2020 Chapter Delegates Meeting
· The President’s Message was provided by John R. Fulling, Jr., CGCS. Mr. Fulling recognized the challenges in governing during a year like 2020 with a global pandemic and he highlighted GCSAA’s success in the face of the multitude of challenges that presented themselves. The association was able to be successful due to the dedicated board, volunteers and GCSAA members who worked tirelessly to ensure golf facilities stayed open.
· Association Report – CEO J. Rhett Evans briefed the delegates on the state of GCSAA and the strength of GCSAA members. He highlighted:
o Disaster Relief Funding – Fires, Hurricanes, Flooding, and COVID-19 challenges spurred GCSAA members to help each other by raising over $50,000 for Disaster Relief Funding.
o GCSAA/EIFG financial overview for the association – GCSAA is currently in a strong financial position to continue to provide member programs and services with investment funds totaling $10.4 million for the EIFG and $8.2 million for GCSAA. And though revenues have been negatively impacted somewhat in 2020 from the pandemic, GCSAA is projecting to surpass its bottom line 2020 goals through prudent reductions in expenditures.
o GCSAA membership numbers remain strong.
· 2019 – 18,125
· 2020 – 18,602
o Collaboration with the FFA and growth of the First Green program will also bring more students into the industry.
· State BMP Implementation Update – The delegates received an update of GCSAA’s goal to have all 50 states with BMPs in place by 2020. Mark Johnson, Associate Director, Environmental Programs thanked the chapters and volunteers who have worked diligently to achieve this goal. Mr. Johnson is confident the state goal will be reached. Facility Adoption of BMPs is beginning to gain momentum as well. As of the meeting date:
o 40 states with BMP’s in place and the remaining 10 are nearing completion.
o 9 GCSAA Workshops
o 4 Self-Initiated Workshops
· Government Affairs – Government Affairs Director Chava McKeel addressed the delegates regarding the Grassroots Ambassador goal of all 535 members of Congress matched with a GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador. GCSAA currently has 98 open spots. The delegates were encouraged to help find qualified individuals to fill these positions.
· Rounds 4 Research – Mischia Wright, Associate Director, EIFG shared the outcomes of the 2020 Rounds 4 Research Auction and shared plans for the 2021 auction.
o Strong chapter support for this year’s auction as evidenced in outcomes of surveys that were sent out. $263,000 was raised.
o 2021 Auction dates are April 26th – May 2nd
o Goals are 1,500 rounds and $367,500 raised
· Chapter Outreach – Steve Randall, Director of Chapter Outreach shared the work of field staff in supporting chapters during the pandemic. The use of virtual platforms and safety protocols allowed GCSAA to stay connected with chapters and members. Mr. Randall briefed the delegates on several tools that are available to keep chapters on track – Chapter Pulse and Strategic Playbook and the Chapter Assessment Survey.
· Member Dues and CPI Increase – Kevin P. Breen, CGCS, GCSAA Secretary/ Treasurer, and Cam Oury, Chief Financial Officer. GCSAA follows a dues increase process which was created in 2006 with input and approval from chapter delegates. The process is tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). CPI is a tool to keep track of inflation over a period of time. Increasing the dues based on CPI equates to smaller and more frequent increases in dues rather than infrequent, but larger increases, which have a negative impact on membership retention. This year’s proposal is the following:
o 3.3% increase in CPI since over the last two years
o $15 increase for A and B (new dues amount of $415) and $10 increase for C (new dues amount of $215)
o Approval rate for dues increases using this process has ranged from 87% – 96%
The delegates offered their thoughts on the dues increase to the board during small group breakouts. The GCSAA Board of Directors will consider delegate feedback as they discuss the proposal. Delegates are encouraged to communicate the proposed dues increase with their membership and provide chapter feedback to GCSAA.
· Certification Program – Jeff White, CGCS, Vice Chair, Certification Committee briefed the delegates on efforts underway to modernize the program. The program will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary in 2021.
· Golf Industry Show Update – Robert Randquist, CGCS, GCSAA COO and Ed Several, Ensemble IQ shared highlights of the platform for the 2021 GIS virtual event that will support an interactive experience. Attendees will have the ability to network with colleagues, check out products on the trade show “floor” and will have access to over 80 hours of education during the three-day conference. The demo highlighted the following:
o Ease of access
o Lobby area highlighting the schedule of education
o Basic and All Access Packages built for every budget and the entire facility
o Mixer events that will encourage networking
o An interactive virtual trade show that will be staffed
· Town Hall Session – The GCSAA Board of Directors and delegates participated in a town hall session. The session facilitated by GCSAA President John R. Fulling, Jr., CGCS included questions surrounding the dues increase proposal, virtual GIS, and a potential bylaws amendment that would provide the ability for the Board of Directors to remain in place during times of duress.
· Candidate Breakouts – the delegates had the opportunity to meet and question the candidates running for the 2021 GCSAA Board of Directors. The candidates are:
o For President – Mark F. Jordan, CGCS
o For Vice President – Kevin P. Breen, CGCS
o For Secretary/Treasurer
§ Kevin P. Sunderman, CGCS
§ Jeff L. White, CGCS
o For Director (electing three)
§ T.A. Barker, CGCS
§ Paul L. Carter, CGCS
§ Jon M. Christenson
§ Christopher A. Reverie
§ Marc E. Weston, CGCS
o There are three open positions for director. The terms of Barker, Carter and White are expiring. All three director positions will be for two-year terms. If White is unsuccessful in his bid for Secretary/Treasurer, his name may be submitted as a candidate for a director position from the floor. Sunderman is in the middle of his two-year term as director. If he is unsuccessful in his bid for Secretary/Treasurer he will remain on the board as a director. If Sunderman is elected Secretary/Treasurer a one-year director position will be open and voted on by the delegates to fill the remaining year of the two year term.