The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has announced that Joell Bassett, CGM of Abingdon, Va. has become the 167th grounds management professional to successfully complete its Certified Grounds Manager (CGM) program. Bassett currently serves as the Grounds Manager at Emory and Henry College in Emory, Va.
PGMS: Why did you want to become a CGM?
Bassett: I have been in the green industry for 20 years with diverse experience in all different areas. However, when I accepted the position at Emory & Henry College it was my first time as a grounds manager at a collegiate level. The college encouraged me to join green industry organizations like PGMS and STMA. I began attending tradeshows to both organizations. I quickly became members of each organization. As I attended functions and gained knowledge I knew I wanted to take the next step. After speaking with John Fik, CGM, CSFM, he encouraged me to go for the CGM. This was a long journey and I could not have done it without the mentorship and guidance of Jimmy Viars, CGM and Bob Boeren, CGM.
PGMS: How has the CGM program helped you further your career?
Bassett: All the expectations and documentation that is required to receive the CGM forces you to examine your abilities and duties as a manager at all levels. This process has expanded my thinking from my management style to our policies/procedures to everything in-between. Anyone who wants to further his/her career must be willing to learn, grow, and change. Joining PGMS and seeking the CGM credential is a commitment to grow as an individual and actively seek to be the best grounds manager possible.
PGMS: What do you feel is the biggest challenge green industry professionals are facing today?
Bassett: Finding employees that have a passion and love working in this industry. Financial restrictions limiting the amount of work that can be done but knowing what needs to be done is greater than the budget. Another challenge is dealing with the changing laws on pesticides or noise ordinances that limit your ability to perform.
PGMS: What advice do you have for aspiring CGMs?
Bassett: Go for it and don’t wait!
PGMS: What are your favorite aspects of working in the green industry?
Bassett: I love being outside. I love taking a blank canvas (landscape) and changing it to something worth looking at. Every day is different and new challenges present themselves almost daily.