Meet Our Experienced Conference Speakers

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Dr. Tony Koski - Colorado State University

Dr. Tony Koski has been the Extension Turf Specialist and a professor at Colorado State University since 1988. 

He teaches turfgrass management and advises turf management students in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. As Extension specialist, he works with all facets of Colorado’s professional turf management industry, including the golf course industry, sports turf, professional lawn care, and sod production. His research interests include landscape water management, weed control, turf fertility and soil management. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Dr. Alison O’Connor - Colorado State University Extension, Fort Collins

Dr. Alison O’Connor is a professor of Extension for Colorado State University in Larimer County. 

Dr. O’Connor received her B.S. in horticulture from Iowa State University, her M.S. in horticulture from The Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. in horticulture from Colorado State University. She has worked for CSU Extension for 17 years, specializing in woody plants, turfgrass management, and annuals and perennials for the landscape. She coordinates 120+ volunteers in the Colorado Master Gardener Program and is an affiliate faculty in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Eric Hammond - Colorado State University Extension, Adams County

Eric works for Colorado State University Extension as the Horticulture Specialist in Adams County. 

He assists clients with issues related to landscape horticulture and coordinates the Colorado Master Gardener program in the county. He attended Colorado State University where he received an undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management and later a Master of Science in Horticulture.

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Water drop on a stalk of grass

Paul Giordano, Ph.D. - Director of Agronomy - Harrell's LLC

Paul Giordano is a Director of Agronomy for Harrell’s LLC, managing research & development functions as well as providing technical sales support for the Golf, Sports Turf, and Turf & Landscape businesses. 

Dr. Giordano has worked in the turfgrass industry for over 20 years holding positions at both public and private golf courses, and gaining experience in both applied and basic turfgrass research. A three-time Spartan, Paul earned a B.S. in Crop and Soil Sciences, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. He currently resides in Canton, Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

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Raymond Cloyd

Dr. Raymond Cloyd - Professor and Extension Specialist - Kansas State University

Dr. Raymond A. Cloyd: Professor and Extension Specialist in Horticultural Entomology/Plant Protection, Department of Entomology, Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS).  

Raymond has an extension (70%) and research (30%) appointment in the Department of Entomology at Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS). Raymond received his MS and PhD from the Department of Entomology at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), and was employed as a professor at the University of Illinois (Urbana, IL) in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences for six years prior to his employment at Kansas State University.

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Matt-Makens 2

Matt Makens - Meteorologist, Weather5280

Weather5280 was formed in 2012 as a local joint venture between meteorologists and geospatial experts.

 It grew rapidly from a public blogsite to a consulting company for industries spanning public works to insurance agencies, landscape companies, and ski areas. Matt has presented thousands of weather forecasts and outlooks to dozens of specific industries. His presentations have earned him five Emmy Awards, as well as honors from the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.

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David Phipps

David Phipps - NW Region Field Staff Representative - GCSAA

David Phipps is a 23-year GCSAA Class A member and has more than 30 years of experience in golf course management. He graduated from the turf management program at Oregon State University in 1985. 

He was an assistant superintendent at The Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, Ore., from 1990-2000, and was the construction manager and superintendent at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City, Oregon from 2000 to 20012. Phipps currently serves as the GCSAA Field Staff Representative in the Northwest Region which he has been in since 2012.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Joshua Hester - Director of Grounds - Cherry Hills Country Club

Joshua is a graduate of Colorado State University.  He is the Director of Grounds at Cherry Hills Country Club and has over 20 years golf course experience at various facilities.

Mike Fidanza

Mike Fidanza - Professor of Plant and Soil Science - Penn State University

Dr. Mike Fidanza is a Professor of Plant and Soil Science at the Pennsylvania State University, Berks Campus (Reading, PA, USA), where he has held a research and teaching appointment since 2000. 

His research focus is turfgrass ecology, the translational exploration and evaluation of plant health products (i.e., fungicides, herbicides, plant growth regulators), soil surfactants, seed technology, biostimulants, and cultural practices in turfgrass ecosystems, and the biology and ecology of fairy ring disease in turfgrass.

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Alfie Gardiner

Alfie Gardiner - Sales Representative - Target Specialty Products

Rutgers University – 2 year program Internship
Merion Golf Club Asst. Superintendent
Spring Mill Country Club Sales – Terra
Mid-Atlantic Region Sales – Harrell’s
Mid-Atlantic Region Sales – SynaTek
Mid-Atlantic Region Sales – Target-Specialty Products

Don Frantz

Don Frantz - Branded Products Territory Manager - Wilbur Ellis

Don has over 23 years of turf and ornamental experience. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University majoring in landscape horticulture: turf management. 

His professional experience brings all aspects of the industry, including end user roles, plus distribution and manufacturer sales. Don lives with his wife and identical twin daughters in Star, Idaho.

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Chrissie Segars

Dr. Chrissie Segars - West Research Scientist - PBI Gordon

 Chrissie is originally from McBee, SC and received her Bachelors’ degree from Clemson University in Agricultural Education. 

She went on to receive her first Masters’ degree from Louisiana State University in Kinesiology and her second Masters’ degree from Oklahoma State University in Turfgrass Science. She received her Ph.D. in Crop Science with an emphasis in Turfgrass Science from Oklahoma State University in 2017. Chrissie is currently a Research Scientist with PBI/Gordon Corporation residing in Oregon and covering the Western Region of the US. She focuses on developing relationships with university and private cooperators to carry out research for product development in the turfgrass and ornamental industry. Her main focus is developing green/biological control methods and expanding PBI's reach to sports fields and sod farms.

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Micah Gould

Micah Gould - Market Development Manager - Barenbrug USA

Micah Gould is a Market Development Manager for Barenbrug USA with duties ranging from marketing, data management, education, and developing new solutions.

 He grew up in the Willamette Valley in Oregon where many of the industry's turfgrasses are produced from seed, and graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in turf management and horticulture at large.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Scott Hosie - CEO - Professional Tree & Turf Equipment

As CEO & Owner of Professional Tree & Turf Equipment Scott is responsible for leading the organization in providing the high level of service and customized solutions customers have come to expect over 40 years. 

Scott joined the company in 2020 as Director of Operations and purchased the company in Early 2022. Prior to Professional Tree & Turf Equipment Scott spent over 10 years in the manufacturing, industrial, and construction markets developing strong customer relationships and leading teams toward strategic growth.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Spencer Jordan - Field Tech - DBC Irrigation Supply

Spencer had been part of the landscape industry for 30 years. He has worked in maintenance, construction, manufacturing, and distribution. 

He is currently a field technician for DBC Irrigation Supply. When not playing in the dirt he enjoys thinking about ways to pass on industry knowledge.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Kaitlyn Quincy - Aquatics Technical Specialist - SePRO

Kaitlyn is SePRO’s Aquatics Technical Specialist for the Mountain and Great Plains region.

 Kaitlyn is based in Denver serves Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. She has her B.S. in Botany and M.S. in Interdisciplinary Ecology with a focus in Agronomy, both from the University of Florida.

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Lisa Blecker Pesticide Safety Educator  in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University, October 6, 2021

Lisa Blecker - Pesticide Safety Educator - Colorado State University Department of Agricultural Biology

Lisa Blecker is the Pesticide Safety Educator at Colorado State University (CSU) and Faculty in the in the department of Agricultural Biology. 

In this role she oversees the revision of study guides and exams for applicators seeking their private and commercial applicator certifications, delivers continuing education programs for pest management professionals, delivers worker protection standard trainings, and teaches an undergraduate course, Understanding Pesticides. Lisa is currently the Administrator for the Pesticide Regulatory Education Program (PREP), a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, providing professional development opportunities for pesticide regulatory officials in states, tribes, and affiliated territories.

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Sarah Hirnyck

Sarah Hirnyck - Pesticide Outreach Specialist - Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Sarah Hirnyck has been the Pesticide Outreach Specialist in the Department of Agricultural Biology at Colorado State University since September 2021. 

She assists in the planning and development of the Pesticide Regulatory Education Program (PREP) courses and provides bilingual pesticide safety training programs for pesticide handlers, fieldworkers, and pesticide applicators throughout the state. Prior to working at Colorado State University, she was a Community Education Specialist for the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM). Sarah has diverse educational programs experience. She spent two years in Panamá as a Peace Corps volunteer. She partnered with community members and government agencies to develop and implement community-based conservation programs. Sarah helped create connections and build sustainable relationships between the community and government agencies. Languages spoken: English, Spanish.

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Matt Giese Pic

Matt Giese - Technical Services - Syngenta Professional Solutions

Matt is the Technical Service Rep with Syngenta Professional Solutions and holds a Masters degree in Turfgrass Management from the University of Nebraska.

 He provides agronomic consulting and solutions to turf managers and collaborates with industry scientists to develop new and existing products through field testing. In his free time, he enjoys working on the weekend maintenance crew at the local golf course.

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Dave Krause

Dave Krause - National Sales Manager - Turf Irrigation - Harco Fittings LLC

 I've been a full-time resident of Colorado since 1987. Turfgrass Management degree from Northeastern Junior College. Worked as a Golf Course Superintendent and in Golf Maintenance for 16 years. 

Then spent 20 years working for two different Irrigation Distributors at multiple capacities until joining Harco Fittings in 2019. Harco Fittings is a manufacturer of PVC, Ductile Iron, and HDPE fittings used in Irrigation, Municipal Utilities, and Drainage throughout the United States.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Darren Nowels - Water Efficiency Planner - Northern Water

Darren Nowels is the Water Efficiency Planner for Northern Water.

 In this role, Darren manages indoor retrofit programs, assists stakeholders in developing water stewardship messaging, and provides policy and data analysis to support the growth of water efficiency programming in Northern Colorado.

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Spencer Bernard

Spencer Bernard - Water Efficiency Specialist - Northern Water

Spencer assists with the Water Efficiency Landscape Grants program,

outdoor audit programs, as well as managing the irrigation system at the Northern Water Conservation Campus.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Joel Monroe - Denver Winpump

Joel has been involved in the pump industry since 2007. He has worked on pump systems from fractional to over 1,000 horsepower in all industries.

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Scott Curry - Assistant Professor - Colorado State University

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Josh DeJong - Western Territory Manager - Barenbrug Seed

Josh has worked 16 years as a sports turf manager working with in k12 and Parks and Rec.  He transitioned to sales representative for Target Specialty Products for 2 years and is now with Barenbrug Seed.

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Sarah Martin, CSFM - City of Phoenix

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Chris Tragakes - Colorado State University

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Zach Johnson - Colorado State University

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

DJ Jones – Mobile Service Technician - Masek Golf Cars

Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

John Namovicz – Warranty Administrator - Masek Golf Cars