PGMS Presents 2023 Awards to Grounds and Business Professionals11-10-23 | Association News

PGMS Presents 2023 Awards to Grounds and Business Professionals

GMS Gold Medal Award Presented
by Staff

PGMS honored several professionals including Brandon Haley, Joe Kovolyan, and Michael Goatley, PhD.

The Professional Grounds Management Society?(R)(PGMS?(R)) honored several grounds professionals with awards as part of its 2023 Annual Awards Celebration that took place Thursday, October 19 in conjunction with the Annual Conference "Transform" & Equip Expo in Louisville, KY, Oct. 17 - 20.


PGMS recognized Michael Goatley, PhD of Virginia Tech University with the PGMS Gold Medal Award. The PGMS Gold Medal is given to an individual or entity to recognize them for outstanding and long-term achievements and/or contributions to the green industry. The Society recognized Dr. Goatley's dedication to the Green Industry and mentorship of future industry leaders. Starting his career with degrees in Argronomy and Crop Science and earning his PhD in Crop Science he now develops and delivers current educational and outreach programs to all segments of the turfgrass industry. A large portion of his professional time has been devoted to outreach in the area of urban nutrient management and he was instrumental in the development of the first-ever urban nutrient management planning certification and testing program. He is a very active advisor and participant in the Master Gardener Volunteer program, devoted to urban water quality protection called Healthy Virginia Lawns. He has authored books, including multiple editions of Sports Field: Design, Construction, and Maintenance, and has been published in numerous industry journals. PGMS is proud to recognize his profound influence on the industry's future by laying the groundwork for the success and innovation of tomorrow's leaders through education and professional development.

The Special Award of Distinguished Service recognizes outstanding service from a board or committee member that goes above and beyond what is expected. Joe Kovolyan, CGM of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee has served as President of the Society, with ten years of service on the national board, represented PGMS on the GIE Committee for several years and emceed the Annual Awards Program. He was the Northwest Regional Director and helped to develop the first branch in the Northwest Region. He has also been involved in the Green Star Awards and helped to develop the Society's 2017 compensation survey. Kovolyan became the 163rd grounds professional to receive PGMS' Certified Grounds Manager (CGM?(R)) designation.

Each year the PGMS President is asked to give a President's Award to a member they feel have shown outstanding service and contributions to the Society. This year, President Bruce DeVrou, CGM honored Brandon Haley, CGM of SSC Services for Education in Moody, Alabama. Haley was recognized for being active in the Society at both the local and at the national level. He has served as the Certification Chair and was instrumental in leading updates to the format of the Certified Grounds Manager Application exam. He actively promotes the benefits of certification and PGMS membership, was the Georgia Branch President, has been a Green Star Awards?(R) judge, has spoken at both the Annual Conference and presented webinars. He serves as a member of the Education committee, has been Southeast Regional Director and is currently a Director at Large on the National Board.