Industry News

12 GCSAA members of diverse backgrounds won trip to 2020 Golf Industry Show

Bayer grant program has provided funding for superintendents to attend GIS since 2004

Lawrence, Kan. (March 10, 2020) – For more than a decade, the Bayer Superintendent Grant Program has offered members of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) the opportunity to attend the annual Golf Industry Show. For the 2020 GIS, Bayer focused on advocating and supporting diversity and inclusion among applicants. They increased their support by sending 12 superintendents – up two from previous years due to the high quality of applications.

Winners of Bayer Superintendent Grants for 2020 include:

· Christopher Allen, superintendent at Eagle Lakes Golf Club, Naples, Fla.

· George Chavez, superintendent at Pelham Bay Split Rock Golf Course, New Rochelle, N.Y.

· Renee D. Geyer, superintendent at Firestone Country Club, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

· Scott Hampton, superintendent at Greenwood Country Club, Greenwood, Miss.

· Jeff Hansen, superintendent at Squaw Valley Golf Course, Glen Rose, Tex.

· Shaun Kerr, superintendent at Gates Four Golf and Country Club, Fayetteville, N.C.

· Kelly Kuchelmeister, superintendent at Rockford Park District Sinnissippi Park Golf Course, Loves Park, Ill.

· Christopher Lewis, superintendent at Oak Valley Golf Course and Resort, Pevely, Mo.

· Victor Manuel Morales- Rios, superintendent at City of Ann Arbor Golf Courses, Ann Arbor, Mich.

· Ross Niewola, superintendent at The Madison Club, Indian Wells, Calif.

· Samuel G. Orozco, superintendent at Reeves Country Golf Courses, Pecos, Tex.

· Jeffrey Yarborough, superintendent at Stonehouse Golf Club, Hampton, Va.

The winners’ trips are funded by the Bayer Superintendent Grant Program, offered since 2004 through Bayer Environmental Science (a business unit of Bayer CropScience Inc.). The grants are awarded by the EIFG, the philanthropic organization of GCSAA.

“We are grateful to Bayer for increasing the number of winners and extending their support to superintendents who bring new ideas and capabilities to the profession,” said Rhett Evans, CEO of GCSAA. “Bayer has been a strong supporter of GCSAA and we are appreciative of their efforts this year to bring attention to the diversity of our membership and to select those who may often be underrepresented to come to GIS.”

The grant program underwrote the total cost for the superintendents who attended the Golf Industry Show, Jan. 25-30 in Orlando. The superintendents received airfare, hotel accommodations for five nights, full conference registration, registration for two education seminars and $200 spending money.

“As a Top 50 diversity employer in the U.S., Bayer is dedicated to diversity and inclusion within our own organization, and in the industries we support,” said Mike Hirvela, customer marketing manager, golf. “These applications demonstrated each individual’s commitment and action in advocating for individual differences, life experiences, and unique perspectives that are needed in golf.”

GCSAA logo

About GCSAA and the EIFG
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 19,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at

The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Angela Hartmann
Director, Marketing and Communications
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 3647 or 785-393-1361 (cell)

Mike Strauss
Manager, Media Relations
Phone: 800-472-7878, ext. 5146