P1000375rsSports Turf Canada has named Ray Stukas the 2014 Sports Turf Manager of the Year for his professional ability, contribution to the industry, and proactive and progressive efforts within the profession.

"The City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Division has 667 permitted outdoor sports fields under their jurisdiction," Stukas told Canadian Groundskeeper. "You can imagine the number of groundskeepers that contribute to maintaining them. Any recognition of the progress we made this year in upgrading standards must be shared with them. I am proud of this committed team."

Stukas, manager of Parks, Toronto & East York District for the City of Toronto, has more than 30 years of experience in parks operations and maintenance, including turf management involving sports fields. In 2012 and into 2013, he organized the city’s new Outdoor Sports Field Improvement Program, addressing more than 650 sports fields across the city.

“With the leadership and commitment displayed by Ray Stukas in the areas of community consultation, public engagement, and best practice initiatives, among others, we are pleased to honour him as the inaugural Sports Turf Manager of the Year,” said Tennessee Propedo, the association’s president.

The Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) is sponsoring the award to help recognize sports turf managers who exemplify vision and leadership in the sports turf industry.

“The GTI is honoured to partner with Sports Turf Canada in the creation of this award that will help promote and recognize outstanding sports turf managers in Canada,” said Rob Witherspoon, GTI’s director.

The nomination deadline for the 2015 Sports Turf Manager of the Year is Dec. 1, 2014. Visit www.sportsturfcanada.com for more information.