February 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 10 of 51 February 2017 | SportsTurf 11 areas, cross-country course, indoor and outdoor artificial fields, athletic facility landscaping, and grass parking lots. In total it's about 55 acres. We also assist with indoor and outdoor track set-up and other miscellaneous events. We also seem to be the muscle of the department, so we tend to move offices, equipment, or simply move things that others can't. On field issues are solely on the crew and me. We have great coaches that are very understanding of what we do. We try and work with all the teams to make sure they have what they "need" with every attempt to get them what they "want"! We are in the service business; the fields aren't mine, they belong to the teams. They use the fields whenever they want, it's their call; I only say something if I am asked. As long as the field is safe it's a green light to use. Off-field issues in our business usually are with personnel. Fortunately for me, I don't have a ton of them. Usually a face-to-face conversation is all that is needed. ST: What qualities do you think a sports turf manager must possess today to be successful? Van Loo: The ability to communicate clearly. Again, we are in the service business, understanding clients is a necessity, and that takes communication. They also need the ability to adapt on the fly; a plan is good, but if that falls apart you need to be able to adapt and proceed. Most importantly, stay positive about the service you provide. When the days get long and the job seems thankless, you have to keep positive and stay the course. Find the pride in a job well done, even when you're exhausted and stressed. ST: How do you think the profession will change in the coming decade? Van Loo: We continue to raise the bar on athletic field maintenance. Some of the facilities and fields I see are truly unbelievable. I think the move toward artificial will slow as people see the benefits of well-maintained natural grass. As well-maintained grass is the answer, there will be a greater need for sports turf managers. ST: When and why did you join STMA? Van Loo: I was a student member, but really didn't get involved until I became a sports turf manager. I was fresh out of school, and needed help from my peers. Sports turf managers generally don't keep secrets, which allows us all to learn from those that have been successful. The STMA is full of people that want all fields to perform at the highest level. Being a part of STMA allows you to learn from the best, and take those practices to make your fields perform at a higher level. " Tim Van Loo is a sport turf professional that is a natural leader. He is a resource for support, critique and guidance for all turf managers. Tim has been instrumental with the local Iowa sports turf chapter. His commitments to hosting, speaking and organizing activities has developed the chapter into a sustainable affiliate. Tim is a humble individual that offers friendship, guidance and expertise. As the President of the STMA he will be an influential leader with 100% commitment. " — Troy McQuillen, Iowa STMA Chapter President Continued on page 49

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