The association’s highest honor, the four Founders Awards are named after pioneers and innovators who had a major impact on the industry. The 2020 honorees are:

  • Bradley Jakubowski, Instructor of Plant Sciences, Penn State – William H. Daniel Award
  • Tim VanLoo, CSFM, D&K Products – George Toma Golden Rake Award
  • Marcus Dean, CSFM, Advanced Turf Solutions – Dick Ericson Award
  • Abby McNeal, CSFM, CPRP, City and County of Denver Parks – Harry C. Gill Award

“These talented individuals exemplify excellence in our field and display a commitment to the profession that is worthy of the four men the awards are named after,” says Jimmy Simpson, CSFM, President of the STMA Board of Directors. “Our association and members are stronger for the examples they have set and the enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication they exude.”

Winners will be honored during the 2021 STMA Conference and Exhibition, which is being held virtually on January 12 and 13. For more information on the conference, please visit:

Additional information on each award:

  • Dick Ericson Award – recognizes a member who effectively manages sports fields and their facility and exhibits the qualities of a true team leader. See a list of current and previous winners.
  • William H. Daniel Award – recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the industry through research, teaching or extension outreach. See a list of current and previous winners.
  • George Toma Golden Rake Award – validates the ‘and then some’ attitude of a sports field member in “on the job” activities and in community service. See a list of current and previous winners.
  • Harry C. Gill Memorial Award – established to honor an individual for their hard work in the sports field industry and to acknowledge their dedication to STMA. See a list of current and previous winners.

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