30 hours of seminars, not including the pre-cons, will be offered at the 2013 WCTA Conference and Trade Show taking place March 3-5 in Penticton, BC. The following speakers have been confirmed (updated Feb 14):
Dr. Joe Schwarcz - Office of Science and Society, McGill University
Joe Schwarcz is the Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society and teaches a variety of courses in McGill’s Chemistry Department and in the Faculty of Medicine with emphasis on health issues, including aspects of “Alternative Medicine”. He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging. Using stage magic to make scientific points is one of his specialties. Professor Schwarcz has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. Among these are the Royal Society of Canada’s McNeil Award and the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award. Previous winners of the Grady-Stack have included famed science writer Isaac Asimov, New York Times columnist Walter Sullivan and Don Herbert of TV’s “Mr. Wizard” fame. Dr. Schwarcz is the only non-American ever to be honored with this prize. His latest awards include the Royal Canadian Institute’s Sandford Fleming Medal, the Society of Chemical Industry’s Purvis Award and the Chemical Institute of Canada’s Montreal Medal.
“Dr. Joe” has appeared hundreds of times on the Canadian Discovery Channel, TV Ontario, Global Television, CBC-TV, CTV-TV and various radio stations. He hosts the "Dr. Joe Show" on Montreal's CJAD every Sunday from 3-4 PM. He also hosted “Science To Go,” a series on the Discovery Channel that focused on common foods. Dr. Schwarcz writes a weekly newspaper column in the Montreal Gazette entitled “The Right Chemistry” as well as a monthly column in Canadian Chemical News. He was the chief consultant on the Reader’s Digest best sellers “Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal” and “The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs” and contributed the chemistry chapter to the best-selling “Mental Floss.” His books “Radar, Hula Hoops and Playful Pigs,” “The Genie in the Bottle,” “That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles,” “Dr. Joe and What You Didn’t Know,” “The Fly in the Ointment,” “Let Them Eat Flax,” “Brain Fuel,” “An Apple A Day,” “Science, Sense and Nonsense,” “Dr. Joe’s Brain Sparks” and his latest, “Dr. Joe’s Health Lab” have all been best sellers. The books have been translated into eleven languages and are sold around the world. In November of 2011 the McGill Office for Science and Society under Dr. Schwarcz’s directorship received the largest gift ever in Canadian history ($5.5 million) from philanthropist Lorne Trottier to further its work in promoting scientific education and critical thinking.
Tom Serensits - Penn State University
Tom Serensits is the Manager of Penn State's Center for Sports Surface Research where he oversees research on natural and synthetic sports turf. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Turfgrass Science from Penn State in 2001, Tom spent three years working as the Assistant Sportsfield Manager for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also worked at Virginia Tech as a research technician focusing on weed control. Tom has a Master’s Degree from Penn State and is currently working on a Ph.D. Degree.
David Phipps – Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
David Phipps is a 12-year GCSAA Class A member and has more than 20 years of experience in golf course management. He was an assistant superintendent at The Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, Ore., from 1990-2000 and most recently was the construction manager and superintendent at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City, Ore. Phipps has been active in serving on the national and chapter level. He participated in multiple GCSAA committees and was the Oregon GCSA chapter president in 2007. His efforts have earned him numerous honors and awards, including the Oregon GCSA's Richard Malpass Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and 2007, the Oregon Golf Association's Superintendent of the Year Award in 2009, the OGCSA's Michael S. Hindahl Environmental Stewardship Award of Excellence in 2011, and GCSAA's President's Award for Environmental Stewardship presented earlier this year at the GCSAA Education Conference in Las Vegas. Phipps is a five-time winner of the GCSAA/Golf Digest's Environmental Leaders in Golf Award.
In April of 2012, David was selected as the GCSAA field staff representative for the Northwest (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado).
"David is a great addition to the GCSAA team and is well-respected among the membership, especially in the Northwest," said GCSAA President Sandy Queen, CGCS. "He has been a leader in the profession, most notably in his environmental stewardship efforts, and has been an extremely engaged GCSAA member. He will certainly be a valuable resource for the Northwest region of the country.”
Dale Miller - Redox Turf
With 30+ years of experience in the turfgrass industry, Dale is currently the National Turf Agronomist for Redox Chemical Inc. covering courses in the US into Europe and China. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1987 with a degree in Agronomy, Turfgrass Science minor while Dr. James Beard was still teaching and was the top turf student. Dale went on to build and manage golf courses in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Nevada as a superintendent/Director of Agronomy. Career highlights include: • Barton Creek, 72 holes. Two Tom Fazio, one Palmer, one Crenshaw course. Ranked number 1, 7, 9, in the state. • National Environmental Award winner twice at Barton Creek, with 7 regional awards. • Deer Creek, Marsh Creek and PGA Golf Club in Florida. McCumber, Tom Fazio, George Fazio and Pete Dye courses. • Treyburn in North Carolina. Tom Fazio course. • Bali Hai, Stallion Mountain, Desert Pines, Royal Links in Nevada. Brian Curley, Dye courses. Dale also severed as the Director of Agronomy and VP of Agronomy for American Golf, Evergreen Alliance with responsibility throughout the US before moving to Redox.
Paul Tukey - Safelawns
An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is an award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies. Winner of the prestigious Horticultural Communicator of the Year Award from the American Horticultural Society, the former HGTV host is lauded for his ability to turn a mundane subject — landscape care — into a rousing public discourse. He achieved world-wide acclaim in 2009 with the release of the Emmy nominated film A Chemical Reaction, about the first community in Canada to ban synthetic chemical pesticides. Tukey has been featured in thousands of media outlets from Good Morning America in the U.S., to the CBC in Canada, as well as National Geographic, Readers Digest and the New York Times, which called him “the godfather of the natural landscape movement." His books include The Organic Lawn Care Manual (2007) and Toss, Kick & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games (2012) both published by Storey/Workman. In recent years he has been a sought-out consultant on numerous major landscape renovations, including the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, Mass., and the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Md. He also has regularly conferred with lawn care businesses about their fertility, pesticide and sustainability practices.
Mario Lanthier - CropHealth Advising & Research
Mario has been a popular speaker at WCTA, CGSA, ISA and other conferences over the years, and has been teaching the BC Pesticide Applicator Certificate course at the WCTA conference since 2003. He has been working in the horticulture industry since 1980 and his company, CropHealth Advising and Research, offers consulting services and pest management recommendations with or without pesticides.
Jason Pick, MSc. - Olds College
Jason is an instructor and the program coordinator for the Golf Course Management Diploma and Degree programs at Olds College and a Director of the Western Canada Turfgrass Association. He became a class “A” superintendent in 2000, with experience from 28yrs in golf course maintenance and management. Jason’s history has included eight courses across Canada and overseas, having managed executive, semi-private, multi-course public, and resort properties in cool season and transition zone growing environments. His course construction experience includes Glencairn Golf Club, restoration of Stanley Thompsons Banff Springs, renovation of Glen Abbey for the Canadian Open, and grow-in of Port Royal Golf club for PGA’s Grand Slam in Bermuda. Jason also has PGA preparation experience from four tournaments supporting in both maintenance and production.
Brian Youell - Uplands Golf Course
Brian Youell, Master Superintendent, has been the Superintendent at Uplands Golf Course in Victoria since 1994 and was recently named the CGSA Superintendent of the Year for 2012. Mr. Youell’s nomination states, “After reading over 70 letters of endorsement for Brian Youell’s nomination it quickly becomes evident that Brian’s nomination for this prestigious award reaches far beyond providing impeccable playing conditions or being involved on the volunteer boards of our many turfgrass and superintendent associations.” His reputation as a leader, innovator, a mentor, public speaker and a gentleman that is always prepared to put others and their needs ahead of his own is known throughout the industry. He is a dedicated husband and father and a contributor to his professional associations. Brian has also shown tremendous strength as he continues to pursue a complete recovery from a devastating brain injury suffered when he was hit with a golf ball while assisting a colleague with some irrigation system problems. Brian’s career in the turfgrass and golf course management profession has spanned 34 years, 31 of which have been at Uplands. He has previously been named Superintendent of the Year in British Columbia, has attained his Master Superintendent accreditation from the CGSA and is Audubon certified. Brian has hosted a number of Canadian Tour events and mentored a significant number of young turfgrass professionals, all of whom comment on the positive role that Brian has played not only with respect to their turf and golf course management knowledge but with respect to their leadership ability, compassion for people and the need to give back more than you take.
Dale Overton, MSc.- Overton Environmental Enterprises
Dale has a Master’s degree in plant biology and land reclamation, owns/operates the largest compost tea manufacturing facility in Canada and also operates a 4 million-worm vermin-technology facility. Both businesses are growing at an exceptional rate. Dale has been an environmental consultant for large oil / gas / mining / consulting firms for ten years and has been involved many long-term biological monitoring projects. He has been an invited guest speaker by Canadian Composting Council, University of Manitoba, Olds College, Red River College, Manitoba Eco-Network and more. Dale offers government certified courses on soil biology, integrated pest management and organic fertility alternatives (for credit on pesticide applicators requirements).
Darren Reddekopp - Bearspaw Golf and Country Club
Darren got into the golf course business working at his home town golf course, the Acme Golf Club, to earn money for university tuition. According to Darren, the Acme Golf Course, located 45 minutes northeast of Calgary is real and not something made up from Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons. After receiving his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary, Darren was faced with the choice of working in an office or going back to school to obtain his Turf Management Diploma. Needless to say, he took the latter route and has now been in the golf maintenance business for 21 years. Darren was the Superintendent at the Greywolf Golf Course at Panorama Mountain Resort for the last 8 years and just recently accepted the superintendent position at Bearspaw G&CC in Calgary.
Tim Tripp, MSc. - Neudorff North America
Tim is the Canadian product manager for Neudorff North America. Tim has as MSc in weed science from the University of Guelph. His focus was non-chemical weed control in turf. Tim has been in this position for two years and has travelled the country supporting the soft chemistry pesticides that Neudorff manufactures for the Canadian market focusing to a large extent on Fiesta lawn weed killer. Tim lives in Guelph with his family.
Tom Bourassa – Pumptronics
Tom has lived in Lethbridge, Alberta for the past 26 years and is a former golf course superintendent. He graduated from Fairview College with a Turfgrass Management diploma in 1983 and graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management degree in 1991. Tom is also a Certified Irrigation Designer (CID) from the Irrigation Association in both golf and commercial and a Certified Golf Irrigation Auditor (CGIA). He owned Bluegrass Irrigation Consulting from 2003-2012 and prior to that, worked for the irrigation distributor, Eljay, from 1987 – 2003.
Tom is a past President of the ACIA and and has been with Pumptronics since February 2012. Pumptronics is based out of Oakville, Ontario and over the past 20 + years, has sold over 500 golf course pump stations across Canada and upgraded hundreds more. The company designs, builds, installs and services custom pumping stations but can also service any pump station brand or type.
Dr. Drew Zwart - Bartlett Tree Experts
Dr. Zwart is a Plant Pathologist that has been on the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory staff for 7 years with responsibilities including the diagnosis and protection of landscape plants from disease, insect, and abiotic problems. Drew recently completed his PhD in Plant Physiology at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture studying plant stress physiology. He also holds a B.S. in Agronomy from Cornell University, and an M.S. in Plant Pathology from Clemson University. Drew’s research has focused on root and stem diseases caused by Phytophthora species, plant stress physiology, and beneficial symbiotic microbes.
Thor Claussen - Bartlett Tree Experts
Spending the majority of his life in the Green industry after working in orchards on the family farm as a child, Thor Claussen sold his tree company to Bartlett Tree Experts three years ago and stayed on to manage the Okanagan service area. He received his horticulture Diploma in the early 90’s and received the Award of Excellence for Landscape design From the BCLNA in 1997. Since 1993, Thor has been a certified Arborist and a certified Senior Instructor For Arboriculture Canada for the last decade teaching courses in climbing, rigging, felling, pruning and hazard evaluation. He has taught the tree pruning for the Master Gardeners program over the last several years as well as been a guest instructor for the OUC horticulture program. Trees and their proper care has been Thor’s passion for most of his life and he says that being able to climb the World’s largest Douglas Fir several years ago was definitely a career a highlight.
Bob Mitchell - West Shore Parks (retired)
Bob was born in Yorkshire England but spent the first 5 years of his life on a tobacco farm in Southern Rhodesia. The next 10 and formative years he spent on the family farm back in Yorkshire England. At 15 years old, Bob's parents decided to move to Canada where they bought a farm on Prince Edward Island. Bob graduated from Charlottetown Rural High School and then went off to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College to study Agricultural Engineering. After graduation, he enrolled in the Heavy Duty Mechanics apprenticeship program and worked at a large heavy equipment dealer in Truro Nova Scotia. One of 25 mechanics at the dealership, Bob learned a great deal about being a mechanic and equipment technician. After completing his interprovincial Journeyman HD program, Bob was asked to come back to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College where he taught Oil Hydraulics, Farm Equipment Repair, Shop Management and engine and mechanical theory and repair. Bob and his family moved to British Columbia early in 1981 where initially he worked at John Grieve Motors in East Saanich, a John Deere dealer. He then accepted a position of Parks Mechanic at Westshore Parks and Recreation (otherwise known as Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre) where he repaired and maintained all manner of parks equipment including backhoes, dump trucks, Zamboni's, a fleet of busses, vans and cars and also all manner of mowing equipment and machinery related to running and maintaining a golf course and large parks dept.
Bob has extensive experience teaching in the Community Education program run by Camosun College, where her taught courses in Farm Tractors, Basic Oil Hydraulics and Advanced Oil Hydraulics. Through Vancouver Island University, he was also a guest speaker to a Horticultural and Landscaping program centered out of the Duncan campus, teaching reel mower theory and maintenance. Bob is a licensed Fork Lift operator trainer, and also a licensed auto propane installer. Bob has recently retired from full time work, but remains very active in his fields of interest.
Eric Portelance - City of Richmond
Eric Portelance joined the City of Richmond as Environmental Coordinator in 2009. Originally from the province of Quebec, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology (U of Montreal) and his first experiences with cosmetic pesticide restrictions and municipal enforcement, his work for the City of Richmond involved him directly in the development of the City’s cosmetic pesticide bylaw and the implementation of the Enhanced Pesticide Management Program. Often cited as exemplary, Richmond’s education and outreach program focuses on providing helpful and low-toxicity information to their community and researching innovative approaches to pest management.
Mike Gentile – DMA Sports Group
Michael Gentile is an Associate at DMA Sports Group, a sport surface testing and consulting firm. DMA Sports Group provides testing services for several hundred fields every year including every NFL Stadium Field. Mr. Gentile’s academic education was from the University of Connecticut where he received a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. In 2002, his professional education began with a mentorship under renowned sports facility consultant Joseph DiGeronimo. His professional experience includes a wide range of sports facility design, civil engineering and sport surface testing. Mr. Gentile believes that educating and empowering the consumer about synthetic turf will lead to further advancement of the industry and better fields for everyone.
Catherine Eiswerth - RF Binnie & Associates
Catherine Eiswerth has over 25 years experience in the outdoor sport facility and civil engineering industry. Her experience includes providing project management and design for over 100 synthetic turf sports fields, dozens of natural grass fields, running tracks, tennis courts and various other related projects. Her past sports facility projects have been diverse - ranging from providing pro-bono services for non-profit sports groups to design of the competition synthetic hockey pitches in Toronto and owner advisory services for four of the track and field facilities for 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto.
Catherine is Manager of Binnie’s Sports & Recreation Division and has been one of the firm’s employee-owners since 1994. RF Binnie & Associates Ltd is a Western Canadian, multi-disciplinary consulting firm with more than 130 professional staff including civil engineers, project managers, surveyors, technologists, landscape architects and others.
Ron Aston - Terra Equipment
Ron’s turfgrass industry career began during high school working for Fallis Turf Equipment where his father, Gordon Aston was employed. Routine after school duties for Ron were setting up and PDI of Jacobsen Turf Equipment which at that time was in its mechanical infancy. In 1978, he moved on, working with his father again and his partner George Domich in their newly formed company Multi Turf Specialists. Ron’s initial job description there started out operating a Hydro Seeder then onto servicing all makes and models of turf equipment and eventually moving into a sales service position.
Ten years later, Ron decided to branch out on his own and formed Terra Equipment Ltd. Throughout the years, he has challenged everything from manufacturing his own product line of equipment, Hydra Spread Top Dressers, to remanufacturing leading brand turf equipment and eventually selling all makes and models of turf equipment. Terra Equipment is now in its 25th year and is constantly evolving to keep up with technology, marketing and equipment trends including becoming a new Club Car Dealer.
Barry Cochrane – The Toro Company
Barry is the General Sales Manager/ Canada, International Business for The Toro Company. Based in Calgary, Alberta, he has been with The Toro Company for 21 years; 4.5 years as Technical Sales Manager in Asia, based in Singapore; 3 years as Canadian Commercial Sales Manager and 12.5 years a General Sales Manager. Barry has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Calgary, is a past member of the CGSA Marketing and Communications Committee and in his spare time, is a twenty-eight year member of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and Canadian Ski Coaches Federation.
John Galbraith - Kwanlten University
Congratulations John, for being chosen as this year’s KPU student speaker! John has been working on golf courses since the age of 14. Growing up near Guelph, Ontario, he worked 4 seasons at the Brampton Golf Club under well known local Superintendent, Martin Kopp. After completing high school and going to college for one year of music, John decided that if he was going to be poor all his life, he might as well turn his interests to a career in the turf industry:) In 2008, his already budding turfgrass management career lead him to Capilano, where he worked 3 seasons under Adam Zubek. John is presently attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University, working towards his Turfgrass Diploma and B.Sc. in Urban Ecosystems and is also working at the Belmont Golf course under Mitchell Guest.
Al Chrzanecki - Foreshore Equipment
After 13 years as a journeyman steel fabricator/class A welder, Al (pronounced Shenetski), decided to go back to school to pursue a marketing degree which lead to employment with Briggs & Stratton Canada Inc. (Now called Power Source Canada) As territory manager for British Columbia for 12 years, Al’s his duties included assisting dealer networks not only in their day to day business but with educational and technical support. Coming from an entirely different industry made it not only exciting but challenging. However, his young family grew and 26 weeks of travel no longer would work at which time Al took a position with JET EQUIPMENT & TOOLS LTD. Turf division as an Inside Sales / Tech Advisor for TORO, Lawnboy, Shindaiwa, After two years of an inside position, he accepted an outside position for the lower mainland for another 6 years. Since then, Al has managed a rental company and is currently managing Foreshore Equipment & Supply Ltd. In Burnaby, BC.
Reef Caulder - Oakcreek Golf & Turf
Reef is originally from Parksville British Columbia but moved to Calgary in May of 2007 where he began working for Oakcreek Golf & Turf early in June of that year. He was introduced to the golf and turf industry working at the Morning Star Golf Club on Vancouver Island and has 12 years of experience in the industry. Reef is an avid scratch golfer and member of the Silver Wing Golf Club in Calgary. He holds 2 Red Seal Journeyman Certificates in Heavy Duty and Outdoor Power Equipment. When Reef is not on the job, he enjoys golf, hockey and baseball.