Kendrick B. Melrose Family Foundation donates $1M to EIFG

Largest single gift to GCSAA’s philanthropy.

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March 5, 2012

The Kendrick B. Melrose Family Foundation has donated $1 million to the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) to support the professional development of golf course superintendents through participation in the annual GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show.

The EIFG is the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and has as its mission to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game.

The Melrose Family Foundation is supported by Ken Melrose, former CEO and chairman of the Toro Co. Melrose's relationship with the golf industry is longstanding as he joined the Toro Co., in 1970. He quickly ascended the ranks of the company culminating with his appointment as CEO in 1983 and chairman of the board of directors in 1987. He retired as CEO in 2005 and from the chairman position in 2006. That same year he formed Leading by Serving, LLC, a new company whose mission is to advance the principles of servant leadership in business organizations.

"I have a profound respect for golf course superintendents and their role in the game of golf," Melrose said. "For golf courses to be successful, they need highly competent superintendents. Golf course management has become an increasingly more difficult profession, so to be able to provide resources to enhance superintendents' professional development has been very important to me. Together the GCSAA and the EIFG are the best organizations to deliver the education and training that will not only benefit the professional, but their facilities and the game."

The gift is the largest to be given to the EIFG. With the donation, the Melrose Leadership Academy will be developed. Through an application and selection process, 20 individuals will be selected to participate, beginning in 2013. The program will take into account financial need, geography, facility size, requirements necessary to achieve GCSAA Class A membership status and other factors. While attending the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show, participants will also be provided opportunities to network with GCSAA and other industry leaders.

The academy will offer education specific to risk management (health, safety, environmental compliance), operational efficiency, business and environmental stewardship.

"We are deeply appreciative of The Melrose Family Foundation's generous support of the EIFG and GCSAA members," GCSAA Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans said. "Ken has been a leader in the golf industry and it was his vision to support our mission by providing resources to enhance the competencies of our members. We believe one of the best – if not the best – professional development opportunities for our members is to attend the conference and show. Through Ken's vision we are able to make it a reality for more of our members."

In addition to Melrose's work through Leading by Serving, he is also actively serving on the board of directors for the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, Park Nicollet Health Services, The Melrose Institute for Eating Disorders, and others. He is also a member of the faculty at the Opus School of Business at the University of St. Thomas. Melrose is a native of Orlando, Fla., and earned a double major in mathematics and electrical engineering from Princeton in 1962. He received his master's degree from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later an MBA from the University of Chicago.