How did you get into the sports turf industry?
I started out on the residential landscaping side of things. Through working in landscaping, I was introduced to a local sod company and another company in sports turf. What really got me started was job shadowing them to start learning that world. I eventually worked my way into getting onto sports fields through that experience. In 2010, I worked with Ballingham Golf & Turf on the Salt Lakes Bees field here in Utah. That’s where I was introduced to DuraEdge and shortly after, bought my first laser grader.
Did you have any mentors in the industry?
Ryan Kaspitzke, was the head guy at the Salt Lake Bees when I first worked on that job. He was the guy who really got me interested in working on baseball and softball fields. He and another Salt Lake Bee groundskeeper, Brian Soukup. Ryan helped connect me to people to learn more about sports field construction.
Gary Ballingham was another person that taught me about the grass side of things. My prior experience with general construction and landscaping helped lay the foundation and those guys really helped narrow down my focus on the sports fields construction.
What are your favorite parts of your job?
Definitely interacting with the people. I really enjoy going to see the new stadiums and fields as well. Being an ex-ballplayer, being on the field is something I still gravitate to. Making these fields look nice, safe and playable is the most gratifying part of my job. I love helping be a part of that.
What are the biggest challenges in your line of work?
We don’t nearly have as many weather issues as our Homefield brothers do on the east side of the country. Some of our winter weather can make things challenging here, but overall it’s only for a short period of time. For us, logistically getting to some of the places can be the toughest thing. We are based out of Ogden, UT which is near Salt Lake City. So, a lot of our jobs in California and Texas are physically a long distance away. Also, making sure we can do what we need to do to make a field play the way it should within a budget can be a challenge. But, we pride ourselves in doing our best to work with budgets we are given and provide them a much improved playing surface.
What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?
Spending time with my daughters and doing softball stuff. Both of my daughters are involved with softball and I try to help out as much as I can. Also, I enjoy golfing and hanging out with friends. A lot of my friends are in this company now with how much time we spend together. So, even though I travel a lot, it’s good to be able to work with people I like to spend time with.
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.