GCM's Most Valuable Technician Award is designed to honor the best and brightest golf course equipment technicians in the industry, the men and women who play such a key role in keeping the tools of golf course maintenance up and running. The award is presented annually in partnership with Foley Co. Nominations are narrowed to a field of three finalists by a team of industry judges. GCM readers then review the qualifications of the finalists and vote online for their favorite.
Choose the 2019 MVT
Read the nominations submitted by golf course superintendents to learn about these EM members' valuable contributions to their golf facilities, and then vote for the technician most deserving of this year's award. Online voting closes June 7, and the winner will be profiled in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
Anthem Country Club in Henderson, Nev.
A 20-year veteran of the golf course management industry, Jody Farber mixes an appreciation and love of the game of golf with outstanding technical ability to his role at Anthem Country Club. Farber is a skilled player, a 4 handicap who takes that knowledge of the game into the shop. "He understands the game and what is required in regard to quality of cut ... to maintain the very best playing conditions," says James Symons, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Anthem who nominated Farber for the MVT Award.
Farber is currently undertaking a significant project to update and upgrade the maintenance facility at Anthem, revamping its look and organization to improve efficiency across the board. The project included recycling more than 20 years of scrap metal and old equipment parts. You also can find Farber operating the equipment he services, pitching in to mow greens or topdress when the need arises, according to Symons.
An eight-year member of GCSAA, Farber is also active with the Southern Nevada GCSA, and is serving as the chapter's equipment technician liaison. In the role, he will connect and assist fellow equipment managers in the Las Vegas area.
Medinah (Ill.) Country Club
Brian Bressler wasted little time in making an impact on operations at Medinah Country Club when he took the job as shop manager in September 2018. The club was in the early planning stages for a shop renovation, and Bressler dove right in, assessing shop needs, safety, ergonomics, working on budgetary matters and offering suggestions on overall shop design. He also reconfigured the inventory in the "spare parts" room that resulted in a savings of $10,000.
A two-year GCSAA member, Bressler has embraced technology in his job and implemented a new repair tracking and inventory system using Google Drive which has allowed better management of equipment use, costs and operations, says Medinah's director of grounds Steve Cook, CGCS, MG, who nominated Bressler for the MVT Award. He has given back to the industry by presenting on this new system at local GCSAA chapter meetings and has helped equipment manager at other nearby courses implement similar tracking systems.
During his short time at Medinah, Bressler has embraced safety, conducting weekly training sessions for staff and serving on the club's overall safety committee. He's also reorganized the club's cold storage area and created an equipment repair board to allow staff better access to information on the status of equipment repair.
TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas
Greg Neill has nearly two decades of experience in the golf course management business and has put that experience to good use in his role at TPC Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas, according to Anthony Williams, CGCS, director of grounds, who nominated Neill for the MVT Award.
Neill leads safety efforts in the club's grounds department, serving as the lead trainer and working with staff to improve safety. He also is certified in CPR and first aid, and the club is entering its third year without a loss-time accident thanks to his leadership.
Environmental stewardship is a big deal at TPC Four Seasons, and Neill played a big role in the resort winning GCSAA and Golf Digest's 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award, managing recycling programs and the resort's Carbtrol closed-loop wash pad system. The five-year GCSAA member is also dedicated to professional development and completed the GCSAA Level 1 Equipment Technician Certificate Program during the Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
"Greg takes ownership, he never complains, and he believes in our industry," says Williams. "I have worked with some of the best equipment managers in the country, and Greg is at the very top of my list."