Sports Turf Managers Association
The beginnings of the Greater L.A. Basin Chapter go back to 2000. Prior to the start of the chapter Steve Dugas, C.S.F.M., sought out Dr. Kent Kurtz advice on whether breaking away from the existing Southern California Chapter would do harm to the organization. “Doc” supported the idea and offered to advise him on what would be required to make it happen. Thus began the journey, at the Tampa S.T.M.A.Conference in 2001 where many national members with ties to Southern California were approached and surveyed culminating in the formation of, and recognition of our local chapter at the 2002 Las Vegas S.T.M.A.Conference when Steve was presented the chapter gavel.
Because a few men believed that sports turf could be improved through the sharing of knowledge and the exchange of ideas, the Sports Turf Managers Association was officially formed in 1981.
The key leaders in the STMA's infancy were Harry "Pops" Gill (deceased), Milwaukee County Stadium; Dr. William Daniel (deceased), Professor Emeritus, Purdue University; Dick Ericson, Minneapolis Metrodome, and George Toma (NFL).
After sharing the office, executive secretary and conference facilities of the National Institute of Parks & Grounds Management in Appleton, Wisconsin, for three years, the sixty STMA members decided to venture into independence in November 1984.
The Board of Directors, led by their newly elected President, David Frey, appointed the Association's first Executive Director, Dr. Kent W. Kurtz, Professor of Turfgrass & Ornamental Horticulture at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. In 1985, the Association incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation and began a quarterly newsletter. STMA established a national office in Upland, California, during the spring of 1987. The first national conference in 1986 was held in conjunction with that of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, as were the annual meetings in 1987 and 1988.
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