Green Start Academy Moves to Virtual Format for 2020

Green Start Academy Moves to Virtual Format for 2020

The application period for the 15th annual class extended to Sept. 8.


Green Start Academy is moving to a virtual format for 2020 as it welcomes a new class of assistant superintendents. The annual event, hosted by John Deere and Bayer, will be comprised of a series of virtual sessions that will begin with a general session on Oct. 14, bringing together the best and brightest of the golf industry.

“We are excited to continue the tradition of Green Start Academy to further the careers and personal connections of assistant superintendents,” said Robert Schmidt, global manager of market development & strategy for John Deere Golf. “Even though our program may look different this year, our goal remains unchanged — to provide professional development and networking opportunities for all Green Start Academy participants.”

Following the general session, participants will have an opportunity to connect via virtual roundtable conversations with notable industry professionals and cultivate critical skills such as leadership and team management through a series of online sessions. In addition, participants will be assigned to smaller mentorship groups with various golf industry leaders to further encourage meaningful conversation and deeper connections with other participants and facilitators.

A new offering for the 2020 Green Start Academy will be a keynote session that is open to all past participants and facilitators, bringing together 15 years of Green Start Academy attendees. Jeff Havens, a successful author, business growth expert and communication expert, will deliver the keynote on leadership in a multigenerational culture. Havens will provide participants with insights about how to become an exceptional leader and guidance for successfully navigating the challenges they may face as they grow professionally. Alumni will receive a separate communication with registration details.

“Because of the dynamic nature of the year, we want to move forward with the Green Start Academy and meet the attendees where they are to continue to develop the next generation of leaders in the turf market,” Bayer Golf customer marketing manager Mike Hirvela said. “While we won’t be meeting face to face, I believe we will provide attendees an experience just as impactful as we have in previous years.”

Green Start Academy is open to assistant superintendents from the U.S. and Canada who are looking to advance their careers and build connections within the industry. The application process is open through Sept. 8.

Superintendent panelists include:

  • Carlos Arraya, Bellerive (Missouri) Country Club 
  • Dan Meersman, Philadelphia Cricket Club
  • PJ Salter, Riveria (Florida) Country Club 
  • Bob Farren, Pinehurst (North Carolina) Resort
  • Grant Murphy, Barrie (Ontario) Country Club
  • Lukus Harvey, Atlanta Athletic Club