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Help select GCM's Most Valuable Technician finalist profiles

It's time for you to choose GCM's Most Valuable Technician, which is being presented in partnership with Foley United.

Please review the information below on each of the finalists and vote for the one you feel most deserves the title of 2013 Most Valuable Technician. Look for the winner to be announced in the Insider: Shop column in a summer issue of GCM. Voting closes May 31.

Finalist No. 1:
Wesley Coots
Redstone Golf Club, Humble, Texas

Routinely named by professional golfers as one of the best-conditioned stops on the PGA Tour for the Shell Houston Open, Redstone Golf Club just outside of Houston counts on every member of its large staff to help maintain that reputation on a daily basis. And according to GCSAA Class A superintendent Randy Samoff, no one plays a larger role in that success than the club's equipment technician, Wesley Coots. "He is simply the best in the business. He has an extreme passion for making our facility the best it can be and is always ahead and trying to get better."

Coots is an accomplished welder and has used those fabrication skills to help keep equipment up and running as efficiently as possible. When new parts are needed, he utilizes a systemic, online approach to cataloging and ordering parts to make the best use of his budget, according to Samoff. Coots has been a mentor to many assistant technicians and assistant superintendents at Redstone "to try and help them understand their job and do it more effectively."

Read Wesley Coots' nomination (PDF) »

Vote for Wesley Coots »


Finalist No. 2
Brian Heywood
The Valley Club, Hailey, Idaho

Heywood brings a varied and extensive background in golf to his job at this 27-hole resort facility tucked in the mountains of central Idaho, right at the doorstep of the Boise National Forest. A longtime certified golf course superintendent with more that 30 years in the business, Heywood made the full-time transition into the shop after economic reasons cost him an earlier superintendent's position, and he's embraced it fully. Gerald Flaherty, CGCS, who nominated Heywood for the MVT, says Heywood brings a keen agronomic eye to his job as a technician. He's also become an unofficial IT person for the club, networking all five shop computers together and setting up a 70-inch monitor in the shop that is used to display daily work assignments and to showcase training videos for staff.

Heywood holds bachelor's degrees in two disciplines horticulture and business and has undergone manufacturer training with all three major equipment companies. He manages an immaculate shop with the help of online parts systems, and has a solid shop safety program that conforms with all applicable OSHA regulations. That background in business comes in handy in his management of his part of The Valley Club's maintenance budget, and Flaherty says Heywood quickly emerged as a team leader. "He has the ability to anticipate what needs to be done before I can ask him. He is pleasant to be around, which creates a happy work environment."

Read Brian Heywood's nomination »

Vote for Brian Heywood »


Finalist No. 3
Tim Johnson
Arrowhead Golf Club, Wheaton, Ill., and Geneve (Ill.) Golf Club

You'd think that Johnson would have enough on his plate managing the large fleet of equipment needed to maintain the 27 holes of golf at Arrowhead Golf Club, located in the western suburbs of Chicago. But after putting in a full shift at that club, Johnson then turns his attention to the 50 pieces of equipment in the fleet at Geneva Golf Club, a 113-year-old, nine-hole tract. "Tim isn't just a great technician, though," says Justin Kirtland, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Arrowhead who nominated him for the award. "He is also a devoted husband, father, brother, uncle and friend to many."

Johnson has been an active member of his local Turf Equipment Technicians Association (TETA), serving long stints as both the group's president and vice president. He also serves on Arrowhead's "Green Team," which focuses on establishing environmentally friendly practices such as the recycling of paper, cans, bottles, plastics, oils and metals. Kirtland also lauded Johnson's day-to-day performance in the shop and his ability to keep equipment downtime to an absolute minimum. "(He) even helps out on the course, when needed," Kirtland says.

Read Tim Johnson's nomination »

Vote for Tim Johnson »

 


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