Director's Reports for 2012 AGM
Scott Mitchell, Target Products
2011 WCTA President
Privacy, Finance, Turf Line News
My year as President has come to an end. I am happy with the way it went and what we, as a board and as an association, have accomplish
WCTA Director Portfolio Reports for 2013 AGM
Keith Lyall, Vice President – Sun Peaks Resort: Health and Safety
Many of you have heard of go2BC and their Certificate of Recognition (COR) program. This program offers discounts on WorkSafeBC premiums to companies that have extensive training, health and safety, emergency preparedness and return-to-work systems. These systems are currently required by WorkSafe but the difference is in order to get certification you need an outside auditor to review prior to certification and every four years after that. The years between need to be audited by a certified internal auditor. These internal audits also need to be submitted to go2 upon completion. If the company’s systems meet go2’s standard, they’re looking at a 20% savings on their premiums.
Sound good? Here is the catch - go2 represents the tourism and hospitality industry sub-sectors, but does not extend COR to the “Industry Groups” within those sub-sectors. What it is really based on is WorkSafe’s classification units (cu) for industry. The current “go2 industry partners” have agreed they will support go2 with their premiums paid to WorkSafe, which will go up slightly in order to cover costs. Currently, those of us in golf maintenance, Classification Unit 761031: Golf Course, Driving Range, Pitch and Putt, or Lawn Bowling Facility, are not an industry partner. The NGCOA did meet with go2 but at that time the association thought it was too much for golf to have yet another increase in these tough economic times.
When I had heard that the NGCOA had declined partnering with go2 I was disappointed, then I did some quick calculations on savings golf courses would realize. For argument’s sake, your annual payroll is one million per year, at our current rate of $1.43/$100 of assessable payroll, your company pays $14,300/year. If your company achieves COR with Return to Work program for injured workers, the total yearly saving is $2860. Not great but not terrible.
So then I looked at costs to achieve these programs. Fortunately, Sun Peaks Resort Corporation (SPRC) sent me to go2’s Internal Auditors Course and other training focusing on BMPs over the years. So this is what I came up with in order for a golf course with a million dollar payroll (maintenance only) to create and maintain these programs to meet COR standards.
First the hidden costs; Superintendent’s time to evaluate risk of tasks, create procedures/checklists and other associated paperwork…..I think, based on my experience, 4 to 6 weeks if you’re starting from scratch. Then factor at least 1 -2 weeks per year to maintain, update and monitor performance.
Hard costs for initial certification: • Internal auditor course $149 plus expenses • External auditor $1500 - $2500 expenses included (depending on your location to nearest auditor) • Posters, training resources and associated supplies $500 to $1000 (depending on how elaborate you want to go)
So at the high end, costs to get certified can reach $3800 in hard cost and say $5000 for labour for a total of $8800. Add the total savings over four years, $11,440 minus costs equals a savings of $2640 over four years, or $660/year. Remember that this calculation is for start-up only and does not factor in labour required for yearly maintenance nor do we discuss the use of professional help to assist meeting COR standards.
In my opinion, at this time with our cu rates where they are, there is no need to become a partner with go2.
All that being said, it’s important to know that in 2011 or premiums in this cu were $1.07/$100, in 2012 they were $1.28 and now $1.43 - this is the wrong direction we want to go. Comparatively, ski hills pay $3.73/$100.
Keith Lyall, Vice President – Sun Peaks Resort: Environment
We have all heard the recommendation made by BC Special Committee on Pesticides, and God knows I don’t want to get into that, but I do want to mention the possibility of turf professionals needing further certification. What that will be is unclear at this point; at the board level, I can tell you that we have kick around terms like, Red Seal or Journeymen. We have also discussed the use of outside accreditation companies such as Audubon, GEO and ISO.
A few of us have also discussed the possibility of our own set of standards based on our unique climates and regions. These standards would need to be audited, but how about evaluation from our peers. My thought is we self-police and report to the Ministry annually.
The fact is things are likely to change in order to apply these much need products but we are much better off if we can make the change instead of others making it for us.
Keith Lyall, Vice President – Sun Peaks Resort: Website and Social Media
Again I would like to start off thanking Dena for her continued work on maintaining the WCTA Facebook page. Also, thanks to Jeff Sutherland and his team at Inside Golf for a much more modern and informative website, www.wcta-online.com.
For me I’ve started a Twitter account, and I have to say I’m impressed. It’s so cool to see others and their challenges on the job. @supersproblems has to be one the most interesting things I have seen in social media. I also enjoy the updated news and sports but guys like @bcgolfsuper, @MrPG1869 and @Gixxer60_0 keep me in stiches through the day. So if you are like me and have resisted social media but realize you’re behind the times, I recommend Twitter, no fuss and easy to use.
Respectfully, Keith Lyall Follow me on twitter @Keith_Lyall.
Larry Olson – Penticton Golf Club: Allied Associations
As my tenure winds down as a director on the WCTA board I feel I can leave knowing that the WCTA is in good hands. No actually I feel it's in great hands. Our executive director, Jerry Rousseau has a firm hold on the reins of our association. That being said he is leading the association in the direction given by its members and directors. Jerry is always looking for input from members, whether it is questioning our direction or helping to direct it, so please if there is something that concerns you, then it's worth your time to contact a director or our executive director. I've never worked with a group quicker to respond to the concerns of its membership. The only way you as a member will ever know how much work goes on behind the scenes of your WCTA is to get on the board or join a committee, which I encourage each and every one of you to do at some time in your career. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but our association is only as strong as its members. As we all know our industry is facing many challenges and these challenges need strong association representation to face them head on. The days of burying our heads in sand are gone, so please come forward from whatever sector of our industry you are in and add your input, the board and your association need you.
Again, it's been my pleasure serving as director of the WCTA for you the members.
Trevor Smith - Keso Turf Supplies: Industry Liaison, Publicity & Media
As the business of golf changes and evolves, so does the need to be “present” as an Association, with the large portion of the industry who faithfully support the WCTA and its members, “the Industry”. Without Industry support many of the directives of the Association would not able to be carried out.
Over the past 2 years a database of all Industry representatives has been compiled with the objective of being able to better communicate the pressures and issues the business is facing. This database will better enable us to communicate with Industry from all our Allied Associations and to enlist their feedback and support.
As I mentioned in my last portfolio report, with the change in the economy and the Turf Industry, the need to let others outside the Turf Industry know what value our Association and its members provide to the economy is imperative. This is where our Media and Publicity approach must begin!
Over the past year, our continued and devoted involvement with the AGA-BC reflects our last years goal of developing a very viable presence in the Golf and Turf Industry. We worked closely to develop and finalize the AGA-BC constitution, provide expertise and administration in support of the AGA-BC’s pesticide stance and played a significant in the development and execution of the 1st symposium on golf, as put on by the AGA-BC.
We are making our presence known, we are at the table and we are contributing and making a difference!
Sincerely, Trevor Smith
Peter Sorokovsky - City of Burnaby, Superintendent of Golf Operations: Research
Another enjoyable year serving our great membership on the WCTA Board of Directors has come and gone and at the end of 2012 I will have served 5 years. I find myself asking the question where does the time go? I guess when one enjoys doing something time flies just as it has with my time on the WCTA Board. This year was no different than previous ones in that we have old and new challenges to our industry. I hope in 2013 we continue to grow our great association and you will consider contacting me with any of your concerns/suggestions as we move forward in our industry with the WCTA Board and Executive Director.
The portfolio I was involved with this past year was “Research”. As the Research Chairperson, I see the hard work that was put in by the Board in past years coming to fruition as other associations look to the WCTA for leadership. We have partnered with the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation and the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation to streamline our calls for proposal (CFP). In 2012 one national CFP went out and we received a record number, for the WCTA, submissions. Excellent news except for our research funding is less than past years and the committee will have difficulty selecting from the 16 strong submissions. So, for 2013 this will be one of our main focuses; to put our full effort towards increasing our fundraising. Our goal to be the funding hub of Turfgrass Research in the Pacific Northwest is still before us and with your continued support we can ensure that we accomplish it.
In the past year we supported the CGSA at their annual field day held at Oliver’s Nk’Mip Canyon Golf Course. During the event the popular “Make the Snake” raised money for research. We have other events and partners that also helped raise money for research in 2012 and I want to take the opportunity to thank all our partners that have supported Turfgrass Research by donating to the WCTA.
On another note the WCTA had the desired influence in our industry and with the Provincial Government in helping us win a pesticide use battle. However the war is far from over and I believe research will be the spearhead that will keep our use of pesticides viable in an ever increasing environmentally sensitive society. As a strong voice for Turfgrass Research and the Golf Industry I look forward to my involvement continuing in 2013 as a WCTA Board Director and as your Research Chairperson.
Respectfully submitted, Peter Sorokovsky
Brett Lamontagne - Mid-Island Landscaping: Government Liaison
My roll as government liaison for 2012 has quieted down from the previous year. The NDP now has me on their mailing list which is like being on the force of nature mailing list except Gathercole and company have not asked me for money yet. The old adage of keep your friends close and your enemies closer definitely applies in both cases.
We have an election in BC coming up shortly. I am going to pose the following question to all party leaders. “If elected government, will your party impose a pesticide ban of any kind on this province. Yes or no answer only.” I am interested in seeing the responses from all the illustrious leaders.
I wish to let my name stand for another two year term as director. I believe I can be an asset in dealing with some of the political garbage coming our way. The world of landscaping has opened my eyes to the misinformation that is out there about turf management. The worst offenders for this are the so called environmentalists. I have really learned to bite my tongue and let them hang themselves.
Kind Regards Brett Lamontagne
Brett Finlayson – Arbutus Ridge Golf Club: Professional Development and Education
In 2012, I took over the reins from Kevin Neufeld in managing the Mentor Booth at the WCTA Conference and Trade Show in Victoria. I felt there were few hiccups and the booth went well considering it was my first year at the helm. I would like to thank Kevin and Jerry Rousseau for the assistance in making the transition successful. I would also like to say thank you to all the participants of the 2012 Mentor Booth for making it a success. It was a great opportunity for new “turfies” to meet some of the top professionals within our industry and hopefully there were some great connections made.
Heading into the 2013 conference, I felt the need to be more organized and have a proper game plan setup for this task. Creating a procedures list along with a timeline for the Mentor Booth has made this process much more enjoyable and less stressful. This will also make future transitions of this task onto new board members that much easier.
I look forward to seeing everyone in Penticton at our 50th Annual Conference and Trade Show and hopes everyone has a great time. Here is to a successful 2013!
Respectfully submitted, Brett Finlayson
Jason Pick – Olds College: Professional Development and Education
It has been my pleasure to contribute to the progress of the WCTA, as a board member partnering with Mr. Finlayson, on the Professional Development and Education portfolio. Furthering the WCTA’s educational reach, I have enjoyed representing the association with seminars in Western Canada at the AGSA, BCGSA, and SATA conferences.
In addition to these speaking engagements, my primary focus of the portfolio since 2010 has been to investigate, develop, and implement new educational opportunities for our members. As you might remember in September 2010, a survey was distributed regarding your interest in on-line Golf Course Management training. With overwhelming response, this started the ball rolling towards the development of an on-line BASc. through Olds College. With support from our administration, faculty and executive, a significant grant was approved to develop this digital platform. Although I admit the learning curve has been steep, eighteen months of development have resulted in ten new online courses, incorporating more than 500 hrs. of turf management instruction into an interactive, collaborative experience.
Through the interest and request of our members, it gives me great pleasure to report that Olds College is now accepting applications for September 2013, to the only online Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Turfgrass Management available in Canada.
I have nothing but gratitude for those who have shared their advice, opinions and expertise in assisting us reach this educational milestone. Thanks to our members for providing me the opportunity to contribute to the association and to participate on this esteemed board of professionals. Executive Director Mr. Jerry Rousseau has been instrumental in our success, and hope you make time to thank him for his tireless efforts, proactively leading our prestigious association.
With gratitude, Jason Pick
Mike Schellenberg – Calgary Board of Education: Sportsfield Managers
First and foremost I would like to thank the WCTA and all its members for the opportunity to represent you as a director for the past 2 years. It has been a learning experience to say the least but an experience I value moving forward as I continue to learn and develop within the industry. I would like to extend a shout out to outgoing President Tab Buckner for all his collaborating efforts in forming a partnership between the WCTA and Sports Turf Association.
This past June saw our 2 association’s ink a deal that recognizes the STA as the national body for sports turf managers and sees the WCTA as the conduit for STA members hailing from British Columbia and Alberta. I encourage all members to explore the membership opportunities provided as the resources available apply to all of us with a common goal of growing the best turf possible!. A reminder of some of the benefits to joining are:
- A network of experts to assist sports turf managers with their turf problems and field related safety
- An online membership directory, invaluable for communicating with professionals in the sports turf industry
- An annual educational conference and field day at reduced registration rates
- Complimentary subscription to the quarterly magazine containing leading research, STA programs and activities, industry information and coming events;
- Educational books, brochures and other materials at reduced rates
- Subscriber access to the Michigan State University’s Turfgrass Information File (TGIF), the most comprehensive publicly available collection of turfgrass educational materials in the world, via the Michael J. Bladon educational link
- Professional development opportunities and,
- Liaison with and support of other turf organizations.
Congratulations Tab on a job well done as President of the WCTA!
This past year was a busy one at the Calgary Board of Education as we went through the somewhat tedious process of 3 complete Sports Field Renovation projects. The first project saw the implementation of a Built-up Sand-Capped system installed on one of our most over utilized, poorly drained football fields and the remaining 2 projects saw the complete renovation of 2 elementary school soccer fields. I look forward to seeing the results of these projects this coming season and would welcome anyone to contact me to discuss the projects in more length. We are also exploring the opportunity to host a WCTA TARS (Travelling Annual Road Show) event in Calgary this coming season and would welcome any feedback from members as to ideas they would like to explore.
Thank you all for your continued support and I wish you all the best in 2013!
The year began with a nasty wet spring and it became an ‘interesting’ economic climate as well for everyone involved in the turf management business. This climate had most turf managers I know evaluating every aspect of their budgets and asking themselves, “Am I getting value or a good return on my investment for the money I am spending”, or, “Do I really need to be doing this?”
The WCTA is no different than those managers and, over the last few years, has undergone the very the same process. The result has been multiple changes, small and large, and we have managed to reduce some of our manageable costs such as cutting the directors meetings expenses significantly (even with two Directors residing in Alberta) by moving toward more teleconferencing and fewer but longer meetings.
We’ve also built some efficiencies into day to day operations and quite notably, the conference. I believe we have made a lot of progress while increasing value to our members by keeping and enhancing the things that are most important. The quality of the speakers at our show is one example of this; we have put in a lot of effort to provide our members qualified speakers that will appeal to a wide variety of turf managers.
Another project that I am proud to say came to fruition during my term is the outsourcing of the Turf Line News. Our goal was to provide a quality magazine without losing its local appeal while increasing revenues to the association and freeing up time for our executive director to concentrate on other projects. Again, we’re focused on directing further efforts into improving value to our membership.
The biggest project of the year was the pesticide ban issue. This took an enormous amount of time and effort on many of our parts and was probably our greatest attempt ever at engaging the entire WCTA membership to come together on a single subject. And while the final decision is yet to be made, whatever is decided, I know that we have done all that is possible to make our voice heard.
In closing I would like to thank Jerry Rousseau for all his help and hard work, Dave Duncan for always being there to support me, and the rest of the board for all their support and help as well. I will be here next year to help and advise as best I can but have all the confidence in the world for your incoming Incumbent President, Tab Buckner.
Best of luck in the coming year Tab, I know you will do a fabulous job!
Sincerely Scott Mitchell
Tab Buckner, Manager of Parks Operations, Township of Langley
2011 WCTA Vice-President Finance
The WCTA sent me out to Moncton, New Brunswick to liaison with the Sports Turf Association (STA) at their first ever Eastern Field Day hosted by the City of Moncton to discuss how the WCTA could partner with them to offer more opportunities through field days or seminars for sport turf managers in Western Canada. These discussions are going to continue at the WCTA conference in Victoria with the STA; two of their executive members and their executive director are going to be meeting with the newly elected WCTA board of directors.
The WCTA is also sending me and director Mike Schellenberg to the Sports Turf Manager Association (STMA) conference in Long Beach, California the second week of January 2012 to liaison with that association. Both Mike and I are members both of the STMA. For the golf superintendents out there, this conference is equal to the GCSAA national conference in Las Vegas this year.
The object of the WCTA board in sending me to the STA and STMA conferences is to forge relationships that can be called upon to partner with future field days or seminars that would benefit especially our sport turf managers members to further their knowledge.
Dave Duncan, THP Co.
2011 WCTA Past President
Allied Associations, Membership, By-Laws and Nominations
As my time on the WCTA Board of Directors comes to a close, I wish to reflect on my experiences. Never in my career have I had the opportunity to meet, get to know and become friends with such wonderful people. Dena Gent, Scott Mitchell, Karen Hounsome and the Board’s during my year as President and Past President are second to none; in terms of professionalism and forward thinking individuals. I thank you for our hard work and our friendships; they will both last a lifetime.
Membership By-laws: As with any Board of Directors, we are constantly reviewing the by-laws for our membership. The Research protocols were re-worked with the Research Committee Chairperson, Peter Sorokovsky at the helm. We now have a legitimate functioning system for this part of the Association. This process alone took over two years to complete. Our ability to offer memberships at a reduced cost (that includes CEC management – at the reduced cost) was firmed up as well. Any opportunity that these Board of Directors felt would give an advantage to the membership and its growth was taken advantage of, with the thought in mind of expanding our networking and discussion abilities. We are going to begin to work with our VALUED suppliers at this Conference and get their feedback about Conference participation in this “new” economy. Stay tuned as the WCTA continues to move in a positive and forthright direction with the best interest of the membership, its driving force.
Nominations: As has been the case in the past two years the Board of Directors will be voted on by its membership again this year in Victoria. Please make every effort to attend the Annual General Meeting. Our nominations are at 11 as of Dec 10, 2011. This shows the strength and willingness of this membership to become involved. If you wish to know more about Directorial responsibilities please do not hesitate to contact the “future” Past President Mr. Scott Mitchell as this will be his portfolio responsibility for 2012.
Allied Associations: As part of my goals for 2010, I wished for closer communication within all of our Allied Associations. The success of the joint BCGSA/CGSA/WCTA Conference in Vancouver is hopefully the beginning of greater unity amongst us all. We now have a BCGSA representative present at all of our Board of Director meetings. Our relationship with the NTA (Washington/Oregon/Idaho) has been rekindled as well. We have attended their field days and Conference for the past two seasons; as well, as them joining us at Vancouver last March. As the Board of Directors for the WCTA is diversified, much like its membership we have three Board members attending the STMA (Sportsturf Managers Association) Conference in California this January. The stronger the ties between all of these Associations, the stronger we are together. Please review any of these Associations websites, as they offer education and outreach, much like the WCTA.
Finally, I would be remiss to not comment on the outstanding job the WCTA Executive Director has done for this Association since he took charge two years ago. Mr. Rousseau is tireless in his efforts to improve, fine tune and mainstream this Association. The pesticide issue, budgetary trends, Conference planning and new magazine/website publications are a few of his successes in just two years. Please respect his efforts and availability for all of the members of this Association. His is the MAN….and it is GAME ON!!!
Thank you for all of your support over the years that I served on this Board. I look forward to the future, and being of any service possible to this Association.
David Duncan Past President (2010) Western Canada Turfgrass Association
Peter Sorokovsky, City of Burnaby, Superintendent of Golf Operations
Research Committee Chair
It has been another great year serving on the WCTA Board of Directors. At the end of 2011 I will have served 4 consecutive years and find that I continue to learn a great deal about how well the Board/Exec. Director serves all our association members and industry partners. Each year seems to increase in the challenges our industry faces as new issues arise. Again, this year was no different and has certainly stretched me in servicing our membership. I hope in 2012 you will consider my past service and deem me worthy to continue on with that service as we move forward in this association with the Board and Executive Director leading the way.
The portfolios I was involved with this past year included “Research and Golf Liaison”. As the Research Chairperson I had the privilege of seeing the work that was put in 2010/11 by the Board in reviewing the operational procedures come to fruition. That review has greatly improved our control of funding to appropriate projects and in 2011 the Board, after recommendations from the research committee, approved three projects to ensure continued value to our membership.
We had many sources of funding for research but my favorite in the past year was a successful partnership with the CGSA at our annual trade and convention show as we (WCTA and support from others) put on a golf tournament to increase funding to research. I had the privilege to be chosen by captain of the West Team, Dave Fair, to help bring home the “cup” to the West as we defeated the East in a Ryder Cup style challenge. Moving forward Jerry and I have some excellent ideas to further establish the WCTA as the funding hub of research in the Pacific Northwest and with your support we can ensure continued value for our membership.
My involvement in Golf Industry Liaison portfolio was limited to potentially the most important development in golf in the past 25 years. We as the WCTA have been spearheading the battle against a cosmetic pesticide ban by the Government of BC. With the help of Larry Olson we developed a one page, double sided, leaflet outlining our stance which was sent to “All those who love to play golf”. This has been widely circulated to ensure that our voice is heard with regards to this potential legislation.
As a strong voice for the Golf Industry I hope to see my involvement continue in 2012 as a WCTA board member and as your Research Chairperson and Golf Industry Liaison. I am thankful for the friendships that have developed while on the board and look forward to new ones as potential new board members are elected in the coming year. I look forward to serving all of the membership while on the WCTA Board of Directors.
Respectfully submitted, Peter Sorokovsky.
Keith Lyall, Golf Course Superintendent, Sun Peaks Resort
Health, Safety & Environment, Social Media/Website, Research
First of all I would like to congratulate Darren Reddekopp, his staff and all the employees at Grey Wolf for being the first golf course in BC to become certified under go2BC’s Certificate of Recognition (COR) program. For those who have not heard of COR, this is a program that provides financial incentives to employers who go beyond the legal requirements of the Workers Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations by taking a “Best Practices” approach. With a successful Safety Management System and Return-to-Work/Injury Management audit, a company can save up to 15% on its WorkSafe premiums. Way to go Darren, sure hope we at Sun Peaks are #2.
It’s important to know that in 2011 our base rate for WorkSafe premiums went to $1.07 per $100 of assessable payroll, up from $1.03 in 2010. These rates are based on injuries recorded in our classification, #761031: Golf Course, Driving Range, Pitch and Putt, or Lawn Bowling Facility.
For more information on go2 and how to register for COR certification please check out www.go2hr.ca
Environmentally our obvious attention has been the proposed “cosmetic” pesticide ban, and I’m sure it will be in the near future. I would like to focus on how we, as professionals, can show what good stewards we are.
There are a number of environmental associations we can work with, Audubon, Golf Environment Organization (GEO) and my favorite ISO 14001. Yes there are some extra costs associated with these groups but they are a great avenue for the “Best Management Practices” standards we will all have to follow one day.
However, if you want to just show your commitment to our environment, take photos and lots of them. Show the frog eggs in your ponds, snap a shot of deer foraging in your riparian areas or anything you think will demonstrate our work to those who think we are negatively impacting the environment.
Website/Social Media A big thanks to Dena Gent and her continued work on the WTCA Facebook page!
As many of you are aware the Board recently approved the Turfline News to be published by Inside Golf. This company has included a new website for the WCTA, and although the work has just begun, we are hopeful to include many new features such as a members only area, where you can purchase your membership, conference package and WCTA schwag. With the extra band width and storage we also hope to have all results from past and current research the WCTA has supported. These are just a few examples, so keep checking your email for the website launch in this spring.
Good luck to everyone for the upcoming season and pray for better weather this summer.
Respectfully, Keith Lyall
Mike Schellenberg, Calgary Board of Education
To start I would like to thank everyone within the WCTA for welcoming me to the board of directors. I thoroughly enjoyed my first year on the board and am looking forward to year two with a little more experience under my belt. There is a lot to learn yet much to gain by becoming a board member and I encourage everyone out there to take a chance and become involved. I would also like to give a big shout out to our departing Past President Dave Duncan as his term draws to a close. Dave has played an integral part in helping develop my career, has been a mentor to me since the day we met and more importantly has been an incredible friend. He is truly passionate about the WCTA, its member’s and the Turf Grass Industry and I wish nothing but the best for his future and inevitable success.
2011 was my first full year as a Sports Field Manager and like many new jobs, had its fair share of ups and downs on the learning curve. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the Golf Course Industry but the WCTA has provided me the opportunity to remain close and involved in an industry I love. The goal of my new job remains the same; provide the best quality stand of Turf Grass I can utilizing all the tools available to me. Though my client base has come down significantly in age it has been a truly rewarding experience. The Calgary Board of Education has been more than supportive and it was comforting knowing my education and experience could be applied to another career in a similar field.
This past January (2011) I was fortunate to attend the Sports Turf Manager’s Association Conference held in Austin, Texas. It was a great chance to participate in a conference geared at my new career and to network with some of the elite Pro Stadium Turf Managers in my field. It is true what they say, everything is definitely bigger in Texas. We were fortunate to tour several amazing sports complexes including Texas A&M and the University of Texas. They were truly amazing sport complexes and the field managers present provided detailed information regarding the facilities and were open to any Q&A we may have had. The conference and trade show itself was outstanding and was nice to be a part of something similar to the WCTA, with so many facets of the Turf Industry coming together with a common goal. I will be attending the STMA conference again January 9th-14th, 2012 in Long Beach and would be more than happy to share or discus my experiences at the upcoming WCTA conference in Victoria.
The pesticide issue continues to be a hot topic in our industry and one which has impacted my current position greatly. I am in the business if providing a quality playing surface for children and young adults and needless to say am under constant scrutiny from the public and faculty of the 250 schools we oversee. As we currently are prohibited from applying pesticides due to fear and lack of knowledge, I am working closely with our environmental department and newly formed media department to attempt to educate and properly inform our schools of the facts. Our school system alone houses more than 100,000 students and I can’t think of a better place to help defend our efforts. We are here to teach fact, not fiction, and that is what I intend to do. I implore all Sports Field Managers to contact me at any time as I would genuinely appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Thank you all for your continued support and I hope that you all have a fantastic 2012!
Respectfully submitted, Mike Schellenberg
Brett Finlayson. Golf Course Superintendent, Arbutus Ridge
Professional Development and Education
When it was initially suggested that I run for a board position, it was most likely due to my “always voice your opinion and question the status quo” attitude. However, at my first board meeting I said I wasn’t going to say anything, just listen and learn the ropes. This lasted about 5 minutes and I think some other board members are now regretting their suggestion! Seriously though, 2011 has been an interesting year for our industry; continued change and improvements within the association, political battles and the economic downturn that has many golf courses struggling, have made this year as a board member a challenge at times. We’ve had to look at how we do things as an association and make some tough but necessary decisions. My hats off to my fellow board members and to our Executive Director, Jerry Rousseau, great work!
For me, the main reason I felt it necessary to join the board was to give back to our industry and help continue with the advancement in our developmental programs. I was extremely fortunate to have worked with some incredible individuals who have helped me advance my career and mold me into the turf professional I am today. I want to do my part in helping the future of our industry advance their careers and continue to raise the bar on performance. I am also once again fortunate to be sharing the “Professional Development” portfolio with Jason Pick, Golf Course Management Instructor at Old College. I will let you read Jason’s report to provide more insight into his goals and accomplishments.
I am currently focusing my efforts on taking over the reins from former board member, Kevin Neufeld, as the organizer of the Mentor Booth at the 2012 conference. Kevin has graciously offered assistance with the setup of the booth and has provided much insight on the process he has gone through to make the program work. I will also be working with Jason Pick and Trevor Smith in the mentor recruiting process and we’re all hoping 2012 to be the most successful yet.
Lastly, I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity of helping direct our industry down a positive path. I now have a further appreciation for what being a board member means and wish to thank all other current and past board members for their hard work.
Respectfully submitted, Brett Finlayson
Brett Lamontagne, Mid-Island Landscape Consulting
Executive Director Jerry Rousseau and fellow Board members:
The past year has gone by extremely quick. My experience as a director of the WCTA has been a hectic learning experience to say the least. I have learned the importance of preparation and organization. My hat is off to all of your for your dedication to our association and the serious issues we are currently dealing with. I have been in contact with local politicians regarding the pesticide issue. I have also forwarded relevant information to the VIGSA. The expectations and actualizations for me as a new board member touched on overwhelming, though this may have been due to my career change. I thank all of you for your mentoring.
2012 will be a more organized and functional year for me. I hope to be far more effective with regards to my position on the board.
Thanks Brett Lamontagne
Jason Pick, Instructor, Olds College
Professional Development and Education
It has been my pleasure, to participate on the WCTA board this year, partnering with Mr. Finlayson in the Professional Development and Education portfolio. While attempting to fill some pretty big shoes left by Mr. Kevin Neufeld, I will share the results of several short and long term goals I have pursued, and those under development.
Competencies required of today’s superintendents and assistants are increasing at a staggering rate, as organizations look at ways of improving their bottom line during this economic recovery. In response to an industry need to meet these additional educational competencies, a survey was distributed regarding our members interest in an on-line Bachelors degree offered at Olds College. Among all green industry fields of study targeted, an overwhelming 80% of survey respondents came from within the golf course management industry. Subsequently, Olds College is actively pursuing development of an online delivery of the turfgrass management degree program. While a coordinated effort with many faculty and advisors is necessary, it will continue to be a significant focus of my portfolio next year, and an exciting new educational benefit to our members upon launch.
As an educational contribution to the portfolio over this last year, I have delivered educational lectures for CEU recertification points at the Southern, and Alberta Golf Course Superintendent’s Association conferences. I look forward to continuing these annual commitments, and have subsequently begun accumulating CEU approved resource for speakers providing re-certification CEU’s in all necessary competency areas.
An additional educational update from Guelph University includes a newly formed partnership by Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) and Chimera Group. The newly formed “GTI Solutions Group” will provide business development, marketing, communications, and agronomic services. In addition, the well known Turf Managers short course, continues to provide an exceptional offering at U of Guelph again this February. http://tmsc.coles.uoguelph.ca/
The Seneca College report unfortunately revealed the Golf Course Technicians (Co-op) program has been suspended indefinitely. While current 2nd year students are completing the program this winter semester, we hope this long running, renowned Ontario turf education option has not graduated its last.
Of additional attention at Olds College this past year, has been the efforts to solidify the relocation and improvement proposal of the Prairie Turfgrass Research Center. Although the result of the 2.4 million dollar grant will not be announced until February, a heartfelt thank you to our members who provided us their letters of support on such short notice that would see the PTRC site expand to 7.4ha. I will acknowledge the professional contributions by Executive Director Jim Ross, Dr. Ken Fry, Dr. Darrell Tompkins, and Dr. Abiola, whose efforts throughout this process, has been truly inspiring.
Lastly, I would like to thank our members for providing me the opportunity to participate on this esteemed board of professionals, and Executive Director Mr. Jerry Rousseau, for his tireless efforts in managing us, as well as some of the most challenging issues that have faced our industry to date.
With gratitude, Jason Pick
Larry Olson, Golf Course Superintendent, Penticton Golf Club and Jeff Bennett, Golf Course Superintendent, Okanagan Golf Club
Allied Association Liaison(s)
The golf industry liaison portfolio has been an extremely active portfolio this year. The WCTA board and executive director are continually working hard to strengthen the bond between the WCTA and all areas of the golf industry. The WCTA is well represented in the National Allied Golf Association (NAGA) of BC. In fact in many ways the WCTA is spearheading the unification of all golf association in BC. To improve communications between the WCTA and BCGSA it is now common practice to have a representative of the BCGSA at all WCTA meetings, and conversely have a WCTA representative at all BCGSA meetings.
The WCTA again took the TARS program throughout BC at local BCGSA meetings in all regions of BC. As usual it was well received by all superintendents that attended.
The WCTA was very involved in the Golf lobby day in Victoria this spring. It was a great opportunity to inform the government of the importance of golf in BC.
Whether he likes it or not our Executive Director has become the “go to” guy in the golf industries fight against a possible pesticide ban being legislated. Jerry delivered an excellent presentation to the BC Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides on behalf of the golf industry. It was filled with all the facts of the benefits that the game of golf gives to the province of BC. We as a board have also been very active in spreading the word of the possible pesticide ban not only to superintendents, but to the golfing public. We have been very judicious in our facts only approach, trying to let the public and government know the fate of our beautiful golf courses if a province wide pesticide ban is legislated. Hopefully by now everyone reading this report has taken the time to contact their local MLA to explain what a pesticide ban would mean to you on your golf course.
With the findings of the BC Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides being delivered to the legislature in the February sitting you can rest assured that the WCTA board will be watching the government closely and will continue to try and steer them in the best direction for golf to continue to thrive in BC.
Respectfully submitted, Larry Olson and Jeff Bennett
Trevor Smith, Keso Turf Industry Liaison
Publicity & Media
For those of you who are new to the WCTA I will repeat the beginning of last years portfolio report and update all of you as to what we have been accomplishing with this portfolio over the past year.
What is Media and Publicity as it relates to the WCTA? How should it function and what is its function? The WCTA represents the Turfgrass Industry, Professionals, individuals and business all of whom derive their living from working within the Turfgrass Industry.
As I mentioned last year in my portfolio report, with the change in the economy and the Turf Industry, the need to let others outside the Turf Industry know what value our Association and its members provide to the economy is imperative.
Over the past year, your board has been actively involved in creating a public presence in the Golf and Turf Industry, through its involvement with the B.C Allied Golf Associations, the WCTA has stood out in its contribution to the future of Golf and the Turf Industry. Our involvement with the Golf Lobby day and subsequent media and related Environmental committees, it is our belief we have begun to capture the Media and Publicity we need to achieve a very viable presence in the Golf and Turf Industry.
Media and Publicity is not always about buying ads and presenting a figure to the intended audience, it is about proving you have a presence within the industry you are involved in and showing that, by action and follow through.
It is my feeling that we are accomplishing our goal of creating publicity and a media presence by actively involving ourselves in the global picture of the Golf and Turf Industry. We are now at the table and we are contributing and I believe, being listened to.
The future looks Bright!
Respectfully Submitted: Trevor Smith
Executive Director Report for 2012 AGM
prepared by Jerry Rousseau
For a ‘short year’, we have certainly made considerable progress since my last annual report presented at our 2011 Annual General Meeting in Vancouver on March 8th. After wrapping up the conference, a lot of my time over the last 10 months has been occupied by the pesticide issue in British Columbia culminating with the Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides December 16th public consultation deadline. I have also been heavily involved with the fledgling golf industry consortium called NAGA – BC which has been working hard on issues the business of golf is facing.
The 2011 Vancouver Conference was obviously a major focus in the early part of this report period, even with the CGSA responsible for much of the organizational legwork. From the WCTA perspective, conference feedback was positive and the event was successful. Financial performance was what it needed to be in order to support our member programs for the year although final booth sales were only 80% of the projected total. Due to the structure of the agreement, this shortfall did not affect WCTA revenue. As with any major event, there was about 4-6 weeks of cleanup, evaluation and follow-up afterward.
Transition from conference into the busy spring administration period was extremely short leaving little time for ‘rest-of-the-year’ planning and preparation. Suddenly, it was May 18th and NAGA-BC visited Victoria in full force to hold the first ever ‘Golf Industry Lobby Day’ which saw representatives from all sectors meeting with and speaking to MLA’s about the economic, health, social and environmental benefits of the game.
May-June is time to get the Roadshow underway and this same period is typically heavy for meetings and attending other events as we attempt to strengthen those relationships that are mutually beneficial. Planning for the 2012 Conference is already well underway at this time and in the case of the upcoming show, a lot of thought and decision making went into the early stages of the organization.
Summer is supposed to be the slower time at the WCTA office, unlike my previous life as a golf superintendent, however this particular year saw very little letup of pace which left no room for a break. The pesticide issue was in full swing by July and NAGA BC relied heavily on the WCTA for legwork on the matter such as making the original submission to the Special Government committee and the subsequent, more concise, briefing document and cover letter that was sent to all MLA’s, Ministers and the Premier. Also during the summer months, I attended the following:
July 4 – BC Allied Golf Meeting, teleconference
July 7 – BCGSA Board meeting, teleconference
July 11 – TOL tour with Tab Buckner
July 13 – Empire Stadium and N. Vancouver parks tour
July 18-19 – WSU Turf Research Field Day, Puyallup, WA
July 21 – RBC Canadian Open, Shaughnessy
July 27 – NAGA BC meeting, Vancouver
August 11 – BCGSA Board meeting, teleconference
August 13-16 – BCGSA Exchange Tournament, Quesnel
Aug 19 – Inside Golf Meeting, Richmond
Aug 22 – Cosmetic Pesticides Committee meeting, Victoria
August 23 – TARS, Seymour
August 31 – PGA of BC buying show, Richmond
Sept 8 – BCGSA board meeting, teleconference
Sept 16 – VIPGSA Equipment Show, Royal Roads, Victoria
Sept 21 – Canadian Cancer Society meeting, Cordova Bay
After over a year of planning, perhaps the biggest single advancement in 2011 was the partnership with Inside Golf Magazine which saw the media company take on the responsibility of publishing the Turf Line News magazine. This all took place late August/early September, just in time for the Oct/Nov issue production. Although an incredible amount of work to setup, we will realize long-term benefits in terms of freeing up time for new association initiatives plus the level of professionalism, quality and ‘new look’ of the magazine has elevated the TLN to the leading turf industry publication in Western Canada.
Financially, we had a solid year that fiscally ended September 30. From there, the cycle started all over again with the fall period dedicated to conference organization and administrative functions like member dues billing, CEC points accreditation, accounting, budgeting, evaluation, meetings, planning and of course, report writing like this one!
Throughout the year we had a number of ongoing initiatives and new administrative projects in progress including:
o Fully integrating accounting software into our general operation
o TLN Cost/Profit Analysis
o Canadian Ministry of Heritage Funding Application
o Member database production
o Speaker resource database production
o Website re-design
o New member recruitment
o IPM manual production
We are certainly breaking new ground on many fronts and I am seeing our association, along with our allies, being looked to more and more frequently for guidance and leadership. This comes in many forms, even harsh criticism, but in the end, all we can do is make the best possible decisions based on the best information we have available along with insight developed from several hundred years of combined turfgrass industry experience that our board possesses.
While it’s been a challenging and demanding year, I have to thank the current WCTA Board and those that came before them, for their tremendous support and help along with all those members who have called and/or emailed words of encouragement as we navigate this period that many are calling ‘a crossroads for the turf industry’. Our membership is growing while many other associations decline so I’m going to take that as a positive!
On behalf of Viola and myself, thank you to the 2011 Board of Directors for their dedication, hard work and spirit in volunteerism to make the WCTA an organization we can all be proud of. Thanks also to all WCTA members who participate and see the value in our association and of course, thank you to all the industry suppliers who not only provide the tools, supplies and services we need as turf managers, but support our efforts every step of the way.
Jerry Rousseau WCTA Executive Director