I have the opportunity to spend time with a lot of members of our association and great people in our industry as part of my duties as your Field Staff representative. One such interaction near the beginning of my employment has stuck with me many years later thanks to the effort of one Northeast region association.
This particular event in my past was the Finger Lakes Association of Golf Course Superintendents Elmer J Michaels Scholarship and Research Tournament. I had the pleasure of spending the day with Joe Hahn, a legend in the golf and turf industry in New York, and a true gentleman. If you were to spend some time researching Hahn’s background, you would undoubtedly be impressed. I distinctly remember a tweet I sent out later stating “our industry is where it is today because of the Joe’s of the past”.
Why do I reminisce of such an event? The GCSA of New England takes the opportunity to celebrate the members who have molded their association over the years at their Chapter Championship event. Recognizing each retired participant, complete with first tee-at-Augusta style bio, is a tremendous gesture and one that is obviously appreciated by everyone in attendance. In addition, the golf portion of the day has a category to decide the supremacy of the retired division. I’m sure if I were to run down the GCSA of New England Past-President’s list or Distinguished Service Award winners, many of those in attendance this year at Marlborough Country Club would be on one list or both.
2023 GCSA of New England Chapter Championship event retiree photo
The state of the industry, and most associations, is not what it was “back in the day.” The superintendents charged with leading our profession at any point have had to make changes and adapt to any number of challenges. Consider recognizing your retired members for their accomplishments in whatever fashion you can before it is too late. Remember, our industry and profession are where they are today because of the dedication and hard work they all did for us yesterday.