2014 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.
The 2014 Candidate Slate is as follows:
TREVOR SMITH – INTERIOR - INDUSTRY (current Vice 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 2014 President and wish to assist the Association and its members to be successful and aware of the future of the Turf Industry.
BRETT FINLAYSON – VANCOUVER ISLAND - GOLF (current Director)
”I started out at an early age of 14 working for my father’s landscaping company to earn some extra money to buy a car. At around the same time I became involved with golf and began to gain a great deal of passion not only for the game, but the work that is put into maintaining a golf course. I started out my golf maintenance career working with Frank Vargas at Point Grey Golf and Country Club. This is where I really became enthused with the industry and decided this was 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 you have maintained. In 2004, I was then hired by Dennis Pellrene at Capilano Golf and Country Club as their Environmental Manager. Part of my role there was assisting in the process of becoming Audubon certified and we achieved this in 2006. After Pellrene’s retirement, I was promoted by new Course Superintendent, Adam Zubek to the 2nd Assistant Superintendent in 2007. In 2008, I moved over to Quilchena Golf and Country Club as the Assistant Superintendent, first working with Gary Bartley and then Jason Hooper. At Quilchena, I gained valuable management and leadership skills allowing me to continue my career advancement. In 2011 I accepted the position of Course Superintendent at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club on Vancouver Island. I continue to have goals of making our industry more united and increase communication amongst its members. Along with golf being one of my interests, I am also involved in softball, beach volleyball and snowboarding.”
PETER SOROKOVSKY - LOWER MAINLAND - GOLF (current Director and Research Chair)
I have worked in the golf course construction and maintenance industry since 1990 starting as an irrigation installer at the prestigious golf club, Predator Ridge. In 1992, I completed my Bachelors Degree in Science, graduating from the University of British Columbia, specializing in biology which helped continue the advance of my career in golf course maintenance. In 1993 I joining the maintenance team at the very old (1912) and distinguished Vernon Golf and Country Club for a season. 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 was greatly increased.
In 2001 I returned back to university (UBC) for more education in soil science and in 2002 I was accepted into a graduate program in the Agricultural department 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 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 5 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 hope to continue to serve this great industry on in the future.
STAN KAZYMERCHYK - LOWER MAINLAND - GOLF & TURF (current Director)
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.
CASEY O'CONNOR - LOWER MAINLAND - INDUSTRY (current Director)
Growing up as the son of a golf course superintendent provided me 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, I quickly realized by the age of 14 that I had inherited my fathers love for the industry, and would go on to pursue a career in Turfgrass management. I have since furthered my background through extensive work experience and education.
In 2000, I graduated from the University of Guelph with an Associate Degree in Horticulture, followed by a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University in 2006. I went on to work as an Assistant Golf Course Superintendent at three high end golf clubs over an 8 year period. In 2010, I accepted an opportunity to become a technical sales consultant with Turf Canada Inc. This opportunity has allowed me to both utilize and further develop my unique blend of experience relating to both business and agronomics. I have spent the past 3 years becoming a trusted product consultant and expert in turfgrass nutrition, plant health and soil chemistry. My focus in business is to provide clients with exceptional service, agronomic support and quality products which aid in their success and ultimately helps to make their high pressure jobs a little bit easier. Maintaining healthy turf is the key to sustainability in dealing with today's economic and political pressures.
GARETT SQUIRE – INTERIOR - GOLF (current Director)
My experience with turf grass started in Ontario when my family farm was turned into Deer Creek GCC. I worked on the crew from a young age until I heard the "call of the west". With my boots and clubs I headed west. My bank account made it as far as Banff. After three years working at The Fairmont Banff Springs GC it was time to head further west. Northview GC was my next stop. After a very satisfying year, the wet climate got the better of me and I moved east to the interior of BC. I have been the Assistant Superintendent at Talking Rock GC for six years now and have watched this property come from seeded soil to a popular destination for Shuswap golfers.
I have been a member of the WCTA for ten years now and have previously put forth my name to the Board of Directors. I am very interested in finding ways to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and exploring new ways to tackle old problems.
Having been in the turf grass industry for more than half my life I have learned two things that everyone should consider.
1) There is always more than one way to do the any job.
2) You are only ever as good as plan "B".
Thank you for your time,
JED MCGEACHIE - LOWER MAINLAND - INDUSTRY
With 15yrs of experience in customer relations; business development and education; Jed McGeachie entered the irrigation industry in a business development role for Corix Water Products in 2010.
During this time, Jed has built and established relationships with key decision makers in the municipal and golf sectors as it relates to irrigation equipment; technologies and other turf grass products that benefit the industry.
Jed has worked with Municipalities, Parks Boards, Manufacturers and Water Managers/Consultants on solutions forturfgrass health, maintenance, operations and water efficiency.
With past employment experience in the auto parts industry and international education in Taiwan, Jed exemplifies a diverse perspective that would be a benefit to a Board of Directors as it relates to the outlook and vision for the industry, board governance and leadership working with a group to form consensus.
Jed would be ideal at the collaboration among directors, membership and partners in the industry. He would be an asset to the Board of Directors for the WCTA with his strategic thinking and methodical approaches on communication and implementation.
GUY MARTIN - LOWER MAINLAND - SPORTSFIELDS
My career in local government began in 1997 with the City of Langley. In 2002 I became the Head Gardner and Arborist, and responsible for all turf grass management. I lead the parks team through challenges of bringing our fields and assets to a new level of customer service, bringing underperforming irrigation systems and poor maintenance practices to industry standards. I was the volunteer chair of the City of Langley’s Communities in Bloom efforts that culminated with a win in the International Category for medium sized cities. The City also received special mention for turf and groundcover management practices. I further became the Exempt Acting General Foreman, responsible for all aspects of the parks department when required. In 2011 I accepted a position with the City of Abbotsford as the Manager of Horticulture & Turf. I am responsible for the management of 152 parks and 67 sports fields. In 2012 we began a change in the mentality of our field management plans with a shift in our fertilizer and soil management practices leading to better field and turf performance. In 2012 I represented Cricket Canada in Dubai for the first ever Cricket Curators meeting for the ICC.
I graduated from Kwantlen School of Horticulture in 2004 with a Diploma in Horticulture Technology. I was enrolled at Kwantlen in their inaugural year in 1992 in the Greenhouse Management program. I am a strong believer in asset based resource management having been a volunteer regent for the NRPA Northwest Resource Management School. I also was the co-chair of the Fraser Valley “Balding for Dollars” for BC Children’s Hospital and sat as the President of the Nicomekl Enhancement Society, a Langley based volunteer salmon hatchery. I understand what it takes to volunteer and direct your passions…I am passionate about sports fields and the turf grass industry and am a strong advocate for the environment.
HUGH NORRIS - LOWER MAINLAND - SPORTSFIELDS
25 years’ experience with sportsfield construction, maintenance and renovations. Current Position; Parks Athletic Facility Operations Manager with the City of Surrey. Responsibilities include sports field maintenance, irrigation maintenance, field renovation upgrades and user group facility allocations.
Graduate of BCIT in Recreation Facilities Management and a citation in Turf Management from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Member of the WCTA since 1995. Current member of the STMA (Sports Turf Managers Association), STA (Sports Turf Association) and the STC (Synthetic Turf Council)
In 2013, was a member of the organizing committee for the WCTA/STA West Coast Sportsfield Training Day, held in the Township of Langley. Married with four children aged 15 to 21.