SportsField Management Associate Publisher Stacy Allen chats with Ray Krebs from Newstripe (far left) and Dale Forester from Whitlam Paint.

Over 1,600 sports field industry professionals descended on San Antonio January 21-25 for the 25th annual STMA Conference and Exhibition. Despite a minor ice storm, attendance was excellent, with professionals from eight different countries gathering to network, earn education credits and check out everything on display on the trade show floor. In case you missed any of it, here’s a look at some of the highlights from this year’s show.

Student Challenge Results

The 2014 Student Challenge, presented by SAFE and Hunter Industries, consisted of 10 two-year teams and 21 four-year teams competing for $4,000 awards in each division.

Winning the two-year competition was Mt. San Antonio College (Team 202). Kirkwood Community College (Team 201) took second place, and tied for third were Kirkwood Community College (Team 204 ) and Mt. San Antonio College (Team 209).

The winner of the four-year competition was University of Maryland (Team 410). In second place was Virginia Tech University (Team 412), and Purdue University (Team 419) and Colorado State University (Team 402) tied for third. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Attendees take in a seminar on sustainability, player safety and performance testing presented by Gerald Henry and Chase Straw from the University of Georgia.

SAFE Foundation Raises Funds

SAFE, the STMA’s charitable foundation, raised over $30,000 at the conference through its golf tournament at The Republic Golf Club; “Casino Night,” which had close to 70 players; and silent and live auctions throughout the week. Proceeds benefit educational programs, scholarships and grants with the goal of enriching communities through safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields for all athletes.

The Show by the Numbers

Amount raised through SAFE fundraisers – $30,000

Attendees at the show – 1,600

Trade show exhibitors – 164

Participants in the Student Challenge Cup – 100

Conference tracks – 11

Members receiving Founders Awards – 4

The trade show floor offered attendees a chance to check out the latest products and equipment in the field care market.

Founders Awards Presented

The Founders Awards, the association’s most prestigious awards, were presented to four members who embody the characteristics of STMA Founders George Toma, Harry C. Gill, Dick Ericson and Dr. William Daniel. This year’s award winners who were honored at the annual banquet were Rich Watson (Dick Ericson Founders Award), Matt Tobin (George Toma Golden Rake), Dr. Brad Fresenberg (Dr. William H. Daniel Founders Award) and Willis “Bucky” Trotter (Harry C. Gill Founders Award).