This summer I met with Charles Conner III, deputy state director for Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). I was initially intimidating to contact him, but after my second email to Conner, we worked out a time for him to come visit Cattail Creek Country Club. Our meeting would introduce him to the new Maryland State BMPs, show him positive environmental impacts we make and talk some about the labor situation in Maryland.
Conner is a busy man so it it was difficult to find a time convenient for both of us, but by the time we had something solidified, I was calling him by his nickname, "Chuck." On the day of the visit, I met him in the golf shop where he was already checking out the Peter Millar section. Connor is a big golfer, and his buddies used him as their ace for their charity scramble events.
Conner is in his 30s, and despite playing golf since he was a kid, he learned plenty on our tour around the course. He asked great questions about maintenance frequencies and labor demands. He couldn’t get over how beautiful the property was including the clear streams despite heavy rains this year. We did an overview on the BMPs and how the entire country is working to adopt these voluntary guidelines.
Conner made it clear that he and the senator were there to help and work for us. He appreciated the work we have done on the BMPs. We are currently working on securing an official endorsement from the senator for our BMP project. We made clear to him that our labor pool is small and H2-B could work better for our industry if the numbers were more adequate.
From the meeting, I learned as a GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador don’t be intimidated by the names or positions, and be diligent with your asks and to make some headway.
Golf course superintendent
Cattail Creek Country Club in Glenwood, Md.