Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Member takes on golf advocacy in New York

Among the attendees at the CNYGCSA August meeting was Ian Daniels from Teugega CC in Rome, New York. I had visited Daniels in June and we had discussed his becoming a Grassroots Ambassador, a role which he later accepted. I learned on the Monday of the CNYGCSA event that his visit with Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (R-22 NY), once cancelled, had been rescheduled to the following day. I offered to join Daniels for his visit, and he seemed happy to agree.

It didn’t take long to learn that Tenney was an avid golfer from a family of avid golfers, multiple year club champion (nine years) at nearby Yahnundasis Golf Club, and even one time club champion at Daniels’ own Teugega CC. While much of the meeting revolved around golf and area golfers, Daniels touched on the Grassroots Ambassador program and his role as a resource for the Representative Tenney and staff on issues facing our industry now, and in the future. WOTUS and labor items in Tenney’s leave-behind package were discussed. Both items are important to Tenney and we shed light on the significance of each to GCSAA members near and far. Tenney stated that she was a co-sponsor of a bill which would enable seasonal workers on permits to remain in the U.S. if they could retain employment with another sector in need of seasonal labor. It was a very good visit with a congress member who supports our sport and industry.

Daniels did an excellent job interacting with Rep. Tenney, and will undoubtedly be more effective as he works with the congresswoman and staff moving forward. Soon after the meeting, Daniels followed up with a thank you letter to the Congresswoman and her staff. Rep. Tenney responded with a sincere and thoughtful note remarking on her appreciation for the game of golf, the carefully managed landscapes on which it is played, and the character traits it instills in all who enjoy the game. She was very appreciative of Daniels proactively reaching out to connect and discuss issues important to superintendents and looked forward to future interactions.

And that is precisely why GCSAA’s Grassroots Ambassador program was developed – to establish critical working relationships between superintendents and members of Congress.

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