TOCA Talk – Winter 2015

“The Power Within” at GIS 

BASF offers disease control solutions that promote true plant health by working deep inside the plant at the root level. By strengthening the entire plant from the inside out, we help maximize turfgrass health and defend against nature’s worst.

Join BASF at the Golf Industry Show 2015 (booth #4111) to learn more about the power within. Stop by to chat with our pros, win prizes and attend one of our panel discussions featuring superintendents from some of the finest courses in the country. You’ll learn about our advanced plant health solutions that produce resilient turf, and ways that BASF can help your course achieve superior playability.

Editors, please contact Laudan Fenster at or 612-455-1746 to arrange interviews.

©2015 BASF Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

TOCA Talk is proudly sponsored by BASF.


 JasonSchmadererPhoto.webLooking for Global Connections

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

Globalization is a buzzword that’s been thrown around for decades and most of us in the green industry take it for granted that our goods and services are marketed, sold and used in markets outside the U.S. In fact, a good percentage of us work for global concerns with a larger presence outside our domestic borders. So, it should come as no surprise that the time has come for TOCA to begin to look beyond our own backyard. And, as you might also expect, our first opportunity comes just across the pond in the U.K.

Jason Scott PresentationFellow members Scott Hollister and Chuck Bowen along with TOCA staffer, Kristy Mach, braved the cold Yorkshire weather in January to join me in Harrogate, England at the annual BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) where we conducted a creative writing and social media seminar and began to lay the foundation for a possible TOCA chapter in the U.K. The seminar was attended by an enthusiastic group of green industry marketers, who were attending BTME. And we were able to speak with many others who were unable to join us for the seminar.

Crown Hotel ExteriorAs exciting as the prospect of starting a U.K.-based chapter, the most satisfying part of this trip was simple validation of what we’ve created these past 25 years. As we shared ideas and information with our counterparts, the interest was immediate. You could see the light bulbs turn on as we talked about our mission of promoting green industry communications excellence. I look forward to continuing to get our first international chapter off the ground and consider the potential opportunities it could bring to us here in the U.S. There is much yet to do, more people to recruit and more thinking to be done but this is a great first step to create better connections in this global industry.

IMG_1853 (3)We will continue to share progress with you as we move forward with this process. If you have global connections within your organization – particularly those based in the U.K. – that might benefit from TOCA, please let us know so we can reach out to them.

Finally, I want to note that for years we’ve had an international member — Austen Sutton of Syngenta. Austen has sponsored our international communications contest for almost 10 years through his office in Switzerland. He is the “trail-blazer” of sorts as far as an international member. We thank him for his many years as a member in an international capacity.

IMG_1847 (3)Welcome our new international members:

Peter Driver, Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd.

Karen Proctor, Rasomes Jacobsen Ltd.

Steve Nixon, Bernhard & Co. Ltd.

Sally Taylor, Bernhard & Co. Ltd.

Steve Castle, British International Golf & Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA)

Warren Bevan, Bearwood Lakes Golf Club

Katie Marwick, Bayer Crop Science


Meeting Logo

26th Annual TOCA Meeting – “Made In Milwaukee”

By Den Gardner, Executive Director

There’s so much to like about the 2015 TOCA meeting in Milwaukee May 5-7 that one forgets there’s professional development, award presentations, networking and so much more besides.

Take a moment, close your eyes and just start humming the “Happy Days” theme song. It starts with brats and beers, then only gets better from that point on. Milwaukee is our 26th different city for a TOCA annual meeting and all our great TOCA members in the city are rolling out the welcome mat for us.

Although full details of the meeting in terms of the agenda are not totally locked in, the foundation is in place, continuing with the revised format we started last year to provide more professional development, more variety of workshops, more reasons for you to attend the annual meeting.

The tentative agenda is at the bottom of this article in much detail. But here are the highlights:


  • 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 hotel is set for 6 p.m.


  • Revised format first used last year again begins the program on Wednesday morning. The program will include recognition of our student scholarship, Plant Health Writer of the Year and Environmental Communicator of the Year winners.
  • Future of the Green Industry panel. Leading Green Industry participants representing lawn/landscape, golf, sod production, manufacturing and more discuss where the industry is heading as the economy continues to rebound.
  • Tour and golf Wednesday afternoon. Looking for a close-up grounds view of Miller Park? Or the landscaping and education efforts of green spaces at the world-famous Mitchell Park Conservancy – The Domes? Then sign up for the afternoonDomes tour. These are tentative at this time, but hope to have confirmation soon on these stops. If it’s golf you’re interested in, final steps are being taken to play at one of the premier golf courses in the city of Milwaukee – Browne Deere or one of the Legends Courses. Details will be available soon.
  • The opening night reception. The off-site reception will be held at the scenic Lakefront Brewery.



  • The Second Annual TOCA Three-Mile Run for Fun (and we do mean fun) is scheduled for early morning. Route details available soon.
  • New Insights into Creative Writing for Business-Business Publications. Pulitzer-prize winning writer Jacqui Banaszynski, Poynter Institute, will inform and educate our members about new ways to write creatively for our publications and for company newsletters and other publications.
  • Breakout Sessions. Tips, Tricks & Techniques: Talk Amongst Yourselves — Best Practices Roundtable Discussions return for year two. There will be three roundtables and you can choose two during two, 45-minute sessions. (Regarding moderators, Banaszynski is one example and Pat Jones, publisher at GIE Media has volunteered to lead another roundtable. One more moderator will be selected soon. Your ideas are welcome.)
  • Horticulturalist Melinda Myers on Consumer Perceptions. Nationally-syndicated speaker Melinda Myers will discuss consumer perceptions of the Green Industry and focus on better ways to communicate responsible use of products for the lawn and landscape industry to TOCA member readers and purchasers of products.
  • 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, our efforts to grow internationally in Great Britain and more.
  • Evening Awards Reception/Banquet. Learn about our communications contest winners and the TOCA Hall of Fame inductees.

Yes indeed: TOCA members are ready to be “Made in Milwaukee!” Thanks to our annual program committee of volunteers — Lyle Orwig, Dave Harding, Sara Bojar, Alane Saphner, Nicole Wagner and Jason DeSarle – for their excellent work. What follows is a more detailed agenda for this year’s meeting.

Tuesday, May 5

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

2:00-5:00 p.m.   Board Meeting – Mayor’s Room

6:00 p.m.             Informal TOCA Member Meet-up (non-hosted)

7:00-9:00 p.m.   Board Dinner/Brewery Sampling (by invitation only) – Jackson Street Room – at Hotel

Non-board members: dinner on own

Wednesday, May 6

7:30 a.m.              Registration Opens – Salon C

9:00 a.m.              Welcome: Presidential Remarks; Recognition of Board & 1st Timers; Agenda Overview; Student Scholarship;

9:45 a.m.              Environmental Communicator of the Year Presentation

10:00 a.m.           Plant Health Writer of the Year Presentation

10:15 a.m.           Break

10:30 a.m.           Future of Green Industry Panel

  • Chris Kujawa, President, KIE, Inc. (landscape owner)
  • Golf Course Superintendent Bryan Bergner, Westmoor CC, Milwaukee.
  • Schiller Grounds Care Representative
  • Roger Blair, Jasperson Sod Farm, Inc.

Noon     Head for tour/golf.  Return to hotel around 5:00 p.m.

6:15 p.m.               Meet in lobby to board bus for Lakefront Brewery Tour

6:30-7:15 p.m.      Lakefront Brewery tour (optional)

7:00 p.m.               Meet in lobby to board bus for Opening Night Reception (if not attending the tour)

7:15-9:00 p.m.   Opening Night Reception – Lakefront Brewery Lakefront brewery

9:00 p.m.             Bus returns to Hotel

Thursday, May 7

7:00 a.m.              Runners Unite (Optional) – Second Annual Three-Mile Run for Fun (and we do mean fun)! Specific route TBD

8:00 a.m.              Breakfast + Ad-Hoc Committee Meetings – Salon A

9:00 a.m.              Session I – Salon C, Keynote: Jacqui Banaszynski, Poynter Institute. Pulitzer-prize winning writer will challenge members regarding creative writing for b-b audiences.

10:15 a.m.           Break

10:30 a.m.           Banaszynski continues.

11:00 a.m.           Break to move to next session – Roundtable Rooms: Governor’s Room, Salon B and Salon C

11:05 a.m.           Session II (1hr) – Tips, Tricks & Techniques: Talk Amongst Yourselves — Best Practices Roundtable Discussions: Choose among three topics that interest you. Participate in two, 45-minute facilitator-led, roundtable format peer discussions. Moderators include Jacqui Banaszynski, Pat Jones and one to-be-determined.

12:30 p.m.           Lunch (1hr) – Salon A

1:30 p.m.             Session III — TBD – Salon C

2:30 p.m.             Break (15min)

2:45 p.m.             Session IV (1hr) – Horticulturalist Melinda Myers: How to help your readers/ product users better understand consumer perceptions of the Green Industry

3:45 p.m.             End session and return for business meeting

4:00 p.m.             Business Meeting: Election of board, other appropriate business, closing remarks

5:00 p.m.             Adjourn

6:30 p.m.             Reception – Salon B Pre-Function Area

7:30 p.m.             Dinner & Awards Banquet & TOCA Hall of Fame Award – Salon A&B


2015 TOCA Communications Contest: New online system

The TOCA Communications Contest is undergoing big changes in 2015 – all in hopes of making entering, judging and getting feedback from your entries easier than ever. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect as we complete the conversion process to putting our awards program on the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. Detailed instructions will be posted on once the contest is open.

All entries for all of our programs are due March 13, 2015.  The online entries will close by midnight on that date; mail-in entries must be postmarked by that date, also. Entries must have been produced, published or put online in 2014.

So what does using the new online platform mean for you as a member? First of all, all entries will be made online on under the “contest” umbrella of the  TOCA Communications Contest.

Secondly, once your name and contact information is entered up front, you won’t have to repeat it over and over on multiple entry forms. The system does that for you. Also, we’ve pre-loaded in names, addresses, emails and phone numbers for all current TOCA members into the system, so most of you will be able to find your name and just confirm your info or update as needed. Many of you are contest administrators for your team, so you’ll just utilize your username and login for those entries.

Except for a few categories that require the judges to have printed materials in their hands, all entries will be submitted “electronically” – uploaded through the system as digital file attachments and/or as URLs. For the few mail-in categories, you still submit the entry form online, then the system will generate an entry form/mailing label to send with your physical entry.

So, as you begin to select your entries, you don’t have to pull physical tear sheets or make multiple big notebooks of media/special event materials. Think “digital” – PDFs of  articles, or Word docs of special event materials, jpegs of photo entries or of 3D items that are part of a media event. Have URLs ready to type in for podcasts or websites, for example, complete with any and all passwords or other log-in information judges will need so they can judge your work online.

Digital file attachments need to be 5MB or smaller to be uploaded directly as entries. For larger files (5MB to 250MB), there is an option on the Submit Entry page for you to upload those files into a free host account. Then you’ll copy/paste the hosted item’s web address into the Website URL field. You can also use,, etc. for these larger files.

Another tip in advance – BetterBNC is optimized for the Google Chrome Browser for both PC and Macintosh computers, and will be fully supported by BetterBNC customer support. So please have the latest version on your computer and be sure to use it when you enter.

Lastly, if you’ve not paid your TOCA dues for 2015, please do so as soon as possible so you are eligible to enter the TOCA Communications Contest. Contact Kristy Mach at if you are unsure of your paid membership status.

We know there will be many questions as we make the transition. We will do all we can to supply clear directions from the get-go, and as questions come up, we will provide an FAQ section on the contest home page to share the answers and clarifications with everyone.


Shining a Light on TOCA Gardner Award Winners

(Editor’s Note: The TOCA Professional Development Team continues its series on 2014 Gardner Award winners.)

First up: Debbie Clayton (ClaytonHimes PR) recently spoke with Eric Schroder, editor of SportsTurf magazine, about his 2014 Gardner Award for the article “Charlotte Motor Speedway.”

Could you briefly explain what this article covers?

Charlotte Motor Speedway, like many large racing venues, features an area of turf that faces the main grandstand that separates the track from the pit area, and serves as a canvas for corporate logos, etc. The article details how the turf manager operates in this unusual environment.

Who came up with the idea for this story?

Adam Slick, the PR and communications manager for Jacobsen, pitched me the idea;

Eric Schroder at Ripken Experience facility in Aberdeen, MD, inside the stadium for the Iron Birds minor league team

Eric Schroder at Ripken Experience facility in Aberdeen, MD, inside the stadium for the Iron Birds minor league team

he was going to be visiting the venue and asked if I would like a story about how they manage their turf. If I know and trust a PR professional, it is the proverbial win-win to publish such an article. He knows I don’t want a bunch of marketing language in the piece and understands that done well, the article will serve to educate and/or entertain our audience. And I make a point of using an editor’s note upfront in such instances to let readers know the article was written by a company representative so they can choose to skip it if that annoys them.

How did you work together to make the story happen?

Exchanging a few emails was all it took. In his pitch he made it clear that he understood my parameters (we’ve done this before!) and outlined a few points that he wanted to pursue. I responded with a few suggestions and we were off to the races.

What were your primary challenges in developing this project?

In an ideal publishing environment, my budget would allow me to go to Charlotte and do this story myself. We all know where most of us are with that! So the challenge is really more on the PR pro—can you produce an interesting story?

What do you think helped you win this year?

Adam’s professionalism and my willingness to turn over valuable space to him with trust that he won’t send in a piece titled, “The New Sliced Bread: My Client’s Latest XYZ.”

Thanks, Adam!


Next, Kyle Brown (of GIE Publishing) and Ciarra Ahern (of Global Prairie) interviewed Patty DiMucci of Bayer, about her Gardner Award – Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow

Q: What was the original vision for this campaign?

Bayer wanted to further plant health research by donating a portion of sales of our StressGard FT products. It was important that we dedicate our resources to plant health research as we were the first company to introduce a product with plant health benefits almost 20 years ago with the launch of Signature®. Beyond just a financial contribution, we also wanted to create a program that encouraged education about plant health, hence the creation of the academy, webinars and “living labs” (demonstration courses).

Q: How did you go about encouraging industry dialogue and research?

Working with GCSAA and the EIFG was the obvious partner for this program. The power of our two companies working together has allowed this program to thrive and be tweaked if necessary. We’re constantly challenging ourselves on how to improve the program.

Q: What kept the teams working together smoothly? Who was key in making the project come together?

Passion.  Every person involved with the program had a huge amount of passion for it. There was not one person who can take credit for the collective efforts of Bayer, GCSAA and our agency, Global Prairie.

Q: What were the most important parts in execution of the campaign?

Generating awareness was the first task at hand. Then we had to educate people about the program, followed by the execution of it. Every step of the way provided an opportunity for us to monitor, measure and solicit feedback.

Q: What was the biggest success in the campaign?

The partnership between us to dedicate resources to plant health.  It affects all of us today, tomorrow, and certainly the future.

Milan DiMucci Galliou

Jose Milan, Patty DiMucci and Gilles Galliou, Bayer

GIS 2013 First inaugural Plant Health Academy class in Clayton, NC (including attendees, speakers, Bayer and GCSAA staff)

GIS 2013 First inaugural Plant Health Academy class in Clayton, NC (including attendees, speakers, Bayer and GCSAA staff)









Learn more about your TOCA team

TOCA Member Profile: Scott Hollister

Brought to you by the TOCA Professional Development Committee

GCSAA 2014 Board and Staff PhotosMeet Scott Hollister, your incoming TOCA President! Scott has served on the TOCA Board for more than 5 years, and is also editor-in-chief of Golf Course Management magazine – the official publication of the GCSAA. Scott joined GCSAA in spring 1998 – two weeks after GIS (and in the middle of an office move). He lives in suburban Kansas City with his wife and three kids. His son is a senior at the University of Arkansas, and he has two daughters, ages 15 and 11.

Q: What made you choose journalism – and then a career writing about golf and turf?

A:  English and writing always came easy to me, and were subjects I enjoyed. I also had a massive love of sports, but realized I probably shouldn’t bank on a career as a pro athlete, so instead started writing about it. I was editor of my high school newspaper, and then served as sports editor for my college paper. This eventually led to a career in sports writing for small newspapers in the Midwest, which I enjoyed for 10 years – despite the low pay and long hours. When I heard from an industry contact about the opportunity at GCSAA, I was excited to apply, and then even more so when I landed the editor position for GCM magazine.

FUN FACT:  One of my early and most memorable tournament experiences after joining GCSAA was the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach – the tournament Tiger Woods won by about 15 shots. This opened our eyes to major championship golf as a primary point of interest among members, and it was exciting at GCM to play a role in transforming these to must-cover events.

Q: You must get to do a lot of travel to interesting places and events. What is a favorite memory from your time writing about the golf/turfgrass industry?

A: There are many, which is a definite perk of the job – going to beautiful places and big events. Again, the one that sticks with me is the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where I volunteered as one of the maintenance workers and met many superintendents who are still some of my best contacts. After being paired with an assistant superintendent to rake bunkers all week, the first bunker we worked Sunday was the sea wall bunker on #18. The ocean comes right up to it, and waves were crashing up along this long, narrow bunker that runs along the left side of fairway all the way to green. The sun was rising behind us, sea lions in the distance, and in a moment of clarity, I was struck with the thought, “I’m this stupid kid from Kansas; how the heck did I get here?”


One afternoon when we weren’t doing bunkers, I was asked to join some supers from Bandon Dunes and fix ball marks on greens. We went to green 11, where there’s a massive multimillion-dollar home overlooking the course. They’re having a party out back, and as we’re working, we notice someone walking down the path towards the gate that led to course with something in his hands. As he draws nearer, we see he’s carrying three beers, and the guy says, “I appreciate your help making the greens look so great. Here’s something to take the edge off.” Again, sometimes it’s those little moments that stand out the most.

GCM CoverQ: Is there an success or initiative you’ve been most proud of in your time at GCM magazine?

A:  One thing all of us are constantly proud of at GCM is the level of consistency that we’ve been able to maintain. There are some excellent journalists and people covering this business now that weren’t necessarily around when I started and we have tremendous respect for the work that’s done by everyone covering golf course management. We think the fact that so many invest time and resources into that work is one sign of a healthy industry. It’s a changing market, with constantly evolving technologies, and that means you have to stay on your toes and keep looking to improve. We understand there are advantages to being an association publication and don’t take those lightly. Our commitment is to continue delivering on our mission, creating a tremendous product for GCSAA members and our superintendent audience, anticipating their needs and maintaining their respect.


I had a stretch of bumping into famous athletes with a co-worker – literally. I almost knocked Michael Jordan to the ground before a pre-season game, when he was playing with the Bulls. We’re in the halls of the arena, heading to our seats on press row, and I walk right into him, “Oh wow – that’s the most famous athlete in the world!” At a Kansas City Royals game, we ran into Cal Ripken, Jr., who did an awkward dance to avoid us, and similarly, I accidentally clipped Bo Jackson when he played with the Royals.

Q: Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

evertonA: I’m a big music fan of all sorts, although I feel like I get suspicious looks these days at alternative rock concerts (“Is that a cop?” “Who brought the narc?”).  Sports are a definite passion.   I played baseball into college, but also love basketball, football, golf. My most recent passion, though, is  English Premier League soccer (I follow Everton). I have season tickets to the Major League Soccer team in KC, and my daughter plays on a team also. About five years ago, I wondered if I could actually start following a team or league in a sport that I didn’t grow up with to the point I knew the players and standings, and thanks to internet and cable it’s been easily doable.

FUN FACT: Most Saturday mornings I’m up at 6am to watch EPL games. When I was in England in January representing TOCA at the BIGGA Turf Management Expo, I caught two matches. Jason Schmaderer and I saw Sheffield Wednesday play Bolton, and then I saw Scottish Premier League power Celtic play when we were in Glasgow.

Q: What are some of your goals for TOCA as you take on the role of President this year?

IMG_1844 (3)A: I’ll be trying to maintain a lot of the momentum this organization has gained in recent years thanks to the folks we’ve been fortunate enough to have in that position – most recently McGavock Edwards and Jason. It will be a bit daunting to fill those shoes. We’ve made great strides as an organization representing such a diverse group of people, and one goal is to ensure we are in at least as good a place when my term is done – both in the U.S. and with our overseas / UK expansion, which is something I’m going to continue to be focused on.


The first TOCA annual meeting I went to was in Boston, and we got to tour Fenway Park. As a baseball fan, it was great to tour the field, pretending to catch fly balls in front of the Green Monster. Looking back, all the annual meetings I’ve attended have been great experiences. I won’t speak too much for the other folks who went to England, but we’re all honored to be representing TOCA at BIGGA, and hope it started something good for the organization – beyond just going to pubs and soccer matches.


TOCA Announces Third Year of Internship Program

By Den Gardner

The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) announces year three of the TOCA Internship Program. Sponsored by Bayer, the internship program involves the selection of a college student for an eight- to 10-week summer employment with a Green Industry publication that’s a member of TOCA. A selection committee will choose the student for the internship.

The 2015 intern will be hosted by Total Landscape Care magazine and Patty Vaughan. The magazine is located in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The 2014 intern was Jamie Keyes at North Coast Media. Thanks to Bayer for its sponsorship of this program. And thanks to North Coast Media and Marisa Palmieri for hosting Jamie. Thanks to TOCA and Bayer for launching this program.”

The intern will receive a $3,000 stipend (to be paid by TOCA).

“We are thrilled to again be implementing this program through TOCA,” said Patty Dimucci of Bayer’s Professional Lawn and Golf businesses. “It’s important for young college communicators to better understand the Green Industry and an internship at a major TOCA publication is one step in the right direction in that learning curve.”

Students wishing to apply for the 2015 summer internship program need to fill out the application blank on the web site. Deadline is Feb. 28, 2015. Go to for the application blanks.


 Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association


Rules and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:



  1. The Plant Health Writer of the Year Award program is provided annually to an outstanding writer for excellence in plant health issues to the appropriate green industry audience through writing, including new media, for a publication or publishing company. The winner of this program must be a TOCA member.
  2. A stipend of $1,000 will be given annually to the winner to be used for professional development in the green industry.
  3. The award winner will be chosen by a selection committee chosen by the TOCA Board of Directors.
  4. The winner each year must be a TOCA member.
  5. Entries submitted must include information published or been presented between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014.
  6. Only articles and other communications that predominantly have plant health as the subject matter will be eligible for the contest. The selection committee is the final authority for determining whether an entry meets that standard.
  7. Non-English entries may be accepted, but must be accompanied by a complete and accurate English translation.
  8. Entries are to be submitted electronically as a PDF online, including the entry form.
  9. Application and entries are due March 2, 2015.
  10. The winner will be announced in April of 2015 and receive his/her award at the 26th annual TOCA meeting in Milwaukee, WI on May 6, 2015.
  11. The winning communications materials will be reproduced on the TOCA website and in TOCA publications as appropriate.

For more information about this program, contact TOCA at or via phone: 952/758-6340.


TOCA Scholarship

Perhaps you know of some deserving student currently pursuing a career in green industry communications. A niece or nephew? The kid down the block who used to mow your lawn but now studies marketing and landscape architecture at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee? Maybe it’s your intern, the one answering your phone as you read this very sentence. How about nominating him or her for a TOCA scholarship?

The TOCA Board of Directors will award one $2,500, fall semester scholarship (2015-2016 academic-year) to an undergraduate college student pursuing a career in green industry communications. To qualify, students must major or minor in technical communications or a green industry related field such as horticulture, plant sciences, botany, agronomy, plant pathology, etc. The applicant also must demonstrate an interest in using this course of study in the field of communications.

Nathan NorstedtNathan Norstedt ($2,500) and Katie Wolters ($1,000), both students attending Kansas State University were the 2014 TOCA scholarship winners. Norstedt attended the TOCA conference in New Orleans.

Application deadline is March 1, 2015, but it’s never too soon to identify, encourage and reward deserving students outstanding in the field. Or on the lawn.



The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) announces its seventeenth Environmental Communicator of the Year Award program. The award, sponsored by Project EverGreen, is given annually to an active green industry member for outstanding efforts in communicating the benefits of environmental stewardship to a particular audience within the turf and ornamental industry. Winners in the first 16 years were: Mark Welterlen of Grounds Maintenance Magazine; Bill Love of W.R. Love Golf Architecture; Tim Doppel of Atwood LawnCare, Inc.; Doug Fender, Turf Producers International; Allen James, RISE; Rod Dodson of Audubon International; Jeff Gullikson of Spokane Country Club; Kevin Trotta of IPM; Helen Stone of Southwest Trees & Turf; Allied Golf Associations of Colorado; Drs. Larry Stowell and Wendy Gelernter of PACE Turf, Chris Gray of Marvel Golf Club in Kentucky, Anthony Williams of Stone Mountain Golf Club, Frank S. Rossi, Ph.D. of Cornell University, and Phil Fogarty of Weed Man and Crowley’s Vegetation Management, Brandon Horvath, Ph.D., turfgrass professor at the University of Tennessee

The award is open to anyone in the green industry. Nominees, however, must be a present TOCA member or be nominated by a present TOCA member. (A member can nominate herself/himself).

The award is given annually at the TOCA annual meeting, held this year in Milwaukee, WI, May 5-7, 2015. A $500 cash stipend is presented to the winner.

Applications will be judged and a winner selected by a group of independent, expert judges.



For more information, contact Den Gardner at or 952-758-6340.


TOCA Holds New Member Breakfast at IA Show in Phoenix

By Den Gardner, Executive DirectorIAShow_Den (3)

IAShow_Group (3)TOCA added a third breakfast to its cadre of new member initiatives back in November when it teamed with Ewing and the Irrigation Association to sponsor a breakfast at the organization’s annual meeting. Approximately a dozen TOCA members and prospects attended the breakfast. (TOCA currently does new member breakfasts at GIE+EXPO and the Golf Industry Show.) Den Gardner, executive director (standing in photo included here) spoke IAShow_GroupDen2 (3)of the organization’s 26-year history and professional development benefits to its members.

Thanks to Lacy Ravencraft of Ewing and Lenise Phillips from the Irrigation Association for assistance in making the breakfast possible.



where-big-things-happenFMC and GCSAA/GCM Magazine Offer New Member Breakfast at GIS

The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) is providing a breakfast reception at the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in San Antonio. FMC and GCSAA/Golf Course Management magazine are co-sponsoring the reception.

Breakfast Details:

For Whom: TOCA Members and Invited Guests

When:   Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Antonio, TX, Bowie B Room, Floor 2

Time:     7:00-8:15 a.m. breakfast and TOCA update

We encourage you to bring a prospective member/guest to the breakfast. Please RSVP to Den Gardner or Barb Ulschmid at 952-758-6340 or e-mail your RSVP to

Thanks – see you in San Antonio!



Calendar of Events | 2015Winter Snow

February 21-26, 2015 Golf Industry Show February 25, 2015: TOCA Breakfast Reception – 7:15 to 8:15 a.m.                                                                                                                                                     Grand Hyatt Hotel, Room: Bowie B (hotel’s second floor) San Antonio, TX

February 28, 2015 TOCA Internship Student application deadline

March 1, 2015 – TOCA Scholarship application deadline – Plant Health Writer of the Year application deadline – TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year application deadline

March 13, 2015 TOCA Communications Contest entries deadline

April 1, 2015 TOCA International Communications Contest entries deadline

May 5-7, 2015 (Tues-Thurs) 26th annual TOCA Meeting Milwaukee Marriott Downtown Hotel Milwaukee, WI


New TOCA Members – Welcome!

Sabrina Bladon, The Chimera Group

Alexis Bryan Brumm, PKA Marketing

Natalie Ciambrone, Dow AgroSciences

Eddie Gordon, Ewing Irrigation

Leslie Finical Halleck, Halleck Horticultural LLC

Caitlin Haskins, IMRE

Kimberly Huston, PadillaCRT

Tra Huddleston, Nufarm Americas Inc.

Steve Jedrzejek, Nufarm Americas Inc.

Sierra Kennedy, Dixie Chopper

Mary Maxwell, Archer Malmo

Devron McLeod, Nufarm Americas Inc.

Jennifer L. Okray, Precision Laboratories

Dawn D. Pelon, New Holland

Lauren Reaves, Archer Malmo

Nikki Rosen, Halleck Horticultural LLC

Dave Wegener, Swanson Russell

Gregg Wisniewski, Syngenta

Peter Driver, Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd.

Karen Proctor, Rasomes Jacobsen Ltd.

Steve Nixon, Bernhard & Co. Ltd.

Sally Taylor, Bernhard & Co. Ltd.

Steve Castle, British International Golf & Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA)

Warren Bevan, Bearwood Lakes Golf Club

Katie Marwick, Bayer Crop Science