It’s hard to reach your destination, if you don’t know how to get there. The Mississippi Valley GCSA and GCSA of New Jersey leaders came to the realization that they needed some assistance with their long-range planning. Each chapter had goals they wanted to achieve; they were just challenged on how to accomplish them. Both chapters recently participated in a planning session to help them move forward.
Why is long-range planning important?
“The biggest reason we felt we needed a strategic planning session was that we seemed to be doing the same things over and over, without really thinking about how to improve on them,” said Paul Hurst, vice president of the Mississippi Valley GCSA, and golf course superintendent at the Saint Clair Country Club in Belleville, IL. Roger Stewart Jr., CGCS at the TPC at Jasna Polana in Princeton, NJ, and president of the GCSA of New Jersey, had the same thought. “We had some items we were considering that we never seemed to move forward on – we just kept stirring the pot.”
What happens at a planning session?
GCSAA staff is available to facilitate a planning session with the chapter’s board of directors, executive and other leaders who wish to participate. During the planning session, the chapter follows a process to develop a mission and vision statement. The mission statement helps establish the purpose of the association. The vision statement helps answer the question, “Where do we want to be in the future?”
Chapter leaders then discuss what their members need most, and then begin setting goals and objectives to meet those needs. Equally important is that chapter leaders begin creating strategies and assigning tasks to get both leaders and members involved in achieving the chapter’s goals and objectives.
Pictured: Janet Satterlee, GCSAA senior manager of chapter services,
Mississippi Valley GCSA Board Members: Don Humphrey (board member),
Chad Carpenter (board member), Paul Hurst (vice-president)
and John Soetaert, CGCS (board member).
What are the benefits of having a plan?
Stewart said, “The benefit of having someone from the outside come in and help us identify key issues was very helpful to me. We were able to take those key issues, breaking them down into what we need to handle first, second and so on.”
Outcomes of the planning session and a draft business plan are provided to the chapter as follow-up materials. GCSAA staff follows up with the chapter to monitor how the plan is progressing and may suggest more tools to help ensure the plan is implemented and evolves as members’ needs and the association’s goals change. Chapter boards should evaluate how their plan is progressing at their meetings.
“The realization that things can be done better, and that there is always room for improvement – that was the key lessoned learned for me” Hurst said.
If you would like to participate in a strategic planning
session, please contact Janet Satterlee, senior manager
of chapter services, at 800-472-7878, ext. 3603. GCSAA
covers the facilitator’s travel expenses.
Pictured: GCSA of New Jersey board of directors
Seated-L-R: Bill Murray ( Secretary), Mickey Stachowski ( V-President),
Roger Stewart ( President), Dave Mishkin ( Treasurer).
Standing-L-R: Tim Kerwin, Paul Dotti, Jim Cadott, Jim McNally (voting delegate), Brian Minemier, Joel Collura, Lance Rogers, Mark Griff, Brad Sparta, Chris Boyle
Not pictured: Photographer & board member: Shaun Barry and
Past-President Bruce Peeples
Submitted by: Roger Stewart, Jr., CGCS and Paul Hurst.
To share your chapter's success stories, please email them to Leann Cooper.