SOURCE: Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA)
(LAWRENCE, Kan.) – The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) – the non-profit, professional association comprised of 2,700 men and women professionals overseeing sports fields worldwide and critical to athletes’ safety – welcomed more than 1,200 participants from 10 countries at its 32nd annual Conference & Exhibition, which was held virtually last month for the first time in its history.
The two-day event was highlighted by industry education sessions, networking opportunities and product demonstrations. The virtual trade show consisted of 145 exhibitors ready to connect with attendees about their product offerings. Additionally, awards were presented for “Field of the Year” recipients, “Founders Award” honorees and winners of the annual “Student Challenge.” A video recap is available here.
“In a week that typically serves as a collaboration point for sports field professionals across the globe, our team worked tirelessly to create a virtual alternative that delivered the educational benefits our members expect,” says Nick McKenna, CSFM and newly-elected STMA president. “We’ve all adapted to a new working landscape this past year and the creativity and passion that went into those adjustments was on full display during the conference.”
Attendees enjoyed learning sessions and panels given by renowned industry leaders. Sessions focused on turfgrass management, facility management, synthetic turf, pest control, water, industry developments, baseball and professional development.
Award winners recognized included “Field of the Year” recipients in professional, collegiate, schools and parks categories. The prestigious Founders' Awards acknowledging significant contributions to the profession were bestowed to:
- Tim VanLoo, CSFM, D&K Products – George Toma Golden Rake
- Marcus Dean, CSFM, Advanced Turf Solutions – Dick Ericson Award
- Abby McNeal, CSFM, CPRP, City and County of Denver Parks – Harry C. Gill Award
- Bradley Jakubowski, Instructor of Plant Sciences, Penn State – Dr. William H. Daniel Award
In the “Student Challenge,” teams of up to four were tested on their knowledge and skills in several key disciplines within the sports field industry for a chance of winning one of two $5,000 grants.
Winners from four-year programs include:
- University of Maryland, College Park, Md. – Team 1 (First Place)
- Penn State University, State College, Penn. – Team 1 (Second Place)
- Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa – Team 2 (Third Place)
Two-year program winners are as follows:
- University of Maryland, College Park, Md. – Team 2 (First Place)
- University of Maryland, College Park, Md. – Team 3 (Second Place)
Included in the conference experience is a virtual continuing education series that will feature weekly two-hour sessions through the week of March 2. Registration is free for all conference attendees. For the full series schedule, please click here.
Next year’s event will be held in Savannah, Ga. Jan. 17-20, 2022.
STMA is the non-profit, professional association for men and women who manage sports fields worldwide. Since 1981, it has provided education, information and practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management. More than 2,700 members across 32 local chapters oversee facilities at schools, colleges and universities, parks and recreational facilities, and professional sports stadiums. Sports include football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, softball, rugby and horse racing.