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Board of Directors

Board of Directors


2019-2020 Executive Committee

President - Dr. Ian Rodriguez
Vice President - Dr. Eric A. Brown
Secretary/Treasurer - Laurie Bland
Immediate Past President - Andrew Jorgensen

Board of Directors - Barry Balavender; Paul Bispham, Jr.; Chris Brown; Dave Dymond; Jason Frank; Chris Hoder; Jason Horn; Addison King; Bill Kistler; Cal Leggett; Pat Marsh; Andy Neiswender; Lance Tibbetts; Dr. Travis Teuton; Kevin Wasilewski


Executive Committee Biographies

Ian Rodriguez, PhDPresident
Ian
is was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and is currently BrightView’s Director of Technical Services for Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida he began working in the landscape industry on the Gulf Coast. A few years later he returned to UF to pursue a Masters studying turfgrass science and was among the first student residents of the Turfgrass Envirotron. After completing a Ph.D. at Clemson University he returned to Florida where he became an instructor in the Golf and Landscaping programs at Florida Gateway College in Lake City for eight years. In 2012, Ian moved to South Florida to begin working for ValleyCrest, now BrightView, where he provides technical support in agronomy, horticulture, and pest control.

Eric A. Brown, PhD - Vice President
Eric is the Director of Agronomy for Massey Services Inc., based in Orlando. He earned his doctorate from the University of Florida’s Soil and Water Science Department, specializing in soil and plant relationships and environmental stewardship. He spends time as a technical trainer and formulates Massey’s agronomic program through research and testing, to ensure healthy vigorous landscapes that help protect our environment. Dr. Brown is an ISA Certified Arborist and has published articles on managing urban landscapes, black layer in soils, soil pH testing, and fertigation. In addition, he has taught horticulture-related classes as an adjunct professor at various higher education institutions, including Rollins College, Valencia College, Seminole State College and Santa Fe College.  He is married to Lynette Brown and have a son, Emmett.

Laurie Bland - Secretary/Treasure
Laurie studied at Lake City Community College now known as Florida Gateway College and in May of 2006 where she received a Certification in Turfgrass Equipment Management. Bland graduated in May of 2008 with an Associate in Science degree in Golf Course Operations and Grounds Management. During my 10 years of experience in turf, and has worked in various locations throughout Florida including the University of Florida Golf Course, The Loxahatchee Club and Trump National Doral.  Bland’s current position is with the City of Miami Springs as Director of Golf Course Maintenance reviving the 183 acres of the historic Miami Springs Golf & Country Club.  During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her 7 year old son Terry, going kayaking, spending time with family, and visiting various natural springs & historic places throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Andrew Jorgensen - Immediate Past President
Andy Jorgensen was born in Kansas City, Kansas but spent the majority of his youth growing up in a golf course development outside of Atlanta, Georgia. After working throughout high school at the golf course with positions in both the golf shop and golf course maintenance sides, Jorgensen attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, earning degrees in Golf Turf Management and Commercial Turf Management. Upon graduation, Andrew was employed as the Assistant Golf Course Superintendent at Newnan Country Club and Fort McPherson Golf Club, both outside of Atlanta, before accepting the Head Golf Course Superintendent position with Interfive Florida Corporation in Homosassa, Florida. In 2005, Jorgensen accepted his current position, Head Golf Course Superintendent with On Top of the World Communities, Inc., overseeing all golf course maintenance operations for 54-holes located in Ocala, Florida and a 27-hole property located in Clearwater, Florida. He also assists with the maintenance and management of over 450 acres of residential and commercial landscape. Jorgensen is active in the industry. He just completed his second term as President for the Seven Rivers Golf Course Superintendent Association. He is a member of the Florida Golf Course Superintendent Government Relations and Education committees, board member of the Jeff Hayden Memorial Envirotron Golf Classic for Turfgrass Research and has been a speaker at the 2011 Golf Industry Show and numerous other industry events. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys saltwater fishing, golf and outdoor activities. He is married with two children, and currently resides in Ocala, Florida.



Directors Biographies

Barry Balavender is Superintendent of the North and South Courses at John’s Island Club in Vero Beach, FL. Barry began his career in the golf course industry at Suntree Country Club in Melbourne, FL in 1999. Upon graduation from Gateway College’s Golf Course Operations Program, Barry was hired as a 2nd Assistant at John’s Island’s West Course. Barry is currently on his second service on the Treasure Coast Golf Course Superintendents Board. Throughout the years, he has continued his education completing his B.S. Degree from the University of Central Florida and earned an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. In his free time, Barry enjoys fishing and spending time with his wife Carrie and daughter Reagan.

Chris Brown is a graduate of Cornell University’s Horticulture program, class of 1994. He moved to Central Florida and began working at Lesco in Kissimmee, FL in 1995. Chris has worked at Howard Fertilizer, Helena, Bayer Advanced and now works for Nufarm Americas covering the state of Florida. He is currently enrolled in the University of Florida’s MBA program.

 

Eric Dixon is the Golf Course Superintendent at the Chi Chi Rodriguez golf Club in Clearwater, Florida. He has been at Chi Chi Rodriguez for 5 years and recently completed a major renovation of the property. Eric is the President of the Florida West Course GCSA and is in his second year. Eric is GI-BMP Certified as well as Golf BMP Certified. He recently completed his Arborist Certification and is recognized as a Certified Arborist by the ISA. He is a Grassroots Ambassador for the GCSAA and recently was nominated to be on the GCM Editorial Board task group. He is committed to preserving our natural resources for future generations and takes pride in working with Audubon International and local environmental regulators to make sure golf is recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship. At the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth foundation Eric has an opportunity to share his work with students grades 4th-8th and participates in a weekly mentoring program as well as leading a yearly Wildlife tour. Eric is a second-Generation Golf Course Superintendent and attended Florida Gateway College in Lake City. During that time, he received a scholarship from FTGA and looks forward to giving back to the FTGA through Board service.

Dave Dymond was born in Homestead, FL. Dymond has his Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of Florida in Ornamental Horticulture specializing in turfgrass management. His first job was an assistant golf course superintendent, then began a 40 year career in sod production. Currently, he is the General Manager of H & H Sod Company in Osceola County.  Dymond is married and has four sons, and now have four granddaughters and three grandsons, with number 8 due in May. Enjoy traveling and golf as my favorite hobbies.

Jason Frank was born and grew up in Deland, Florida where he started his turf career in high school running his own lawn service with a friend. His passion for turf grew and he eventually attended the University of Florida where he received his Bachelors of Science in Turfgrass Science with a minor in Business Administration in 2005.  He then went on to graduate school at University of Florida under the direction of Dr. J. Bryan Unruh to receive his M.S. in Horticulture Sciences with a minor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering.  During his master’s study, he researched and wrote a thesis titled “Detection of Turfgrass Stress using Ground Based Remote Sensing.”  After receiving his masters from University of Florida he accepted a position as an Assistant Superintendent at Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples.  While an Assistant at Royal Poinciana he studied for his Masters of Business Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University where he graduated in 2011.  He then transitioned to a career as an area sales manager in Southwest Florida with Bayer Crop Science and in 2013 was promoted to Key Account Manager where he managed several distributor accounts for Bayer, of which was Harrell’s LLC. During this time received a third M.S. degree in Soil and Water Science from the University of Florida. Through the relationship with Harrell’s LLC Jason was given the opportunity to take on the role of Regional Director in Florida in Turf and Landscape for them where he currently resides. Jason is a member of Florida Turfgrass Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, and Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association.  Jason has also achieved his Certified Professional Agronomist and Certified Crop Advisor through American Society of Agronomy, as well as Certified Horticultural Professional through Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association.  He lives in Parrish, FL with his wife Brielle and son Boden and in his spare time he enjoys golfing, hunting, and fishing.

Chris Hoder was born in Great Barrington, MA and soon after moved to South Florida. He began working on a local golf course after school and weekends. He enjoyed the business and decided to make it a career. After getting out of the Army he attended Lake City Community College School of Golf Course Operations. After graduation he was involved in all aspects of golf management including maintenance, construction, grassing and fumigation. In 2018, Hoder began working for Southern Soils Turf Solutions as Business Development Manager for control of nematodes and mole crickets in golf and sports turf throughout the Southeast.

Jason Horn was born and raised in a farming community in Ida, Michigan.  He attended Owens Community College in Perrysburg, Ohio where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Landscape and Turfgrass Management.  After several years of working at golf courses and landscape companies in Michigan, he moved to South Florida to continue his career in the industry, finding a passion for Sports Turf Management.  Jason has worked for The City of Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation and is currently the Account Manager in the City of Weston.  With more than 20 years in the industry, he currently oversees 16 natural grass sport fields in two of the cities beautiful parks.  Jason and his family reside in Coconut Creek and he spends most of his free time coaching Little League Baseball.

Addison King is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. After graduating from Clemson University, he started with Sod Solutions as a field representative in Florida. Sod Solutions is a turfgrass research, development and marketing company with over 250 licensed producers worldwide. He currently serves as the Director of Retail and Producer Relations in Florida.  Addison resides with his wife Rebecca in Jupiter, FL. He enjoys golf and fishing in his free time. 

 

William Kistler - Immediate Past President
Bill is employed by ABM Golf Services at Rogers Park, working as the golf course Superintendent at that Tampa-based golf course. Prior to joining ABM Golf Services, Kistler was the Region Director of Agronomy over 12 properties in Florida for ClubCorp. Kistler started his career in golf course maintenance back in 1993 at Dunedin Country Club as a crew member. He has held several positions from spray tech., foreman, and Asst. superintendent at Dunedin. Formerly, he was an asst. superintendent at two other clubs for six years. Kistler has a Turf certificate from University of Georgia, and a two year degree in Banking from the American Institute of Banking. He is originally from Ohio and has been married to Sharon for 12 1/2 years. They have two sons, Dustin and Shawn Barnett.

Cal Leggett is the Director of Technical Services for Florida with BrightView Landscape Services.  After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in Horticulture he moved to Apopka, Florida where he was the Head Grower for tissue culture liner producer Agri-Starts, Inc.  He then worked for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as an Environmental Specialist which is where he found his passion for the landscape side of the Green Industry.  In 2011 he began working for ValleyCrest, now BrightView, as the Horticulturist for the Orlando area.  He now provides technical support to all BrightView locations throughout Florida and Puerto Rico.

Patrick Marsh started his career in 1979 at Tampa Bay Golf and Racquet Club and the  Palma Ceia Golf Club where he started on weekends changing pins and tee markers, plus the duties that the golf course superintendent would allow a high school kid to perform and then worked his way up to a Spray Tech Supervisor.  From 1986 – 1988 Marsh worked for Be Macs Landscape as the Landscape and Commercial Supervisor, as he was in charge of all fertilizer and spray applications for all commercial properties, nursery and two tree farms.  After Be Macs Landscape, he worked for TruGreen as the operations manager for three years, managing all aspect of the lawn care tree and shrub operation including managing staff, routes, service calls, inventory and production.  Pat has been with SiteOne Landscape since 1991 and he started as the assistant branch manager, then he worked his way up to Regional Area Manager for the past 16 years.  In 2019, he was promoted to Regional Agronomic Manager for Florida in 2019 and has received the President’s Club Award.  Marsh attended Hillsborough Community College, and is Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute certified and a Certified Pest Control Operation.

Andy Neiswender has worked at golf courses in various positions including cart barn, driving range attendant, pro shop attendant all the way to superintendent starting back in junior high school.  His first golf course superintendent position was at a small course in Pasco County at 19 years old.  After which he trained under Tony Disano at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club for four years through the construction of 27 holes.  He also worked as an assistant superintendent for the legendary Buddy Carmouche at Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club before and back to Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club as the golf course superintendent of 36-holes.  He has been at Belleair Country Club in charge of the 36-hole operation now for almost 10 years.  Andy went to school at Saint Petersburg Junior College, Pasco-Hernando Community College and ultimately a B.S. in Business Administration from University of South Florida.  He played golf on the SPJC team for one year and completed most of the PGA Apprentice Program in the early 90’s while working as a Superintendent.  Andy serves on the Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association Government Relations Board and as Chairman of the Education Committee.  He and his wife are both native Floridians with three beautiful daughters. 

Lance Tibbetts is a New England native that currently holds a position with GCA Services as the Regional Grounds Manager for the State of Florida.  He has a vast knowledge of Northern and Southern landscaping and turfgrass.  With a degree in Horticulture and Soil Sciences, and a 12 year veteran Certified Sports Turf Manager, Lance sees the value in understanding turfgrass management from Division 1 nationally ranked schools, to municipal parks and athletic fields.  While living the dream in South Florida, Lance likes to make himself available to new horticultural enthusiast and 30 year veterans like himself. Lance resides in Coral Springs Fl, where he lives with his wife, kids and two dogs.  His free time is spent mostly doing home renovation projects and exploring the State of Florida with his wife.

Travis Teuton, Ph.D. specializes in pesticide and fertility research.  His Masters Degree was done with Barry Brecke Ph.D. and Bryan Unruh Ph.D. at the University Florida where he focused on 'Biology and Control of Tropical Signalgrass'.  However, Dr. Teuton also did research on weed control and herbicide tolerance on all the major warm-season turfgrass species as well as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans. Dr. Teuton's Ph.D. was directed by Tom Mueller Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee where Dr. Teuton concentrated on fertility, plant growth regulators, and herbicide tolerances of Hybrid Kentucky Bluegrass.  He also worked on many other turfgrass, soybeans, corn, and vegetable crops experiments.  Dr. Teuton has 11 refereed journal articles and a proven track record in research.  While briefly at the University of Missouri he discovered glyphosate resistant annual bluegrass and has several journal article to come on it.

Kevin Wasilewski has been a supplier to the turf grass, ornamental, and aquatic industry in the southeastern United States since 1987.  He began his career in distribution with V-J Growers supply in 1987 as a sales representative.  He then worked for Terra Industries from 1996-1998 as a Sales Manager.  He made a move to the manufacturing side of the business in 1999 as he took a Sales Manager position with The Scotts Company.  He currently is a Territory Manager for Syngenta and has been for the past seventeen years.  Kevin has served on the FNGA Action Chapter Board, the FTGA Board, Stetson University Alumni Board, and the Allied Board of Directors for The Scotts Company.   He is currently serving on the Central Florida GCSAA Board and is on the Executive Commission at his church.