2020 Grounds Management Summit

The 2020 Grounds Management Summit is a series of 10 webinars to be held every Wednesday (1PM eastern) beginning October 7, 2020 and running through December 16, 2020 (there will be no webinar on November 25 due to the Thanksgiving holiday).

Each webinar qualifies for School of Grounds Management credit at one credit hour per webinar. 

$175  Member registration fee and $225 Non-Member registration fee includes:

  • 10 webinars (including access to recorded webinars)
  • A copy of the new Landscape Management Guidelines: Maintenance Management Guidelines book
  • One complimentary enrollment into the School of Grounds Management certificate program (click here for more information on the program)

For Institutional/Active members with affiliate members, you can register up to seven (7) additional members at no cost!

Not a member but want the member rate? Join PGMS® with an institutional membership and you and up to seven (7) additional members of your crew can register for the Grounds Management Summit at the $175 member rate and receive all other PGMS® member benefits in 2021! To take advantage of this offer, email Jane Lyall at info@pgms.org

October 7

Predictably Human: Developing  a Risk Competent Workforce
Joe Estey – Principle Performance Improvement Specialist, Lucas Engineering & Management Services

Sponsored by: Bailey Nurseries and Calsense

Every day, we work in a world of competing priorities and tradeoffs. We ask our employees to eliminate and manage hazards, not to make mistakes and to avoid risk at all costs. This risk averse mindset does not encourage diverse thought, and rigid management styles that center on compliance without thought inevitably leads to tension and a disengaged workforce. Understanding that the greatest asset for the success and longevity of a company are empowered employees whose input is valued, is essential when developing your human capital and strengthening your workforce. During this interactive session, participants will learn the Human Performance Improvement fundamentals that are reshaping the future workplace.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the differences between risk aversion and risk competency
  • Learn how error likely situations are created and how to manage errors rather than ignore or punish it
  • Recognize the important difference between learning by consequence and improving your organization by curiosity and interest
  • Discover Human Performance Improvement techniques that support a motivated, able workforce

Human Resource Management


October 14

Grounds Management Budgeting
George G. Bernardon – Vice President of Grounds Management, SSC Services for Education

Sponsored by: Kubota and Jacks Small Engines

Budgeting is not only a senior management obligation, but also an essential skill and responsibility of the supervising grounds manager. This session will show Ground Managers how to create and improve their own financial budgets through developing, implementing and historical data. Successful budgeting is necessary to understand relative operations and prioritize cost effective estimates for clients. Join George as he takes budgeting to the next level.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to develop a practical and workable budget
  • Learn how to take ownership of your budget
  • Advice for presenting your budget to finance and senior management
  • How to track your finances and make your budget work for you instead of you working for your budget

Business and Financial Management


October 21

Smart Irrigation – Can Technology Make Our Jobs Easier and Improve Our Landscapes?
Warren Gorowitz – Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Hunter Industries

Sponsored by: Hunter Industries

Join Warren as he covers the basics of smart irrigation technology and discusses future trends in the irrigation industry. Will artificial intelligence, drones, and robots be part of our irrigation crews in the future? We will dive into how you can improve your irrigation system efficiency and ultimately move your focus from irrigation schedules to water management on site.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand smart irrigation technology and how it can make our jobs easier
  • Understand why water management is the future of the irrigation industry and more attractive landscapes
  • Understand future trends in irrigation technology

Technical Management – Non-Horticulture


October 28

Using the Landscape Management Guidelines (Book Taskforce)
Ryan McCaughey, CGM, CSFM – Manager of Landscape and Equipment, The Pennsylvania State University, Kevin Mercer, CGM, CSFM – Grounds Manager, Denison University, Sandra Obenour-Dowd – Grounds Superintendent, The University of Arizona, Brandon Haley, CGM – Project Manager – Grounds, SSC Services for Education, Roger Conner, CGM – Superintendent Tree Management, Duke University

Sponsored by: EarthPlanter and Wright Manufacturing

Join the PGMS Book Taskforce as they discuss the rationale behind the priority designations for maintenance and best management practices. They will also discuss the development of the next book in the Landscape Management Guidelines, “Sustainability.”

 Business and Financial Management



November 4

Leasing vs. Buying vs. Renting Equipment
Lynn Novak – Finance Integration Manager, John Deere

Sponsored by: John Deere and BioSafe Systems

As a Finance Integration Manager with John Deere, Lynn explains the details of potential contracts obtained in the Green Industry and how to make the accurate decision for your company.

Business and Financial Management



November 11

Sustainability Panel Discussion 
Ryan McCaughey, CGM, CSFM – Manager of Landscape and Equipment, The Pennsylvania State University, Kevin Mercer, CGM, CSFM – Grounds Manager, Denison University, Meg Smolinski – Outreach Coordinator, University of Maryland, College Park, Anthony Williams, CGM – Director of Golf and Landscape Operations, Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

Sponsored by: Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements and EGO

Join 2019 Green Star Awards® recipients as they detail various sustainability efforts on their campus, including electric landscape equipment, compost site operations, biodiversity, and Stormwater management.

Technical Management – Horticulture 



November 18

The Risk of Repetitive Injuries Among Winter Workers
Mary Abbott, PhD, RN, MSF – Owner / Manager, Mow Beta! Mowing & Snowplowing

Sponsored by: Kawasaki and Leaf Burrito

Slip-and-fall injuries tend to come to mind as common winter season injuries, among both winter workers and the general public. However, the less obvious and more insidious injuries that may be sustained by winter workers include repetitive-motion injuries such as back injury, carpal tunnel, and tendinitis of various joints. In some situations, such disorders may be related to an acute injury but they are also often a result of overuse and, as such, are referred to as repetitive motion injuries.  Teaching winter workers how to prevent repetitive injuries is key to increasing productivity as well as helping workers maintain their overall health. 

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate common snow industry tasks for repetitive injury risk factors
  • Understand the three potential ways to prevent or reduce musculoskeletal injuries related to winter work
  • Be able to easily identify the four joint areas of the body that are susceptible to repetitive injury

Human Resource Management


December 2

Using Perennials in the Landscape
Josh Roggenbuck, CGIPRegional Product Manager, Walter Gardens / Proven Winners

Sponsored by: Proven Winners and Gempler’s

Join Proven Winners® and learn about improved perennial varieties that are showier, easier, and asked for by name.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understand how to leverage the new species
  • Identify complimentary species and how featured varieties are improvements over standbys
  • Understand how to leverage the ease of design and procurement that the new varieties provide

Technical Management – Horticulture 



December 9

Managing Trees During Construction: Best Management Practices
Chad M. Rigsby –  Research Scientist & Technical Support Specialist, The Bartlett Tree Research

Sponsored by: Bartlett and Billy Goat Industries

Protecting and managing trees during construction projects is one of the more challenging tasks for arborists, urban foresters, and property managers. This presentation will focus on best management practices for protecting trees before, during, and after construction projects and what steps managers can take through the process to preserve the health and vigor of existing trees.

Learning Objectives:

  • Have a better understanding of ISA best management practices for managing trees during construction
  • Understand when and where to get a certified arborist involved in the process
  • Understand the specific biological processes that should be conserved to protect tree health
  • Understand the how to best designate a tree protection zone and why
  • Understand best options if tree protection is desired, but damage is likely

Technical Management – Horticulture 



December 16

Modern Tools for Managing Trees & Assets
Ian Hanou – CEO & Founder, PlanIT Geo

Sponsored by: ECHO and Country Casual Teak

Mobile cloud-based software involving tree inventory, data management tools, and dashboards allow facilities managers to collect data more efficiently and share specific information with a diverse audience. This inherently provides an interactive map of the tree and asset-related information to the public and allows administrators, contractors, crews, and the public to map, assess, monitor, and report on tree maintenance and management activities using a smartphone or tablet. It is critical to have a clear picture of your campus assets, and a management solution to assist with the maintenance and planning of their current and future needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand GIS-based tree and asset management software and dashboards
  • Understand how to create a clear and concise picture of your tree and asset data
  • Understand how to leverage data to make informed budget and management decisions
  • Understand how to maximize your communication with your crew and external stakeholders with interactive maps and reports.

Business and Financial Management


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