Sustainability in Golf: SPEAKER BIOS

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett is the owner/operator of i2recycle, a commercial recycled waste management and consulting company that provides service to the Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort, and Ridgeland, SC areas. With Mike’s leadership, i2recycle has successfully implemented cost effective solutions for businesses of all sizes to optimize their recycled waste output and minimize their environmental impact. Its clients include Pratt Industries, Sea Pines Resort, Sonesta Resort, Fresh Market and more. In support of Mike’s passion and commitment to sustainable community development, i2recycle contributes to fundraising efforts for local nonprofit organizations including Experience Green and the Boys and Girls Club with collection campaigns for recyclables. In 2012, i2Recycle assisted Experience Green achieve the first Zero Waste event in Beaufort County at the Earth Day Celebration that had more than 900 attendees. Mike serves as member of the Sustainability Advisory Committee for Hilton Head Island, and is a member of the Experience Green board of directors. Prior to creating i2recycle He previously served as General Manager of Signature Flight Support Savannah and Hilton Head Island. In this role he was responsible for overseeing general aviation operations, company business strategy and initiatives, and lead the development of Signature’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs. The CSR programs included facility energy and water management, solid/recycled waste management and monitoring, and “Good Neighbor” community involvement initiatives.

Bob Farren

Bob Farren, CGCS

As the Director of Golf and Maintenance at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, Bob and his team maintain courses that host more than 200,000 resort and member rounds each year, in addition to many championship events. The Pinehurst Resort is home to nine courses including the Donald Ross classic Pinehurst No. 2. In his three-decade career at Pinehurst, Bob has managed course conditions for some of the world’s greatest golf championships including the U.S. Amateur Championship, the Senior Open, The TOUR Championship, and three U.S. Open Championships. Most recently, Bob and his team received accolades from players, the USGA and international media for the incredible course conditions maintained throughout the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships, which were held on Pinehurst No. 2 in back-to-back weeks in 2014. The new “look” of the course has received international media attention, and provided a platform to speak on sustainability issues such as water conservation, labor efficiency, irrigation, design, playability and more. Bob is very active in the golf industry and has served on numerous GCSAA Committees, the USGA Green Section Committee, and the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG). He has been a GCSAA Certified Superintendent since 1985, has served as an officer for the Musser Turfgrass Foundation, and received the prestigious President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship in 2007. When he’s not on or around the course, Bob enjoys spending time with his family and tailgating at N.C. State football games.

Glenn Gray

Glenn Gray

As a PR Manager with Buffalo Communications, a division of Billy Casper Golf, Glenn works closely with a variety of golf industry, resort and destination clients across the U.S. including the World Golf Foundation, Sports Turf Managers Association, Hilton Head Golf Island, PGA Village, Half Moon Bay Golf Links and others. In his current role, his responsibilities include strategy development and oversight of program execution within the company's sport and golf resort divisions. He also directs on-boarding new client-partners and assists with opportunities for Buffalo category growth. For the last three years, Glenn has lead the PR and digital charge for WE ARE GOLF’s “National Golf Day” on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The 2014 event reached 233 million people through media placements and eclipsed 16 million social media impressions through the #NGD14 campaign, up 7.2 million from the previous year. In 2014, Glenn was named to Sport Launch Magazine’s “Thirty Under 30” List, and he speaks often to groups about leading social media channels and how to develop, implement and measure unique content and communications to increase effectiveness and success. Glenn’s prior work experience in the sports industry includes positions with Nike Soccer, Octagon Athletes & Personalities and Junior Sports Corporation. As a resident of Arlington, Va., Gray received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, Va.) in 2007, and a master’s degree in sports leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Va.) in 2008. Glenn holds a United States Soccer Federation National “A” coaching license and oversees two travel age groups for Alexandria Soccer Association.

Josh Heptig

Josh Heptig, GCS

San Luis Obispo, CA has a history of "first in the world" projects, such as "the Motel Inn", "SLO Farmers Market”, or the first in the nation "indoor smoking ban", which have been a source of pride for local citizens and reproduced around the globe. Josh took the idea of Zero Waste and achieved it as another first for the County of San Luis Obispo at the Dairy Creek Golf Course, and it was the first in the world to achieve this status. Zero Waste golf courses are ones at which course wastes, including food wastes, are reduced, recycled or reused to their highest potential. The project also educates the public about how a system can be created for a golf course, at home, school or work. The course is composting or re-using all food waste and green waste as fertility and soil enhancing products in the form of compost or compost tea, with the goal of reducing water usage, inorganic fertility, and pesticide reduction or elimination. It is the first Zero Waste golf course in the world, and has been a “pilot” program that is attracting global attention from golf and environmental enthusiasts, eco-tourists and others who are interested in emerging sustainable practices. In his role as Director of Golf Operations, Josh oversees Morro Bay, Dairy Creek and Chalk Mountain golf courses for the County. His interest in golf started at a municipal golf course in Kansas when he was a cart attendant and then later a pro shop attendant. He holds a degree in golf course management from Kansas State University, and has honed his skills as a steward of golf courses throughout the Midwest. Josh believes that a superintendent has the ultimate stewardship responsibility - to leave the environment in the same if not better condition than you found it.

Angela Kakabeeke


Angela Kakabeeke is president of DALSEGO, an indie company providing training and education in genuine sustainable practices for businesses, organizations, and individuals. She is a writer, photo journalist and Earthkeeper. As a writer, Angela's company published a series of her co-authored children's books promoting sustainable practices. The themes are about each one's responsibility, as Earthkeepers, to take care of water, land, air, nature and mankind and profitability. She assists with special projects such as the Sustainability in Golf effort to help advance positive culture change through sustainable business and living practices; Angela’s role at the 2014 event is as Special Events Manager. She received her Master’s Degree in Sustainable Practices from Lipscomb University’s Institute for Sustainable Practice in Nashville, TN. She is an ambassador for sustainable practices to include people, profitability, and care for the earth, and is passionate about integrated practices that impact the bottom line for prosperity, but also looks for ways for the good of the earth to be in harmony and align with the needs of businesses, organizations, and individuals.

Dana Lonn


As the Managing Director for the Center for Advanced Turf Technology at The Toro Company, Dana has been a valuable resource in Product Engineering, Computer Aided Engineering and Manager of Advanced Engineering. He joined the Toro team in 1974, and in his current role he is responsible for leading a corporate research and development group working on what the next generation of product is, and how to apply leading technologies to our markets. The Center for Advanced Turf Technology (CATT) team was established in 1998 to develop innovative solutions to customer problems, and environmentally-friendly technologies for customers in the professional turf markets including golf, sports fields, grounds and landscape maintenance. The group’s mission is to work with customers, academic leaders and industry experts to develop solutions that could emerge as breakthrough products. CATT has been influential in areas including water management, alternative fuels and labor productivity. Dana has worked on a wide variety of Toro commercial, residential and irrigation products, and he holds 10 US patents. Dana attended the U of M - Twin Cities Campus where he earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, graduating with High Distinction. He continued his Post Grad at the U of M as an Institute of Technology Corporate Fellow earning a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, graduating with High Distinction. Dana is active in the his profession and the industry, Member American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and Member of the Golf Course Superintendents of America.

Greg Martin


With more than 25 years of Golf Course Architecture experience, Greg has worked on projects from renovation, remodeling, and new construction for public, private, daily fee and residential golf course communities to golf facility feasibility, site analysis, land planning and master improvement planning. His scope spans more than 100 projects in 8 states and internationally. As a Landscape Architecture graduate of Iowa State University in 1983, Greg joined William James Spear & Associates in 1985, and went on to found the Golf Course Design Division at the Ives/Ryan Group, developing plans for numerous residential golf course communities throughout the Chicago region. In 1991 he formed Martin Design Partnership, Ltd. in Batavia, Illinois, where his role as President focuses on playability and environmental sustainability using classic design themes. Greg has traveled to Ireland, Scotland and across the US studying and playing many of the most revered and distinguished golf links. These courses have inspired and contributed to Greg’s understanding of golf’s history, origin and his evolving design philosophy. He has been a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects since 2006, served on the Executive Committee since 2012 and will serve as the President of the ASGCA in 2016. Greg is also a member of the Midwest Association of Golf Course Superintendents, The American Society of Landscape Architects, and the United States Golf Association, and serves as a Board Member of the First Tee of Fox River Valley. He has shared his expertise on golf course architecture at Association Meetings, regional meetings for planning agencies and Golf Course Superintendents Association annual meetings.

Walt Osborne


Since 1989, Walt has held market development, key account manager and technical sales positions for Syngenta, a world-leading agri-business committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. His current role is as Key Account Manager for Golf, Turf and Landscape with multi-course operations and national golf accounts. Walt is passionate about sustainability efforts that make good business sense and that contribute to the long term vitality of the environment. Syngenta’s EcoMeasure tool helps golf courses document and analyze inputs to reduce their overall carbon footprint, it evaluates the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the earth’s atmosphere during a course’s normal daily operations. It is a joint effort with Marriott Golf, and along with the Operation Pollinator program to promote environmental sustainability. Prior to joining the Syngenta team, Walt served as a technical service advisor in Northern Field Crops. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in agronomy, and is currently responsible for the implementation of marketing plans with national golf accounts, the delivery of technologies for golf course turf management, and maintaining clear lines of communication with customers.

William Paddock


William offers a unique blend of business and environmental insights as a consultant that compliment his decade of environmental affairs experience, and he has become a trusted leader as a sustainability expert for government, academic and corporate entities. His work focus utilizes internationally recognized measurement methods to assess impacts and develop successful programs and initiatives to advance the sustainability of an organization whether through its environmental impacts, brand and imaging, product/supply lifecycle, or employee engagement, as well as economic benefits associated with cost savings through increased efficiency. William’s corporate experience includes projects for The Kroger Company, Walmart, M&M Mars, HCA, Stanton Chase International, Komatsu, Patagonia, Merck and more. In the public sector, he has worked with the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. EPA, the University of Alabama, the City of Cookeville, Tennessee, City of Prescott Arizona, City of Durango Colorado, City of Taos New Mexico, and more. In his role as director at WAP Sustainability, William is currently working with Experience Green to conduct a Baseline Sustainability Assessment of Hilton Head Island, measuring where the community is according to specific indicators, to determine where it might go to advance long term sustainability. In partnership with Sustainable Solutions, William is also working on a Sustainability Assessment for Bear Creek Golf Club on Hilton Head Island, an important baseline evaluation to assess opportunities for cost savings and reduced environmental impact. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Environmental Science and an MBA from The Institute for Sustainable Practice at Lipscomb University. In 2009, William became a graduate of the Environmental Leadership Institute and serves on the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Green Jobs Task Force, Tennessee Sustainability Roundtable and as the Chairman of the Tennessee Green Business Awards Committee. He is also a Trained Climate Presenter for Al Gore's, The Climate Project, and is an adjunct professor of Advanced Sustainable Enterprise at the Institute for Sustainable Practice and is the founder and executive director of the Center for Sustainable Business in Nashville, TN.

Andy Staples


Trained as a Landscape Architect, Andy is an industry leader in sustainable practices for golf course development with more than 17 years of experience designing, building and managing golf courses with the focus on energy and water efficiency programs to not only reduce environmental impact, but to also reduce costs. He is the Principal Architect and managing partner of Andy Staples Golf and The Golf Resource Group, a Scottsdale Arizona-based golf design and development company. His portfolio includes more than 125 projects around the world that show attractive, verifiable financial returns on investment. His work includes design of the nationally acclaimed Golf Club at Sand Hollow Resort (named by Golf Week as the #1 course in the state of Utah), creation of the country’s first energy efficiency program for golf course developments, and numerous Golf Course Master Planning projects including the Fayetteville Country Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas, an original 1927 Perry Maxwell design. Andy’s design experiences have taken him around the globe to Canada, Japan, China, Europe, and throughout the U.S., and has contributed to projects that have played host to the PGA Tour (La Quinta Country Club, CA), the LPGA (Blackhawk Country Club, CA).  Andy holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and has an extended degree from Denmark’s International Studies Program in Copenhagen, focusing his studies on urban planning and design. He was recently inducted into the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) as an associate member, the most prestigious governing body in that profession. He has also been a member of GCSAA since 1999 and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) since 2000. Andy lectures often about sustainable golf design and management on national platforms including the Golf Industry Show, local chapters of the GCSAA and the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mike Tinkey


As Deputy CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association, Mike is active in the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, directing the Association¹s technology initiatives, and is responsible for developing business relationships with suppliers to the golf industry. Mike is also instrumental with the NGCOA initiatives with multi-course owners. As a member of the communications committee for the WE ARE GOLF initiative, he serves as an ambassador to promote the game of golf and its benefits, and speaks often on golf industry issues, trends, marketing, distribution, and business development. Mike’s previous roles include golf course operator in the capacity of Chief Operating Officer and president of several coastal resorts in South Carolina, as well as president of the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association and the Low Country Golf Course Owners Association. Mike has also served on a number of advisory and elective boards at the state and national level in golf, hospitality and tourism industries.

Teresa Wade


As the founder and executive director for Experience Green, Teresa is considered a leader and ambassador for sustainability initiatives in the Lowcountry region and the US golf industry. She is a "concept to completion" thinker and doer with a passion for helping organizations and individuals “leave the right impression” on the natural and business environment. Since 2010, Teresa has lead Experience Green’s efforts to host the first Sustainability in Golf symposium in the US in 2013, the first Earth Day Celebration on Hilton Head Island in 2011, many other education offerings, and she has been the driving force to develop and launch a Baseline Sustainability Assessment for Hilton Head Island to measure current impacts, and plan for how to ensure resource availability and decrease environmental impact. Teresa has been a catalyst for collaboration and engagement across diverse stakeholder groups, including private entities, civic groups, government and citizens. She was tapped to chair the Sustainability Advisory Committee for Hilton Head Island by the Greater Island Council, and recently served in the Branch Leadership Group for the USGBC Savannah Branch. She is also managing principal of Sustainable Solutions, a consultancy that focuses on corporate sustainability, with a strong focus on the golf industry. Her professional portfolio includes work with organizations such as Bear Creek Golf Club, Gulfstream Aerospace, the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the Hilton Head Island Institute, and the Middle TN Chapter U.S. Green Building Council. She holds an MBA from Belmont University with a focus in marketing and negotiations, and a Certification of Graduate Studies in Sustainability from the Institute for Sustainable Practice at Lipscomb University. Teresa is a Tennessee Rule 31 Business Mediator Candidate, and speaks often to civic groups, communities and professional golf organizations on the topic of sustainability. Teresa is a member of the NGCOA, GCSAA and CGCSA, is originally from Stone Mountain, GA, lived in Nashville, TN for fifteen years where she was in the commercial music business before relocating to Hilton Head Island in 2010.

Tony Wartko


As the Facilities Director at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, SC, Tony is responsible for maintenance, landscaping and janitorial needs that include energy and water management, recycling and sustainability initiatives. His responsibilities span various facility types, including the four-star Inn at Harbour Town, five restaurants, three golf courses, conference and fitness centers, beach club, Welcome Center and more. The Sea Pines Resort team’s multi-pronged sustainability efforts include water reuse and filtering projects, and commodity mining. In 2013, the effort diverted 215 tons of solid waste from the landfill (101 tons of cardboard, 81 tons of single of aluminum/plastic/glass, 4.3 tons of oyster shells, and 1.3 tons of coffee grounds. Tony’s innovative practices include waste food processing using vermin-culture and dehydration. Over the last five years, trash hauling costs have been reduced from $205k to less $100k annually. Tony comes to facilities management via a career in manufacturing at companies including Gulfstream Aerospace and Cargill, Inc., where he applied his training in engineering to streamline production, optimize resource use, and develop environmentally compatible waste disposal systems. A native of Ohio, Tony received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Southern Illinois University. He is also a LEED Green Associate and holds a certificate in Community Management.

Anthony Williams


As the Director of Grounds at Stone Mountain Golf Club, Anthony is considered a leading authority on Environomics. He is a 28+ Year veteran manager with Marriott International receiving Marriott’s highest honor the J.W. Marriott Award of Excellence in 2008 and is a two time winner of Marriott Golf’s Grounds Manager of the Year award. He has developed and sustained cutting edge environmental programs for golf courses and hotels throughout his career. He was the 2006 National Public and Overall winner of the Environmental Leaders in Golf Contest and was selected as the 2010 honoree of the GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship. He was also the recipient of the GCSAA 2014 Excellence in Government Relations Award for his role in water conservation policies in Georgia.

A sought after writer and speaker Anthony was recognized by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association as the 2011 Environmental Communicator of the Year. The American Hotel and Lodging Association acknowledged his work at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort by selecting Evergreen as their 2010 National “Good Earth Keeping” award winner. He is currently the Environmental Editor for Golfdom magazine and is involved in numerous environmental, service and philanthropic activities. Anthony is also a 9th degree Black Belt, Founder of the Cornerstone Martial Arts Society and 2001 inductee into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame. His first environmental book, The Environmental Stewardship Toolkit was released at the 2012 Golf Industry Show by John Wiley and Sons publishing.