The Sports Field Management Association (SFMA) 2023 Board of Directors officially took office at the association’s annual meeting, during the SFMA Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 2023 SFMA Board of Directors is as follows:
President: Sun Roesslein, CSFM
Sun Roesslein, CSFM, is sports stadium manager at the North Area Athletic Complex (NAAC), Jeffco Schools (Colo.). She is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the football stadium and the soccer stadium that make up the NAAC. The complex is the home field for six of the high schools in the Jefferson County School District. Roesslein got her start in the turfgrass management industry working on the grounds crew for the Lexington Legends Minor League baseball team in 2001. After moving to Denver, she worked briefly for the City of Thornton before taking her current position with Jeffco Schools Athletics. In 2014, the NAAC soccer field was awarded SFMA’s Soccer Field of the Year for the Schools and Parks category. The following year, the NAAC football field was selected as SFMA’s 2015 Football Field of the Year in the same category. In July of 2016, she earned her CSFM designation.
Past President: James Bergdoll, CSFM, CPRP
James Bergdoll, CSFM, CPRP, has been in the turfgrass and parks and recreation industry for more than 20 years. Bergdoll has been a member of the SFMA since 2004, serving on several different committees, and achieved CSFM status in 2013. He holds a MS in Sports and Recreation Administration from Western Kentucky University and a BS in Turfgrass Science from Purdue University. Most recently Bergdoll was the Director of Parks Maintenance for the City of Chattanooga (Tenn.) for seven and a half years. Prior to serving the citizens of Chattanooga, Bergdoll oversaw the design, construction, and operations of Elizabethtown (Ky.) Sports Park. He is also a member of the TRPA and NRPA and earned Certified Park and Recreation Professional in 2020.
President-Elect: Nick McKenna, CSFM
Nick McKenna, CSFM, is an assistant athletic field manager at Texas A&M University. He returned to Texas A&M in August 2011 after having spent four years working for Virginia Tech overseeing their baseball and soccer/lacrosse facilities. He assists in overseeing all the athletics fields at Texas A&M which include Kyle Field, the Coolidge Football Practice Fields, Olsen Field at Bluebell Park (baseball), Ellis Field (soccer), Davis Diamond (softball), as well as the track & field facilities and numerous landscape areas. McKenna received his B.S. from Iowa State University in Horticulture with a turfgrass emphasis. He also completed coursework and research toward an M.S. in Crop Soils & Environmental Science at Virginia Tech, and in 2007 was the recipient of the Dr. James Watson SAFE scholarship.
[Note: Dan Bergstrom, CSFM, was slated to become the president-elect this year, but, unfortunately, he found it necessary to resign from the board of directors. Per the SFMA bylaws and standard operating procedures, President Roesslein appointed Nick McKenna, CSFM, to serve as president-elect this year. This will require President Roesslein to serve as president for two years, as the president-elect appointee will not ascend into the role of president. SFMA thanks Dan Bergstrom, CSFM, for his service and dedication to the work on the SFMA Board of Directors and as the 2022 secretary-treasurer.]
Secretary / Treasurer: Adam Thoms, Ph.D.
Adam Thoms, Ph.D., is an associate professor of commercial turfgrass in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University. He oversees the sports turfgrass research at Iowa State, and is the Turfgrass Extension Specialist for Iowa. In addition to research and Extension activities, Thoms teaches two classes (Turfgrass Irrigation and Sports Turf Management), as well as serving as an advisor to the Iowa State Turf Club. He is in charge of planning education for the Iowa State Turfgrass Field Day, and helps with planning education for the Iowa Turfgrass Conference. Thoms received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee working on sports field related projects. He completed his B.S. degree from Iowa State University. Thoms has been active in the SFMA since 2005, and took part in the very first SFMA Student Challenge.
Vice President – Commercial: Paula Sliefert
Paula Sliefert joined The Toro Company in 2007, and currently serves as senior manager in the company’s commercial business. In her role, she has responsibility for supporting a number of Toro’s key industry relationships. In addition, she develops and implements strategies targeted at growing the sports fields and grounds market segments, which represents professional and collegiate sports, educational institutions, and government including federal, state and local entities. Sliefert is a graduate of Simpson College with a bachelor’s degree in German and International Business and holds a master’s degree in German from Bowling Green State University.
Academic: Chase Straw, Ph.D.
Chase Straw, Ph.D., is assistant professor, turfgrass management and physiology, at Texas A&M University. Straw earned his B.S. degree from the University of Kentucky in Turfgrass Science. During his undergrad he gained experience managing sports fields at the collegiate (University of Kentucky) and professional (Boston RedSox and Cincinnati Bengals) levels. He went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Turfgrass Science from the University of Georgia. He spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Minnesota before becoming assistant professor of turfgrass management and physiology at Texas A&M University in February 2020. Straw holds a 30% teaching appointment and serves as co-advisor to students majoring in Turfgrass Science at Texas A&M. He has a 70% research appointment, where his primary focus is on the use of technologies for developing practical strategies to reduce management inputs and improve overall user experience on golf courses and sports fields.
At-Large (elected): Ryan DeMay, CSFM
With nearly 25 years of experience in the turfgrass industry, Ryan DeMay, CSFM, has spent his career taking a big-picture approach to managing sports fields, golf courses, and fine turf. As a sports field manager, he spent eight years working for Columbus (Ohio) Recreation and Parks managing 110 sports fields for more than 1.2 million participants annually. He guided his organization to become the first in Ohio to hold the SFMA Environmental Facility Certification in 2018. Also in 2018, DeMay founded Field Source Consulting. He now works closely with parks and recreation agencies, K-12 schools, universities, professional sports teams, and amateur sports organizations to ensure they are prepared to play on the best and safest sports fields. DeMay holds associate and bachelor’s degrees in Turfgrass Science and Agribusiness from Ohio State University where continues to serve as a lecturer in the two-year Turfgrass Management degree program. He earned his Certified Sports Field Manager certification in 2020.
At-Large (appointed): Zachary Holm, CSFM
Zack Holm, CSFM, is the turf care manager at the Central Park Conservancy in New York City. He oversees 300-plus acres of turfgrass including 26 baseball/softball fields, lawn bowling and croquet courts, as well as hundreds of acres of recreational lawns. Prior to Central Park, Holm was the manager of operations at the New York Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, N.J., during which time the Red Bulls won SFMA Professional Soccer Field of the Year twice for both the Training Facility and Red Bull Arena. Both of those facilities were one of the first facilities to be certified by the SFMA for environmentally responsible management. Holm is a graduate of Delaware Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in Turfgrass Management. He has also earned master’s degrees in Construction Management and Sports Management from Southern New Hampshire University.
Commercial: Erin Boyd Wilder
Erin Boyd Wilder is executive director of Sod Solutions Professionals, and takes great pride in being an active member of an eighth-generation farming family in North Florida. After graduating from Florida State University, Wilder returned to the family business, Boyd Sod Farm, to begin her turfgrass career as a sales representative and later as sod production manager. She has worked in the turfgrass industry for 20 years traveling the world visiting sod farms, university and research facilities, and various natural grass and artificial turf venues. Additionally, she regularly speaks to organizations and associations providing educational seminars and working directly with turf professionals to educate on the benefits, proper selections, and maintenance of grass. She currently serves on multiple committees with Turfgrass Producers International and is a past president of the Florida Turfgrass Association, past committee member for SFMA, past director for the Turf Producers of Florida, board member of Tallahassee Builders Association, and an alternate for the Florida Home Builders Association.
Higher Education: Jason DeMink, CSFM
Jason DeMink, CSFM, has been the sports turf specialist for the University of Michigan Athletic Department for the past 13 years. He oversees the field maintenance of the baseball and softball complexes, as well as the practice football facilities. DeMink and his team manage game day operations as well as the numerous practices and facility rentals. Prior to his career at the University of Michigan, DeMink was the assistant groundskeeper for the Boston Red Sox. He is a graduate of the Sports and Commercial Turfgrass Program at Michigan State University, and received his CSFM in 2013. DeMink served his country in the U.S. Navy, and is a proud veteran.
Parks and Recreation: Jason Bowers, CSFM
Jason Bowers, CSFM, is the sports turf supervisor for the Cabin John Regional Athletic Area in Montgomery County, Md. He has been in the sports field management industry for the past 21 years. Bowers earned his associate degree in Landscape and Turf Management from Virginia Tech in 2000. After graduation, Bowers worked at golf courses and landscape companies until May of 2003 where he was hired as the assistant sports field manager at Virginia Tech. After one year, he was promoted to sports field manager. He earned his CSFM in 2007 and won SFMA’s College and University Field of the Year in 2008. Bowers also worked for the Philadelphia Union MLS team, then at the Milton Hershey School/ Middle Division where he won another SFMA School and Parks Football Field of the Year (2012). At the Cabin John Regional Athletic Area now takes care of one rectangle and six diamond fields, one of which is home to Georgetown University baseball.
Professional Facilities: Alpha Jones, CSFM
Alpha Jones, CSFM, is the director of field operations for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Low-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. He has worked in the turfgrass Industry for the past 20 years and 12 years before that in the landscape industry. Jones currently oversees all field related operations and maintenance at Segra Stadium. Fayetteville is his second time in the minor leagues, after several years with the Durham Bulls. Additionally, he was crew leader at WakeMed Soccer Park, assistant athletic director of athletic facilities for Longwood University, and at the high school sports level with Durham Academy. He has volunteered his time to help renovate, maintain or consult on several local athletic fields. Jones earned his degree in Political Science, graduating Summa cum Laude in 2005 from North Carolina Central University. He achieved Certified Sports Field Manager status in 2020.
Schools K-12: Jeremy Driscoll, CSFM, ISA-CA
Jeremy Driscoll, CSFM, ISA-CA, is the grounds supervisor at St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, Del., from which he is an alumnus (class of 1995). He has been overseeing all of the campus and athletic fields encompassing approximately 50 total acres since 2006. Always educating himself and finding new things to study, he began his higher education at Paul Smith’s College in Paul Smith’s, N.Y. He studied Urban Tree Management and earned his A.A.S in 1997. Driscoll furthered his education at the University of Delaware receiving in 2000 his B.S in General Agriculture. Driscoll has been an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist since 2002. He has a Class B CDL license, and is also a licensed pesticide applicator in New York and Delaware.