The 2019 Conference and Exhibition January 22-25 in Phoenix, Arizona


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!

2019 STMA’s 30th Annual Conference & Exhibition

January 22-25, 2019
Phoenix, AZ

Convention Center

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

Explore what the city of Phoenix 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

Rachelle Sylvia

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.

Convention Center

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


Hotel Accommodations

The host hotel for the 2019 STMA Conference will be the Hyatt Regency Phoenix with a rate of $179 per night.

122 North Second Street
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 85004
Phone: (602) 252-1234
Website: Click here

Be on the look out this summer for more information and links to access the room block. The room block is currently unavailable. 


Flight and Travel

The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is located 3.5 miles from the Phoenix Convention Center.

Transportation from the airport is not provided. PHX uses various rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft to help ease your travels. The city of Phoenix also has the Valley Metro Rail that can provide easy transportation from the airport.

Instructions on how to get to the Convention Center or the Hyatt Regency Hotel via Valley Metro Rail can be found here

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.

Thirty 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
PDF Document
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
Session Handout
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
Burnout Checklist
Stress Symptom Checklist
Stress and Burnout Action Plan
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

Budget 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
Session Handout
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
VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues
Character Strength Icons
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
Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University

9:30 – 10:45 am

Rebranding Your Sports Turf and Grounds Maintenance Operation
Session Handout – Flowchart
Session Handout
Speaker: Kevin Mercer, CSFM, CGM – Denison University

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
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 – Analysing 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; Bruce Suddeth – University of South Carolina Upstate; Mason Ward – City of Carrollton

Lightning Rounds

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.

Click here

to the 2018 Digital Conference Brochure

Conference Registration

If you attended the 2018 STMA Conference in Fort Worth and need a Certificate of Attendance, click here.

  • 2018 – Fort Worth, TX
  • 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
2019 – Phoenix, AZ

January 22-25, 2019

2020 – West Palm Beach, FL

January 14-17, 2020

2021 – Palm Springs, CA

January 10-15, 2021

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.

Student Challenge Results – FINAL

2018 Student Challenge Champions

Two Year Competition
– Mt. San Antonio College – Team 208

Four Year Competition
– Iowa State University – Team 401

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

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

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)

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.

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.

2019 Conference

The 2019 STMA Conference and Exhibition will be taking place in Phoenix, Arizona from January 22-25!

Session Materials:
January 18, 2019: Educational handouts and PowerPoint presentations due

Please send your presentation materials (outlines, an article closely related to your presentation, or your PowerPoint presentation) to me prior to the conference. All of your information will be secured to prevent plagiarism. These materials will be available to attendees on the STMA website prior, during and after the conference. They will also be included on the recordings if your session is being recorded. Materials can be sent to me via email, Please be aware that my inbox only accepts up to 10 MB.

Non-Commercial Policy
Speakers will not be allowed under any circumstances to promote any product, company, or service within the presentation or handouts. It is both STMA’s and the speaker’s responsibility to present unbiased, honest information to attendees. STMA will NOT tolerate the following:
– Use of company or university logos. For example, company and university logos cannot appear on your slides.
– Use of brand or trade names. For example, when discussing pesticides, only the common name should be mentioned.
– Biased research results or data that positively reflect your company, product, or service and all competitors negatively. If your presentation requires inclusion of a product, company, or service, comprehensive data should be presented. For example, when discussing effectiveness of pesticides, the results of various pesticides should be presented instead of promoting the positive effects of one.
– Product, company, or service promotion. Individual promotion of products, companies, or services will not be allowed. The education session “New Trends and Technology in Sports Turf” has been specifically designated for promotion of company products and services. If you are not presenting during this presentation, please comply with STMA’s policy.
STMA will be monitoring presentations to ensure compliance. If you have any questions on what can and cannot be included in your presentation, please contact Kristen Althouse,

Pictures Needed!
Please send a picture of yourself for STMA to use for electronic marketing of your presentation.

For any questions or concerns, please contact Kristen Althouse, STMA Education Manager:
Phone: 800-323-3875


STMA Call for Presentations – 2020 Conference

The Call for Presentations for the 2020 Conference will open in March 2019.

Please direct any questions or concerns to Kristen Althouse, STMA Education Manager –