Record-High Conference Attendance for STMA

The 17th annual Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Conference and Exhibition brought more than 1,000 conference attendees, an association record high, to Orlando, Jan. 18-21, for classroom and hands-on education. This was a 10 percent increase in attendance from the 2005 conference, which was held in Phoenix. The conference kicked off a year-long celebration of the associations’ 25th anniversary.

Integral to the conference was the 86,000-square-foot exhibition that showcased the sports turf industry’s products, services and equipment of more than 155 companies.

Thirty-eight educational sessions and workshops, a dozen roundtable discussions, a four-hour chapter officer’s training session, and two full-day and one half day off-site seminars were packed into the four-day conference.

The STMA Awards banquet held on Jan. 20, culminated in the awarding of the Founders Awards, STMA’s most prestigious honors. Floyd Perry, owner of Grounds Maintenance Services, Orlando, Fla., received the Dick Ericson award, which is given to a sports turf manager who positively impacts the sports turf industry and exhibits effective team leadership. Jeff Fowler from Penn State Cooperative Extension received the Dr. William H. Daniel Award, which acknowledges significant contributions to the sports turf industry through research, teaching and extension outreach. The George Toma Golden Rake Award, which acknowledges an individual’s strong work ethic and job performance, was presented to Jim Wiggins from the Tomball Independent School District in Tomball, Tex. The Harry C. Gill Memorial Award was presented to Bob Christofferson of the Seattle Mariners. The Gill Award recognizes an individual for their hard work in the sports turf industry and acknowledges their dedication and service to the STMA.

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