Golf course superintendent honored for advocacy efforts, advancement of association priority issues and congressional outreach
Lawrence, Kan. (May 21, 2019) – William Bieck, a retired certified golf course superintendent from McCook, Neb., has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winner from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award, presented quarterly in partnership with The Toro Co., recognizes and honors individuals who have demonstrated growth in advocacy and advancement of the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda through congressional outreach and relationship development with a member of Congress. Through Toro, the winners will receive a trip to take part in the 2020 National Golf Day in Washington, D.C.
“We are fortunate to have highly engaged members like Bill, who continues to be an advocate for the industry even in his retirement, GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “He is making a difference in the public perception of golf in Nebraska and on the national level. Congratulations to him on this recognition.”
The GAL Award is part of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors, a program that matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships between them. More than 350 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.
A 44-year member of GCSAA, Bieck became an ambassador in 2015. He recently became the first Grassroots Ambassador Mentor and will provide leadership, support and guidance to other ambassadors in his state. He also played a key role in the development of “Best Management Practices for Nebraska Golf Courses”, which was published earlier this year.
“I am proud to be a part of the ‘Grassroots Army’,” Bieck said. “The BMPs have resulted in the Nebraska GCSA expanding its sphere of influence to Nebraska's environmental and regulating agencies. It has also opened a dialogue of communication with the governor's office.”
In his role as an ambassador, Bieck is paired with Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE). After making initial contact with Fischer’s office, the relationship eventually led to Bieck being asked to host a business roundtable and the senator and her staff visiting Bieck’s golf facility.
“I quickly learned that the senator and her staff were eager to hear from constituents, and it has turned into a valuable and respectful relationship,” Bieck said. “I've attended several of the senator's town hall meetings in the last four years, and she always acknowledges me in front of the group.”
Bieck is also a regular attendee of the National Golf Day. That event has coincided with the monthly Nebraska Breakfast hosted by the state’s lawmakers to meet with Nebraskans visiting the Capitol. During the breakfast, Fischer lets the NGD Nebraska contingent share information about the golf industry.