TOCATalk – Spring 2014

————— Sponsor —————   

BASF Light Green.web        Supporting the industry that supports our innovation.

Thank you to TOCA and all of its members for their commitment to the turf profession.
See you in New Orleans for the very special 25th TOCA Annual Meeting.
TOCA Talk is proudly sponsored each issue by BASF

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Four Compelling Reasons to Attend the TOCA Annual Meeting

By Jason Schmaderer
VP / Account Supervisor, Swanson Russell       JasonSchmadererPhoto.web
President, TOCA Board of Directors

I think we can all agree as communications professionals, we’ve got busy lives. If your days resemble mine in any way, you know your way around your office conference rooms (blindfolded) and your Outlook calendar is downright abused.  So when the decision to attend another off-site conference presents itself, I realize you need to step back and ask yourself if it’s really worth the time and effort. Perhaps, more importantly, you need to have solid rationale to put in front of your supervisor.

As an attendee of TOCA’s annual meeting for many, many years, I strongly believe there is a compelling case for attendance. Here are a few:

  1. TOCA goes beyond faces and names. If you want to be an insider in the green industry, you need to attend the TOCA Annual Meeting. Where else will you get three days of interaction with other key players in the industry, share ideas, make connections/friendships and simply learn more about the industry? Nowhere. This event rewards attendees who get involved and take the initiative to get to know others within the industry – whether they are influencers, competitors or prospects. It’s a powerful mixture that pays dividends now and in the future.
  2.  You get targeted professional development.  We all attend local professional development seminars through PRSA, AMA, AAF and countless other acronym-using organizations to refine and broaden our skills and capabilities. TOCA provides the opportunity to do it in a way that directly relates to the work we are asked to do on a daily basis. Just look at the seminars offered at this year’s meeting and you will quickly see that TOCA is a must for members who want to improve their skills.
  3.  Industry support. It’s easy to write a check to support a cause in the green industry. And I suspect every organization involved with TOCA supports many of them. I believe attending the annual meeting supports the industry in another way – it shows a deep commitment for communications professionalism and expertise. In a time when our industry requires quality communications – from reporting to marketing – we need the best and brightest doing the work. That’s where we come in and that’s where TOCA comes in.
  4.  It’s fun. Plain and simple. When you sprinkle some enjoyment into the recipe, it’s hard to argue that the TOCA Annual Meeting isn’t a no-brainer. Don’t get me wrong, this meeting is “all business” but business is best done when you have a smile on your face and you’re looking forward to sitting next to someone you were hoping to get to chat with while you’re enjoying some great New Orleans cuisine.

I could go on but I think you get the point. In fact, I’m sure many of you could add quite a few more reasons rather quickly. I’ll end with a simple invitation – please consider joining me and many of your fellow members at the annual meeting this year in New Orleans. It’s well worth your investment.

TOCA Set to Open First International Chapter in the UK by End of Year

TOCA looks at another major initiative in its 25th anniversary year Toca25thLogo.web

By Den Gardner
Executive Director

A TOCA international chapter in the United Kingdom (UK) is a real possibility after several meetings recently at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando.

I was able to meet with Ellie Parry, who owns a public relations consultancy in England, who joined TOCA and attended the TOCA breakfast in Orlando. Following is a summary of my discussions with Ellie, as well as a tentative agreement to put on a half-day workshop just prior to the BIGGA (The British and International Golf Greenskeepers Association) golf industry show (BTME)  in the UK next January.

Our goal is to use the UK experience as a template to grow other chapters in Europe and elsewhere in the future. This effort has the support of TOCA President Jason Schmaderer, Vice-President Scott Hollister and Past President McGavock Edwards.

  • The chapter in the UK (upon  final approval of course by the TOCA board in May) would become official in 2015 and be used as a template for other areas of Europe and beyond in subsequent years.
  • The TOCA board approved a $1,000 stipend to Ellie to attend the New Orleans meeting to network and attend the TOCA board meeting to further discuss plans with leadership and other TOCA members.
  • Ellie believes there is a possibly of 25 members in the UK. We would send them TOCA Talk free and include international information in all upcoming TOCA Talk newsletters.
  • The possibility might present itself for TOCA to put on a half-day program and lunch at the annual BTME education conference and trade show in January of 2015. The show is managed by the BIGGA . I will be there to assist with the workshop.  It’s likely there may be one or two TOCA members and U.S. green industry editors at this meeting.
  • We have received initial support thus far from BASF, Bayer, John Deere, GCSAA, Schiller and others to help us launch this effort in terms of contacts for membership and other potential assistance.
  • We are also hopeful that announcing this initiative will get more international entries in the TOCA contest this year.
  • I will work with Ellie to get a list of prospective members (media and agencies/companies/associations) to send contest information to so entries can be gathered for the April 1 deadline (international deadline). The U.S. deadline is March 7, as you know.

While at GIS, I also meet with Sami Strutt, BIGGA Learning & Development Manager, to further discuss opportunities for the January BTME Show in Harrogate and TOCA’s involvement.

  • Sami supports the idea of a half-day TOCA professional development workshop on Monday of the show, followed by a lunch sponsored by TOCA (and possibly local sponsors). She sees editors, PR/Advertising specialists and greenskeepers as finding interest in this workshop.
  • We would be included in the “education programme” and those signing up would be handled through BIGGA.
  • Topics of likely discussion at the workshop would be social media and creative writing. Den would provide a brief session on TOCA and the plans for Europe and beyond.
  • Sami will provide a media list.
  • Incentives for the workshop might include applying the workshop fee to the first year’s membership of TOCA.

This effort is another key initiative by TOCA as we set sail on our next 25 years. There are many more details to come. I look forward to your questions and comments.

25th Annual TOCA Meeting – “In the French Quarter Celebrating a Quarter Century”  

By Den GardnerTOCAAnnualMeetingLogo.web
Executive Director

(Portions reprised from January TOCA TALK)

More workshops, more networking, more recognition for our members and more fun are on the menu (literally and figuratively) because TOCA is embarking on the premiere annual meeting of its 25-year history.

The theme of our 25th anniversary meeting is: “In the French Quarter Celebrating a Quarter Century.” And the meeting is set for the quaint and award-winning Hotel Monteleone, nestled beautifully within New Orleans French Quarter. The meeting will be held May 6-8.

If you’re looking for the specific “tentative” agenda, shoot right to the bottom of this article. And head right for our web site at: The registration form is ready for you to sign up. Suffice it to say the foundation is in place with a revised format that has some special items that will be free of charge this year as a special way for us to say thanks for being a member of TOCA.

Here are the meeting highlights:

Hotel Monteleone

Hotel Monteleone


Carousel Bar & Lounge, Hotel Moteleone

Audubon Golf Course

Audubon Golf Course


Audubon Zoo


  • Arrivals Tuesday during the day. Ad Hoc business meeting. (Board meets from 2-5 p.m., followed by dinner.) Informal TOCA member gathering in the Carousel Bar & Lounge set for 6:30 p.m.


  • New format begins the program on Wednesday morning. The program will include recognition of legacy leaders/past presidents, student scholarship, Plant Health Writer of the Year and Environmental Communicator of the Year winners.
  • Keynote address Paul Burton. Regaining Command of Your Day.
  • Fully-sponsored tour Wednesday afternoon. New this year, and in celebration of our 25th anniversary, attending members can choose from a round of golf at the Audubon Park Golf Course, followed by a behind-the scenes groundskeeper tour of the Audubon Park/Zoo. All is FREE for TOCA members.


  • Early-morning Thursday jog. The optional jog around the French Quarter and beyond is scheduled. The route will be available soon on the web site and it will be about three miles.
  • Insight into Local Business and Environmental Reporting. This session will feature environmental writer Mark Schliefstein of the Times-Picayune covering New Orleans and surrounding areas with a slant toward environmental issues such as the gulf spill and wetlands restoration. Also appearing on this panel workshop is David Hammer, investigative reporter with WWL-TV in New Orleans (former reporter with the Times-Picayune). Hammer has covered Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.
  • Tips for Today’s Multi-tasking Interviewer. This session with Jason Jenkins will cover tips and best practices for those who wear multiple hats when interviewing that may include serving as photographer, videographer and more.
  • Former environmental communicator of the year winner Anthony Williams will provide a session on “Mastering Your Craft and Maximizing Opportunities.”
  • Roundtable Sessions. These best-practices peer roundtables will be led by various experts (some TOCA members) on a variety of topics, such as traveling on a limited budget, using a DSLR camera, social media and more.
  • Business Meeting concludes afternoon. Are you ready for excitement? The business meeting brings members up to date on all the activities of the organization, including the new foundation.
  • Evening Awards Reception/Banquet. Learn about our communications contest winners and the TOCA Hall of Fame inductees.
  • Optional “Stay-Over” Tour. Join your TOCA peers and guests on Friday morning (after our meeting) for an optional non-sponsored Culinary Crawl in the French Quarter! Experience a cooking demonstration, learn the basics of Louisiana cooking, and appreciate the differences between Cajun and Creole cuisine as you tour historic restaurants and sample their culinary contributions.

Yes indeed: TOCA is set to be “In the French Quarter Celebrating a Quarter Century.”

Thanks to our annual program committee – Felicia Gillham, Kenna Rathai, John Reitman and Lacy Ravencraft – for their excellent work.  What follows is a more detailed agenda for this year’s meeting.

2014 TOCA AGENDA  (May 6-8, 2014) Register Here

Tuesday, May 6

All Day – Travel/Taking Care of Business (Ad Hoc Business Meetings by TOCA members at leisure)

2:00-5:00 p.m. – Board Meeting

6:00 p.m. – Informal TOCA Member Meet-up (non-hosted) – Carousel Bar & Lounge

7:00-9:00 p.m. – Board Dinner (by invitation only)

Non-board members: dinner on own

Wednesday, May 7

8:00 a.m.         Registration Opens

9:00 a.m.         Welcome: Presidential Remarks; Recognition of Board & 1st Timers; Recognition of Legacy Leaders/Past Presidents; Agenda Overview; Student Scholarship; Plant Health WTY Award; ENVR Communicator of the Year Award; Networking with Personal Interests; Meeting Overview.

9:45 a.m.         Session I (20min): ENVR Communicator Presents – will discuss overview of projects/activities that contributed to winning the award.

10:05 a.m.       Break (10min)

10:15 a.m.       Session II (Keynote) (1.5hrs) – Paul Burton, Done! Strategies for Regaining Command of Your Day

11:45               Break (30min)

12:15               Depart for Afternoon Activity – Golf or Group Tour

Golf:  boxed lunch for car pools; Audubon Park Golf Club

Group tour: boxed lunch, Audubon Zoo (private tour of zoo with director of horticulture)

6:45 p.m.         Meet in lobby to walk to off-site dinner at Acme Oyster House

7:00 p.m.         Dinner at Acme Oyster House

Thursday, May 8

7:15 a.m.         Runners Unite (Optional) – Join fellow TOCA members for a 3-mile run. Specific route TBD

8:30 a.m.         Breakfast + Ad-Hoc Committee Meetings

9:30 a.m.         Session I (1hr, 20 min) – Insight into Local Reporting:  Mark Schliefstein of the Times-Picayune; and David Hammer of WWL-TV, New Orleans. Moderated by John Reitman, TurfNet. Followed by Q&A.

10:50 a.m.       Break (10min)

11:00 a.m.       Session II (1hr) – Tips, Tricks & Techniques: Talk Amongst Yourselves — Best Practices Roundtable Discussions [Part A]: Choose two topics that interest you. Participate in two, 30-minute facilitator-led, roundtable format peer discussions. (Groups will switch at 11:30)

12:00 p.m.       Lunch (1hr)

1:00 p.m.         Session III (1.5hr) – Jason Jenkins, Tips for Today’s Multi-Tasking Interviewer: How to Successfully Integrate Video + Photography into your One-Man-Interviewing-Band.

2:30 p.m.         Break (15min)

2:45 p.m.         Session IV (1hr) – Tips, Tricks & Techniques: Talk Amongst Yourselves — Best Practices Roundtables [Part B]: Choose two additional topics that interest you. Participate in two, 30-minute facilitator-led, roundtable format peer discussions. (groups will switch at 3:15)

3:45 p.m.         Session V (45min) – Anthony Williams, Mastering Your Craft and Maximizing Opportunities

4:30 p.m.         Business Meeting: Election of board, other appropriate business, closing remarks

5:00 p.m.         Adjourn

6:30 p.m.         Reception

7:30 p.m.         Awards Banquet & TOCA Hall of Fame Award

Friday, May 9 (Optional Activity)

Informal breakfast on own, head home at leisure

TOCA Friday optional activities:  New Orleans Culinary History Tours!

Are you staying in New Orleans for an extra day or two? Sample local cuisine, discover the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking, and learn about New   Orleans’ most celebrated and historic restaurants with one of the New Orleans Culinary History Tours. These are not TOCA sponsored, so sign up on your own, but be sure to sign up early, as there is limited availability.

1–French Quarter Culinary History Tour & Tasting:  2pm-5pm, $46

Learn how New Orleans’ unique cuisine evolved and visit historic restaurants

2–New Orleans Cooking School Culinary Experience:  10am-3:30pm, $75

All the French Quarter Tasting has to offer, but beginning with a cooking demonstration to learn the basics of Louisiana cooking. Includes lunch.

3–New Orleans Classic Drinks Tour:  4pm-6pm, $60

Immerse yourself in the unique drinking and cocktail culture of New Orleans

More details can be found at:

Purchase tickets here:


Hello to Kristy Mach

(Editor’s Note: Kristy Mach joined the staff of TOCA in January. She will be playing a major role in TOCA over the next few years, assisting Barb and Kathy in a number of initiatives for the organization. Here is a first-person account from Kristy about her life, her career and her family.)

Sullivan (6), Kristy, Tom, Sophia (10) Mach

Sullivan (6), Kristy, Tom, Sophia (10) Mach

I’ve known Den for six years as executive director of the New Prague Chamber of Commerce.  He golfed in our golf outings, ran our Half Marathon & 5K, provided awards and always popped in with a friendly hello.  When I notified my Board in the fall of 2013 that it was time to move on, Den stopped in for a chat.

Den said tell me your story.  So I did.  I am originally from Oshkosh, WI.  My whole family attended UW-Madison, but I was the black sheep and went to UW-Oshkosh.  I played soccer and graduated with a degree in Communications, an emphasis in Radio/TV/Film.  After an internship with CBS News in New York, I moved back to Wisconsin and started producing the news at the FOX affiliate in Green Bay.

After a St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Chicago, I decided to move.  (Who wouldn’t after a weekend like that?)  I landed a great job doing business-to-business marketing with Hyatt Hotels Corporation.  A great opportunity to learn from a couple of industry pros, from marketing to meeting planning to the ins and outs of business and incentive travel.  We did four major industry trade shows a year and so I got to travel to a lot of fun destinations and eat well!

I also met my husband, Tom.  He landed in Chicago after receiving an engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana.  He said he was from a suburb of the Twin Cities of Minnesota.  I believed him until I visited New Prague.  When more than 40 cornfields separate you from the next town, you are NOT a suburb.

We have been married for 11 years, have two kids – Sophia, 10, and Sullivan, 6 – and yes, six years ago, landed in New Prague.

Back to Den’s visit.  My story seemed to resonate – washed-up-old-news-person-turned-marketing/PR/communications-professional.  He asked me “What’s next?”  I joked, “I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.”  He replied laughing: “Neither do I.”   After a few meetings, here I am, and I couldn’t be happier.

I look forward to working with TOCA – hoping it improves my golf game and missing green thumb – and meeting you all in New Orleans in May.  ~ Kristy Mach


Website Update

By Brian Schoenthaler
Associated Integrated Marketing
TOCA Board Member

The Phase Two website upgrade is finally done and I hope you all have had the opportunity to either renew your membership, or register for our upcoming Annual Meeting using the new tools of

This upgrade now allows you to register your membership, and the membership of others in your company’s group at one time without having to do so in separate sessions. Registering for the Annual Meeting can be accomplished and paid for online. Contest entries can be filled out and paid for one-at-a-time or multiple entries can be filled out and sent in at the same time. The new system also allows you to save your “session” and come back and continue filling out entries at a later date before submitting them.

Payments can be made using the online payment system that allows the entry of your credit card through PayPal. These transactions are safe and secure.

Moving forward, we hope to add features to the membership section that will allow each member to upload their photo to their membership listing. Other enhancements are under discussion for Phase Three.

We hope you enjoy the new functionality of the TOCA website and we welcome your feedback.

Learn more about your TOCA Team

TOCA Member Profile #3: Steve Trusty

Steve Trusty

Steve Trusty

By Kyle Brown

Kyle Brown (KB):  Steve Trusty is TOCA’s membership coordinator, reaching out to new prospective members and pushing for our goal of 250 active members by the end of 2015. Trusty has been with TOCA for more than 24 years (and has only missed two annual meetings), and he’s currently the president of Trusty & Associates – though he’s held quite a few titles in the green industry throughout his career.

Steve Trusty (ST):  We write for a lot of different magazines, and have for many years. We write on behalf of client, do a lot of ghostwriting and photography. We do market research and general public relations work for both consumer and trade publications.

KB Where do you live?

ST:  We’re in Council Bluffs, Iowa, right next to Omaha. Our oldest daughter is in Tuscon with her daughter and her three grandchildren, our son is in the Kansas City area with his family. My wife, Suz, and I have lived in this house for 38 years out in the country with four acres and a lot of wildlife. I like being out in the country with the changes in the seasons.

KB:  What do you do outside the job?

ST:  We’re very active in our church with younger kids and drama and various other activities. That’s where we spend most of our time away from home. I teach fourth graders and my wife is a coach for fifth and sixth graders. We’ve been involved in the music team and drama in costuming and directing and acting and teaching and whatever’s needed.

We belong to both the Omaha Community Playhouse – which is the largest in the country – and the Council Bluffs Chanticleer Community Theatre. Suz and I have been involved in theatre most of my life. I was just involved in stage crew in high school. We just love live theatre and live music.

FUN FACT: I tried out for the part of Curly in Carousel, but I didn’t even make the chorus – which was OK, I don’t mind working behind the scenes.

KB:  Wow, it’s a shame you never got to be on stage.

ST:  Well, I did sing in the Barbershop Harmony Society for 20 some years and ran their conventions. I started that just out of school until about 1991. I was a city forester and one of the tree trimmers that worked with me said, “Tomorrow night’s guest night for the barbershop chorus. I have to have a guest, and you’re mine.” And that’s how it started. I sang in the chorus and I was in charge of the twice-a-year convention for the Central States District.

FUN FACT: I also managed the Sports Turf Managers Association for nine years, so I’ve also done association management, and I was executive director of the Nebraska Association of Nurserymen at one point.

KB:  Is there a segment of the industry you haven’t had a hand in?

ST:  I guess my favorite part of the turf industry is just that I like seeing people enjoying what they’re doing, whether it’s gardening or whatever. I did a radio show for eight years because I wanted people to get more enjoyment out of gardening, a two-hour call-in show each Saturday. I never had a problem getting enough calls to fill the time. And I did Trusty Tips on TV for a number of years as well for a Council Bluffs cable station. The local ABC affiliate had me doing segments for the evening news from the spring into the summer of the early 90s. I did an hour-long show on satellite TV that was a combination guest and call-in format that went all over the world. It was interesting because I got calls from Mexico and Brazil and Germany and sometimes it was challenging to understand them but it was an awful lot of fun.

Suz and I wrote a gardening book that is still available, Easy Gardening: Tips from Garden Professionals, and I’ve contributed to several other books, too. I’ve written columns for the local newspaper, too.

FUN FACT: I don’t blog, not yet. I think I started one, one time during a garden writers’ association meeting as part of a session, but I never kept up with it.

KB:  So you do all that writing, plus photography?

ST:  Photography started out as a hobby. But I’ve done a lot of photography on assignment for the industry, and I’ve won several awards. There was on July where I had the cover photo on four different industry magazines, so I count that as a point of pride.

We’re also very active with the Omaha Zoo, where we’re part of the zoo’s photo club. We both do volunteer work photographing animals, events and baby births. We’ve gotten in a lot of behind-the-scene things that have been a lot of fun.

FUN FACT: The toughest animal I’ve ever photographed would have to be a giraffe, because they’re just so tall. We’ve had some baby giraffes, where when you need to get the mother and baby together, it’s tough to get far enough away to get a clear shot of both. Although, I’ve been to Kenya five times for mission trips and seen them running in the wild, and they’re much easier to photograph that way. 

TOCA Award Winners Take a Bow

(Editor’s Note:  The TOCA Professional Development Committee highlights three 2013 Gardner Award winners in this issue.)

First, committee member Katie Tuttle (GIE) spoke to Scott Hollister, editor-in-chief of Golf Course Management:

Scott Hollister

Scott Hollister

Katie: Could you please briefly describe your winning project?

Scott: This particular photo was submitted to us by Greg Leach, the assistant superintendent at Lubbock (Texas) Country Club, and showcased a dust storm that overtook his course during the winter of 2011. A powerful cold front, with 70 mph straight line winds, that blew in following a long period of drought kicked up this dust storm.

Katie: What made you decide to do this project?

Scott: Final Shot was an idea that was borne out of the increasing use of digital photography by golf course superintendents in their everyday work lives, to document what they’re seeing on the golf course, projects they’re undertaking, etc. Since cameras have become as common in a superintendent’s cart as a soil probe of Stimpmeter, we wanted to find a way to recognize the art and science of the superintendent profession, and also highlight their photography work, as well.

Katie: What was your strategy in approaching this work?

Scott: Not much strategy with a photo as impactful as this one … just let the image do the talking, which it obviously did.

Katie: The category you won in is “Photography, Video and Multimedia – Publishing.” How is this different from a “typical” article?

Scott: Since this is a photo feature highlighting the work of superintendents and GCSAA members, quite a bit different than “typical” articles on several fronts. Largely, though, it’s one of the few ways we recognize the photographic work of superintendents.

Katie: Anything else you’d like to share?

Scott: We have been extremely pleased at how our readership and how GCSAA members have reacted to the Final Shot feature. We get more submissions than we could ever begin to publish, which allows us to be somewhat selective in our choices. We’re glad the TOCA judges saw the same things in this photo that we did.

Next up, Committee Member Jessica Simpson (Swanson-Russell) spoke to Tyler Kavanaugh, Lead Graphic Designer, Ewing Irrigation:

Jessica:  What was the goal or strategy of your project?

Tyler:  The goal of this project is to create a memorable invitation package that both Tyler Kavanaugh_Spotlight on TOCAAward_pixsets the tone for our annual customer appreciation golf event, and creates a sense of prestige around the invitees’ trip to Arizona. Each year, this event challenges us to push ourselves to design a better package than in previous years. It’s an exciting project that we like to have fun with—selecting new and beautiful materials, experimenting with printing techniques, and whatever other creative ideas we come up with to contribute toward a showpiece that represents our vision.

Jessica:  Can you describe the process you took?

Tyler:  I started this project with a ton of sketches and concepts. I knew we wanted to showcase the beautiful state of Arizona and its environment. The purpose of the package was to easily inform the viewer of the event and what to expect. I developed a system that organized the important information, worked together visually and was easy to read. I created a contact card that invitees could put in their wallets, and mini agenda that they could carry with them. As a keepsake, we created bag tags for their luggage and golf bags for use at the event.

Jessica:  What were the challenges you faced?

Tyler:  This is typically the most complex project of the year, with many pieces and many people involved. Not only did we create invitations and a pre-event packet, but we also needed to design signage, name tags, the website and many more accompanying items. I worked with the Marketing Department, Customer Relations and the Sales Teams three months prior to the event. We have six different groups of customers that all get different information in their invitations and pre-event packets. Managing all the due dates, working with various vendors for printing, and sending the correct information to the right customers, can be very challenging. In order to keep everything in order, I made lists, updated them each day and spent a lot of time planning.

Jessica: What was the outcome of the project? Was it successful?

Tyler:  The project was very successful. The images chosen really showcased the beauty of Arizona. Many of the guests and employees commented on the paper choice, printing techniques and overall beauty of the presentation. The overall package was sophisticated and set the tone for the week’s exciting festivities.

Next, Ciara Ahern (Global Prairie) spoke to Emily Ezekiel from Total Landscape Care about her 2013 Gardner Award for Design – Publishing:

Could you please briefly describe your winning project?

Emily Ezekiel (EE):  The article featured a very talented landscape architect whose work is artistic and organic. However, it has structure and balance, with touches of whimsy.

CA:  What was your strategy in approaching this work? What influenced your approach?

EE:  My approach to the design layout was to first highlight the landscape architect’s work and reflect his design aesthetic. The goal was to tell his story visually. This was accomplished by balancing structure and spacing, as well as the use of minimalistic fonts. The headline, “Elemental Design,” sets the tone of the article, designing with the basics of layout design in mind – structure and balance, with the large pull quotes creating a bit of whimsy throughout the layout.

CA:  What do you think helped you win this year?

EE:  The effectiveness of visually relating the architect’s designs to the layout design.

CA:  Anything else you’d like to share?

EE:  As a graphic artist, I appreciate the artistry that goes into landscape design. Much like admiring an artist’s work, I admire this landscape architect’s artistic approach to his designs. It was a pleasure to work on this piece, and I enjoyed visually showcasing his work.

TOCA Membership News

By Kathy Heyda, TOCA Membership Director

TOCA Membership Update

At the end of February 2014 our membership total for this year is 160.  We have received 116 renewals and we have received 44 new memberships.  If you have not renewed your membership yet, please do that right away.  Your TOCA membership must be current before submitting an entry in the Communications Contest, entries in which must be postmarked no later than March 7.

You may pay dues with a check made payable to the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Send it to 605   Columbus Ave. South, PO Box 156, New Prague, MN 56071.  Or you may pay dues online with a credit card (VISA/MC/AMEX) at  If you go to our website, look under Membership to get an application or to pay with a credit card.

TOCA membership, compared to other organizations, is a tremendous bargain. It’s only $125 per year for the first member from your organization and $75 for the second member and subsequent members from your organization. The first member renewing/joining from a company will receive a Group Number to be used on subsequent renewals.  In this way your company can save considerably per person by renewing as a group.

To quickly and easily add a New Member to your group, visit  In this section you can also easily apply for communications awards, view the member directory (updated quarterly), update your organization’s information, and more.  If it is your first time to access the new members section, you will need to set up a password using the email address with which you registered.  The digital edition of the TOCA Membership Directory (updated once a year) will be updated soon.  You will be able to view this directory only if your membership is current.

Let us thank those companies and organizations who have continued to support us with a high level of membership. We also hope you will ask others in your office to join TOCA who haven’t heard of us. Please don’t hesitate to call the TOCA office at 952-758-6340 with questions about your membership.


Fifty Attend TOCA Breakfast at GIS

TOCA’s 18th annual breakfast at the Golf Industry Show brought a crowd of 50 current and prospective members to the Rosen Centre in Orlando in early February. Executive Director Den Gardner updated the group on organization activities. The attendees also heard from Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen, who provided an update on current projects. TOCA has been an active member and sponsor of Project EverGreen for more than 10 years.

The breakfast was sponsored by FMC and GCSAA. Following the breakfast, media met with FMC officials to discuss new product offerings by the company.

Maureen Thompson, Business Manager for Turf and Ornamental Solutions, FMC Professional Solutions, presents information about Triple Crown Golf insecticide.

Maureen Thompson, Business Manager for Turf and Ornamental Solutions, FMC Professional Solutions, presents information about Triple Crown Golf insecticide.

 GIS photo_McGavock,Cindy (6) GIS photo_JasonSchmaderer (8) GIS photo_Group (11) GIS photo_DebbieClayton (7) GIS photo (10) GIS photo (9)

The 9th Annual TOCA International Communications Awards Program

The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), a United States-based professional marketing communications organization for the Green Industry, is pleased to announce its ninth international program to recognize best writing, design and photography throughout the world.

The program is sponsored by International Syngenta Professional Products.

Download Information Sheet and Entry Form Here 

Valent and Nufarm Join Forces in the U.S. Turf, Ornamental and Aquatics Market

Valent U.S.A. Corporation (“Valent”) and Nufarm Americas Inc. (“Nufarm”) announced at the Golf Industry Show that Valent has entered into an agreement that appoints Nufarm as the exclusive distributor of its branded products for professional turf, ornamental and aquatic uses in the United States. The two companies will combine the product portfolios of the two companies into one broad portfolio that will be sold by Nufarm in the U.S.

“This partnership will unite two highly complementary businesses to bring our customers one of the largest and most complete portfolios in the industry,” said Andy Lee, executive vice president and chief operations officer at Valent. “Combining our strengths in technical development, product development and operational activities will enable accelerated delivery of innovative, value-added solutions to the turf, ornamental and aquatics market.”

Darryl Matthews, general manager for Nufarm in North America, added, “We are excited to join forces with Valent to create substantial value for our customers. We each bring complementary strengths to the market, and by combining these resources with customer collaboration, we will generate new and innovative solutions that uniquely fit the needs of the market.”

For more information, contact Brian Rund at:

Valent Nufarm

Calendar of Events | 2014

March 7, 2014
TOCA Communications Contest entries deadline

April 1, 2014
TOCA International Communications Contest entries deadline

May 6-8, 2014 (Tuesday-Thursday)
25th annual TOCA Meeting
The Hotel Monteleone
New Orleans, LA                                                                                     

TOCA New Members – Welcome!

Alexis Abel, Swanson Russell

Sara Bojar, Bader Rutter

William Brown, Turf Republic

Richard Burns, Bayer

Maureen Clark, Dow AgroSciences

Jason DeSarle, Moose River Media

Dave Folkens, Padilla Speer Beardsley

Molly Gase, North Coast Media

Andrew Jay Gillman, Performance Marketing

Amber Graves, Padilla Speer Beardsley

Angela Hartmann, GCSAA

Joe Jancsurak, GIE Media

Patty Lavelle, Swanson Russell

Pat McSparin, PBI Gordon

Sarah Pfledderer, North Coast Media

Lenise Phillips, Irrigation Assocation

Stephanie Riekhof, Swanson Russell

Mike Ruizzo, Bayer

Mark Schneid, Bayer

Brian Tepper, Bayer

Katie Tuttle, GIE Media