Meet Our Experienced Conference Speakers

Anthony  Koski, Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, consults with Alison O'Connor, Larimer County Horticultural Agent and PhD student, about turf grasses growing in Colorado State University's greenhouse. April 4, 2013 ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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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Kevin Frank

Dr. Kevin Frank - Professor and Turf Extension Specialist - Michigan State University

Dr. Frank’s research program focuses on developing turfgrass nutrition programs, 

assessing the environmental fate of fertilizer applications to turfgrass, investigating irrigation practices, and management strategies to alleviate winterkill of turfgrass.  Dr. Frank conducts turfgrass cultivar evaluations through the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program and also conducts fertilizer product evaluations in turfgrass. 

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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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GaussoinRoch-4x5-300dpi_0 - Roch Gaussoin

Roch Gaussoin - Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist - University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Roch Gaussoin is a Professor of Agronomy and Extension Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

He is a native New Mexican and an alumnus of New Mexico State University, receiving his BS in Agronomy in 1980 and MS in 1984. His PhD was completed at Michigan State University in Turfgrass Science in 1988. Dr. Gaussoin has conducted academic research for more than 35 years. He is a frequent invited speaker to conferences nationally and internationally. Dr. Gaussoin has received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska Turfgrass Association, the Exceptional Service Award from the Nebraska Golf Course Superintendents Association and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Col. John Morley Distinguished Service Award. In 2023, he received the USGA Green Section Award.

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Jeffrey Fowler - Lead Consultant - Tip Top Turf Solutions LLC

Jeff is a retired Sr. Extension Educator of Horticulture specializing in turf management from Penn State Extension. He spent 36 years working at Penn State and now has started his own business. 

He spent those years at Penn State visiting field managers helping them make wise choices with their limited resources. He earned his Bachelor of Science (BS) from Delaware Valley College, and his Masters of Education (MEd) from Penn State University. He and his wife Jamie have one son Evan. Jeff has been a volunteer on the grounds crew for the Little League World Series since 1996 and is the volunteer field manager for his local league. He is also very busy in his community. He has served Red Cross, United Way, his church, and countless other boards in the community. From 2011-2016 he served on the Board of Directors for the National Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA). In 2006 Jeff was honored by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) with the Dr. William H. Daniel Founders Award for his excellence and dedication to research and teaching, and in 2019 he was presented with the Harry C. Gill Memorial Award the highest honor the association presents for his commitment and dedication to STMA. Additionally, in 2019 he was presented the Fowler’s Founders Award by the Keystone Athletic Field Managers Association (KAFMO) in recognition of his unselfish commitment to excellence in education, athletic field management, and professionalism in the Pennsylvania sports turf industry. And in 2023 he was presented the Presidents Award for Leadership by the Sports Field Managers Assoc.

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G&S Solutions Logo Stacked

Eric Pollock - Owner - Golf & Sport Solutions

Over 25 years of experience in the green industry. 15 years managing Sports Fields and 17 making products for the Sports Turf Manager with my company Golf and Sport Solutions.

Lee Miller

Dr. Lee Miller - Extension Turfgrass Pathologist - Purdue University

Dr. Lee Miller began as an assistant professor of turfgrass pathology in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University in 2022 after serving in a similar position at the University of Missouri from 2010 – 2021. 

Lee’s current responsibilities include providing disease diagnosis and control recommendations for the lawn, golf, sports turf, and sod industries. Past and current research projects include fungicide resistance detection in dollar spot populations, fairy ring identification on putting greens and prevention with spring fungicide applications, the effects of fertility and fungicide application methods on large patch control, spring dead spot management and cultural control, and detection of Pythium spp. in golf course irrigation water.

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Meg Kruger

Meg Krueger - Content Marketing Lead - Pioneer Athletics

Meg Kruger is the Content Marketing Lead with Pioneer Athletics, where she plays an integral role in managing the brand’s visibility through social media and campaigns like Pioneers in the Field. 

As the host of the Groundskeeper Chat podcast, Kruger has been inviting sports field professionals to share their expertise and stories for over four years. Kruger is a proud member of the Women in Turf Team, an organization that believes in advancing opportunities for women who grow the game in the turfgrass industry. Kruger advocates for groundskeeper visibility, knowing that personal and crew branding will showcase the best our industry has to offer. With a background in journalism, public relations and social media, Kruger aims to help groundskeepers earn themselves a seat at the table. Kruger lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Kendall Smith - District Sales Manager - AriensCo

Spencer Jordan

Spencer Jordan - Field Service Tech - DBC Irrigation Supply

Spencer Jordan has worked in the industry for over 20 year. He has worked in residential and commercial irrigation as a business owner, irrigation technician, project manager, irrigation manager, and a field service technician. 

As a field service technician, he has worked for manufacturing and distribution. He has a Bachelor of Science in Math and a Master’s in Divinity. He is married with 5 children and enjoys the outdoors, especially snow skiing.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Kaitlyn Quincy - Aquatics Technical Specialist - SePRO

Kaitlyn is SePRO's Technical Specialist for the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. 

She has a BS in Botany and an MS in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida. Kaitlyn has been with SePRO for 3 years and is based in Denver.

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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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Deryn Davidson, Sustainable Landscape State Specialist, Office of Engagement and Extension, Colorado State University, September 18, 2023

Deryn Davidson - Sustainable Landscape Specialist - CSU Extension, Fort Collins

Deryn Davidson is the Sustainable Landscape Specialist for CSU Extension. She graduated from CSU with a B.S. in Horticulture and later went on to earn a MLA from the University of Arizona. 

In Arizona, Deryn worked in the private industry designing rainwater harvesting systems, and for the City of Tucson educating the public on rainwater harvesting strategies. She has a passion for native plant horticulture and pollinator conservation that grew during her time as a horticulturist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX. Her work with Extension includes providing consultation and education to horticulture clients around the state, and she teaches on general horticulture topics, native plants, pollinator conservation, and water conservation through smart design and plant selection.

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Dennis Lyon

Dennis Lyon - Retired Superintendent - City of Aurora

Colorado State University graduate. 37 years as the Superintendent/Manager of Golf for the city of Aurora Golf Division. 

Past President, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association. Received the Colorado State University, Environmental Science Distinguished Alumni Award. Inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Brad Meyer - Regional Sales Manager - HydroPoint Data Systems

Brad Meyer is currently serving as Regional Sales Manager for HydroPoint Data Systems in the Rocky Mountain Region. 

Prior to joining HydroPoint, he led Business Development and Strategic Account Management for DBC Irrigation Supply. Brad’s background in both wholesale distribution and contracting bring a unique perspective to his role. Brad is dedicated to promoting correct strategies for both water management and water stewardship.

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Jeff Butler - Technical Service Representative - Spears Manufacturing

Jeff Butler has been working with PVC irrigation piping systems since 1990...

and has been responsible for training countless commercial and municipal irrigation installers. His years, working for Spears Manufacturing has taught him how PVC reacts to given forces, and his understanding of water hydraulics, allows him to teach how those forces can occur. Jeff is looking forward to teaching at the 2024 RMRTA!

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Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association

Taylor Turner - CEO - Numerator Technologies

- Joined Numerator Technologies January 2016 - Continued education with leading researchers in water movement and water repellency...

- Dr. John Cisar Formerly with University of Florida, Dr. Doug Karcher formerly with Arkansas now with Ohio State. Currently enrolled in Masters Certificate Program at the University of Florida for Fertilizer Science and Technology - Has given 15 CEU’s Nationally and Internationally o Management of Water Repellent Soils in Turf o Water Movement in Repellent Soils o Management of Localized Dry Spot o Proper use of surfactants for LDS and Water Repellent Soils o Water Quality Management for high pH and Bicarbonates - Member of the Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association o Active member on the Government Affairs committee lobbying to promote the responsible use of plant protection and nutrient products in Florida o Vice Chair of the Scholarship Board and proud to see and mentor the future of this industry. Additionally mentors the female applicants and scholarship recipients - Member of the Florida Turf Grass Association - Member of the Florida GCSAA, and National GCSAA - Hobbies: Boating, Golfing Horribly, reading, cooking, and painting

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Kayla Kipp

Kayla Kipp - Turfgrass Equipment Manager - Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Kayla Kipp, Certified Turf Equipment Manager, has been serving the golf industry since 2012. 

She is currently managing a fleet of over 179 pieces of equipment, 47 reels and an untold number of attachments for 2 golf courses, grounds maintenance and the engineering department at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, she served in the US Air Force for 6 years as a heavy equipment mechanic on the flight-line working on everything from 50K Terex Container Movers to baggage conveyors. Kipp was heavily involved with GCSAA on the Equipment Managers Task Group to build the CTEM attesting rubric and implement the program.

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