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
members of the 2019 EXCEL Leadership Program include:
- Brandon Anderson of Edgewood Country Club in
- 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
- 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,
- Daniel Palin of Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in Saint
- Conrad Pannkuk of The Club at Wynstone in Lake In The
- Marty Savage of Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver,
Mike Teatum of North Hempstead Country Club in Port