Equipment manager at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park, Kan., takes home 13th annual award, presented in partnership with Foley Co.
Lawrence, Kan. (Sept. 27, 2022) — Mark Williams, the equipment manager at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park, Kan., has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 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 13th 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 down to three finalists, who are then voted on through an online voting process.
“Golf course superintendents have long acknowledged and respected the important role that equipment managers play in the success of a golf operation,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “GCSAA has a membership classification for these professionals with over 1,000 active members and offers industry-leading certificate and certification programs for equipment managers. Award programs like the MVT are another way to increase our commitment to serving this important constituency, and we congratulate Mark on being this year’s winner.”
Williams brings experience as both a former superintendent and an employee of distributors for both The Toro Co. and Jacobsen to his role overseeing equipment at this private facility in suburban Kansas City, where four-year GCSAA member Jacob Rockhold, CGCS, serves as superintendent. From his environmentally friendly practices in the shop to his focuses on budgeting and planning, Williams is as well-regarded among colleagues in the area as he is at Nicklaus GC, someone who offers advice and training to his neighboring equipment managers on a regular basis.
“I’m really at a loss for words. This has been just an unbelievable experience,” Williams said. “It was such a surprise because I didn’t even know (Jacob) had nominated me. I honestly cried like a baby when he told me because it meant so much to me.”
“He does so much for us and does such a good job,” said Rockhold. “I couldn’t think of a better way to acknowledge that and honor Mark than by nominating him for the MVT. I’m just happy so many other people agreed that he was deserving of the honor.”
Paul Rauker, president & CEO of Foley Company, the presenting partner of the Most Valuable Technician Award since its inception, says, “Foley Company is proud to sponsor the MVT Award that showcases all the hard work that technicians and equipment managers put in daily to ensure that their courses are in optimal condition. On behalf of all the employees at Foley I want to congratulate Mark on being named the 2022 MVT Award winner as it’s a testament to all the great work he’s done at Nicklaus Golf Club. I also would like to thank all those that submitted nominations as there were many deserving candidates.”
Also selected as finalists for 2022 Most Valuable Technician Award were Tracey Corn, the equipment manager at Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., and a one-year GCSAA member, and James Blackwelder, the equipment manager at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.
Previous MVT Award Winners
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.