-Georgetown Technical College – Team 202
Four Year Competition – University of Maryland – Team 412

2012 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Kirkwood Community College Team 204
Four Year Competition – 
Purdue University Team 402

2011 Student Challenge Champions

Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College Team 206
Four Year Competition – Purdue University Team 415

2010 Student Challenge Champions 
Two Year Competition – Penn State University Team 207
Four Year Competition – Penn State University Team 409

2009 Student Challenge Champions 
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College Team 102
Four Year Competition – Penn State University Team 009

2008 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Penn State University Team 104
Four Year Competition – Penn State University Team 008

2007 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College Team 14
Four Year Competition – University of Tennessee Team 24

2006 Student Challenge Champions 
Purdue University Team 9

2005 Student Challenge Champions
Penn State University

Increase your professionalism by taking advantage of the continuing education units (CEUs) being offered at the STMA Conference this year. Earn up to 1.5 CEUs through STMA. In addition to STMA, the following professional organizations have agreed to provide CEUs for attending education sessions at the conference:

American Sports Builders Association (ASBA)
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)
National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP)

The following states are providing Pesticide Recertification Credits:

*Pesticide Recertification credits will only be available for Arizona. If you are attending from another state and are in need of pesticide recertification credits, you are responsible for contacting your state’s Department of Agriculture for approval.

Click here for a list of sessions that qualify. See the onsite brochure for a detailed listing of education sessions that qualify for CEUs and recertification credits. Be sure to sign in using the appropriate form during the education sessions.

2020 Conference – Call for Presentations

The 2020 Call for Presentations has closed.  Please check back in March 2020 to submit for the 2021 conference.  If you submitted a presentation for the 2020 conference, you will be notified of selection by June 1.