GCSAA announces inaugural class for Women’s Leadership Academy

By |  September 6, 2023 0 Comments

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) announced the 40 turfgrass professionals chosen to be part of the inaugural Women’s Leadership Academy Nov. 7-9, at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan.

The event will feature education focused on key areas of self-discovery, understanding others, effective communication and inspiring others.

“Women make up a growing segment of the industry and the GCSAA Women’s Leadership Academy offers the opportunity to help these professionals sharpen their leadership skills, which they can use to improve their facilities, careers and communities, ” Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO, said. “I congratulate the first members of the Women’s Leadership Academy and look forward to seeing them in November. They are taking steps to not only grow their own careers but to encourage other women to consider working in the industry.”

The 40 turfgrass professionals selected to be part of this inaugural event are:

  • Catherine Abramavage, marketing manager, Central Sod Farms
  • Maddie Adelsperger, grounds maintenance and greenskeeper team, North Central Texas College
  • Tonya Anderson, superintendent, Old Memorial GC
  • Ana Barth, groundskeeper
  • Jan Bel Jan, president and golf course architect, Jan Bel Jan Golf Course Design
  • Molly Biggs, graduate student, Kansas State University
  • Emily Braithwaite, graduate student, Oregon State University
  • Beatriz Chavez Flores, golf course superintendent, Antelope Valley CC
  • Nancy Cienfuegos, assistant in training, WhiteTail GC
  • Savana Decker, assistant in training, Laurelwood GC
  • Rachel DeRuyte, assistant superintendent and health and safety coordinator, The Credit Valley G&CC
  • Vanja Drasler, superintendent, Montclair GC
  • Amanda Fontaine, superintendent, Ledges GC
  • Kimberly Gard, territory manager, Syngenta
  • Andrea Gelinas, second assistant superintendent, Blue Spring GC
  • Rene Geyer, superintendent, Canterwood G&CC
  • Alex Hills, senior assistant superintendent, Bay Hill Club and Lodge
  • Tami Jones, superintendent, DeSoto GC
  • Maureen Kahiu, student, University of Tennessee
  • Kayla Kipp, equipment manager, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
  • Jessica Lenihan, assistant superintendent/farm manager, Green Valley Turf
  • Kathryn Lifke, superintendent, Trappers Turn GC
  • Maritza Martinez, associate director of stadium grounds, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
  • Elizabeth Nemtuda, assistant superintendent, turfgrass student, Ohio State ATI
  • Nina Oldenkamp, VP of operations, Odeys Field Experts
  • Kathryn Phillips, intern, Ohio State University
  • Miranda Robinson, greenskeeper
  • Sunserrae Roesslein, sports turf field manager, JeffCo School District
  • Heather Schapals, superintendent, Seascape GC
  • Renee Schmaltz, intern, Interlachen CC
  • Raquel Schwartz, assistant superintendent, Stone Harbor GC
  • Jill Seymour, superintendent, Charleston Springs GC
  • Jennifer Torres, superintendent, Westlake G&CC
  • Carol Turner, superintendent, Bigwin Island GC
  • Desdamona Vance, second assistant superintendent, Cabot Cliffs GC
  • Bonnie Wells, Extension agent III, commercial horticulture, University of Florida
  • Amy Wilber, Extension associate, Mississippi State University
  • Leah Withrow, head groundskeeper, Reno Acres
  • Shirley Yanghua Ou, superintendent/club management, Beacon Ridge G&CC
  • Adrienne Young, assistant superintendent II, TPC San Antonio

Suzy Whaley, PGA Master Professional and first woman to serve as president of the PGA of America, will headline the event, sharing her experiences as a woman leader in the golf industry. Whaley continues to apply her expertise to create a more accessible, diverse and engaging space not only in golf but the entire sporting world.

In addition to educational sessions, the Women’s Leadership Academy will include networking opportunities and discussions on wellness, talent optimization, human resources and more.

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