2023 Election Info

Introducing the 2023 Slate of Candidates for the Board of Directors

The SFMA Nominating Committee has finalized its slate of candidates for the 2023 election and presents it here to the membership, as required by the SFMA bylaws. Ballots will be sent electronically on Nov. 22 to voting members of the association. The voting window will be open until Dec. 12, 5pm CDT.

The open director positions that will be on the ballot include:

  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • Director: At Large Elected
  • Director: Schools K-12
  • Director: Professional Facilities
  • Director: Commercial


Immediate Past President


Vice President - Commercial


Immediate Past President

James Bergdoll, CSFM

Director of Park Maintenance for the City of Chattanooga (TN)

James Bergdoll, CSFM, CPRP is the Director of Park Maintenance for the City of Chattanooga (TN), a position he has held since 2015. Bergdoll oversees the maintenance and operations of over 100 public spaces throughout the City of Chattanooga, including 84 parks, 35 miles of greenway, multiple youth sports association facilities and 2 golf courses. He holds a MS in Sports and Recreation Administration from Western Kentucky University and a BS in Turfgrass Science from Purdue University. Prior to serving the citizens of Chattanooga, Bergdoll oversaw the design, construction, and operations of Elizabethtown (KY) Sports Park. He also gained industry experience at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, Baltimore Orioles Spring Training, Indianapolis Indians, Purdue Athletics (Golf & Sports Fields), and Hanover College. Bergdoll has been a member of the SFMA since 2004, serving on several different committees, and achieved CSFM status in 2013. Bergdoll is a Past President of the Kentucky SFMA, and is currently a member of the TVSFMA.  James is also a member of the TRPA and NRPA and earned Certified Park and Recreation Professional in 2020.


My vision for SFMA is to improve our position as the go-to people for sports field and facility management.  While we are an established organization there is still work to be done to be recognized as a group of professionals and experts.  We need to better educate our membership on what they can do to increase awareness in their communities and the role they play. Having my professional role in parks maintenance, I have found that it is very important to educate the general public and its leaders on the importance of sport field management and how it positively impacts those that use public facilities, primarily our youth. Continuing to develop partnerships with like-minded, industry organizations will be one key component for spreading the message.  There is a need to promote and market the work that we do to gain interest in the future of the industry.  There is also an opportunity to leverage new technologies for field management to gain interest from younger people who are the next generation of Sports Field Managers.  Lastly SFMA needs be a leader in inclusivity.  We need to seek opportunities to reach and attract underrepresented groups within and outside our industry to be a stronger organization that brings diverse thoughts, ideas, and people together.  In this we will create a more powerful impact as an Association, and help us take things to the next level.


Sun Roesslein, CSFM

Jeffco Schools, Golden, CO

Sun Roesslein, CSFM, has been Sports Stadium Manager at the North Area Athletic Complex for over 17 years. She is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the football stadium and the soccer stadium which make up the NAAC. The natural grass complex is the home field for 6 of the high schools in the Jefferson County School District. Sun 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.

Sun received her B.S. in 2000 and M.S. in 2002 from Eastern Kentucky University in Sports Administration. It was during her final semester that she discovered the turfgrass profession and decided to make a career path change. She became a member of SFMA in 2002. She is a Past President of the Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association, served on the CSTMA Board of Directors, and has served on SFMA’s Ethics committee, Website/ Technology committee, Membership committee and is currently Chair of the Conference committee. Sun has also served the SFMA Board as the Director representing the K-12 segment as well as the Route to Recovery task group. In July of 2016, Sun earned her CSFM designation.


The STMA membership is a group of passionate, talented, driven and dedicated people who make this industry a great one! I believe the association plays a crucial role in supporting the success of sports turf managers through education, networking, certifications, and awareness. 2020 certainly presented challenges, but SFMA stepped up to provide educational resources and support to our members and non-members alike. I envision SFMA and our membership to continue being the leaders in sports field management around the world. It is imperative that SFMA continue to educate decision makers on the importance of having qualified sports turf managers keeping those surfaces safe.

Many of us have responsibilities beyond maintaining our playing surfaces and SFMA’s collaboration with other groups in related industries is certainly an area for growth. Whether it is administrative, facility management, or event management, I envision our association building stronger partnerships with organizations in those areas to support our membership in their expansion of duties. These collaborations will also increase SFMA member’s visibility and credibility among those who do not necessarily understand what all goes into sports turf management.

Building our membership base will make SFMA stronger. This means continuing to better support our chapter network but also appealing to potential members who don’t know about sports field management as a career. I’ve been fortunate to have several incredible opportunities to be part of the team working the Little League Softball World Series and two US Women’s Opens, I hope to use those platforms to set an example for young women and increase visibility for our profession in general.

SFMA has enhanced my career tremendously, and I am honored to continue helping the association support the successes of members at every level.


Dan Bergstrom, CSFM

Houston Dynamo/Dash at PNC Stadium, Houston, Texas

Dan is a 25+ year SFMA Member. His career stops have included: Cleveland (NFL), University of Kentucky Athletics, Haymarket Park in Lincoln Nebraska, the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, and now PNC Stadium in Houston, home to the MLS Houston Dynamo, NWSL Houston Dash, and Texas Southern University football.

Dan received his B.S. in Horticulture/Turfgrass from Iowa State University in 1995. Dan’s crews have been named Field of the Year recipients 8 times. He was named Club MVP in 2019 by the Houston Dynamo/Dash front office. Dan is a George Toma Golden Rake Award recipient from SFMA as well. Dan has served in Board leadership roles over the years, serving as President of the Kentucky Turfgrass Council, Texas SFMA, and 2 years of SFMA Board service representing the Professional Facilities category.  He speaks at Turfgrass industry conferences on a semi-regular basis. Dan and wife Krista reside in Spring, Texas, and rescue/foster/adopt/love senior beagles in their spare time.

Vision for SFMA

I am humbled to find myself on the SFMA ballot. I am so thankful for the opportunities that SFMA has afforded me over the years, especially the continuing education and friendships at our SFMA annual conferences. Our industry is unique in many ways, including that we all work together to share information and stand beside each other in good times and bad. SFMA offers opportunities to improve our professionalism and industry knowledge and I’ve had the privilege of watching so many SFMA Members including myself over the years better themselves and move upward on their career tracks. It’s important that we continue to do the work to offer our Membership in all categories the opportunity to learn and grow. As the world continues to change and technology becomes more and more involved in our daily work we need more than ever to retain SFMA’s status as the leading resource in sports turf education. Our work educating the general public, coaches, and athletic administrators needs to continue to get stronger as we move forward. Let’s continue working together to grow our industry, tell our stories, and grow our brand. I’m excited to see the next generation of passionate sports turf managers growing through SFMA!

Vice President – Commercial

Paula Sliefert

The Toro Company

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 & Grounds market segments, which represents professional and collegiate sports, educational institutions, and government including federal, state and local entities.

Paula 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. She studied and worked abroad in both Germany and Austria, having completed a work abroad program with Mercedes Benz, as well as having attended the University of Salzburg, Austria.

Professional Affiliations:

City Parks Alliance (CPA): Member / Elected Executive Board of Directors Member / Sponsor

National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA): Member / Inaugural Business Council Chairperson / Sponsor of Directors School & Maintenance Management School / Invited Member Park & Recreation Magazine Advisory Board

Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS): Member / Past Elected Board of Directors Member / Sponsor

Green Industry Expo (GIE) – (NALP & PGMS): Past Elected Show Board of Directors Member / Sponsor

Sports Field Management Association (SFMA): Member / Elected Executive Board of Directors Member / Sponsor National Institute of

Governmental Purchasing (NIGP): Member / Past Elected Business Council Chairperson / Sponsor

Synthetic Turf Council (STC): Member

ToastMasters International: Member having earned both the Dynamic Leader & Presentation Mastery designations within their Pathways program / Club Past President

Simpson College: Graduate / Alumni Board of Directors


My background in Marketing provides a fresh, new perspective to the SFMA Board of Directors. I believe every SFMA member is looking for ways to become better and wants to set a good example for future generations. I have seen the importance of the role that businesses and SFMA can play – when they work together – in driving important change. Working together helps companies like Toro understand the strategic challenges experienced by customers and therefore gives companies an improved line of sight to investment areas that can support and enhance industry wide goals and initiatives. Technology needs to be developed but companies need customers who demand sustainable products in order to continue to invest in the technology development. Serving on the board as a private sector, commercial supplier member of SFMA can help advance SFMA’s environmental conservation efforts that enhances the quality of life for all people by educating membership on the better use of environmental resources such as water. Additionally, I believe collaboration with other industry associations could prove to be extremely powerful for all sports field managers, including enhanced dialog with CPA, NRPA, PGMS and STC. I have a Bachelors and Master’s Degree focused on International Business & German and have experienced working in the US and abroad, which brings a global perspective to the Board. It is indeed a privilege and honor to serve SFMA

membership and I will continue my contributions to the best of my ability in the year to come.


Brad Thedens, CSFM

City of Sioux Falls, SD

Brad Thedens, CSFM recieved his B.S. degree in Horticulture with turfgrass emphasis  from Iowa State University in 2001. After graduating, he worked for SW Franks Construction as a Supervisor overseeing field grow-in and maintenance for various projects ranging from MLB, NFL, minor league, college and high school facilities.

For the past 16 years, he has been in Parks and Recreation working as a Park Caretaker for the City of Sioux Falls Parks Department managing their 3 soccer complexes. This includes 21 full-size natural grass fields and another 20 acres used for youth sized fields. The complexes have been host to multiple US Youth Midwest Regional Tournaments, 11 Nike Cross National Heartland Region and 5 NCAA Cross Country meets, numerous other tournaments and special events along with over 3,000 recreational matches a year. The City of Sioux Falls is a CAPRA accredited agency that maintains 80 parks containing over 3300 acres, 3 golf courses, 34 miles of bike trails, and multiple youth sports complexes.

Brad has served in various leadership roles throughout the past years, 3 years of Iowa SFMA board service as NW Director and President and 3 years of SFMA board service as Parks and Recreations Director and Director at Large. He attained the CSFM designation in 2017 and is currently working toward receiving Certified Park and Recreation Professional status from the NPRA. He lives in Harrisburg, SD with his wife Erika and 3 children Clay, Zoe and Zack..


My vision for SFMA is to continue to and work on strengthening our role as leaders in the sports field management, safety and playability. SFMA needs to be the leading resource our members use to advocate for having qualified individuals to maintain safe playing surfaces for all players regardless of age or ability. We also need to continue growing and diversifying our organization by reaching out to the younger generations, non-members and other associations to bring awareness of the critical role sports field managers play. It would be a privilege to continue to serve and help lead this great organization and its outstanding membership.

SFMA is a great organization full of dedicated individuals that have helped further my career and I am honored to be nominated and it would be a privilege to help lead this organization in the upcoming years.


Adam Thoms, Ph.D.

Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Adam Thoms is an Associate Professor of Commercial Turfgrass in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University, where he started in 2016. He oversees the sports turf research at Iowa State, and is the Turfgrass Extension Specialist for Iowa. In addition to research and Extension activities, Adam teaches two classes (Turfgrass Irrigation and Sports Turf Management), as well as serving as an advisor to the Iowa State Turf Club. Adam is in charge of planning education for the Iowa State Turfgrass Field Day, and helps with planning education for the Iowa Turfgrass Conference. Before coming to Iowa State University, Adam was the Research Leader for the Center for Athletic Field Safety at the University of Tennessee. Adam received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee working on sports turf related projects. He completed his B.S. degree from Iowa State University. Adam has been active in the SFMA since 2005, and took part in the very first SFMA Student Challenge. He is currently serving as the Technical Editor for SportsTurf Magazine, and is on the Editorial Committee. He has served on several committees over the years. Adam is active in the Iowa SFMA Chapter, serving on the Board of Directors as an Educational Advisor. Outside of work he enjoys time with him family, wife (Rachel) and two children (George and Greta).


I want to see SFMA be the leader in education and information on playing surfaces. The academic representative plays a critical role in this, and I feel I can add to this. I also feel the SFMA must find some novel recruiting techniques to help with the shortage of labor for the industry. The SFMA should be a source that the media reaches out to when an event happens, and questions arise. I feel through education, publicity, and recruiting the SFMA can benefit athletic field managers now and into the future.

Director Schools K-12

Jeremy Driscoll ISA-CA, CSFM

Grounds Supervisor, St. Mark’s High School, Wilmington, DE

Jeremy Driscoll is the Grounds Supervisor at St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, DE from which he is an alumnus (class of ‘95). He has been overseeing all 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, NY. He studied Urban Tree Management and earned his A.A.S in 1997. Jeremy furthered his education at the University of Delaware receiving in 2000 his B.S in General Agriculture.

Jeremy has been an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist since 2002. He has a Class B CDL license which he acquired while working for the city of Beaver Creek, CO. He is also a licensed pesticide applicator in NY and DE. Mauget Certified and a DE Certified Nutrient Handler, Jeremy most recently received his CSFM designation in September of 2021.

Jeremy has been a member of ISA for over 20 years. He became a member of SFMA immediately in 2006, when he took his current position. He has served consecutive terms as K-12 Director over the past four years on the SFMA Board. He is currently serving as chair of the Advocacy committee and previously served as chair of the Editorial committee. Additional past service includes participation on the International, Environmental and BMP committees. He is a co-founder of MASTMA

(Mid-Atlantic Chapter), where he is the current Past President.

Jeremy is a third-degree black belt and instructor in taekwondo. He finds that the principles of the martial art in focus, goal setting, respect, motivation, and honor transfer into everyday life. A mantra is to never give up, and ALWAYS finish what you start!

Jeremy resides in Wilmington, DE with his wife Susan and son Eughan (Owen).


My vision for STMA is to see the organization grow stronger. I would like individuals not in our profession to know about the sports field managers who take care of their kids’ sports facilities, school grounds, and professional stadiums. I would like for these individuals to see that we are professionals. We have degrees and certifications which aid in educated decision making and proper care of facilities around the world.

I would like to see the organization build stronger bonds with legislators to educate and keep our products labeled for use on sports fields (pesticides, fertilizer, etc.) and not allow governing bodies to continue to take away valuable products that help us professionals complete our jobs. I would like to see the organization be able to give back to more communities and help a greater number of under privileged areas build or rejuvenate sport fields to get kids outside for exercise and to provide safer fields and areas to participate in multiple sports and activities.

There is so much room for expansion, and opportunities to grow this association that it would be incredible to reach a new high percentage in each classification of membership and furthermore get more current members simply more involved.

Director Schools K-12

Robbie Miller

Director of Landscapes and Athletic Grounds at Providence Day Schools Charlotte, NC

Robbie Miller is the Director of Landscapes and Athletic Grounds at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. He has worked in a variety of positions in the landscape, golf, and sports field industries over the past 22 years. After completing internships at Myers Park CC in Charlotte, NC, he completed 2 seasons with the Durham Bulls before heading back to Myers Park CC full time as an Asst. Golf Course Superintendent. After several stops in residential and commercial landscaping, Robbie settled in at Providence Day School managing the campus landscapes and athletic fields. Holding his current position since 2008, Robbie manages a 50-acre campus consisting of manicured landscapes and a combination of natural and synthetic athletic fields.

Robbie has been involved locally with the NC STMA since 2013 and served as the NC President in 2017. After completing time as President, Robbie moved into an advisory role with the chapter leadership and serves on the planning committee for the SE Regional Sports Field Conference and Trade Show. On a national level, Robbie has served with the learning initiatives committee for the SFMA for the past 2 years. While working with the NC STMA, he has notably managed chapter communications/data bases, designed chapter and conference marketing materials, managed chapter, and conference finances, and co-developed a podcast.

Robbie earned his B.S in Agronomy from North Carolina State University in December of 2001. He also is a certified playground inspector, licensed pesticide applicator, and NC CDL holder.


I see the SFMA as a multi-tiered organization. We have national members interests in mind, corporate partners interests in mind, and local chapter interests in mind. I would like to see our organization continue to build on the various ideas created to keep us together during covid and to continue to help members improve themselves personally and professionally. I think we also have a duty to the corporate partners who support us and we need to continue promoting and supporting them. I also am very passionate about chapter involvement and growth. I would like to see the SFMA to help build better links between chapters and help chapters with resources for their memberships. Learning at the chapter level can be a vital way to ensure we have a base of individuals ready to help propel the SFMA into the future. I have seen first-hand in NC what chapters working together can accomplish. By investing in local chapters, the SFMA can help develop stronger sports field managers. As we increase our professionalism at a grass roots level we can be recognized as vital members of our professional organizations. Many of us are still striving to gain a seat at the table to help lead our facilities’ decision-making processes. I would like to see the SFMA help chapter leadership build programs that develop our active members and to help recruit students into the sports field industry.

Elected Director at Large

Ryan DeMay, CSFM

With nearly 25 years of experience in the turfgrass industry, Ryan 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 8 years working for Columbus (Ohio) Recreation and Parks managing 110 sports fields for over 1.2 million participants annually. During his time there,
he served on the board of the Ohio chapter for 6 years, earned his Certified Sports Field Manager certification in 2020, and guided his organization to become the first in Ohio to hold the SFMA Environmental Facility Certification in 2018. Also in 2018, Ryan 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. This unique company allows him to
interact daily with Sports Field Managers, field users, and leadership who oversee Sports Field Managers within these organizations.
His service to SFMA includes time spent on the Education and Technology Committees. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan spearheaded the Technology Committee initiative to bring Townhall Meetings to members in different sectors of the industry including Parks and Recreation, K-12 schools, collegiate, and professional members to share experiences and advice. Each week hundreds of attendees listened and shared with their peers to work through the unique challenges our industry faced during unprecedented times. For his leadership, Ryan was awarded the President’s Award at the 2021 SFMA Conference by now Past President, Mr. Jimmy Simpson. Ryan holds Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Turfgrass Science and Agribusiness from
The Ohio State University where continues to serve as a lecturer in the two-year Turfgrass Management degree program. He is also the current President of the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation, a 1,100-member trade association serving the interests of turfgrass managers, vendors, and allied associations in Ohio

Vision for SFMA

It would be naïve of me to believe one person could properly lay out a vision to serve a membership so diverse in geography, education, agronomics, expectations, and staffing, among other things. A framework to go about this though is where we need true leadership
and massive action to allow SFMA to serve the needs of all members. Broadly, a vision can be created for SFMA through a framework that can never please everyone but works incredibly hard to respect everyone in our industry. For example, the challenges faced by an MLB groundskeeper are vastly different from those of a K-12 sports field manager. As an organization, we have a lot of listening to do with all of those folks, their bosses, future Sports Field Managers from diverse backgrounds, and everyone in between. The vision is
not one person’s job to create. Rather, it must be shared, owned, and celebrated by all members and stakeholders.
SFMA has done a tremendous job of bringing about positive changes and fantastic resources for Sports Field Managers. Teaching our members how to utilize those resources to improve their operations and staff is crucial to increasing the profile and trust of Sports Field Managers. Beyond those tools, we need to develop additional resources, lead
conversations, and take steps to improve the quality of working conditions for Sports Field Managers on real issues in our industry:
● Lack of qualified and diverse talent for labor and management.
● Improving the trust and investment of the people we report to so we have the right
resources, tools, and staff the meet ever-increasing expectations.
● Utilizing technology to reduce labor, improve the safety and consistency of our fields, and be conscientious of our impact on the environment. Real issues affecting everyone in our industry. Let’s utilize the tools we have in place while also taking action on things that make the day-to-day of Sports Field Managers everywhere
better or worse.

Elected Director at Large

Zack Holm, CSFM

Turf Care Manager, Central Park Conservancy

Zack Holm, CSFM, is the Turf Care Manager at the Central Park Conservancy in New York City. As Turf Care Manager he oversees 300+ acres of turfgrass including 26 baseball/softball fields, lawn bowling and croquet courts, as well as hundreds of acres of recreational lawns. The Park is visited by more than 42 million visitors each year and hosts numerous high-profile events for the City of New York such as concerts and the NYC marathon. Prior to Central Park, Zack was the Manager of Operations at the New York Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, NJ. During this 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.

Zack is a graduate of Delaware Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in Turfgrass Management. Over the past few years Zack has also earned master’s degrees in Construction Management and Sports Management from Southern New Hampshire University. In addition to the Red Bulls and Central Park, Zack also spent time in minor and major league baseball.

Zack has been an active member of STMA for the past 15 years serving on various committees such as awards and environmental. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the Environmental Committee and served on the task force for STMA’s Environmental BMP document. In addition, Zack is humbled and honored to be serving as the current President of the Sports Field Managers Association of New Jersey (SFMANJ).

A native of San Diego, Zack resides in Byram Township, New Jersey with his wife Cory and two children, Dimitrius and Cassandra.


My vision for SFMA is simple; to be the leader of the sports field and green industries. This vision would include SFMA being at the top of the pyramid for providing information, environmental stewardship, and latest technology, helping the membership to earn the “expert” status within sports field management. An example of this vision would be to partner with organizations (such as Parks and Rec, or Baseball Coaches Associations) and aspiring for such organizations to look to SFMA to set the standard or be the resource for athletic field best management practices. This vision can support SFMA membership to “gain a seat at the table” with these organizations so that it can in turn empower our members to do the same by demonstrating the value and expertise the sports field manager can bring when actively involved. In addition, to grow the industry by recruiting new sports turf managers from high school athletic programs. If elected I look forward to working with fellow members and board members to showcase our expertise on the field and show, we are where the game begins.

Professional Facilities Director

Alpha Jones, CSFM

Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Fayetteville, NC

Alpha Jones, CSFM is the Director of Field Operations for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, the 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.

Alpha currently oversees all field related operations and maintenance at Segra Stadium. His sports field management experience is very diverse. 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 overseeing all outdoor athletic facilities 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.

A long-standing member of the Sports Turf Managers Association, the North Carolina and Virginia SFMA chapters, Alpha has served on the VSFMA Board of Directors, Conference Education and Tours Committee, Environmental Facility Certification Committee and currently serves as chairperson of the Learning Initiatives Committee.

Alpha 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.

Vision for SFMA

I maintain my vision for the SFMA, which is to see the standards of professionalism, public awareness, and industry leadership, established by the great leaders who came before us, continue to grow successfully, increase the size of our membership, and become the recognized true standard and authority in the sports field management industry.

I believe we must play a vital role in creating a new and diverse interest in our Association and industry. As our society and education systems continue to adapt to the impacts of COVID-19, The SFMA is poised to be a key ingredient in establishing new and solid pathways for future sports field managers to follow within the education systems. We can and must establish new recruiting tools that attract the “technology dependent” generations, the person who is not sure of their future career choice, as well as former athletes who want better, safer, and aesthetically pleasing athletic facilities for their communities and schools. Focusing our outreach on the younger generations now will play a significant role in the vitality and longevity of our industry.

Professional Facilities Director

Ryan Bjorn

Field Manager for Gillette Stadium and the training facilities of the NE Patriots and NE Revolution

Started career in Turf Management as a student at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst and began working in the industry as an intern at Fenway Park in 2007. While at UMass, also worked at the Wainwright Complex in South Portland, ME. After graduating in 2010, finished the season with the Red Sox before jumping on the Field Crew at Gillette Stadium until Feb. of 2011 when he accepted the position of Assistant Manager in Training at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Eventually taking over the role of Director of Grounds at the SoccerPlex in 2015 and remained in that role until August of 2019, when I was offered my current position as Field Manager for Gillette Stadium and the training facilities of the NE Patriots and NE Revolution.


Anyone in this industry who knows me well knows that I always have been and always will be a natural-grass-first person. Even with our stadium field being synthetic, we have tried to continue to push the envelope of what is possible with our natural grass practice fields and would like to see SFMA continue to promote natural grass maintenance techniques to as much of our membership as possible. In addition to our current membership, I would like to see SFMA try and do more outreach to end-users of our facilities as well as decision makers at our facilities. This should include, but not be limited to, Athletic Directors, coaches, Stadium Operations managers, park managers and athletes.

Director – Commercial

Jaime Mehringer

Advanced Turf Solutions

Jamie Mehringer is VP of Sports Turf at Advanced Turf Solutions in Fishers, IN. In this role, Jamie oversees all aspects of the sports turf division at ATS. Prior to his current role, Jamie was President of J&D Turf in Fishers, IN. J&D Turf was a full service consulting, construction, maintenance and product distribution company. Prior to starting J&D Turf in 2008, Jamie was the Head Groundskeeper at Victory Field in Indianapolis, IN with the Indianapolis Indians (2003-2008) and Assistant Head Groundskeeper at Victory Field (1999-2003)

Jamie is a 1998 graduate from Marian University with a major in Sports Management and a minor in business. Following graduation at Marian, Jamie attended Purdue University and received an associate degree in Turfgrass Science from Purdue University. He is a prior President of the Midwest Regional Turfgrass Foundation (MRTF) and is a frequent presenter at many turfgrass conferences. Jamie and his wife Wendy reside in Indianapolis, IN with children Clare and Hank.


As a sports turf manager for over 20+ years, I have a unique background. From an assistant to head groundskeeper of a Triple A team (Indianapolis Indians) to starting my own sports turf service business (J&D Turf) to leading a sports turf division (VP Sports Turf @ Advanced Turf Solutions) I bring a background across various forms of the sports field industry. Currently, working with sports field managers at all levels of sports field management, allows me to work with and experience issues across all levels of the SFMA. Leading a sport turf division at ATS and before at J&D Turf has provided me the experience to work through many different budgeting processes and analyzing many budgets and balance sheets.

Working with and listening to others is critical for success. As the SFMA moves forward, I believe that fostering relationships with other peer organizations – NPRA, ASBA, ASBO, Coaches Associations, etc. will assist in raising awareness of Sports Field Managers. Finally, I look forward to working with the commercial members to enhance the tradeshow at the national meeting along with additional sponsorship opportunities to solidify the position of the SFMA in the future.

The SFMA has been instrumental in my career. I look forward to the opportunity to assist the Association in the future.

Director – Commercial

Erin Wilder

Executive Director, Sod Solution Professionals

Erin Wilder is currently the Executive Director of Sod Solutions Professionals which she takes great pride in as the active member of an eighth-generation farming family in North Florida. After graduating from Florida State University, Erin 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, Erin regularly speaks to organizations & associations providing educational seminars and working directly with turf professionals to educate on the benefits, proper selections, and maintenance of grass. Erin has worked for Sod Solutions for the past 16 years and leads their Sod Professionals Business Unit (Sod Pro.) Sod Solutions is a turfgrass research, development, and marketing company with over 250 licensed producers’ worldwide. Sod Pro is focused on building a greener future by assisting clients through the entire process to provide a beautiful, streamlined, and successful project.
Erin is actively involved in many organizations. 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. She also served on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services License & Bond Committee and the Florida Sod Best Management Practices Steering Committee. Erin is a Class VII graduate of the Wedgworth Leadership
Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Erin resides in Tallahassee, FL with her husband and two young boys.


SFMA is a comprised of the best field managers and individuals in the world. My entire career has been spent in the turfgrass industry. My vision is to ensure we continue to attract our future field managers on the advantages of our industry, as well as build public awareness and
improve perception of what our members provide to not only their athletes, but to the environment and public health. I have lobbied the United States Congress on the farm bill since 2000 and have longstanding ties to advocacy and policy involvement, which drives my passion for advocacy for not only the sports industry but the environmental and health benefits our industry provides to the world.
In a time of more stringent regulations, we need to share the benefits of what our members and fields provide to improve the health of our athletes’ and environment. Having a relatable and cohesive message will enable us to expand our influence within the industry and with decision makers in our communities and states.