Gulf Stream, Florida, United States: Ryan Swilley, Golf Course Superintendent at Gulf Stream Golf Club, has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership (GAL) Award winner from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award, presented quarterly in partnership with The Toro Company, recognises and honours individuals who have demonstrated growth in advocacy and advancement of the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda through congressional outreach and relationship development with a member of Congress.
Through Toro, the winners will receive a trip to take part in the 2020 National Golf Day in Washington, DC.
“Congratulations to Ryan for being recognised for his hard work and dedication to the golf industry,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “As a Grassroots Ambassador, he is a passionate advocate for golf in Florida and on the national level.”
The GAL Award is part of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassadors, a programme that matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships between them. More than 350 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.
A 12-year member of GCSAA, Swilley became an ambassador in 2017. He also is an active member and serves as treasurer of the Palm Beach GCSA. It was a presentation at a chapter meeting that sparked his involvement in the ambassador programme.
“The programme appealed to me because I recognise the many challenges the golf industry faces from a legislative and regulatory perspective at each level of government,” Swilley said. “I saw this opportunity as a way to make an impact on a broader scale by honing my skills as a leader and bringing people together to tackle issues facing our industry.”
Swilley was originally paired with Republican Brian Mast and had several meetings with him to discuss GCSAA’s priority issues. More recently, he has been paired with Senator Marco Rubio and has already hosted Rubio’s Regional Director Greg Langowski at Gulf Stream Golf Club.
“I took him around our property in April and discussed labour issues, environmental initiatives and regulatory issues impacting fertilisers and pesticides,” Swilley said. “He was very impressed by the many efforts being made to conserve water, protect the environment and provide a sound eco-system for wildlife and golfers alike.”
Swilley is also a regular attendee of the National Golf Day, having attended the event the last three years to advocate on behalf of the golf industry on Capitol Hill.
Toro is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.