STMA recently hosted its 28th annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. with more than 175 exhibitors and a record 1,300 attendees from 18 countries.
The four-day event was highlighted by the “Seminar on Wheels Tours” at various professional, collegiate and youth sports complexes in the Orlando region. In addition, attendees took part in more than 60 educational sessions, visited sports turf exhibits, networked with academics and participated in association business.
SAFE, the association’s charitable foundation, raised more than $45,000 during the Conference through its Jan. 24 golf tournament, “Night of Bowling” and silent and live auctions throughout the week. SAFE recognizes scholarship and grant winners during the annual awards banquet. A highlight was a presentation of the Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant, which was presented to Nicholas Lievense, Purdue University, by Terry’s brother, David Mellor, Boston Red Sox. Terry passed away as a young man. SAFE has awarded the grant since 2009. Proceeds from SAFE’s fundraising benefit educational programs, scholarships and grants with the goal of enriching communities through safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.
Laura Katen, President of Katen Consulting, provided a keynote address on Jan. 26 to the STMA membership. She discussed the topic of professionalism, and how communication at an individual and organizational level influences how you are perceived by your peers, employer and community.
Next year’s event will be held in Fort Worth, Texas Jan. 16-19. Additional future sites include Phoenix, Ariz. (2019) and West Palm Beach, Fla. (2020).