PGMS Announces Don Crawford as CGM #172

The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has announced that Don Crawford, CGM has become the 172nd grounds management professional to successfully complete its Certified Grounds Manager (CGM®) program.

PGMS: Why did you want to become a CGM?
Crawford: In 1998 my boss at the time, Bill Link took me to GIE in Nashville. We stayed at the Grand old Opry hotel. He introduced me to many venerable PGMS professionals such as Tom Dew.  The PGMS had, and still does have a sincere, convivial feeling that is attractive to me.  Anyway, At that time, there were maybe 50-60 CGMs. A veritable who’s who of Grounds Management. It was an easy decision to make. I submitted the paperwork and took the written test. However, life got in the way and I never finished. Flash forward to 2015, I met John Burns at the Texas chapter meeting.  He encouraged me in his humble and sincere way to give it another go.  So after getting somewhat more situated at work, I buckled down and plowed into it.

PGMS: What advice do you have for aspiring CGMs?
Crawford: It isn’t an easy credential to garner but, nothing worthwhile ever is. Just make time for it like you would for any other project- evenings, weekends etc.  For the test portion, don’t worry too much. Just relax and do it.  I found the test experience to be much like a serious crossword puzzle. Bring some snacks and a favorite youth beverage. Settle in and work through it. As for the second phase, my biggest advice is to not over think it.  I made that mistake and, ended up taking way to long and generating an 800+ page tome that was unreadable. Just follow the matrix and sample excerpts found on the PGMS website.

PGMS: How did your mentor help you along the way?
Crawford: Poor John Burns was my victim er, mentor. Even being the pious man he is, I am positive John had to bite his lip on a multiple occasions. I was determined to write a three volume set entitled “History of Grounds Management”. My advice, listen to your mentor and again, don’t over think it!

PGMS: In your opinion what advantage does having industry designations like the CGM give professionals?
Crawford: For most professionals, this is a simple case of professional development. I don’t mean to infer that it isn’t a significant accomplishment in the slightest.

Just that In my case, it represents evidence to myself that I have worth in this vocation.  Many will advise that you should never let your job define who you are as a person. I can’t subscribe to that notion. All I have ever wanted to be; all I have ever wanted to do, was beautify the world around me for the people to enjoy.  Simply put, the CGM credential tells me that I am suffient.

PGMS: What inspired you to pursue a career in the green industry?
Crawford: On my 7th birthday, my single mother (at the time) scratched up enough spare change to purchase a small pot of flowering crocuses. I hauled that pot around with me for several weeks until the blooms all fell of. A kindly neighbor showed me how to plant the bulbs in front of the small home we lived in. That was it.  I have never seriously considered any other vocation. Even my various avocations are heavily influenced by my love for the natural world.


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