Written by Guy Cipriano
Labor issues affect all segments of the turf industry converging in Columbus for the 51st Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Conference & Show. The keynote speaker found a witty way to address pestering personnel matters facing golf course superintendents, sports field managers and lawn care operators.
Combining one-liners, lists, acronyms, images and personal anecdotes, Wisconsin-based business owner and speaker Mike McKinley offered practical and motivational solutions to building and motivating teams. “It comes down to a few things,” McKinley says, “and maybe laughter is the most important thing.”
Some other guidance provided McKinley:
- Strive to meet new people during a trade show, because “you will learn something.”
- Portray passion when interviewing job candidates, because “if you hate the job, other people will hate the job.”
- Developing an “education-driven workplace” can help attract and retain employees.
McKinley’s speech, which was sponsored by Syngenta, served as the jovial bridge between the start of more than 100 hours of education and the two-day trade show.
Educational sessions ranged from the University of Oklahoma’s Dr. Kevin Kloesel describing why situational awareness is crucial when making weather-related decisions to Pennsylvania superintendent John Shaw of Valley Brook Country Club revealing his tactics for transitioning fairways and tees from Poa annua to bentgrass.
The out-of-state presenters lauded their Ohio hosts for the hospitality and camaraderie.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the start of the trade show. The list of exhibitors has expanded to 100 for 2017. “Growth is a good thing,” OTF executive director Brian Laurent says.