Message from the WCTA President - Mar/Apr 2021
By Gary Bartley, UBC Athletics
I’ll start this message with the question that many of you are going to be asking – “What have I done to Cameron Watt, our elected President?”
Gary Bartley (left), host of the the UBC Field Day in 2018
In a short answer, Cameron has decided to take advantage of an exciting offer and opportunity to change direction in his life and is leaving the Turf Industry. Having worked with Cameron for the last couple of years, it came as both a shock and with optimism. I was shocked to learn of his new direction and the fact that I and the Turf Industry is losing a dedicated and selfless advocate, but optimistic for the chance of helping people realize their potential. I know that I speak for the Board of the WCTA and hopefully for the membership in wishing Cameron good luck in his and his family’s new adventure, you will be missed. As a past President we will get to see him at our upcoming events.
With that announcement, I was asked and accepted the role of WCTA President. I am looking forward to the coming few years as we start to get used to whatever the world throws at us. In the past year and a bit, we have had a successful Conference in 2020, the Pandemic hit everyone hard, the Association has had to look at innovative ways of providing our members with the resources and support to aid in facing the changes that come about, we hosted the first (and hopefully last) online Conference, and we now can start to see a glimmer of hope as people are getting shots in the arm.
I want to thank all our members for being there for our Association and showing support of our efforts to provide education and seminars that we hope have had you thinking about what you do and learning how to do things that will have a positive impact on your operations. From the start of the WOW series, WHOA to raise funds for turfgrass research to the WOTS-UP Conference, we have seen attendance numbers steadily increasing. Thank you to our members, but also a big Thank you to Jerry and his team and the Board for all the work that went into making the best of a trying time.
As the Board looks ahead to the summer, fall and winter next year, we are beginning to do the leg work on getting out and back together in our traditional events – Fall Field Days and the 2022 Conference. It is still too early to make definite plans as to how these will look, but we are starting the planning process. For all those who provided feedback after the WOTS-UP and said that it was good but could never replace the Conference where we can all get together, get reacquainted and trade stories from the past year, we agree. Just think of the discussions that will be held at that show.
In closing, I look forward to the job ahead and am honoured with the responsibilities that being the President of the WCTA comes with. We have a great group of members and supporters that has shown that we are stronger especially when things start to get difficult.