The GCSAA board of directors are working on getting out and interacting with chapters across the country. This past week, as a part of that effort, I was fortunate to host Director Rafael Barajas, CGCS. While the trip was relatively short, we were able to meet and visit with many superintendents of the Virginia GCSA. And although we wish we could have met with more chapters during that time, we hope in the future we can continue this outreach effort to meet with more chapters around the country and within the Mid-Atlantic region.
Rafael is a fifth-year director and has been the superintendent at Hacienda Golf Club in La Habra Heights, California since 1995. Our visit started off when I picked up Rafael at the airport on Sunday afternoon. From there, we enjoyed dinner with a few local superintendents and VGCSA Executive Director David Norman. It was an intimate group and provided ample opportunity for networking, discussion, and simply getting to know one another.
On Monday, we participated in the Joe Saylor Tournament at Hermitage Country Club, just outside of Richmond. This tournament serves as a fundraiser for the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation, and over 100 toys were donated through the cause. Again, this event provided a great opportunity for Rafael to interact and meet members of the VGCSA.
On Monday night, the VGCSA hosted their Annual Meeting in the clubhouse at Hermitage CC, where approximately 85 members were in attendance. In addition to a nice dinner and standard annual meeting business, the VGCSA honored three deserving members with awards for their respective career successes. Rick Viancour, CGCS, took home the Presidents Award for Lifetime Achievement, VGCSA's highest honor. Ken Giedd, CGCS, was recognized for his distinguished service, and delivered an eloquent speech that made it hard to believe he had not prepared any words beforehand. Lastly, Dan Taylor, CGCS, was honored for his environmental stewardship at Independence Golf Club. More on those awards here.
On Tuesday, we attended the VGCSA annual conference, also hosted in the clubhouse at Hermitage CC. Rafael was part of great lineup of speakers, and he addressed the audience with "The GCSAA Perspective." Through that message, Rafael was able to prompt three new superintendents to sign up for GCSAA's Grassroots Ambassadors Program, which will help our government relations efforts in Virginia and across the country.
In closing, I'd like to thank Rafael for taking time to visit the Mid-Atlantic region. The visit can certainly be deemed a success and we hope to get out and visit with more chapters in the future!