Golf Course Management

OCT 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 19 of 129

President's Message by Patrick R. Finlen, CGCS In the field to serve you Last month, GCSAA introduced Ron Wright, CGCS, as the Southeast Region field staff representative. The news signifies a milestone as it completes the association's plan to staff each of the nine field staff regions. While the concept had been discussed going back decades, it really did not gain a firm foothold until a pilot program was launched in 2006, two years before the recession hit. It would have been easy to scrap the program, but thanks to the diligence of previous GCSAA boards and staff, the program remained and has steadily grown to where it is today. While I do want to celebrate the moment, the purpose of this message is to further communicate the goals of the program and what it has achieved to date. Before doing so, I want to back up just a bit and talk about the "why." The feld staff program was born out of feedback from chapters and the Headquarters Relocation Resource Group of 2003-04 that there wasn't a clear understanding of the direction the national association was taking. Thus, the idea to put a staff member on the ground to work with chapters was generated. Field staff would help chapters and our shared members achieve success in a number of given areas. In short, the mission was to develop a means for the national association to better serve members. We have long realized each and every chapter has individual needs as well as common needs shared by all. Previous boards were clear that the needs of the regions would vary, and depending upon the priority, the focus could shift for each situation. Thus, each feld staff member would cater to the needs of the chapter as well as delivering a consistent message to all on many fronts. That is why you may fnd some of our feld staffers much more wrapped up in working with chapters on regulatory issues, while some are targeting the development of allied association relationships and others are dealing with ways to publicize the chapter and its members. This is not to say there are no shared objectives. All chapters and feld staff reps are working together to grow membership, increase engagement in chapter events, engage in strategic planning, generate revenues and raise the profle of the superintendent. 16 GCM October 2013 Communications have also been enhanced by the feld staff as they are contributing to chapter publications, are active on social media and provide content for allied association vehicles and support GCSAA efforts. I am pleased that we are in the process of enhancing that outreach with regional pages on the GCSAA website. Under the "Community" tab on the home page, you will soon be able to access information on each region to review important issues and to communicate with the feld staff representatives. The feld staff program is like a ball of clay. We are constantly molding it to meet your needs. We are very pleased with the feedback we have received from chapters and members regarding the feld staff program, and we regularly hear success stories generated by the partnership between chapters and feld staff representatives. While much of the credit goes to the chapters who have embraced the program, I do want to recognize the execution by the GCSAA staff. We have nine talented feld staffers who are backed by the entire staff at headquarters supporting those who are out in the feld. It truly is an entire team effort. The feld staff program is like a ball of clay. We are constantly molding it to meet your needs. I trust you have had the opportunity to engage with your representative and utilize their talents and resources. I close with this request: If you like what GCSAA is doing — in this case, the feld staff program — then tell someone else. If you don't like what is happening, tell me and we'll address it. GCM Patrick R. Finlen ( is the director of golf at The Olympic Club in San Francisco and a 28-year GCSAA member.

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