Sports Turf Manager
Parks and Recreation – Medfield, Massachusetts
B.S. Sports Turf Management & Business Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Sports Field Management Certification, The Ohio State University
How did you get your start in the sports turf industry? During my first year of college, I worked on the grounds staff of the athletic department for a work study program.
Where did you go from there? Once I got my feet wet with the basics of athletic field management in college, in the summer of 2010, I was hired by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats – AA Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. This was eye-opening and one of the best experiences of my life. The job helped develop my work ethic and the attention to detail I have today.
Who helped you the most when you first started out in the sports turf industry? Although my father knew very little about the industry, he was the one to first to get me started. When I was about 10 years old, he told me, “If you want some money, go out and earn it.” He taught me how to use our push lawn mower and that summer I got started with a few customers.
My mentor was Jason Chisholm at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. While I was a work-study student, Jason invested his time showing me how to properly care for a baseball field. He taught me the basics of mowing practices, infield skin and lip management, irrigation repairs, fertility, equipment maintenance, and even basic budgeting. Jason lit a fire in me that prepared me for my next job with the NH Fisher Cats. Working with Head Groundskeeper Eric Blanton, and later Shaun Meredith, expanded my knowledge of baseball field management. I was amazed at how much work goes into a baseball field of this caliber. I spent 14-16 hours a day caring for ONE field and it didn’t seem like work to me.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
“Work hard and do your best.”
“If you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”
What’s your favorite thing about your current position? I love that every day is a new adventure with new challenges. Being the only full-time maintenance worker, I have to juggle many duties which can sometimes be overwhelming. Making it a game, full of challenges, is the best way I have been able to successfully attack my job.
What recent project(s) have you completed? For the past 11 years I have been building a maintenance department from the ground up. It has been both challenging and fun. Luckily, I work for an amazing department that is fully behind me in improving the current fields that we have right now. They also realize that having the proper equipment means everything in keeping our fields in the best shape possible.
What’s your favorite/most useful:
Equipment? Toro 4500 D Mower – I’d be lost without it.
Product? The right grass seed, the proper fertilizer, and the best field paint.
Technology? RainBird IQ SYSTEM – water conservation strategy.
Can you share a bit about your family life and what you enjoy doing in your free time? When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife and young family outside. We like to travel to Maine to see our families and spend time at the beaches as much as we can.
What advice would you share with people starting out in sports turf management today? The best advice I could give would be work very hard and get dirty.
What have you enjoyed most/find most beneficial about being a NESTMA member? Attending new events and networking. I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t know everything, but I bet I can find the answer through networking with other NESTMA members that may have more experience, or more knowledge, than me.READ THE ISSUE