The 2018 Conference and Exhibition January 16-19 in Fort Worth, Texas


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 facitilities that offer a range of insights to take back home. There is simply no better conference around!!


Click here

to the 2018 Digital Conference Brochure

Conference Registration

What's New

New to STMA’s Annual Conference: Topgolf! Replacing the traditional-style Golf Tournament, the SAFE Foundation is happy to welcome attendees to sign up for their Topgolf Event. Sign up with your registration in October!

Click here Explore the City

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

Rachelle Sylvia

Check out the exhibition floor plan to see what booths are still available for the 2018 show!

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.

Hotel Accommodations

STMA has secured two host hotels in Fort Worth — the Omni and the Sheraton. Omni’s single or double rate is $189 per night and the Sheraton is offering a $169 single or double.

Omni Fort Worth – Reserve Now!

Click here to reserve your room now! For direct assistance from the hotel, please call 817-535-6664.

Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown – Reserve Now!

Click here to reserve your room now! Group rate available until December 26, 2017. For direct assistance from the hotel, please call 817-335-7000.

Hilton Fort Worth – SOLD OUT

Already have a reservation? For direct assistance from the hotel, please call 817-870-2100.

Flight and Travel

The Fort Worth Convention Center is located at 1201 Houston St., Fort Worth, TX 76102. The DFW airport is home to two airports – DFW and Dallas Love Field. We recommend flying into the DFW Airport as it is a closer commute to the convention center and hotels.

Transportation from the airport is not provided. DFW uses various rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft to help ease your travels.

Welcome to the 2018 Conference Education page! Here you will find presentations and handouts for education sessions occurring at STMA's 29th Conference and Exhibition.

For last year’s conference education, click here.

Tues., Jan. 16
STMA Short Courses – 2:30 – 5 pm

Should Financing & Leasing be a Part of Your Acquisition Strategy? Speaker: Paul Danielson, CSE – The Toro Company Historically, equipment acquisition in the sports turf segment (especially applicable to tax supported entities) has been predominantly a cash transaction. Available capital budget money has often not kept pace with the work you are required to accomplish. This presentation will help you determine if financing and leasing are a viable strategy, associated advantages and disadvantages, as well as navigating the financing process.

30 Years of Sports Turf Research – What Have We Learned?
Speaker: Trey Rogers, Ph.D. – Michigan State University
This presentation will cover important research topics and discoveries revolving around the Sports Turf Industry. The good, and the not so good, on what we have learned, as well as subjects that have come full circle in a 30-year period. This presentation will reinforce what everyone eventually learns – there are very few NEW ideas, only technology to carry the original ones forward.

Wed., Jan. 17
8 – 9:30 am – Opening General Session

We Are All in This Together: Relationships Between Sports Field Managers and Athletic Directors Speakers: Weston Appelfeller, CSFM – Columbus Crew SC; Andy Gossel -Covenant Christian HS; Andy Loughnane – Columbus Crew SC; Megan VanArsdale – Boyle County Schools Join us for discussion about how to establish and expand successful working relationships between sports turf managers and their supervisors and athletic directors. Questions and comments from the audience will be encouraged.

9:45 – 10:45 am

Sports Field Drainage – Problems and Solutions
Speaker: Andrew McNitt, Ph.D. – Penn State University

‘Professional’ Turfgrass Management
Speaker: Michael Goatley, Jr., Ph.D. – Virginia Tech

In Season Plant Growth Regulators: High Risk or High Reward?
Speaker: Keith Winter – Fort Wayne TinCaps

STC Guidelines for Synthetic Turf Base Systems
Speaker: Francois Hebert – Design & Solutions for Sports Surfaces F.H ltd (DSSS)

The Importance of Managing Soil Moisture on Athletic Fields
Speaker: Kyley Dickson, Ph. D. – University of Tennessee

Athletic Field Performance Testing
Speakers: Gerald Henry, Ph.D. and Chase Straw – University of Georgia
Performance testing of sports fields is becoming more common for the quantification of surface properties such as hardness and traction. Enhancements in sensor/sampling technology and increased concern for athlete safety and field performance has further driven interest. This presentation will teach attendees how to operate current sensor/sampler technology and integrate their use into daily maintenance practices.

11 am – 12 pm

Beyond the Science, the Art of Sports Turf
Speaker: Stephen Crockett, CSFM – City of Union City, Tennessee
At any level, from municipal to professional, there are a great variety of techniques which can be used to make a field aesthetically pleasing to all involved. This presentation will cover striping patterns, logo painting, turf colorants, and new technology and techniques to accomplish at every level.

Warm Season Weed Control
Speaker: James Brosnan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

Synthetic Field Management
Speakers: Matt Anderson, CSFM – The University of Arizona; Sarah Martin, CSFM – City of Phoenix, Parks and Recreation; Doug Schattinger – Pioneer Athletics

Our Season with TifGrand
Speaker: Nick Fedewa – SMG Jacksonville/Jaguars

Establishing a Bermuda Field Without Irrigation
Speaker: Michael Skelton – Culpeper County Parks and Rec

The Ups and Downs of Soil pH Modification
Speaker: Nick Christians, Ph.D. – Iowa State University

2 – 3:15 pm

Managing Stress and Avoiding Burnout
Speaker: Lisa Goatley, M.S., L.P.C. – The Cascade Group

Athletic Field Drainage from Design to Maintenance
Speaker: Thomas Rychlik, P.E., LEED-AP – Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc.

Renovating a Collegiate Baseball Field in Multiple Phases
Speaker: Jon Fitch – Shive-Hattery, Inc

Budgets Cuts – Are You Prepared to Justify?
Speaker: Roger Havlak – City of San Angelo / Angelo State University
This presentation will provide useful information to individuals who are involved in developing and implementing sports field and landscape maintenance budgets, capital expenditures, project budgets, water budgets, etc. The focus will be on the development of minimum maintenance standards for park and sports field systems, prioritizing and justifying expenditures, and utilizing PET water budgets.

Advanced Soil Science for the Sports Turfgrass Professional
Speaker: Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D. – Brigham Young University

Facility Liability and Lawsuit Prevention
Speaker: Patrick McGuiness – Zlimen and McGuiness, Attorneys at Law

3:30 – 5 pm

Optimizing Bermudagrass Athletic Field Winter Survival in the Transition Zone
Speakers: Marcus Dean, CSFM and Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky

Multiple Sports on Fields and Multiple Locations of Schools
Speakers: Danny Foye, Jr. and Kevin Morgan – Duval County School Board
This presentation will discuss the challenges of caring for multiple fields, hosting multiple sports, located within Duval County schools. Attendees will learn about maintenance scheduling challenges and working closely with athletic directors and coaches, how to use local resources to help maintain safe fields, and ways to network with local professional and college teams to utilize resources and benefit all.

Athlete Perception and Injury Risk Within Natural Turfgrass Sports Fields
Speakers: Gerald Henry, Ph.D. and Chase Straw – University of Georgia

In with the New: BMPs for Regrassing Cool-Season Turf
Speakers: Michael Buras, CSFM – Longwood Cricket Club; John Inguagiato, Ph.D. – University of Connecticut

Low Budget Weed Control
Speakers: Jared Hoyle, Ph.D. – Kansas State University; Jay McCurdy, Ph.D. – Mississippi State University

Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers
Speaker: Josh McPherson, CSFM – University of Missouri

5:15 – 6:15 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. 18
8 – 9:15 am

Professional Development: Necessary Steps in Your Career Advancement
Speaker: James Bergdoll, CSFM – City of Chattanooga Department of Public Works

Sports Turf Research Focusing on Athlete Performance and Safety
Speaker: John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

Asking the Tough Questions
Speaker: Grady Miller, Ph.D. – NC State University
As one of the writers for SportsTurf Magazine’s “Ask the Expert”, Dr. Grady Miller has been involved in over 100 columns in the last 18 years. He has answered questions about ants, zeolites, blood, goats, shoes, vandals, and everything in between. This presentation will highlight the informative to the funny stories, as well as questions most frequently asked and those that caused the most controversy.

Behind the Scenes: Recreational and Collegiate Athletic Field Management at the University of Florida
Speaker: Jason Kruse, Ph.D. – University of Florida

Making Better Weather-Based Management Decisions
Speaker: Brad Jakubowski – Penn State University

Topdressing and Cultivation for Your Athletic Fields – Part 1
Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University

Topdressing and Cultivation for Your Athletic Fields – Part 1
Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University

9:30 – 10:45 am

Have You Prepared Your Staff for Success or Failure?
Speaker: Amy Fouty, CSFM – Michigan State University
You believe your new employee will bring great value to your team. Are you on the same page? This presentation will assist with helping you understand yourself and your hires, as well as how to create a winning team together

John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz Comes Alive
Speaker: John Mascaro – Turf-Tec International

Turfgrass Insects
Speaker: Gary Brooks – Bayer

Understanding Dislodgeable Foliar Residues and Optimizing Pesticide Applications
Speaker: Travis Gannon, Ph.D. – NC State University
Much concern exists around human pesticide exposure from treated turfgrass areas. Understanding factors that affect dislodgeable foliar residues is imperative to ensure human health is not adversely affected. This presentation will focus on optimizing pesticide efficacy and devising best management practices to minimize pesticide exposure and off-target movement.

PR/Social Media Recognition: Why It’s Important for Your Boss to Know!
Speakers: Glenn Gray and Tomás Silvani – Buffalo.Agency

Topdressing and Cultivation for Your Athletic Fields – Part 2
Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University

11 am – 12 pm

Keynote – Mark Johnson – Retired NCAA Division 1 Baseball Coach
Everyone Counts, Because Everyone Brings an Attitude, Energy, and Enthusiasm
Mark Johnson has spent years speaking throughout the country and overseas. He will bring high energy and exhibit 41 years of coaching motivation. He will visit humorous topics concerning the “In’s and Outs of Baseball” and the honored tradition of baseball “signs.” Mark will inspirationally touch on subjects of adversity, pressure, vision, and risking to achieve. And in the end, he will ask you to get off the sidelines and “let your light shine.”

Fri., Jan. 19
8 – 10 am

ASBA Panel Discussion – Analyzing and Comparing Bid Specifications: An Apples to Apples Comparison
Speakers: James Catella, PE – Clark Companies; Michael Gentile – Sports Labs USA; Craig Honkomp – Sportsworks Field Design
Every specification is different. This panel will help attendees navigate the “gray areas” and define product specifications vs. performance specifications for both natural and synthetic turf projects.

Panel Discussion – Cool-Season Field Renovation
Speakers: Leah Brilman, Ph.D. – DLF Pickseed USA; John Inguagiato, Ph.D. – University of Connecticut; Brad Park – Rutgers University; Pamela Sherratt – The Ohio State University

Panel Discussion – When Disaster Strikes: A Guide to Manage, Recover & Prepare
Speakers: Kim Bybee – City of Carrollton; Amy Fouty, CSFM – Michigan State University; Bruce Suddeth – University of South Carolina Upstate; Mason Ward – City of Carrollton

Lightning Rounds

  • Bluemuda: What Is It and Is It Right for You?
    Speaker: Brian Winka, CSFM – City of Chesterfield Parks and Recreation Department
  • Recognizing the Depletion of Multi-Use Parks and Green Spaces
    Speaker: Peter Auth – Santa Clara Unified School District
  • Early Stress Detection Using Standard Cameras: Innovative Technology
    Speaker: Eyal Katz, Ph.D. – GrassFocus Ltd.
  • Safer Sports: How Science Meets Mother Nature, Trends & Technology
    Speaker: Dan Sawyer – Brock USA
  • Recycling, Repurposing, and Reusing Rubber Infilled Systems
    Speaker: Darren Powers – Redexim Turf Products
1:30 – 3 pm – Repeat Sessions

‘Professional’ Turfgrass Management
Speaker: Michael Goatley, Jr., Ph.D. – Virginia Tech
Being a professional in the sports turf industry goes far beyond the basic mastery of agronomic skills. How do you present yourself? What are ways to advance your career? Can you become a better communicator? Can you build a work-related team such that everyone benefits both personally and professionally? Attend this session to learn strategies to help increase your level of professionalism.

In Season Plant Growth Regulators: High Risk or High Reward?
Speaker: Keith Winter – Fort Wayne TinCaps

Athletic Field Drainage from Design to Maintenance
Speaker: Thomas Rychlik, P.E., LEED-AP – Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc.

  • 2017 – Orlando, FL
  • 2016 – San Diego, CA
  • 2015 – Denver, CO
  • 2014 – San Antonio, TX
  • 2013 – Daytona Beach, FL
  • 2012 – Long Beach, CA
  • 2011 – Austin, TX
  • 2010 – Orlando, FL
  • 2009 – San Jose, CA
  • 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
2018 – Ft. Worth, TX

January 16-19, 2018

2019 – Phoenix, AZ

January 22-25, 2019

2020 – West Palm Beach, FL

January 14-17, 2020

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. The 2018 Student Challenge will take place Thursday, January 18 from 2-4:30 pm at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Student Challenge Study Guide – Click here

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)
National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP)
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)
Texas Nursery and Landscape Association (TNLA)
Texas Turfgrass Association (TTA)

The following states are providing Pesticide Recertification Credits:

*Pesticide Recertification credits will only be available for Texas. 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.

See which sessions qualify for CEUs. 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.