(Greg Neill, right, with Anthony Williams)
The Equipment Manager at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Tex., has won the annual award that recognizes excellence among golf course equipment managers and the vital role they play in course management. He was nominated by Anthony Williams, CGCS, Director of Golf & Landscape Operations at the property. Brian Bressler from Medinah CC and Jody Farber from Anthem CC were also named finalists for this year’s award.
Greg Neill, the Equipment Manager at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas in Irving, Tex., has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Most Valuable Technician (MVT) Award, presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Course Management magazine in partnership with Foley Company.
Now in its tenth year, the award recognizes excellence among golf course equipment managers and the vital role they play in the golf course management industry. Equipment managers are nominated by their golf course superintendent, and a panel of industry judges narrows those nominations down to three finalists, who are then voted on by GCSAA members through an online voting process.
Neill, who was nominated by Anthony Williams, CGCS, the Director of Golf & Landscape Operations at the Four Seasons property, was featured in C+RB’s article on Equipment Managers in its August 2019 issue (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/equipment-managers-help-keep-maintenance-team-running-smoothly/).
Neill has been in the golf course management business for nearly two decades, and currently serves as the lead trainer of safety efforts in his club’s grounds department to improve safety. He is certified in CPR and first aid and thanks to Neill’s leadership, the Four Seasons property is entering its third year without a lost-time accident.
Environmental stewardship is also a big deal at Las Colinas, and Neill played a big role in Williams and the resort winning GCSAA’s and Golf Digest’s 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Award. The five-year GCSAA member is also dedicated to professional development and completed the GCSAA Level 1 Equipment Management Certificate Program during the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
“I am honored, humbled and excited to win the MVT Award,” Neill said. “I am glad equipment managers have an award like this to recognize the hard work and dedication we put into our golf courses. Most of the time I am called, it is because something is broken and needs to be repaired. It feels good to get calls of congratulations and hear ‘good job’ every once in a while.”
Added Williams: “Greg Neill is the driving force that keeps our operation moving. He is a master of his craft and you see it across our property, from the lawns at the hotel entrance to the greens on both courses,
“Greg’s ‘signature’ is seen on the quality of cut [of the property’s golf course], and he has excellent ‘penmanship,’ ” Williams added. “He takes ownership of every piece of equipment and its role in our operation. Greg and I have a great relationship and it makes everything easier—he is a huge asset to our team and an innovator and leader within the equipment manager side of the golf industry.
“The MVT Award is a huge honor, and now others will know what I have always known: Greg is the best!” Williams said.
“Golf course superintendents have long been aware of the enormous impact their equipment managers have on the success of the golf course maintenance operations,” said Rhett Evans, the GCSAA’s CEO. “GCSAA wishes to recognize the efforts of equipment managers through the MVT Award and their own membership classification, of which there are over 800 members.
“”Greg Neill’s passion and dedication as an equipment manager are unmatched,” Evans added. “He’s a key member of the team at Four Seasons who contributes strong knowledge and leadership, and we’re proud to recognize him for all his achievements.”
Paul Rauker, President of Foley Company, which has been the presenting partner of the MVT Award since its inception, said, “Foley Company remains a proud sponsor of this award. We are pleased to give back to the outstanding equipment managers, our largest customer base.
“We congratulate Greg for winning this year’s award and for all he has accomplished at Four Seasons, and thank you to everyone who submitted nominations,” Rauker added.
Also selected as finalists for this year’s MVT Award were Brian Bressler from Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, and Jody Farber, the Equipment Manager, at the time of nomination, at Anthem Country Club in Henderson, Nev.
Previous year’s MVT Award Winners have included:
2018 — Trent Manning, Ansley Golf Club, Atlanta
2017 — Blas Huezo, Barona Creek Golf Club, Lakeside, Calif.
2016 — Yvon Jeaurond, Victoria (B.C., Canada) Golf Club
2015 — Cory Phillips, Horseshoe Bend Country Club, Roswell, Ga., and the Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta
2014 — Joe Stefanick, Seven Lakes Golf and Tennis Community, Fort Myers, Fla.
2013 — Brian Heywood, The Valley Club, Hailey, Idaho
2012 — Jim Stuart, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club by Marriott
2011 — Gene Pascarelli, Colorado Springs Country Club
2010 — Ramon Salas, Azusa Greens Country Club, Azusa, Calif.