Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Orientation and Business meeting outcomes

A couple housekeeping notes:

Thanks to all that attended the GIS Happy Hour!  It was a great turnout and seemed to be a fun event for everyone.  Thanks to our sponsors of the event: MTI, Erb Turf, Burris, Winfield, SiteOne, D & K, and Waupaca!!!! Your support makes these events a success.  To our superintendent and assistant superintendent members, the PRP vendors make education, social, and golf events feasible for our group.  PLEASE support them in 2020 when making purchasing decisions.

Also, congrats again to Paul Sermersheim!  He was the recipient of our first ever GIS trip.  He took full advantage and we can't wait to hear from him about the experience! 

Board of Director's updates:

As many of you may know, Perry Green is transitioning out of Stone Creek.  Last month, he gave the Board notice that he would no longer be able to serve. Scott White accept an appointment to fill the remaining term of Perry's Secretary/Treasurer position.  Brett Oxley was appointed a Director, to fill the vacancy left by Scott's move into an officer position.  Thanks to Scott and Brett for stepping up. 

We had the good fortune to join Leann Cooper and Shane Conroy of GCSAA for a Board Orientation meeting.  Leann and Shane gave a great summary of all that is required as an affiliated chapter and an officer/director on a Board.  

    A few key takeaways were:  

  1. It is the Boards job to establish the identity of the chapter, ensure the resources are managed properly, and provide insight- practicing legal integrity.  In other words, attend business meetings and be prepared, put CICGSA Business over personal gains, and comply with all legal regulations and established By-laws.
  2. We must always remember the purpose of the association: "to advance the art and science of turfgrass management"
  3. Meet all requirements to maintain our 501c6 status with the IRS and an incorporated business in Illinois
  4. Maintain affiliation with GCSAA and keep liability coverage in good standing
  5. Continue to work towards our goals established at the Strategic Planning Session in 2019.  Here is a link to a summary of that session: 2019 Strategic Plan

Business Meeting summary:

Following the Orientation Session, we held our February business meeting. Routine business was discussed and updates given from each committee chair.  A few highlights were:
  1. PRP and membership drive is continuing, with a plan to direct call non-renewals after the March business meeting.  For PRP and membership renewal click here: CIGCSA
  2. Event Updates:
    1. The March Career Development Day is looking great! Register here: Career Development Day
    2. Our April Meeting is a joint meeting with Southern IL GCSA.  We will have Lee Miller from the Univ of Missouri before golf and a chance to watch the NCAA Championship basketball game after golf.  Book a room and make it a quick getaway before the summer grind begins!
    3. Finalized date for Scholarship: Monday May 11, 2020 at Danville CC ( a nod to James Brandt and those that started the scholarship- back to its roots)
    4. We are looking for a new sight for our Vendors' Day as Ray Actis is no longer with Lincoln Elks.  We will update a day and venue ASAP
  3. We want to engage young people to try and introduce them to the turfgrass field. 
    1. Dan Crumrine and Brett Oxley plan to host a course tour for FFA students that attend the state convention in Springfield this June.  
    2. Travis Williams and Tyler Bain are planning to host a First Green Field trip for the 2020/2021 school year.  The plan is to bring Tyler's wife's 5th grade class from Unit 5 school district in Normal, IL to Weibring Golf Club.  
    3. These two initiatives are very exciting for the Board and we hope you will consider volunteering time and resources to make them a success.
  4. Our Assistant liaison, Corey Wisher, provided an update on the committee he is forming and asked that our superintendent members encourage their assistants to participate and attend events.  We hope to host our first ever Assistants only event in 2020! SO PLEASE MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO ALLOW YOUR ASSISTANTS TO ATTEND.  They are the future of our industry!
Overall, we are developing a strong work plan for the Board in 2020.  We hope that as members you will help us by engaging and attending these events. If you plan to attend an event, please consider texting or calling a colleague to join your group or share a ride. 

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Reduced dues for Assistants, and other info you need to know!

A reminder to our vendors, PRP is live and available on our website I would like to thank Kyle Sherwood of Winfield and Nick Miethe/Ben Scanio of Site One for continuing as Plantinum partners in 2020!!!  Your support is much appreciated and we hope our members support you when making purchasing decisions. I would also like to thank Helena at the Gold level and Waupaca and PBI Gordon as silver level sponsors.  PBI Gordon is a new PRP sponsor for 2020, we are happy you decided to support CIGCSA.

While our Winter Social was not as well attended as in year's past, it was a good time for those that did attend.  The weather forecasters let us down and over predicted inclement weather.  Unfortunately, we are used to this in the golf business.  A special meeting was called at the winter social to vote on by-law changes.  To review the changes please refer to our previous  Blog Post. The changes were passed by the voting membership and the new dues will take effect for 2020.  The highlight of the changes is reduced Assistant dues to $50.  Remember, there is no dual membership to GCSAA for Assistants, EMs or Associate members, so please consider joining CIGCSA.  All members can renew or join for 2020 as of Jan 15, 2020.  Please log onto and renew today.

A few quick previews:

Our annual GIS Happy Hour will take place on Wednesday Jan 29th from 4-6PM at Twin Peaks on I Drive.  Stop in for as long as you would like and enjoy a cold beverage with some friends.  Thanks to the sponsors of the Happy Hour: Burris, Erb Turf, MTI, Winfield, SiteOne, D & K, and Waupaca

ITF is offering a great education lineup again this winter, with two locations in the state.  Feb 18 will be held in Chicago area and a similar lineup of speakers will present at Panther Creek CC in Springfield on Feb 19th.  Our local Peoria-area-guy Andy Morris and the ITF team put together a great event, so please support the ITF.  We will email the information or you can register here.

The Career Development Day will be held at Mt. Hawley CC on Monday March 2nd.  Nate Jordan and his committee have done a great job developing this day.  It will consist of varied educational tracks of your choice.  There's something for everyone and will only cost $30!!!!  Bring your staff, assistants, and Equipment Managers- there's something for everyone!!

Here's a video preview:

Thanks for reading

Monday, January 6, 2020

Winter Social Preview

Happy New Year!! We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. While the warm weather may have required some time at the course, hopefully you were still able to spend some quality time with those that matter the most.  

The chapter is hosting our Winter Social this Friday at Bass Pro in Peoria.  We invite all members  to come enjoy complementary food and drinks from 6-9 PM in the Uncle Buck restaurant inside Bass Pro.  They altered their dining room this year, but we will be in the same room as in year's past.  Walk past the bar and through the doors and that's where you'll find us. Bass Pro converted the main dining room to an arcade space, so it may look a little different when you enter, but you're in the right place!

This event is always laid-back and fun, so if you haven't attended an event recently, come out and catch up with some friends and colleagues. Several members bring spouses and others have brought their kids as well. With the new arcade and bowling lanes, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained.  But don't feel like you need to bring a guest, plenty of us come solo as well.  It is always a fun event and totally free of charge, so please join us on Friday.

We will be having a special meeting to vote on a by-law change for dues changes.  Here are the details: 

  • Annual dues for Classes A, B, and C shall be $90.00 for a year or any portion thereof.
  • Annual dues for members of the class “Affiliate” shall be $150.00 for a year or any portion thereof. 
  • Annual Dues for Classes EM and Associate shall be $50.00 for a year or any portion thereof.
  • Classes AA, H, and S shall be exempt from annual dues.

Proposed Changes:
  • Annual dues for Classes A and B shall not exceed $90.00 for a year or any portion thereof.
  • Annual dues for Class C shall not exceed $50.00 for a year or any portion thereof.
  • Annual dues for members of the class “Affiliate” shall not exceed $150.00 for a year or any portion thereof. 
  • Annual Dues for Classes EM and Associate shall not exceed $50.00 for a year or any portion thereof.
  • Classes AA, H, and S shall be exempt from annual dues. 
The key changes are that we alter the word "shall be" to "shall not exceed", which allows future flexibility to our pricing structure if we decide to give group discounts, etc.  We also lowered the dues for Class C (assistants) to be in line with Equipment Manager and Associate classifications. 

Lastly, we will have CIGCSA winter caps for sale at the Winter Social.  Nate Jordan from Mt. Hawley CC did a great job putting this together and we hope you can support the association and stay warm this winter!

Thanks for reading! Please join us on Friday.

Friday, December 20, 2019

2020 PRP Released

A few housekeeping items before the holidays.

Bryan emailed the 2020 PRP to members this morning.  Links can also be found on, with a direct link to all forms by clicking here: PRP forms .

Sometimes we get asked: what is PRP?  PRP stands for Partner Recognition Program.  What it does is provide an opportunity for our affiliate members, or vendors, to support CIGCSA and receive recognition for that support.  I think it is beneficial for all to look at our PRP, not just the vendors. If you didn't click on the above links to the website? Here is a direct link: 2020 PRP Program

By viewing the PRP, members can sense the support provided by these vendors.  For example, our highest level of support is Platinum.  These vendors, through memberships, event(s) sponsorship, tee sign advertising, etc., provide at least $2500 of support to CIGCSA!!!! Gold level supports at $1500-$2499, and Silver at $750-$1499!  It provides a significant amount of revenue for CIGCSA.  We use these funds to provide education at our Annual Meeting, Spring Workshop, and the other events that provide education content.  Most speakers we host, require travel expense reimbursement and some ask for a speaking fee. Sponsorship of events also offsets food and beverage costs, facility costs, golf and prize expenses, and products for our scholarship fundraiser. Bottom line is that we are able to provide better experiences for our members, because of the PRP.


Lastly, we have our 2020 calendar roughly set.  We are waiting to confirm a few exact dates, working with courses and clubs to fit into their calendars. But here is the calendar:

Dates subject to change

Friday, January 10, 2020Winter Social Event
Wednesday, January 29, 2020GIS Happy Hour- Orlando
Monday, March 02, 2020Spring education/Shop meeting
Monday, April 06, 2020April Golf & Education Event with SIGCSA
May 2020Scholarship Fundraiser
June 1 or 8, 2020Vendor Day/Business
Monday, July 13, 2020Chapter Championship/ Business
August 10 or 17, 20209 Holer/ Business
October 2020October Volunteering Event
Monday, December 07, 2020Winter Education/Annual Meeting
Friday, January 8, 2021Winter Social Event
Wednesday, February 3, 2021GIS Happy Hour- Las Vegas

For full details, please click on this google sheets link: 2020 Schedule

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!!!!


P.S. Winter social is Jan 10, 2020 at Uncle Buck's in Bass Pro Shop Peoria, IL. free registration here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Dec 2019 BOD business recap

Business and Committee Assignment recap:

The board met yesterday to recap our 2019 year and roll into 2020 with committee assignments and goals.  Committee assignments are as follows:
  • Vendor Relations- Erik Parker/Travis Williams
  • Communications- Travis Williams
  • Events and Education- Nate Jordan/Corey Wisher
  • Membership and By-laws- Dan Crumrine
  • Allied Associations/Gov’t Advocacy-  Perry Green/Scott White
  • Scholarship- Tyler Bain/Josh Dreyer

A few highlights of the day:

New ideas for 2020 events 

We are very excited about the new format for our Spring Shop meeting that will include three unique education tracks for our members. We consider it a career development day with topics including Professional Growth, Equipment Maintenance, and Agronomic.   The day will begin with Pat Finlen and then members will choose 3 separate education topics each lasting about 90 mins. More details to follow.

We also have plans for a joint meeting with Southern IL GCSA in April.  We will be at Oak Terrace in Pana, IL with plans to provide education prior to the event and social gathering following.

We hope to implement a community service project in October.  We will pick a charity and have our members volunteer our time, resources and agronomic skills to enhance a property for the chosen charity. 

Other events include our Vendor's Day in June, Scholarship Outing in May, Chapter Championship in July, and the Annual Meeting and Education in December.

Up next is the Winter Social at Uncle Buck’s at the Bass Pro Shop in Peoria on January 10, 2020 from 6-9 PM, and the GIS Happy Hour in Orlando on January 29, 2020 from 4-6 PM at Twin Peaks Restaurant.

A full calendar of events will be posted on the website and emailed to members once all dates and times are confirmed.

For our Affiliate members, the PRP will be available earlier this year.  We want to get this into your hands before the holidays, with the form and format very similar to past years.  To our Class A, B, C, EM and AS members, these vendors are very important to our operations and we hope you will support them when making purchasing decisions in 2020.

Another initiative discussed is a Photo Contest for 2020.  We want our members to help us provide social media content and show others what we do as superintendents.  We hope to have a grand prize winner for best photo of the year and a prize at each event for a picture post to twitter.
Use the hashtag #CIGCSA2020Pics on any post to twitter to enter the contest.

The board also completed the Chapter Assessment Survey for GCSAA and generated several ideas from the process.  One is to set up a Pop-Up Shop for merchandise at the end of 2020 to allow members access to CIGCSA logo apparel and swag

A final note from the meeting is that Erik Parker was appointed as the Vendor Liaison and Corey Wisher as the Assistant Liaison. Erik and Corey will be provide feedback from Vendors and Assistants to help the board better serve these important groups.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, December 6, 2019

CIGCSA Blog Intro and Annual Meeting Recap

Thank you for taking the time to search and/or click to learn about the Central Illinois Golf Course Superintendent's Association (CIGCSA) and this blog.  The goal of this blog is to provide the members of CIGCSA brief updates on the current associations initiatives, meetings, and social/golf events.

This space will be used to highlight our members and also promote our valued vendors that support our Association through our Partner Recognition Program (PRP). 

The first thank you goes to Dave Drach and Crestwicke Country Club for hosting our Annual Meeting and Education event on Dec 2, 2019.

Great turnout from our Membership and great info by the speakers
Also a HUGE thanks to:

Our education lineup included bunker liner discussion by Bobby Kerr of the CDGA.  Bobby did a great job at giving an overview of the current options for bunker liners and the benefits and costs associated with each type.    Bobby's discussion created a great dialog between audience members detailing their bunker projects- before, during, and after.

Shane Conroy joined us from the GCSAA.  Shane is our regional representative and always does a great job of keeping us in-tune with what is happening at our national association.  Shane covered a variety of topics including: Government advocacy issues (Glyphoste is a big one right now!); new membership initiatives including FFA students, Friends of a Superintendent, and the new facility memberships; New logo and branding strategies; the newly adopted State of Illinois BMPs, and changes at the Golf Industry Show.  Shane had a TON of relevant information to share and showed how much GCSAA is listening and improving for its members.

Brain Bothast gave us some great safety tips from OSHA.  OSHA is often an intimidating thought, but Brian did a great job of sharing practice ideas and strategies to implement safety programs at our golf courses. He also gave us some things to think about as the competent trainers and tips to achieve a safe working environment to avoid injuries or worse!

We held our final business meeting of the year as a board and elected members to fill the positions for 2020. We also awarded two education scholarships and a Golf Industry Show stipend to a member and the dependents of members.  This is a huge benefit of membership in CIGCSA and thanks to some great leaders before, we are in a great position to grow these awards!

After lunch Chris Zugel gave us a behind the scenes look at setting up to host the Ryder Cup in September of 2020.  Chris has been the superintendent at Whistling Straights for PGA Championships as well and hearing the differences in the events was really interesting.  The amount of planning and forward thinking in hosting events or even potentially hosting events is amazing.  It was a great talk by Chris with so many interesting tidbits that we can't cover them all here... you had to be there!

We wrapped our day with discussion involving growing CIGCSA membership numbers, hosting a First Green field trip at a Central Illinois course, and gave an update on the new standard operating procedures of the scholarship fund.  We also introduced a new education idea for our Spring Shop Meeting in March.  We are really excited about these changes, so keep an eye out for the details.

Again, thanks to the members and our sponsors for supporting this event.  We have our Winter Social Jan 10th at Bass Pro Shop in Peoria and the GIS Happy hour Jan 29th in Orlando.

Thanks for reading,