2015 Board of Director Candidate Slate
Any WCTA member in good standing may put their name forward for open Board of Director positions. The duty of the Board is to steer the association by providing policy and direction to management and staff. More candidates than open positions will force an election which is a good thing. If fewer candidates come forward than there are Board vacancies, the positions will be filled through an election by the Board of Directors.
A Special Resolution to significantly amend the WCTA Constitution and Bylaws will be brought forward at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. Part of the amendment involves changes to the structure of the Board of Directors including number of Directors and length of term of the President and Vice President. A transition period would be implemented if the resolution is accepted by the membership.
The 2015 Candidate Slate is as follows:
NORLEY CALDER – INTERIOR – GOLF (current Director - 1 year term remaining)
I have been working on a golf course for most of my life, at 12 my parents bought a small 9 hole golf course in Saskatchewan where I learned the very basics of turfgrass maintenance. I worked there for 7 summers and into University. Realizing that wearing a lab coat wasn’t for me, I enrolled in the turf program at Olds, after a couple more stops, I landed at Quilchena Golf and Country Club as the Assistant Superintendent. I learned a great deal under Gary Bartley and was fortunate to be able to continue my education through online courses at Penn State Turfgrass Science degree program. This leads to me to my current posting of Superintendent at Sagebrush Golf & Sporting Club in Quilchena, BC. I have been the Superintendent since the onset and have just finished my eighth season.
I have been on the board of the WCTA for one season now as well I am also The Interior Chapter President of the BCGSA. I currently reside in Kamloops with my wife and daughter in which we enjoy soccer, ball and the many other outdoor activities Kamloops has to offer.
BRETT FINLAYSON – VANCOUVER ISLAND - GOLF (current Vice President)
I am fortunate to have been around the game of golf my entire life. With my father working on the crew at Pinebrook and Willow Park in Calgary when I was a child, I have fond memories of going out on the course with him. He later on left the industry to manage him own landscaping company, which I began working for when I was 14 years old, saving up for that first car. Right around the same time I became more involved with game. I then begun to gain interest in how the maintenance was performed and how they got the greens so perfect. I got my first golf course job was at Point Grey Golf and Country Club. This is where I really became enthused with the industry and decided this was definitely for me. In 2003, we hosted the LPGA Canadian Women’s Open, what an incredible experience watching some of the world’s best women golfers play the course I helped maintained.
In 2004, I had the great opportunity to work at Capilano Golf and Country Club, first as the Environmental Manager then moving into the 2nd Assistant’s role in 2007. While working at Capilano, I got to work and learn from two of the best Superintendent’s in Canada, Dennis Pellrene and Adam Zubek. In 2008, I moved over to Quilchena Golf and Country Club as the Assistant Superintendent, working along side Jason Hooper. At Quilchena, I gained valuable management and leadership skills, which allowed me to continue my career advancement. Thanks to the great exposure I received from my mentors I was able to accept my first Superintendents position in 2011 at GolfBC’s, Arbutus Ridge Golf Club on Vancouver Island. Recently I transferred to another GolfBC property, Olympic View Golf Club, once again as Superintendent. I am passionate about our great industry and even through tough economic times, feel grateful each day to have a career in something I truly love. I look forward to continuing to give back and creating long-term friendships with such great individuals who have the same passion that I have.
STAN KAZYMERCHYK - LOWER MAINLAND – EDUCATOR (current Director - 1 year term remaining)
Now celebrating 40 years of Turfgrass Management experience. Started in teen years as golf course Groundsman, then to Irrigation Technician and early Golf Superintendent experience. After a few years of having more questions than answers, I embarked on a university Honours degree in Turfgrass Management from Oregon State University while entertaining a wife and 2 kids. Brief stints in university turfgrass research and as Assistant Superintendent before becoming Golf Superintendent through 90’s and ending up at Kwantlen for over 10 years now.
I believe in hands-on student experiences with close industry interaction and societal paybacks; the ideal Polytechnic experience. Very proud of our students’ involvement with “Home Reno Makeover” and Turf Club charitable donations. I especially enjoy grooming students to become successful turfgrass managers and supporting alumni as they progress upwards in their careers.
Served the turf industry as WCTA Research Committee Chair, BCGSA Chapter President, WCTA Board member, Conference organization, trade magazine writer and frequent guest speaker. Grounds volunteer at 5 national golf events, with 2015 US Open next. I see role of Board member as impartially representing the best interests of the general membership.
I live in Cloverdale with my lovely wife Cathe, have 5 grown kids and 4 beautiful grandkiddies. Enjoy golf, cooking, ballroom dancing, Habs and Alouettes (sorry, my hometown!). Yes, my lawn is nice.
BRETT LAMONTAGNE – VANCOUVER ISLAND – DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION (current Director)
I have worked in the golf industry since 1982, throughout western Canada. I received a Diploma in Turfgrass Management from Fairview College in 1987. I left the Prairies in 1987 for Vancouver Island where I have lived since. I have been involved in the construction and maintenance of several golf courses on the island. I moved on to landscape construction and maintenance in 2011 with the creation of my company Mid Island Landscape Consulting Inc.
2011 was also my start as a director of the WCTA. The WCTA has taught me a lot. I have seen a lot of changes; the first defeat of the pesticide ban and the serious defeat of the NDP in the last election to name a few. We are beginning a journey to make our association strong and sustainable. I feel we are going in the right direction. Partnerships with other associations, developing our membership across Western Canada and being fiscally prudent will makes us a strong choice for education and leadership. I look forward to serving members and am excited with the direction and possibilities the Association has in their chosen path.
CASEY O'CONNOR - LOWER MAINLAND - INDUSTRY (current Director - 1 year term remaining)
Growing up as the son of a golf course superintendent provided Casey with the opportunity to develop extensive practical experience in the turf management field from an early age. Starting in 1990 raking bunkers at the Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Mr. O'Connor quickly realized by the age of 14 that he had inherited his fathers love for the industry, and would go on to pursue a career in Turfgrass management. Mr. Connor has since furthered his background through extensive work experience and education
TRAVIS OLSON - INTERIOR – GOLF
At the age of 15, I began working at the Kamloops Golf and Country Club Pro Shop, cleaning clubs and carts. After a few years I left the dark side and joined the club’s Maintenance Crew 2005. In 2011 I Graduated from Kwantlen Turfgrass Management Program and was the recipient of the 2011 Toro/CGSA Canadian Future Superintendent of the Year Award. As a part of this award I spent 6 weeks in the United Kingdom working at over a dozen different courses. I have been the Superintendent at Kamloops Golf and Country Club Since 2013 and recently hosted the 2014 BC Women’s Amateur Championship.
I am running for the WCTA Board of Directors in hopes to have a positive impact on the turfgrass management industry and the things that affect all of our careers. I am a strong supporter of continuing education and mentorship. I am interested in working towards getting poa control products registered in Canada as well as the use of more drought tolerant species as the industry moves towards water reductions. I hope to be able to bring our industry together and become stronger as a whole.
JASON PICK – ALBERTA – EDUCATOR (current Director)
I have been an instructor of Golf course management at Olds College since 2009, and former Class A course superintendent proudly engaged for nearly 30yrs in the industry. I have experience from eight golf courses across Canada and overseas, with theoretical training from Guelph University (ODH), Olds College (BASc.), and Penn State (MSc). My instructional responsibilities at Olds College also includes focused turfgrass research, on behalf of the Prairie Turfgrass Research Center. Active in our regional and national associations, I routinely provide technology transfer through conference presentations, articles and publications to our golf and sports field partners throughout Western Canada. I am honored to have been considered among your association directors, sharing the Professional Development and Education portfolio since 2009 and look forward to the continued opportunity.
TREVOR SMITH – INTERIOR - INDUSTRY (current President)
I have been involved in the Golf business since 1971; I have spent 25 years as a golf course superintendent spread between the Salmon Arm Golf Club, Rivershore Golf Club, Predator Ridge and the Hyde Mountain Golf Course in Sicamous. B.C. I have been involved in Association work through a number of Associations, Served as President of the Interior Golf Superintendents Association, President of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association and on the Education Committee for the GCSAA. As well, I have been the Site Superintendent on 3 separate Golf course construction projects. While I was the General Manager of the Talking Rock Golf Resort I also sat on the Board of Golf Kamloops and the board of the BC Golf Marketing Alliance committee. At present I am a business partner in Keso Turf Supplies and Owner of Innovative Golf Management Services located in Kamloops B.C. I hope to continue bringing my experience to the Board of the WCTA in the role of 2015 President and wish to assist the Association and its members to be successful and aware of the future of the Turf Industry
PETER SOROKOVSKY - LOWER MAINLAND - GOLF (current Director - 1 year term remaining and Research Chair)
I have worked in the golf course construction and maintenance industry since 1990 starting as an irrigation installer at Predator Ridge Golf Course. In 1992, I completed my Bachelors Degree in Science, graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC), specializing in biology which helped continue the advance of my career in golf course maintenance. In 1993 I joining the maintenance team at one of British Columbia’s oldest golf courses, Vernon Golf and Country Club (est. 1913). In 1994 I moved to the world renowned golf course and host of 7 PGA tour events, Northview Golf and Country Club. During my career development at Northview I was promoted to assistant superintendent where my knowledge and understanding of turf management greatly increased.
In 2001 I returned back to UBC for more education in soil science and in 2002 I was accepted into a graduate program in the School of Agricultural where I graduated with a Masters Degree in Soil Science in 2005. The thesis was published in the Canadian Journal of Soil Science, Volume 80:411-417, under the Title: Core aeration of sand-based putting greens in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia.
In January of 2007 I joined the Golf Operations team at the City of Burnaby as the Superintendent of the Turf Care Center. I also consulted for the Burnaby Parks department on their sports fields and in the summer of 2007 Swangard Stadium was deemed to have produced the best soccer pitch conditions in Canada for the U20 FIFA World Cup. Over the past 8 years as a Board of Director for the Western Canada Turfgrass Association, I have tried to give back to our industry and its professionals as much education/information as my experience and education has given to me and I hope to continue to serve this great industry on into the future.
FRITS VERKERK - INTERIOR – GOLF (current Director - 1 year term remaining) I was born and raised in Kelowna. I grew up on the family apple orchard. To help support the growing farm enterprise my father worked as the Superintendent at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club in the early 1960s. After working as an apprentice cabinet maker and carpenter, stints in the oil patch, and a bunch of other odd jobs, I sat down and had a beer with Ashley LeGeyt (1985) and at that point began my career in the golf business. In 1988 I took the Turf Managers Short Course at U of G and that same year became the assistant at Gallagher’s Canyon GC. I returned to U of G in 1991 to take the Diploma Program in Horticulture. I have been a member of the CGSA and the WCTA and BCGSA for about 25 years.