2017 News Releases

Melrose Leadership Academy awards 20 golf course superintendents the opportunity to attend 2018 Golf Industry Show

by Dec 15, 2017 | Sarah Huerter

Program for GCSAA members based on financial need, volunteerism and desire to advance career

Lawrence, Kan. (Dec. 12, 2017) – Twenty members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) have been chosen for the 2018 Melrose Leadership Academy, which includes a trip to the Golf Industry Show, Feb. 3-8 in San Antonio.

The Melrose Leadership Academy program supports the professional development of GCSAA member superintendents. It is administered through the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organization of GCSAA. The program was established in 2012 by Ken Melrose, retired CEO and chairman of the board of The Toro Co., and is supported by a $1 million gift to the EIFG from the Kendrick B. Melrose Family Foundation.

Academy members are chosen through an application process based on financial need, volunteerism and a drive to advance their careers. The new class will participate in networking and leadership activities, as well as attend a variety of education seminars. 

“I applaud each of the winners for their dedication to furthering their education and, in doing so, enhancing the overall profession,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “Melrose Leadership Academy is a unique opportunity to grow their careers, and GCSAA is so fortunate to have a good friend in Ken Melrose who makes it possible.”

Melrose’s relationship with the golf industry is longstanding. He joined the Toro Co. in 1970 and quickly ascended the ranks of the company, culminating with his appointment as CEO in 1983 and chairman of the board of directors in 1987. He retired as CEO in 2005 and from the chairman position in 2006. That same year he formed Leading by Serving LLC, a new company whose mission is to advance the principles of servant leadership in business organizations.

The members of the 2018 Melrose Leadership Academy are:

  • Albert Choiniere of Essex (Vt.) Country Club.
  • David F. D’Andrea of Sable Oaks Golf Club in South Portland, Maine.
  • Jerad Dill of Cabinet View Golf Club in Libby, Mont.
  • Eric Eguaras of Butte Creek Country Club in Chico, Calif.
  • Andrew Fries, CGCS, of HB Brownson Country Club in Shelton, Conn.
  • John Gabbeitt of Owl’s Nest Golf Club in Campton, N.H.
  • Mike Gay of Winter Pines Golf Club in Winter Park, Fla.
  • Ryan Green, CGCS, of Crystal Lake Golf Club in Haverhill, Mass.
  • David W. Johnson of Wianno Club in Osterville, Mass.
  • Gregory Klem, CGCS, of Monroe County Golf Courses in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Scott Larsen of Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Ore.
  • Manuel ‘Joe’ Oliveira of Green Valley Country Club in Portsmouth, R.I.
  • Dennis Petruzzelli, CGCS, of Billy Casper Golf in Danbury, Conn.
  • James J. Ritorto of Lake of Isles Golf Club and Resort in North Stonington, Conn.
  • Scott Sewell, CGCS of Emerald Bay Golf Club and Seascape Resort in Destin, Fla.
  • Brian Smoot of Crosswinds Golf Club in Plymouth, Mass.
  • Dennis Stein of The Golf Garden of Destin in Miramar Beach, Fla.
  • Craig Stockhaus of Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland, Wash.
  • Joshua Tolman of Salmon Valley Golf Course in Salmon, Idaho.
  • Roger Vandehey of Middlefield Golf Course in Cottage Grove, Ore.

Note: Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) is GCSAA’s professional certification for golf course superintendents to be recognized at the highest level of achievement in golf course management.