Grounds professionals from across the country gathered once again in October in 
Louisville, Ky., to attend the Professional Grounds Management Society’s 2012 School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO. Attendees enjoyed a pre-conference field trip, educational programs focused on industry hot topics, entertaining social events and more. 

Over 80 of the 250 grounds professionals registered started the week off right with a behind-the-scenes pre-conference field trip to the University of Louisville. A warm, sunny day provided the perfect atmosphere for this multi-dimensional campus tour where attendees saw Patterson Stadium (home of the Louisville Cardinals Baseball Team), Papa 
John’s Cardinal Stadium, "The Oval," Lutz Hall Quad, The College of Business and the Grounds Maintenance Shop. Attendees raved about the opportunity to learn how other sites conduct operations, take home sustainability project ideas and to hear and see what another campus is doing and how they handle problems common to many institutions.  

During the PGMS Annual Awards and Induction Dinner that took place Friday, Oct. 26 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky., the society honored several grounds professionals. The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program was presented the 2012 PGMS Gold Medal, which is given to an individual or entity to recognize them for outstanding and long-term achievements and/or contributions to the green industry. The Arbor Day Foundation was honored for inspiring the use of trees on college campuses and encouraging students to appreciate the value of trees and the environment.

Thomas L. Smith of Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, received PGMS’ E. Earl Wilson Award, which was established in 2004 to honor the person who spearheaded PGMS for many years and who was most instrumental in bringing about the establishment of what is today the GIE+EXPO and Green Industry Conference education program. The award is given, "when appropriate," for outstanding and sustained service and dedication to the Society and the green industry as a whole. Smith was chosen for this award for his long-term dedication to PGMS and the green industry. He served as PGMS president in 1991, has hosted several site tours, including one to the historic Spring Grove Cemetery, has continuously been a supporter and mentor for the PGMS Cincinnati Branch and annually attends the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO. 

Gerald Landby, director of grounds at Carroll College in Helena, Mont., received a President’s Award from outgoing President Don Bottger, CGM. Each year, the PGMS president is asked to give this award to a member or members they feel have shown outstanding service and contributions to the Society. Landby was recognized for his 
significant contributions as part of the board leadership as well as his tremendous effort with the development and planning of the PGMS 2012 Summer Regional Seminar and Site Visit that took place Aug. 13-14 in Portland, Ore. 

The 2012-2012 Board of Directors was elected and installed as part of the dinner as well. John Van Etten, CGM of Hoffman Landscape & Design in Scotia, N.Y., was elected and installed as the new president of PGMS. The 91st grounds management professional to hold the office, Van Etten succeeds Donald Bottger, CGM as the chief elected officer 
of the over 100-year-old green industry organization. In addition, PGMS members elected Walter Bonvell, CGM of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, as their president-elect; John Burns, CGM of the University of Texas at Austin, as vice president; and John Doiron of Concord Hospital in Concord, N.H., as treasurer. 

The regional directors are as follows: North East Regional Director, Ted Heywood, CGM of the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.; North Central Regional Director, Gerry Dobbs, CGM of Mason, Mich.; North West Regional Director, Gerald Landby of Carroll College in Helena, Mont.; South East Regional Director, Marion Bolick, CGM of Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, S.C.; South Central Regional Director, Joe Payne, CGM of the city of Springfield in Mo.; and South West Regional Director, Ron Hostick, CSFM of San Diego State University. 

Directors at Large include: Cary Avery, CGM of the University of California-Davis in Camino, Calif.; Diana Bramble Rudolph of Baltimore, Md.; and Mark Feist of American University in Washington, D.C. Thomas C. Shaner, a certified association executive, continues to serve as PGMS Executive Director, and Kelly Mesaris continues to 
serve as the associate director.

PGMS leaders are already at work planning the 2013 School of Grounds Management & 
GIE+EXPO which will take place in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 23-26, 2013.  

Photos from this year’s School can be found on the PGMS Facebook page at More details can also be found on the PGMS website at