Presidents Message - 2018 in the Rear View Mirror

Wow, the older I get, the faster the years seem to whiz by!  A new year brings new hopes, new plans, new beginnings and if you’re a dreamer, new dreams.  With 2018 behind us, remember to review your success and any failures, reached goals (personal and professional), deferred or completed projects but most of all, remember to learn from the past year.

Speaking of learning, it’s that time of year again where we (hopefully) have recharged with some time off at Christmas and New Year’s and are ready for some well-timed education before the season gets going.  Where can you can get some of that learning?  Of course, the annual WCTA Conference and Trade show!

This coming February, we’re back at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, BC for the 2nd consecutive year.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in our turf industry and beyond.   I’m very proud of our conference education committee who worked hard to bring you a lineup of educators and managers who will enthusiastically share their knowledge to make us all better at what we do and influence the people around us. 

In the past we asked What is the value of turf?” with Dr. Bradley Smith, former Dean of Huxley College, responding, Golf courses are the lungs of our cities.”  I’d like to add expand that idea to, Turfgrass is the lungs of our city” and at this year’s conference we’ll be asking participants to consider the statement, “Protect your Natural Capital”.  

What does that mean?  To explain, we all have a role in protecting what we manage, educating those around us that turf has value and is worthy of our attention.  Exploring this theme further is a worthy roster of PhD’s, educators and turf researchers and you won’t want to miss our keynote speaker, the voice of golf in Canada, Mr. Bob Weeks of TSN.  We’re also excited to hear from Grant Cantin, a Canadian from Edmonton managing a relatively obscure, small grass tennis court in England, maybe you’ve heard of it, Wimbledon I think it’s called (insert smiley face emoji here).  

I would like to thank in advance, Ontario Golf Superintendents Association President, Cory Janzen, who will be presenting a talk called ‘'Work/Life/Volunteer Balance'’ and the BC Golf Superintendents Association for partnering with us once again on a pre-conference seminar to be delivered by training and development specialist, Kaylee Hansen.  With the wealth and depth of this year’s speaker lineup, we have the learning bases covered!

To summarize:

We always hope the new year will be better than the last so make plans as if it will, be positive.

A new year can mean new beginnings, try something new this year, especially in your turf management where a small change can often make a big difference. 

If you’re not a dreamer, give it a try anyway.  Go ahead and dream big this year - make sure you write down your dreams so you can say this time next year, look I told you so, I wrote it down January 16th.

Learn from successes, learn from mistakes, learn from peers (don’t be afraid to call someone up and ask questions, they are not going to bite your head off), learn from our professional educators, and my favorite, wait for it, learn from the awesome turf research that happens every year. 

So for 2019, consider learning from the past, planning for the future, and working hard and smart in the present.  I hope, plan and dream that 2019 is going to be a good year for you to succeed and remember, share your learning with those around you, support your local associations, and donate your time and talents to the benefit of our great industry. 

Peter Sorokovsky
WCTA President