Equipment manager at The Oaks Club in Osprey, Fla., claims 14th annual award, presented in partnership with Foley Co.
Lawrence, Kan. (Aug. 1, 2023) – Jason Ziegler, the equipment manager at The Oaks Club in Osprey, Fla., has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Most Valuable Technician (MVT) Award, presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Course Management (GCM) magazine in partnership with Foley Co.
Now in its 14th 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 for the award by their golf course superintendent, and a panel of industry judges narrows those nominations to three finalists, who are then voted on through an online process.
“Golf course superintendents know how important a good equipment manager is to the overall success of a golf facility,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “That’s why GCSAA has dedicated so many resources to supporting these professionals through a separate membership classification, dedicated education tracks at our annual conference and trade show, and industry-leading professional development programs for equipment managers.
“Awards such as the MVT are just another way for the association to highlight its commitment to serving this important group, and I congratulate Jason on joining the illustrious list of winners of this award.”
Ziegler’s contributions to the operations at The Oaks Club, a 36-hole facility just outside of Sarasota, Fla., extend far beyond his ability to keep the club’s maintenance equipment humming, according to Gregory Jack, the GCSAA Class A director of greens and grounds there. Ziegler oversees three other equipment managers, so his role as a teacher and mentor is crucial. He created a color-coded system for keeping parts and machines organized based on job and course. And when Hurricane Ian left a mess on the property last September, Ziegler was among the first on the scene to help assess the damage and clear paths for elderly members who lived nearby.
“It was exciting just to make the top three, so I was shocked to learn that I had won,” said Ziegler, a nine-year GCSAA member. “Gregory has always been very thankful in all that I do that may be outside my ‘normal’ job description, but I didn’t believe that he thought this highly of me. It has been a great honor, and I am very thankful that he went to the trouble of making everyone else aware of my value to him and the club.”
“I was ecstatic upon learning that Jason had won the Most Valuable Technician Award,” Jack said. “I am honored and overjoyed that a fellow co-worker has received an award like this for all his hard work, especially this last year. Our club is excited to get to celebrate the recognition of a long-tenured employee who always goes above and beyond his responsibilities.”
Paul Rauker, president and CEO of Foley Co., the presenting partner of the Most Valuable Technician Award since its inception, said, “We work with golf course equipment technicians each and every day, so we get an up-close-and-personal look at the valuable role they play in our industry. We’re proud to sponsor an award program that acknowledges the contributions made by these professionals and congratulate Jason on being the 2023 MVT Award winner. I’d also like to thank all of those who submitted nominations, as there were many excellent candidates.”
Also selected as finalists for 2023 Most Valuable Technician Award were Chad Braun, the equipment manager at Town and Country Club in St. Paul, Minn., and a 10-year GCSAA member, and Bill Claytor, the equipment manager at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, and a two-year member of GCSAA.
Previous MVT Award Winners
2022 — Mark Williams, Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate, Overland Park, Kan.
2021 — Brandon Hoag, Glens Falls Country Club, Queensbury, N.Y.
2020 — Eric Dickerson, Great Waters Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, Ga.
2019 — Greg Neill, Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
2018 — Trent Manning, Ansley Golf Club, Atlanta
2017 — Blas Huezo, Barona Creek Golf Club, Lakeside, Calif.
2016 — Yvon Jeaurond, Victoria (British Columbia) 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.