Friday, March 08, 2013
As spring draws closer, you’ve likely spent the better part
of the last few months analyzing the performance of your operation and planning
for the season ahead. Similarly, your Board of Trustees has spent the last few
months reviewing all aspects of the Foundation and preparing for the future.
Not unlike many businesses inside and outside of the
turfgrass industry, the Foundation experienced a period of decline beginning in
the mid 2000’s. Fortunately, we’ve seen a slight rebound in the Turf Industry
over the past couple of years, yet it still became evident to your Board that
some very difficult decisions would need to be made to secure the future of the
Foundation and provide the level of support that our industry requires and
deserves. Because of this, the Board of
Trustees has elected to make a change in the management group for the Foundation.
Your continued support is critical. We are focused on improving our fiscal health
so that we may continually improve to meet the needs of our members.
We have, over the last several years, evolved into an
organization that supports not only the golf segment of our turf industry, but
have made significant strides in our support of sports turf, grounds, lawn and
landscape and sod farm professionals in Ohio.
We would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to Steve
Jurick and his staff with the Ohio Turf & Golf Trust, for their service
over the past two years. Their efforts have resulted in a renewed energy for
the Foundation, as evidenced at OTF events, in regular membership communication
and more. OTGT has helped lay the foundation for the rejuvenation of a future
that we are very excited about. Thank
you Steve, Cathy and staff for your personal and professional contributions to
After months of dialogue and following an interview process
in which multiple groups and proposals were reviewed and considered, the Board
of Trustees has voted to proceed with the management services of Propel
Solutions, LLC of Columbus, Ohio. Brian Laurent, Principal of Propel Solutions,
will serve as OTF’s Executive Director beginning March 1, 2013. This new
direction is critical to the continued enhancement of our financial strength. We ask that each of you embrace this change
that we are confident is in the best interest of OTF.
If Brian’s name sounds familiar, it is because he has served
as the Foundation’s Associate Director for the past two years and recently
formed his own management and business solutions company. In conjunction with
the Board and Committees, he has played an integral role in the creation,
development and implementation of many of the Foundation’s most recognizable
activities, including Weekly Clippings, Turf Tips, Bucks for Turf and more.
Additionally, he has actively engaged the OSU Turf Team, OSU administration and
professional organizations in Ohio and beyond to better serve the needs of the
As I begin my term as this Foundation’s President, I do so
with great anticipation for the future. Your Board of Trustees and I are
committed to enhancing OTF’s support of the industry and believe that we have
taken the appropriate steps to do so. We have a team of Trustees with the
talent and the initiative, making it an exciting experience to be part of the
team. On that note, the Foundation is
always looking for those that want to serve.
Call me. We’ll be glad to use
your talent and experience to further the mission of OTF.
Finally, I would like to thank Kim Kellogg for his service
to this Foundation as its President in 2012. During his tenure, the Foundation
made great strides in its affairs and he has been an integral player in laying the
groundwork to better meet the needs of today’s industry. Kim lives life exhibiting a positive and
thankful attitude with honesty and integrity.
We are fortunate to have had the benefit of Kim’s leadership and his
friendship… and another year of service to the Foundation as Immediate Past
It will be a privilege serving you, the members
of the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation. I look forward to continuing this
Foundation’s legacy of providing for research, scholarships and industry leading