The STMA, a professional association for men and women who manage sports fields worldwide, received a record number of exhibitors and attendees at their 26th annual Conference & Exhibition.
The Sports Turf Managers Association, who recently hosted their 26th annual Conference & Exhibition in Denver, Colo. had record attendance with 1,200 attendees from nine countries. The four-day event had 200 exhibitors and was highlighted by the - Seminar on Wheels Tour, which took place at various professional, collegiate and youth sports fields within the Denver region.
"Our annual Conference continues to increase sports turf exposure and offers a unique networking opportunity," says Allen Johnson, Certified Sports Field Manager, newly-elected STMA President and Fields Manager for the Green Bay Packers. "We hope the information shared here will aid in the progression of safer and more playable fields for years to come."
SAFE, the association's charitable foundation raised almost $15,000 during the Conference through its "Night of Bowling" and "Casino Night" events, as well as silent and live auctions throughout the week. Proceeds benefit educational programs, scholarships and grants with the goal of enriching communities through safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.
Karl Mecklenburg, former Denver Broncos captain and All-Pro linebacker, provided a keynote speech to STMA members. He discussed his challenges rising from a college walk-on and 12th round draft pick to a professional career that included six Pro Bowls and three Super Bowl appearances.
The STMA Awards Banquet recognized "Field of the Year" winners. It also bestowed Founders Awards to four members to commemorate significant contributions to the profession. Recipients included:
• Dick Ericson Award: Tony Leonard, Philadelphia Eagles
• George Toma Award: Mike Albino, Ballard Sports
• William H. Daniel Award: Brian Scott, Mt. San Antonio College
• Harry C. Gill Award: Dr. Andrew McNitt, Penn State
This year, the "Student Challenge Cup" saw 31 teams sign up for the event, culminating in more than 115 scholars participating. These students represented both two and four-year colleges across the nation. The Cup concluded with a proctored exam.
Since 1989, STMA has hosted its annual convention at major cities across the U.S., next year's event will be held in San Diego, Calif., from January 19 to 22.
For more information about the STMA, please visit stma.org.
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