Nufarm welcomed 11 newly selected assistant superintendents to the EXCEL Leadership Program at the Golf Industry Show. The new class members convened in San Diego along with the returning EXCEL class to kickstart a year of expert-led and peer-explored leadership development.
The EXCEL Leadership Program, a Nufarm and GCSAA collaboration, offers leading-edge development opportunities for assistant superintendents chosen from many excellent applicants. Each class participates for three years, meeting three times during each year, to receive in-depth professional development that focuses on one fundamental growth area each year. Personal development in 2018. Leadership development in 2019. Community stewardship in 2020. Following which the curriculum repeats until all class members have been immersed for a year in each topic.
The new and returning EXCEL class members met at breakfast at the start of the Golf Industry Show (GIS). The first class shared what they gained from the program’s first year; the second class shared what they hoped to gain. The expectations grew from last year to now as it has been widely reported that several first-year EXCEL members have experienced advantages from the program.
“It was amazing to see the first-year EXCEL class be so proud of their group and eager to pass on good things to this year’s new class. They radiate confidence now,” said Katie Beth Groover, Nufarm’s turf and ornamental marcom manager. “Steven Shavel just got a new job and breezed through the interview process because of skills he learned in the program. Kyle just accepted a superintendent position as of Friday. This in addition to Mitch, Josh and Stephen earning career advancements earlier this year. Really exciting things are happening!”
Second-year member, Travis Cook of The Country Club of Birmingham, also explained his enthusiasm during the initial group session, “I like that the application process isn’t about the resume; it’s more about who you are as a person. People in the industry recognize the EXCEL badge already. I’ve been approached and congratulated for being in the program.”
Classmate Josh Lemons of Olympic Hills Golf Club shared, “I like that there are companies and industries investing in the future of golf – and its people. It’s a better view of the industry than just growing grass.”
New member, Marty Savage of Green Valley Ranch Golf Club, said he was most excited about building relationships and going back to his course, being able to serve better. His classmate, Mike Teatum of North Hempstead Country Club, agreed. He stated, “I look forward to one day having the ability to mentor others, being someone other people want to work for, developing into a better player in the business, and stepping into the community to help deal with key issues.”
The groups teed-off their aspirations at GIS development sessions held February 4 through February 7, covering topics such as mindfulness and millennials, recruitment and retention, networking strategies and issues advocacy. They’ll convene midyear for their second gathering of 2019 at GCSAA.
New members of the 2019 EXCEL Leadership Program include:
- Brandon Anderson of Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hunter Brewer of FarmLinks Golf Club in Sylacauga, Ala.
- Nicholas Carothers of Aronimink in Newtown Square, Pa.
- Chad Gilkison of Wolf Creek Golf Links in Overland Park, Kan.
- Matthew Legg of Weston Golf and Country Club Ltd. in Toronto, ON, Canada
- Anthony Minniti of The Creek in Locust Valley, N.Y.
- Brett Oxley of Country Club of Decatur in Warrensburg, Ill.
- Daniel Palin of Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in Saint Petersburg, Fla.
- Conrad Pannkuk of The Club at Wynstone in Lake In The Hills, Ill.
- Marty Savage of Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver, Colo.
Mike Teatum of North Hempstead Country Club in Port Washington, N.Y.