As spring begins to approach and we all begin to get outside a little bit more, the NC STMA has some exciting things happening in 2019. The board for NC STMA held is annual planning meeting in early February in order to make plans for the upcoming year. Some of the things that came out of this meeting are described below.
The Sports Turf Managers Association’s annual conference was held in January in Phoenix, Arizona. There were 1,200 registered attendees plus around 1,000 people representing vendors at the trade show. Our association was able to allow two first-time attendees to attend the conference. They were Jonathan Creech with the Town of Garner and Jason Eubanks with the Town of Knightdale, both of whom thoroughly enjoyed their experience in Phoenix.
Two of our members received awards at the conference. Casey Carrick with UNC-Chapel Hill received the 2018 Field of the Year in College Football. Drew Pinnix, the Administrative Advisor for NC STMA and current graduate student at NC State, received the Dr. James Watson Scholarship for Graduate Students. If you get the opportunity, congratulate Casey and Drew on their accomplishments. Also, we have two local people from our chapter that were elected to the national STMA board. Jimmy Simpson with the Town of Cary, was elected as the STMA President-Elect for 2019 and Jeremy Bohonko with Ewing Irrigation was elected as the Commercial Director. Jimmy is a Past-President of our chapter and continues to serve as an advisor and Jeremy has served as the Commercial Vice-President for our chapter for 2 years. Let’s support Jimmy and Jeremy for their involvement in our association as well as at the national level.
There were two other exciting announcements made at the conference. First, there will be a new schedule for the 2020 conference in West Palm Beach. The order of events during the conference will remain
the same, but everything will move up 24 hours. The other announcement was concerning the new STMA Institute. The Institute is a comprehensive collection of educational resources covering all aspects of sports turf facility operations. Visit for more information regarding the Institute.
Our new website is now up and running. Robbie Miller, Past President of NC STMA, has been hard at work on all the behind-the-scenes efforts to rebuild and re-energize it. It will contain information regarding upcoming chapter events, the Partners Program, how to join NC STMA, job listings, and other great information regarding our association. Although content is still being added and updated, the website is active and can be viewed. If you have any ideas for content or information that could be posted, please let me know. Also, if you have a job listing that you would like to advertise, we can accommodate that as well. Please continue to visit our website, in the coming weeks for new and exciting information that will continue to be posted.
If you haven’t already seen, we have four exciting NC STMA events scheduled for this year. The dates and locations are listed below. We have also secured some exciting presentations as well including Synthetic Turf Maintenance, Training Future Sports Turf Managers, Pesticide Applications Using Drones, and Optimizing Pesticide Applications just to name a few. We still have a couple of presentation slots available for the May and September events, so if you have any ideas or know of anyone that would like to present, please let me or another board member know. As always, lunch will be provided and NC Pesticide credits will be available at all four events. The cost is only $30 and this gets you into all 4 events and includes your annual membership dues as well. If you have already paid your membership dues through the STMA, you do not pay anything additional. A flyer for each event will be emailed out to everyone approximately 1-2 months in advance. Help us spread the word by informing any field managers, coaches, or local parks and recreation groups that you may know and invite them to our events. We look forward to seeing you there!

EVENT 1: Mecklenburg Sports Complex Matthews, NC March 19

EVENT 2: Lake Wheeler Turf Research Lab Raleigh, NC April 16

EVENT 3: Down East Wood Ducks Kinston, NC May 14

EVENT 4: Elon University Elon, NC September 17

In association with the South Carolina STMA chapter, The Partners Program has gotten off to an outstanding start in 2019. We are on pace to potentially surpass the sponsorship dollars that we received in 2018. The vendor feedback that has been received about the program has been very positive. Our vendors are really excited about supporting our association and our industry as a whole. As has been said before, this association, our four events, and the Southeast Regional conference in Myrtle Beach would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. That being said, if you have the opportunity, try to use our Partners’ products and services whenever possible and thank them for their continued support. This will allow them to continue to see the value of committing to our association, so that we can continue to have their support. If you would like more information about the Partners Program, contact Bruce Suddeth ( or Scott Stevens (
The planning committee for the Southeast Regional Sports Turf Conference in Myrtle Beach has already begun planning this year’s conference. It will be held November 18-20, 2019 at the same location at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach. It is a great time to learn the latest industry trends and technical information and, also offers great networking with hundreds of industry peers and company vendors. As always, the committee welcomes any ideas for presentations that you may have. Be on the lookout later this year for more exciting details regarding this and we look forward to seeing you in Myrtle Beach.
In summary, our association has grown tremendously in the last 10-12 years. Your involvement and participation is absolutely essential to that growth. If you would like to become more involved in our association in any way, please let me or one of our other board members know. It is through our members participating in and promoting our association, that we are better able to promote professionalism, education, and safe and high quality playing surfaces throughout North Carolina.

Kind Regards,
Stephen H. Watson
NC STMA President

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