San Diego, United States: Hector Velazquez (pictured right), creator of ‘Hector’s Shop’, is the winner of the 2018 Edwin Budding Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The Edwin Budding Award, named for the inventor of the lawn mower, is given annually to an equipment manager or related innovator, technician, educator or engineer who has made a significant impact in the golf and turf business.
Velazquez, nicknamed ‘The Tactical Technician’, began his career as a certified motorcycle technician more than 20 years ago. He is also a videographer and video editor and produces educational videos in a series called ‘Hector’s Shop’, which teaches equipment technicians new skills.
He also produces instructional videos for Home Depot’s tool rental department, mom and pop shops and for his own website.
“These videos are about inspiring technicians, non-technicians and superintendents who have to carry the technician role themselves to think outside the box,” said Velazquez. “It’s so encouraging to me when I get emails or messages on social media about how they have been inspired by a video they saw. Many of these are from superintendents who also play the technician role at their course. Many also come from new technicians starting at their first course.”
Velazquez will formally receive the award at this week’s Golf Industry Show in San Diego, where he will be recognised at Inside the Shop.
“Hector has added so much to the industry, not only as an equipment manager, but also by helping educate others,” said GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “Equipment managers are often known for being innovative and creative to get the job done, and Hector is a prime example of this. He truly embodies what the Budding Award represents.”
Velazquez has won several awards for photography, video and multimedia from TOCA (Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association). He also offers on-site tech training, shop organisation consultations and speaks at hands-on style classes.
During the 2019 Golf Industry Show, Velazquez will be hosting The Tactical Shop Series within the Inside the Shop area on the trade show floor.
“There are so many people in this industry that deserve this award. It is extremely humbling,” said Velazquez. “I am thankful to everyone that saw me fit to be awarded this. I am absolutely honoured.”