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News & Press: OTF News

President's Message

Friday, March 8, 2013  
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Mike DietrichAs 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 OTF.

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 turfgrass industry.

2012 Tradeshow FloorAs 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 President.

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 educational opportunities.

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