Voting now open! Choose the 2017 MVT
Congratulations to the three finalists for this year's Most Valuable Technician Award: Blas Huezo, Kurt Lading and Trent Manning.
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 9, and the winner will be profiled in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
GCM's Most Valuable Technician Award is presented in partnership with Foley United. The 2017 finalists listed below were selected by a panel of industry judges from all submitted nominations.
Barona Creek Golf Club in Lakeside, Calif.
With a background in sales and service with some of the biggest names in golf course equipment, Blas Huezo joined Barona Creek in 2006 as its equipment manager and has since created what golf course superintendent Sandy Clark, CGCS, calls one of the most efficient and organized shops in the country. He regularly interacts with golf’s major manufacturers to provide feedback on new products entering the market, and he has long been a resource for other equipment managers in the San Diego area for advice and guidance related to golf course equipment. Huezo has also volunteered his services at numerous professional golf events and is a member of GCSAA. “He clearly is one of the very best in the business, and he keeps us in great shape at all times,” Clark wrote in his nomination. “I am very proud to nominate Blas Huezo for this deserving award.”
Indian Hills Country Club in Mission Hills, Kan.
A U.S. Navy veteran who picked up a lifetime of real-world experience during his service, Kurt Lading has taken those experiences and applied them to his job as the equipment manager at Indian Hills in suburban Kansas City. According to superintendent Jeff White, CGCS, the shop at Indian Hills reflects that military precision, and Lading has been diligent in pursuing educational opportunities to further his skill sets, both through networking with fellow equipment managers and formal training with industry manufacturers and GCSAA. “He goes the extra mile to make sure the fleet is operating safely and performs his duties exceptionally well,” White says of the GCSAA member.
Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.
Courtney Young, CGCS, doesn’t mince words when speaking about his equipment manager at Ansley Golf Club. “He is the most valuable member of my team,” he says. Manning’s experience at Ansley goes back 22 years, but seven years ago, he assumed responsibilities over all the club’s equipment at its two 18-hole golf courses, located 27 miles apart in metro Atlanta. In that time, he mentored three others who went on to become head equipment managers at other golf courses, and he’s shared that ethos with other equipment managers in the Southeast and at the national level as an active member of GCSAA’s Equipment Manager Task Group. Young also lauds him for his innovation and creativity in regards to fabrication — he constructed a water trailer from scrap metal and equipment parts that went on to win a national award.