Golf Course Management

JUL 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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36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 July 1 offcially kicks off the GCSAA Grassroots Network and the search for GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors, brought to you by GCSAA's department of information and public policy. The network includes the entirety of GCSAA's grassroots army, which the associa - tion is trying to build. Network members re- ceive the newly launched, monthly Greens & Grassroots e-newsletter and special targeted ac - tion alerts from Government Relations Online at www.gcsaa.org . The goal of the ambassador program within the larger GCSAA Grassroots Network is to match a professional member of GCSAA with each member of Congress, and to pro - actively build relationships between the two. The program establishes a network of commit - ted volunteers to serve as the "go-to" people for lawmakers and their staffs on golf course man - agement issues. This relationship will focus on the success of the facility. It is critical that golf course superintendents across the country educate policymakers on the importance of the golf industry, and golf course management in particular, to ensure their continued license to do business, espe - cially in light of an increasingly diffcult reg- ulatory climate. Nearly 200 professional members have al - ready expressed an interest in serving as am- bassadors through GCSAA feld staff postcard recruitment and the ambassador recruitment survey distributed in April. If selected, GCSAA Grassroots Ambassa - dors will agree to perform the following spe- cifc actions during a two-year appointment: • Build and maintain positive relationships with assigned policymaker, and keep abreast of, and advocate for GCSAA policy statements and initiatives. • Regularly review GCSAA publications, action alerts and updates on Government Relations Online. • Respond to GCSAA action alerts in a timely manner and engage colleagues to participate in such efforts to the extent re - quired or necessary. An ambassador must be able to represent GCSAA as a whole and the advancement of its members and the golf industry in general. Personal view - points should be set aside. • Meet personally with assigned policymaker or his or her key staff at least twice each year (such as attending an August recess town hall; setting up a meeting in a district offce; visiting the policymaker on Capitol Hill; or hosting a golf course site visit). • Invite assigned policymaker to attend a chapter meeting or other GCSAA-affli - ated function. • Attend GCSAA Advocacy Bootcamp if at - tending the Golf Industry Show, if it fts in with personal schedule. • Promptly report all actions and outcomes tied to ongoing advocacy efforts. • Include government relations and advocacy information in chapter newsletters or chap - ter websites as appropriate. • Provide biannual government relations up - dates at chapter meetings. GCSAA's government relations team will work with chapter presidents and executive directors and GCSAA feld staff to quantita - tively and qualitatively vet the pool of poten- tial GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors in the coming months. All superintendents who are selected to be ambassadors will receive the tools and re - sources they need to become effective advo- cates for the profession. Each ambassador will receive a welcome packet that includes compre - hensive information about serving in the role, a biography and contact information for their Wanted: GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors (Advocacy) Chava McKeel cmckeel@gcsaa.org twitter: @GCSAA selected member of Congress and an ambassa- dor engagement calendar. The calendar will outline advocacy training, meetings and education opportunities hosted by GCSAA. This may include participation in webinars, attending town hall meetings during August recess and Get Out the Vote efforts. For the frst time, GCSAA will also offer an Advocacy Bootcamp at the 2015 Golf Indus - try Show in San Antonio for its ambassadors. Training will focus on issue awareness and po - litical engagement. GCSAA's Government Relations Commit - tee has been working hard to ensure the suc- cessful launch and implementation of the pro- gram. They've put on their ambassador hat and helped develop the curriculum for the training and education component of the program. "This is an exciting time for GCSAA's gov - ernment relations program," says Peter J. Grass, CGCS, who is secretary/treasurer of GCSAA and the committee's current chairman. "We are taking our advocacy efforts to a higher level. At the end of the day, when there is an issue that comes up in Congress that could im - pact how your facility is operating, such as the recent release of the EPA's proposed rule that redefnes a 'Water of the U.S.' under the Clean Water Act, we want to make sure that federal policymakers in all 50 states know GCSAA's position on the issue." If you are interested in learning more about the GCSAA Grassroots Network or are inter - ested in becoming an ambassador, please con- tact the program lead, Kaelyn Seymour, gov- ernment relations specialist, at kseymour@ gcsaa.org or (800) 472-7878, ext. 3612. Chava McKeel is GCSAA's associate director, government relations. Scott Ramsay, CGCS at Yale University GC in Middletown, Conn. (far left), and Kaelyn Seymour, GCSAA's government relations specialist, meet on Capitol Hill with a congressional staff member as part of GCSAA advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. Photo by Scott Hollister 036-037_July14_Adocacy.indd 36 6/17/14 2:12 PM

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