Equipment manager at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Irving, Tex., wins annual award, presented in partnership with Foley Company
Lawrence, Kan. (Sept. 3, 2019) — Greg Neill, the equipment manager at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club in Irving, Tex., has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Most Valuable Technician Award, presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Course Management (GCM) magazine in partnership with Foley Company.
Now in its tenth year, the award recognizes excellence among golf course equipment managers and the vital role they play in the golf course management industry. Equipment managers are nominated by their golf course superintendent, and a panel of industry judges narrows those nominations down to three finalists, who are then voted on by GCSAA members through an online voting process.
"Golf course superintendents have long been aware of the enormous impact their equipment managers have on the success of the golf course maintenance operations,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “GCSAA wishes to recognize the efforts of equipment managers through the MVT Award and their own membership classification, of which there are over 800 members. Greg Neill’s passion and dedication as an equipment manager are unmatched. He’s a key member of the team at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club who contributes strong knowledge and leadership, and we’re proud to recognize him for all his achievements.”
Neill has been in the golf course management business for nearly two decades, and currently applies his experiences at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas, where GCSAA member Anthony Williams, CGCS, is the director of golf course and landscape operations. There, Neill serves as the lead trainer of safety efforts in the club’s grounds department to improve safety. He is certified in CPR and first aid and thanks to Neill’s leadership, the club is entering its third year without a lost-time accident. Environmental stewardship is a big deal at Las Colinas, and Neill played a big role in Williams and the resort winning GCSAA’s and Golf Digest’s 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award. The five-year GCSAA member is also dedicated to professional development and completed the GCSAA Level 1 Equipment Management Certificate Program during the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
“I am honored, humbled and excited to win the MVT Award. I am glad equipment managers have an award like this to recognize the hard work and dedication we put into our golf courses,” Neill said. Most of the time I am called, it is because something is broken and needs to be repaired. It feels good to get calls of congratulations and hear ‘good job’ every once in a while.”
“Greg Neill is the driving force that keeps our operation moving. He is a master of his craft and you see it across our property from the lawns at the hotel entrance to the greens on both courses, Greg's signature is seen on the quality of cut and he has excellent penmanship,” said nominator Williams. “He takes ownership of every piece of equipment and its role in our operation. Greg and I have a great relationship and it makes everything easier, he is a huge asset to our team and an innovator and leader within the equipment manager side of the golf industry. The MVT Award is a huge honor and now others will know what I have always known, Greg is the best!”
Paul Rauker, the president of Foley Company, which has been the presenting partner of the Most Valuable Technician Award since its inception, said, “Foley Company remains a proud sponsor of this award. We are pleased to give back to the outstanding equipment managers since they are our largest customer base. We congratulate Greg for winning this year’s award and for all he has accomplished at Four Seasons, and thank you to everyone who submitted nominations.”
Also selected as finalists for this year’s Most Valuable Technician Award were Brian Bressler from Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, and Jody Farber the equipment manager, at the time of nomination, at Anthem Country Club in Henderson, Nev.
Previous MVT Award Winners
2018 — Trent Manning, Ansley Golf Club, Atlanta
2017 — Blas Huezo, Barona Creek Golf Club, Lakeside, Calif.
2016 — Yvon Jeaurond, Victoria (B.C., Canada) Golf Club
2015 — Cory Phillips, Horseshoe Bend Country Club, Roswell, Ga., and the Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta
2014 — Joe Stefanick, Seven Lakes Golf and Tennis Community, Fort Myers, Fla.
2013 — Brian Heywood, The Valley Club, Hailey, Idaho
2012 — Jim Stuart, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club by Marriott
2011 — Gene Pascarelli, Colorado Springs Country Club
2010 — Ramon Salas, Azusa Greens Country Club, Azusa, Calif.