KTC Announces 2017 Conference Speakers

Pat Jones (Moderator for Golf Track)

For three decades, Pat Jones has been known for his insights into the golf and turf business and his candid, tell-it- like-it- is approach. As publisher and editorial director of GIE Media’s Golf Course Industry magazine, Pat runs the leading independent publication in the business and contributes his award-winning “Parting Shots” column each month. He is a prolific writer, blogger and social media commentator and a frequent presenter at regional, national and international turf conferences.

Pat began his career in the industry at GCSAA headquarters, where he oversaw communications, fundraising and lobbying in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He later created and launched Golfdom magazine
before starting his own company, Flagstick LLC, to provide consulting services to golf/turf companies and organizations. He joined GIE Media full-time in 2010 and is a member of the company’s
executive team.

Pat serves on several corporate and non-profit boards, including the Musser Turfgrass Research Foundation. He was elected to the inaugural class of the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association Hall of Fame in 2014. He lives and works in the Cleveland, Ohio, area.

Josh Pope (Golf Track)

Title: “Surviving a natural disaster as a golf course superintendent, from disaster, to rebuild.”

Description: Surviving a natural disaster as a golf course superintendent, from disaster, to rebuild, to hosting a PGA Tour event in a year time span. Will discuss the flooding event of June 23, 2016 here at The Greenbrier and the surrounding community, the rebuild of The Old White TPC, and hosting The Greenbrier Classic come this July 3-9, 2017.


  • Burlington, NC native
  • 16 years in the golf course management industry
  • 2001 Graduate of University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Turfgrass Management
  • Two internships during college:  2000 The Oconee Course at Reynolds Plantation and 2001 Ridgewood Country Club (Paramus, NJ) site of 2001 Senior PGA Championship
  • Upon graduating college went to work for at Oakmont Country Club (Pittsburg, Pa) under John Zimmers (now GCS at Inverness Club) for six years.  On staff for 2003 US Amatuer and 2007 US Open
  • Spent 2 years working with Dick Bator at The International Golf Club in Bolton, MA as an Assistant Superintendent
  • Spent 5 years working for Brett Bentley at Pikewood National Golf Club in Morgantown, WV as an Assistant Superintendent
  • Became the Golf Course Superintendent of The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier in October 2014 and was host Superintendent for the 2015 Greenbrier

Paul Vermeulen (Golf Track)

Title: “Inside the ropes on the PGA TOUR.  A look at course conditioning goals and maintenance practices”.

Description: A look at course conditioning goals and maintenance practices.


  • Currently Vice President Competitions Agronomy, PGA Tour
  • Regional Director for the Mid-Continent Region, Green Section United States Golf Association Education: Michigan State University, Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy, Texas A&M, Master of Science degree in Agronomy
  • An accomplished speaker and facilitator at educational conferences, Paul has also written several turfgrass related articles for various trade magazines.
  • He is a member of GCSAA as well as other professional organizations.

General Session

Pat Jones and Guy Cipriano

Title: “Real World Advise for Twitter and Social Media”

Description: Will cover the do’s and don’t for starting and or managing an effective social media presence, including addressing all questions related to “all things” social media.

Bio: Guy Cipriano is the associate editor of Golf Course Industry magazine. He’s responsible for key content creation, attending industry events, producing podcasts, coordinating website and social media efforts, and editing print and digital editions. Before entering the golf industry, he spent more than a decade as a sports writer, covering college football, professional baseball and all things wrestling. He’s a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association.


Title: “Golf, Sports Turf and Landscape Irrigation Trends – Where things are headed.

Description: Discussion during this presentation will include the following:

  • Irrigation Technology- Cloud Based Controls, HDPE Pipe, Communication solutions, and Sensor Controls advancements
  • Water Resources- Storm Water Harvesting, Water Treatment, Pumping Systems and Filtration Options, Ground Water and Reuse Water development.
  • Challenges of Water Cost, Water Restrictions, Green Codes and Budgeting


  • Founder and President of Irrigation Consultant Services, Inc. created in 1983.
  • Past President of American Society of Irrigation Consultants, Certifications fom the Irrigation Association for Golf Design and a Certified Irrigation Auditor.
  • 25 year member of Golf Course Superintendents Association; this year leading a panel discussion at the Golf Industry Show in Orlando on Golf Irrigation Two Wire Technology.
  • Bob Scott created I.C.S. to give solutions in irrigation design and consultation on projects in golf, sports turf and parks/ recreation in the United States and internationally. The advancement of irrigation water resource development and LEED accredited projects has pushed Bob Scott’ techniques for irrigation design and consultation to the forefront of golf and sports turf irrigation projects. Bob Scott has been involved in state of the art cistern, R/O, and reuse/recycled water treatment water resource projects. Bob Scott/Irrigation Consultant Services was awarded the American Society of Irrigation Consultants award honors for his work in golf on the Cauley Creek Water Reclamation Plant/ Atlanta Athletic Club- Fulton County Georgia, Belmont Golf Club- Bermuda, and Stone Mountain GC-Georgia State Park and Sports Field The Lovett School, Atlanta, Georgia projects.

Currently Bob’ projects include Atlanta Athletic Club water resource development, Carolina Panthers Stadium. Atlanta Falcon Stadium (Home Depot Backyard), Atlanta United FC Training Grounds and CC of Landfall.

Education​: College:  Riverside City College, Riverside, California- AA Degree Criminal
Justice, University of California, Riverside, California- BS Degree Political Science



Dan Bergstrom, CSFM BBVA Compass Stadium

Title: “Oversight and Management of High-End Sports Fields”

Description:  Dan will cover topics ranging from daily maintenance of athletic fields for high-end results, tips and tricks for enhancing fields on low budgets, renovation techniques for grass and skinned areas, and keeping fields in condition for year-round play.

Bio: Dan Bergstrom, CSFM, is a 25+ year veteran of the Sports Turf Industry.  After graduating with a Horticulture/Turfgrass degree from Iowa State University, Dan went on to manage grounds crews and playing fields in the NFL, University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska, Houston Astros, and currently at BBVA Compass Stadium, Home of the Houston Dynamo MLS Club.  Dan is a 20+ year member of STMA, served on the STMA Board of Directors in 2015-2016, and obtained the CSFM status in 2016.  Dan is a Past President of KTC.

Tom Samples, UT Extension Turfgrass Specialist

Title: “Healthy Soils, Better Sports Fields, Fewer Pesticides”

Description: In addition to maintaining nutrient-rich soils, this presentation reinforces the importance of soil texture, structure, organic matter, microorganism activity and drainage.

Bio: Dr. Samples received his Ph.D in Crop Science from Oklahoma State University in 1985. He is an Extension Specialist of turfgrass management. His primary interests are production, establishment and maintenance of turfgrass science and management.

Laith Ross, Senior Principal, PE, LEED AP, rosstarrant architects

  • Synthetic Turf Council
  • Kentucky Turfgrass Council
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • US Green Building Council
  • Kentucky Geotechnical Engineers Group
  • Chief Executives Network

Title: “Fundamentals  of Sports Field Specifications”

Description: Mr. Ross will provide valuable insight on ways to enhance your specifications for the construction of either a natural grass, or synthetic turf Sports Field. Along with a discussion on the types of bids available for such projects, including the pros and cons of each, other topics will also include key components for sections of the bid package. These sections will include, but may not be limited to, the scope/summary, quality assurance, submittals, products, execution, maintenance, and acceptance. When completed, you will have gained a better understanding of how to write, and or review, Sports Field specifications for any future construction projects.  

Bio: Laith is a Senior Principal with RossTarrant Architects, and has over 25 years of experience working as a consulting engineer specializing in athletic facilities, master planning and site design for educational and recreational clients. Laith’s expertise in athletic facility design has led him to be sought out by a wide range of clients including the University of Kentucky, Georgetown College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University and numerous other public and private schools.

Ms. Carla Hagan – EKU, Dr. Greg Munshaw – UK, Dr. Paul Woosley – WKU – Panel Discussion

Title: “Sports Turf in the Region – Past, Present and Trends for the Future”

Description: As the title states, each presenter will discuss trends in Sports Turf based on research, site visits and their participation in the Turf industry over the past years. This session will engage the audience in, and as part of the discussion, about a variety of issues regarding the planning and maintenance of sports fields.