Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.
Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/234582
Kaelyn Seymour email@example.com twitter: @GCSAA (advocacy) Making contact The pressures of their job leave golf course superintendents little time to understand how government actions and policies impact their day-to-day work. To help superintendents understand government actions, rules and regulations that affect them, GCSAA offers a robust government relations program focused on advocacy and compliance. Traditionally, the purpose of the program has been to ensure policymakers adopt laws and regulations that help golf facilities. That work will continue, but in 2014 the program will expand its efforts with the launch of an aggressive grass-roots advocacy program. The new Key Contacts program will aim to match a member of GCSAA with a member of Congress in all 435 congressional districts in order to proactively build strong relationships between the two. GCSAA will establish a network of committed volunteers to serve as go-to people for lawmakers and their staff on golf course management issues. Key Contacts will be a fagship program within GCSAA's government relations program, and the GCSAA Board of Directors has made a signifcant investment in the tools needed to help make GCSAA members successful within this program. Key Contacts will receive the training and resources they need to become effective advocates for the profession. They will also have a job description and receive a member engagement calendar in order to proactively build lawmaker relationships year-round. The Key Contacts program is just one of the exciting new government relations offerings in 36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.14 GCSAA's government relations program is directed by Chava McKeel (left). Kaelyn Seymour is GCSAA's new government relations specialist. Photo by Roger Billings 2014. GCSAA's government relations program will also enhance its Web presence by adding a stand-alone advocacy portal connected to the main GCSAA website. This micro site will be a one-stop shop for all things government relations, including grass-roots alerts, advocacy resources, compliance manuals and explanations of GCSAA's priority issues. A newsletter for those interested in learning about GCSAA's government relations activities and successes will also be available to GCSAA members. The website and e-newsletter will launch in the spring. Chava McKeel is the associate director of GCSAA's government relations program. To expand and strengthen its advocacy efforts, GCSAA has brought in Kaelyn Seymour as its new government relations specialist. Seymour, a graduate of Washburn University with a bachelor's degree in public administration, started in July 2013 and has been busy working on the background pieces needed to make the Key Contacts program successful. Seymour will be the point person for the new program and will be available in the Member Services area of the trade show foor at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando to answer questions about GCSAA's new government relations offerings and to sign up interested individuals for the Key Contacts program and e-newsletter. Of course, GCSAA's government relations staff and Washington, D.C.-based frm will continue to lobby on behalf of golf course su- perintendents at all levels of government, using the issue position statements in the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda as a guide. GCSAA's Key Contacts will support and strengthen this lobbying effort. The agenda, as in years past, covers environmental and business issues affecting the golf course management community. This year's agenda includes the Americans with Disabilities Act, fertilizers, labor and immigration, pesticides, and the value of golf and water management. The agenda is developed annually by the board of directors, Government Relations Committee and staff using feedback received from GCSAA members throughout the year. No signifcant changes were made to the agenda for 2014, however, it was updated to include government relations activities and successes during 2013. GCSAA's government relations staff, in partnership with GCSAA feld staff throughout the country, looks forward this spring to helping GCSAA members understand these new offerings. Continue to look to GCM as well as the GCSAA website for updates from the government relations program. Kaelyn Seymour is GCSAA's government relations specialist.