How did you get into the sports turf industry?
I’ve really been landscaping my entire life. When I was growing up, my stepdad maintained community gardens around Pittsburgh. I would help out and that was really how it started. After getting out of high school, I moved to California and started working in the golf industry; which I worked in for the next ten years. I was fortunate in the fact that I had the opportunity to work at some pretty nice, high end courses.
I kind of got burned out on golf course maintenance and wanted to work on the construction side because I wanted to actually build things. At this point I was living in Michigan. I started working at a big landscape construction company in the western part of Michigan, coordinating three landscape crews before starting the athletic fields group. From that, I met a DuraEdge rep, Jim Bogart, who introduced me to Mike Robinson of Homefield. Being from Pennsylvania, when the opportunity to work for the best ballfield company out there and move back near my parents, I was happy to take it.
Did you have any mentors in the industry?
I would say Mike Robinson from Homefield. Before I had met Mike, I was just learning the infield dirt portion of baseball and softball fields. When I first got the laser grader, he always took the time to answer my questions and I would work some jobs with him and his guys when I was learning.
What are your favorite parts of your job?
It’s pretty nice to go out to a field that needs help and walk away knowing they are ready to go. Seeing the field looking the way it should, playing the way it should. Then driving by a field years later and seeing it being played on. That’s pretty gratifying.
We also get to work at some really cool venues around the country. That was a big draw for me to take this job. I very much enjoy working on the high school and little league fields as well, but those bigger jobs are much less frequent. I’ve gotten to work on some of those big time jobs and see some beautiful ballparks.
What are the biggest challenges in your line of work?
Weather is probably the biggest thing we have to deal with. So much of our work is dependent on the weather and sometimes it can be frustrating.
Being on the road can also be challenging. It can be hard being away from my wife and family and living in motels. I spent at least one hundred and forty days on the road last year.
What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?
I love spending time outdoors. I really enjoy hunting, fishing and hiking. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and dog at our house in Polk, PA. We live out in the woods with a lot of room to roam around. I enjoy riding the four wheeler around there and being around the wildlife.
About DuraEdge Products
Based in Grove City, PA, DuraEdge Products specializes in the production of top-quality products and services for the baseball and softball industry to provide long-term soil solutions, and to cover all the bases for safe and playable infields for the Sports Turf Industry across the United States and abroad.