The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has announced that David Davis of Winston-Salem, N.C. has become the 142nd grounds management professional to successfully complete its Certified Grounds Manager (CGM) program.
Davis currently serves as the associate director of Landscaping Services at Wake Forest University. PGMS recently spent a few moments getting to know David, who has been a PGMS member since 2010.
PGMS: Why did you want to become a CGM?
Davis: After speaking to several CGMs and attending PGMS conferences in Louisville I could see that this isn’t just another certification to hang on the wall but rather a well earned certification, judged by top industry professionals and peers. I could also see the immediate usefulness of the process.
PGMS: How has the CGM program helped you further your career?
Davis: We should never need to quit learning or allow ourselves to become complacent. The certification exercises forced me to reevaluate my processes and sites. The information learned gave me valuable insight into strengths and weaknesses and has helped me to better plan for the future. For example I had been maintaining one property for less than a year and didn’t really have complete site information when I began the CGM exam. The site analysis verified suspicions that we were understaffed at that location. This is information I can use.
PGMS: What advice do you have for aspiring CGMs?
Davis: Simply get started. Its like climbing that proverbial mountain one step at a time. Something I didn’t do but I would suggest is to start in the PowerPoint format from the beginning. This will save time as the project is compiled. It’s also motivating to see your work displayed in such a visually pleasing format. Another benefit is you’ll see gaps in your photographic record before the end. The photograph you need will be difficult to get out of season.
PGMS: What challenges have you faced in your professional career that helped you through the process?
Davis: The exam is so comprehensive all of my 28 years of experience helped me to prepare. I can tell you I wouldn’t have been able to do it right out of college. Over the years I’ve had several occasions in which I’ve had to ask for money, equipment or manpower. These situations have led me to use many of the tools and exercises I used in the Site Management and Budgeting and Finances part of the program to justify these needs. So it was particularly helpful that I had experience in these areas.
PGMS: How has working in a southern climate helped you to prepare for the CGM program?
Davis: Since challenges are what prepare us for the future I’d have to say it’s managing turfgrass. Located in Piedmont, North Carolina, we’re in the transition zone between cool-season and warm season-grasses.This means conditions aren’t really optimum for either type. Some years are down right lousy for maintaining turf. With global warming, weather patterns and related pest problems seem to be evolving faster than I can ever remember. Keeping up to pace with these changes is imperative. Working in the landscape industry has taught me to adapt to ever changing conditions.