The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has announced that Gregory Fear of Bowling Green, Ky. has become the 150th grounds management professional to successfully complete its Certified Grounds Manager (CGM) program.
Fear currently serves as the manager of campus services at Sodexo. PGMS recently spent a few moments getting to know Gregory, who has been a PGMS member since 2011.
PGMS: Why did you want to become a CGM?
Fear: Professional development has always been important to my career. You can never rest on what you learned yesterday or experienced today. Preparing for tomorrow’s challenges in our industry is key to being ready to produce a better product or skill set.
PGMS: How has the CGM program helped you further your career?
Fear: By becoming a CGM, I have the capacity to encourage those I work with professionally to raise the bar through continuous improvement. Leading by example, encouraging others to action and supporting our profession through service and volunteerism are the qualities to build a career on.
PGMS: What advice do you have for aspiring CGMs?
Fear: Never stop developing your skills. Create short term goals that cascade into larger career aspirations. By seeking to be a CGM, you are “sharpening the saw” beyond what your education or current career has ask of you. The process is rigorous and detailed but the results will show a dedication to excellence in our field.
PGMS: What challenges have you faced in your professional career that helped you through the process?
Fear: While a Grounds Manager at Western Kentucky University, I challenged myself to become a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional) so as to better understand the implications of a growing sustainability movement in the green industry. Understanding the connections between in-door air quality, natural lighting, sustainable landscaping, waste reduction etc. assisted in my growth as a professional. I also became a CSFM (Certified Sports Field Manager) to hone my skills on an array of athletic scenarios that could expand my career potential. Both of these challenges helped me through the process of becoming a CGM by building confidence, knowledge and skills in an always changing industry.
PGMS: What are your favorite aspects of working in the green industry?
Fear: Some of my fondest memories in this business have been the opportunity to work alongside and mentor young adults and students in this field. Through student engagement projects, green initiatives or simply working with student workers in gardening or recycling, to feel the energy in which these leaders of tomorrow put forward is reward of its own. Sustainability will not just be a trend to the next generation, it will become a lifestyle of caring for precious resources, reducing our impact on the earth and lessening our need for aesthetics purely for aesthetics sake. Having been a Golf Course Superintendent and knowing the impact on resources needed for success, appreciating water harvesting, xeriscaping and drought tolerant plant material is a breath of fresh air.