Featured Speakers of the Month

Each month, speakers presenting as part of SFMA’s 2021 Virtual Conference will be featured. Don’t miss the educational opportunities we are offering you and your staff!

On Wednesday, January 13, four of SFMA’s Board members will be presenting the panel discussion “Communicating in Your Organization – Advocating Your Needs to Higher-Level Management.” Your panelists will include James Bergdoll, CSFM, Director of Park Maintenance for the City of Chattanooga Public Works; Jody Gill, CSFM, retired Grounds Coordinator for Blue Valley School District; Josh Koss, CSFM, Sports Field Manager for Cherry Creek School District, and Brad Thedens, CSFM, Park Caretaker for Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation.

The field of sports field management has changed significantly over the past thirty years with new technologies, an increase in participation, and changes in public expectations. In 2020, we have experienced a whole new type of challenge to our daily lives – how will this impact our jobs in the coming years? With the dramatic loss in revenues SFM’s will be forced to make cuts – how do we do this? This panel will discuss tactics for effective communication to higher-level management regarding your needs for budget items and staffing solutions. This is a round-table discussion with leaders from a broad cross-section of the membership.


Larry DiVito is the Head Groundskeeper for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club. On Tuesday, February 9, he will be presenting “Sustainable Sand Based Turfgrass: 11 Seasons at Target Field.”

Maintaining a professional sand-based turfgrass system for a decade or more requires a progressive outlook and consistent annual maintenance practices. This discussion will consider sand selection, management of organic matter, cultural practices, nutrient inputs and seed selection with a look at varietal segregation of Kentucky Bluegrass.

By participating in this session, attendees will:
1. Have a greater understanding of sand root zone selection concepts for athletic fields.
2. Gain knowledge on planning and execution of topdressing and cultural practice programs.
3. Learn to execute more efficient usage of nutrient inputs and wetting agents on a sand-based athletic field.