Golf Course Management

JAN 2014

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

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For Vice President John J. O'Keefe, CGCS John J. O'Keefe, CGCS, has been the director of golf course management at Preakness Hills Country Club in Wayne, N.J., since 1986. He has an associate's degree in turfgrass management from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. A 34-year member of GCSAA, O'Keefe has served on the board of directors since 2008. He currently serves as the chairman of the Certifcation Committee and is vice chairman of the Tournament and Conference, Member Relations and Conference Education committees. O'Keefe is a member and past president of both the GCSA of New Jersey and the Metropolitan GCSA. He is also a member and past president of the Tri-State Turfgrass Research Foundation and a past member of the Metropolitan Golf Association Green Committee. Statement Candidates I am proud to accept the nomination of the GCSA of New Jersey and the Metropolitan GCSA as a candidate for vice president of the 2014 GCSAA Board of Directors. The boards and members from these two chapters have shown continued great faith in me, and I am truly honored and thankful. During the fve years that I have served as a GCSAA director, including the past year as secretary/ treasurer, the board has worked very hard to keep GCSAA moving forward. Many of the programs we provide our membership are now available on a 24-hour basis, thanks to technological advances. Education opportunities are now "on-demand" through useful webinars and on GCSAA TV. Our social networking efforts provide up-to-date benefts of membership at your fngertips through your mobile device or computer. The success of our feld staff program has been very rewarding for me. When I became a board member, we had begun the program on a small scale. It proved to be a big success, and I am proud to say that we have successfully completed the staffng of all nine regions throughout the country. The feld staff representatives are serving as a strong conduit between GCSAA and our chapters, providing an essential value to membership. I believe that adding value to your membership dollars is paramount to serving our members. Taking advantage of strategic opportunities to build upon existing programs goes a long way to achieving budgetary goals. The decision to purchase and launch a national version of the Rounds4Research initiative is a great example of fnding new ways to raise money without increasing the cost of doing business. The program, frst developed by the Carolinas GCSA, asks members to donate a golf foursome from their club to be auctioned online with 80 percent of the funds being returned to chapters for research, scholarships and advocacy. The frst full year of this program has shown success. As we move forward, I feel we should continue to stress the goal of ensuring our growth by fnding ways not only to retain our current members but also to seek ways to expand our ranks. It is imperative to note that our students and our assistant superintendents are our future, and we need to continue to recruit them into our association. We have to encourage turf school educators to promote GCSAA to their students. We need to fnd ways to retain those students as members once they graduate, even if they have not yet found an assistant superintendent or other related position. Once again, it's all about membership; without our members, our organization would be nothing. It is imperative that we continue to strengthen our relationships with our allied associations. This networking is vital to the sustainability of the game of golf, as well as toward the goal of strong governmental advocacy. Our board has hosted meetings with the boards from many of our industry partners to discuss how we can work together for the betterment of the game. As a board we strive to keep the Golf Industry Show and our educational opportunities on the cutting edge. Keeping our ideas fresh and current not only helps keep our members up to date and informed, but also promotes networking opportunities with fellow members and our allied associations. Economically speaking, in order to provide the best "show" possible, we need the support of our members through your attendance. We are constantly asking members in local chapters, "What do you think would make the show a must-attend event?" Your feedback has been very useful, and we are using it to plan future conferences and education. I appreciate the confdence you, our members, have shown in me, and I pledge to continue to do my best to earn that confdence. 118 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.14

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