President's 2015 Conference Recap

15.03.02-Trevor.Smith.imageOn behalf of the Board of Directors and association management, I would like to thank each of you for attending and supporting the 52nd Annual WCTA Conference and Tradeshow in Victoria.  Considering the timing and the choice of conferences to attend in the short period between February and March, we were very pleased with the attendance and the quality of the show. Thank you all!!

The President’s Reception was very well attended and the star of the evening, the Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, was a tremendous hit.  The Government’s support of our work was very well stated and we look forward to continuing our advocacy work with them.

Another highlight was the attendance at the AGM.  With 192 voting members present, it was the biggest turnout ever recorded at a WCTA AGM and almost 3 times the largest number from the past.  Constitutional changes that were put forward were passed in their entirety and it is the belief of the Board of Directors that these amendments will play an important role in the future of the WCTA and its ability to manage change going forward.

15.04.03-AGM.Crystal.BallroomA record crowd of 192 members present at the 2015 AGM held at the Fairmont Empress Hotel

Then there was the election.  Truly a testament to changing times, for the first time in WCTA history, there were two incumbents vying for the role of President in an election.  Turf managers by nature are more apt than most to allow the movement of Directors through a board without question but this election showed a new approach and a challenge to the norm.   I have great respect for Brett Finlayson standing up for his beliefs and running for the Presidency.  There is nothing more honourable and fulfilling than committing to what you believe in.  Congratulations Brett for your courage and for following your truth!

The Golf and Sportsturf Management industry needs more of that if we are to play an integral part in sustaining and advancing the industry.  Strong individuals and effective, efficient boards, will be required to direct this group into a successful future.  The WCTA has a long history of providing valuable member services and will continue to do so as directed by its membership and executed by its Board of Directors and staff.  A collective vision of the future and the delivery of quality, efficient services in the present will be the key to success. 

What exactly does that mean? It means for everyone to be successful we all need to be working together for the same goal, a viable industry effectively utilizing all its divisions and parts, creating a future that learns from its mistakes of the past and capitalizes on its positive visioning for the future.  

We could also state, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”  This aphorism, as it pertains to the golf and sport turf management industry, means that if the industry improves we all succeed!  We need to be part of that improvement and there has never been a better time than now to be heard and to help the industry through its tough times.

At this time I would like to thank Garrett Squire, Brett Lamontagne, Mike Schellenberg and Brett Finlayson, all departing from the Board of Directors, for outstanding commitment and contribution to the association and the turf management industry.    We, the Board of Directors, wish you success in the future and look forward to a time when you can get involved again.

The WCTA would also like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank the following in no particular order, who helped create a memorable and valuable conference experience for everyone who participated.  Apologies if we've missed anyone:

• Brett Finlayson, Superintendent, Olympic View Golf Course and the entire OV team for hosting our 'Tournament for Turf Research' that raised $751.14.  Thank you Golf BC for allowing us to take over one of your premier facilities for the day.
• Silent Auction donors and bidders.  We raised $4,797 for turf research projects that support our member's careers.
• all 34 of our speakers who came from far and wide to present a record-breaking in size education program.
• The Honourable Mary Polak, BC Minister of Environment, for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to speak to us.
• First Green Organization for creating an amazing program that teaches kids science and math using golf courses as a classroom and for sharing that program with WCTA members.
• all suppliers who year after year support the WCTA by exhibiting at our trade show.
• our sponsors who go above and beyond to help promote and add an extra dimension to the event.
• the Kwantlen University Turf Club for helping with trade show move-in, move-out and a host of other functions over the four days in Victoria.
• Equipment Technician bus tour stop hosts for opening their doors to tour participants.
• Erica Beck of the NGCOA for volunteering to help with our AGM and election.
• representatives from Allied Organizations including Kyle Kellgren, CGSA, Paul Ramsdell, NTA, Tennessee Propedo, Sports Turf Canada, Ginny Tromp, BCGSA, David Phipps, GCSAA, Kris Jonasson, BC Golf Association.
• Ken Hilchey, City of Victoria Parks Department, for providing truck/trailer parking and for a number of assists throughout the event.
• the WCTA Conference Production team who don't do this professionally for a living but come together once a year and look like they do.
• the Victoria Conference Centre and Fairmont Empress Hotel staff who provided an amazingly high level of service to our entire delegation.
• our show suppliers, Showtime and SW Audio Visual for consistently great service and attention to detail.
• and of course, members of the Conference Organization Committee who work selflessly for the advantage of all who attend.

To close, I would like to wish you a successful 2015 season and on behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee, invite you to attend our 53rd Annual Conference and Trade Show taking place in the world-class resort of Whistler, British Columbia February 23-25, 2016.  More information on this event will be provided later this summer.


Trevor Smith President WCTA