Friday, April 14, 2017

Not goodbye, see you later!

As a card-carrying member of the “old timer's club,” I often tell young people, including my son and daughter-in-law who are brand new parents, “Don’t blink, because your newborn will be all grown up if you do”. Well, that is exactly how I feel about my tenure working for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. The past six years have been the most rewarding and beneficial of my career but they have passed way too fast. I have cherished every minute of working with GCSAA members, affiliated chapters and, of course, the fantastic team that works at 1421 Research Park, Lawrence, Kansas 66049. 

I first joined GCSAA in June 1986. I was 6 months out of college and joined because my boss, Mike Allen of Northwood Club, handed me an application one day and un-ceremonially said, “here, fill this out.” What Mike did that day was start me on a path of being involved with GCSAA for the past 31 years, a path that will continue through the rest of my career. I have been a member as an assistant, a superintendent, an affiliate, a chapter executive, and as an employee. All have been very rewarding opportunities and have been beneficial to my career and my life. 

I mentioned the fantastic team I had the opportunity to work with at GCSAA. A few faces have changed over six years but the commitment to members remains the same. I knew many before I went to work with GCSAA and I hope all of them will always be friends. Every one of these great people are committed to the mission: GCSAA is dedicated to serving its members, advancing their profession and enhancing the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. I wrote about the way I feel about these folks in 2014.

I worked directly with some of the best people I know. Steve Randall is the exceptional leader of the Chapter Outreach Department and has built a team and a program that has changed the way GCSAA is identified and “delivered” to the industry, affiliated chapters and members. He is a great boss and a good friend. 

I knew and worked with Leann Cooper when I was a chapter leader in the early 2000s. She is an amazing lady and has had an incredible evolution as a GCSAA employee. She has been and always will be my “go-to person” in the association when it comes to chapter questions. Leann has a fan club made up of all of the chapter executives from around the country who know she is committed to their success.

And, of course, I want to recognize my field staff “brothers.” I credit Steve Randall for building an outstanding team and an atmosphere that propagates camaraderie and teamwork. I have worked with nine other field staffers during the six years on staff and have formed a special bond with each one that I have had the privilege to know. They will always be very close friends and I wish them all continued success. And, besides, I have way too much “dirt” on all of them so I know they will always have to keep me in the “club.”

There will always be a special place in my heart for GCSAA and the great friends I have made. There are way too many co-workers, members of the board of directors, chapter leaders, and members to mention that have helped me along the way and made an impact on my career. I thank every one of you from the bottom of my heart. I want to be the biggest advocate for GCSAA outside of staff that there is. 

Fortunately, the next chapter in my story will allow me to continue to work closely with the members I have served for the past six years. Starting bright and early, Monday, April 17, I am going to work for a close friend, Tony Campagna of Turf Materials. Tony and Brenda Campagna are very special people and have built an outstanding business that supplies the highest quality sands and aggregates available and backs it up with superior customer service. They have provided an incredible opportunity and Carol and I are super excited for me to be a part of the Turf Materials team. I am looking forward to working in the agronomic side of the business again and will be able to spend less time at the Holiday Inn. If you are interested, here is a story about my move to Turf Materials.

So, please keep in touch, friends. My new email address is, my new twitter handle is @bcturfmaterials, and I will continue to have the cell number: 817-296-9117. Thanks again for everything and I will see you on down the road!!

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