In the early 2000’s the state of North Carolina was divided into an Eastern and Western turf divisions. There was no Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) local state chapter. The joining of both sides of the state to form one state STMA chapter was just an idea that would take several years for all NC sports turf managers to get behind. Instead of being divided members could join together to share their knowledge within their own North Carolina Sports Turf Chapter. Together as one organization, we are united and are stronger.
Behind that idea, was the work of Bill McLemore, Tommy Walston, and Dr. Art Bruneau, a North Carolina Sports Turf Manager Association (NC-STMA) chapter would be formed. The first year of the chapter’s existence was 2008. Prior to that first year and throughout much of that first year was a scramble to get enough interest together to hold field days and seminars to make the organization as one work. Numerous phone calls were placed and flyers were sent out to help gain interest. Prior to 2008 countless hours were spent where the three had to establish by-laws, organization structure, support from vendors, as well as increasing memberships. Through their hard work much of the chapter’s success can be seen today and their message continues to lead us into the future. NC-STMA is still “A non-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety and quality of North Carolina Athletic Fields”.
Through the past years NC-STMA has grown to more than 150 active members. The membership includes Sports Turf Managers, as well as vendors, that take care of professional facilities, colleges/universities, public works, and parks/rec venues. Set by their initial standards, members meet at four different locations throughout the year to discuss trending turf topics, new products, and network with peers. Every year this is followed up by the annual joint conference with the South Carolina Chapter at the Southeast Regional Sports Turf Conference & Trade Show in November. These days instead of flyers and phone calls members have access to an active webpage, Facebook page, Twitter site, and an email database. Scholarships are awarded to future sports turf managers to help to continue the future growth of the organization. Each year new leadership is voted into the chapter improving upon the previous years’ work. Through these new ideas the chapter has continued to grow refining these concepts. Bringing both sides of the state together as one organization is invaluable to our members. From continual support of our members, vendors, volunteers, and board members NC-STMA has no limits to what this organization can develop to become in the future.