I got into journalism because I craved the rush of chasing down breaking news and covering the sexy beats like cops and community politics for the local daily newspaper (You remember those, right?). ?
But fate intervened in my career path, and I got an offer to serve as the editor of the paper’s business desk. At the time, the business desk was an editorial graveyard typically populated by burned-out reporters who had seen too much for too long. The only thing alluring about the beat to a 20-something kid like myself was the few extra bucks in my paycheck.?
Luckily for me there was this thing called the Internet that was suddenly all the rage. It was the first time I’d heard the word “entrepreneur” associated with 20-somethings like myself who were either overnight IPO millionaires or chasing that dream. The tech bubble’s meteoric rise and eventual explosion, and the impact it had on local, national and global markets, was an incredible time to cover business. Those experiences made me into the writer and editor I am today. ?
That foundation landed me with GIE Media, where I was brought on to help build a fledgling B2B publication focused on commercial snow and ice management. You see, the mantra of “make money, save money” is applicable in nearly every industry, and I continued to rely on it when I was reassigned to contribute to and manage sister publication, Lawn & Landscape. ?
When I was promoted in March 2009 to manage GCI’s editorial mission, quite frankly, I was thrown for a loop. I really didn’t know much about the game beyond an affinity for Carl Spackler and “Caddyshack.” Worse yet, superintendents didn’t seem to follow the “make money, save money” formula that I was used to covering. In fact, you attempt to spend all the maintenance budget you’ve been allotted, and then you may go back to your board to fund a capital project.?
What I soon learn about you – and would come to admire and appreciate – is that a golf course superintendent is a sort of hybrid entrepreneur. I imagine somewhere a mad scientist distilled the best traits of a farmer, botanist, chemist, hydrologist, mechanic, accountant, electrician, teacher, coach and bazaar trader, and injected them into an entrepreneur to create the template for the modern golf course superintendent. ?
Never have I met and engaged with a community of professionals who are not only passionate about what they do, but who also truly care about the professional and personal well-being of their fellow superintendents, whether they reside down the road, across the country or half-a-world away. Over the years, this collegiality has made my job extremely easy, and it’s been an honor to have the opportunity to tell your stories over the last decade. ?
Unfortunately, October is my last issue for GCI. I have the opportunity to devote my full attention back into the commercial snow market and take a leading role on helping to build something really special and impactful for that industry. Sort of like what you’ve established for the golf community, but with more snow and sub-zero temps.?
As The Bard eloquently penned, parting is such sweet sorrow. I will truly miss all of you whom I’ve met and worked with over the years in every aspect of this industry. Closer to home, you’re being left in some pretty good hands. Pat Jones and Guy Cipriano continue to devote their energies to growing and enhancing GCI and its offerings. I know for a fact they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeves for 2019.?
I’ve never been one for long goodbyes, so until we meet again – thanks for the memories.