With just a few weeks to go before we converge on San Antonio, we are busy here at headquarters getting ready to bring you an exciting Golf Industry Show with new offerings and opportunities. But before we join up with old friends and new ones in Texas, I wanted to share a few key outcomes from the GCSAA Board of Directors winter meeting, which was held last month in Lawrence. The discussions and actions on significant issues included:
Plan and Budget: The 2018 Plan and Budget of $18.16 million was approved by the board. The plan reflects continued focus on the key long-term strategies of the association. As we serve all members with an eye toward achieving our mission and long-term vision, we approach 2018 with key efforts on further developing programs targeted for our assistant superintendent, equipment manager and student members. We continue to enhance our government affairs activities in order to support our members with the advocacy efforts needed to sustain viable agronomic and economic business. In addition, we are enhancing member value and advancing the superintendent profession through our environmental programs with focus on providing BMP tools/resources, education and recognition.
Committees and Task Groups: One of the ways we garner member feedback is through committee and task groups. Each year, the board considers the strategy and business plans programmed for the coming year, and reviews and approves committee and task group work plans that help further existing or evaluate new programs or services. This year work plans related to 24 groups were reviewed and approved by the board. Engagement of these volunteers will begin in March 2018.
Equipment Manager Certification: The Turf Equipment Technician Certificate Program has been a popular offering since its inception. The work of the 2017 Equipment Manager Task Group resulted in a recommendation to the board on the pathway to EM Certification. The board approved adoption of a three-level career path, with Level 3 being a Certified Equipment Manager. More specific information about this program will be announced in 2018.
Environmental Programs: The board received an update on completion of the second phase of the Golf Course Environmental Profile Project. The surveys measured the change and progress made on U.S. golf courses, providing significant points to help advocate for the industry, support our sustainability efforts and demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement. This information is useful in leading our environmental education, as well as supporting our BMP efforts.
Best Management Practices (BMP) Implementation:A number of updates were provided to the board as it relates to this key initiative:
- Currently, seven states have completed BMP programs and 31 states are making progress towards completing their programs.
- GCSAA will continue with the first phase of the BMP program with the launch of the Facility BMP Template at the 2018 GIS.
- GCSAA will launch Phase II of the BMP program and provide regional workshops in states where the state BMP manual/program has been completed. These workshops will focus on the Facility BMP tool, with a goal of supporting efforts the efforts of attendees to complete a BMP manual for their facility.
- For the fall application period of the BMP Grant Program, the board approved funding for 12 applications totaling $100,000. Combined with the spring recipients, GCSAA funded 18 BMP Grants in 2017.
Approval of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs): A routine part of board work is to review and approve the association’s procedural documents. As part of the winter meeting, the board approved changes in the following SOPs: Board Self Governance Policies, GCSAA Golf Championships, Member Engagement through Committees and Task Groups and Major Awards – ELGA.
I hope to see many of you in San Antonio. While we often focus on the many benefits of attending the education and tradeshow, GIS is also a great opportunity for you to let us know how we can best serve you. Nearly our entire staff will be there, and we’re all here to help you have the best experience, not only at GIS, but throughout the year. So, please say hello and share your thoughts on how we can make GCSAA the best it can be.