Tuesday, December 30, 2014

All day, Every day at GCSAA HQ

I’m amazed how often during my travels a member will come up to me to brag about a GCSAA employee that they have dealt with on membership questions, education, research, or many other member service or program issues. Usually it’s about an employee who you don’t see in the pages of GCM or hear give a speech at GIS. It’s usually about one of the fantastic hard-working team members who are just a phone call or email away and available to every member of the association. Like superintendents, they are ultra-committed to their work and the members they serve all day, every day. 

My field staff colleagues will certainly agree that we are lucky and couldn’t be prouder to represent such an amazing team in the field. I can’t tell you how many times a member asks me a question, and I’m able to deliver an answer or a resolution on the spot. Truth be told, it involved a quick phone call or email to someone at headquarters who is always more than willing to provide assistance. I've done it sitting in a member’s office, during a break at a chapter event and even from the golf course. 

If you ask any one of these superstars about the GCSAA Mission Statement, I can guarantee you they will be able to recite it chapter and verse. CEO Rhett Evans has a habit of calling out employees at our monthly all-staff meeting to deliver “GCSAA is dedicated to serving its members, advancing their profession and enhancing the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf.” As far as I know, he is still 0-fer in finding an employee who doesn't know it by heart. 

I’m not foolish enough to start naming names because I will certainly leave someone out who really deserves recognition. They all deserve a pat on the back and a heart-felt thank you. One of the great employee recognition programs that the GCSAA utilizes is called Birdie Bucks. Employees write quick notes of appreciation to recognize fellow employees who have gone above and beyond to be particularly helpful to a member or a fellow employee. I sat down last week to write a few to recognize my fellow employees who have been particularly helpful to me during 2014. When I reflected on the list, I realized there isn't a single department who didn't go out of their way to help me during the year. I made a lot of “birdies” that day; wish I could do that well on the golf course once and a while.   

I’ll admit they can be a little obnoxious about their beloved Kansas University sports teams. Not surprisingly, we hear a lot out of them during basketball season but they have been fairly silent during football season lately. Since they just hired a Texas A&M trained coach, I expect they will soon enjoy their falls a lot more soon. KU isn't the only school represented at HQ, once in awhile we hear from Kansas State and Missouri fans, but they generally keep a low profile. 

Unless you are a KU Jayhawk superfan or your team is playing against them, Lawrence, Kansas, isn't the type of place you might visit on a family vacation or even pass thru on your way somewhere. It’s about 40 miles east of Kansas City on the Kansas Turnpike. A common GCSAA known truth is that once a member visits headquarters, they will be a fan and advocate for the association for their entire career. I couldn't agree more, and felt that way the first time I visited as a member sometime in the early '90s. But it isn't the beautiful building and campus that does it; there is no doubt it is the smiling faces and helpful employees who are always ready, willing and able to serve. So, if you get a chance at the San Antonio Conference or better yet, to visit them in Lawrence, please take a minute to say thank you and give them a well-deserved pat on the back. Here is a list of current staff members and their contact information: http://www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/staff-contacts 

Remember, they are working to serve you, advance your profession, and to enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game we all love – all day, every day at GCSAA HQ.