Virtual Event

January 11-14, 2021
Virtual Northern Green

Thurs., January 14, 2021

Virtual MPSTMA Annual Meeting



Welcome to the Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association!

The Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association serves the entire Minnesota Park and Sports Turf industry. The mission of the MPSTMA is to encourage the collection and dissemination of scientific, educational and applied knowledge through association with those persons engaged in, and who are concerned with, the construction, maintenance and use of park and sports turf areas for high quality and safe playing conditions. 

MPSTMA BOD Candidates for 2021

General Member Representative: Greg Hoag, City of Brooklyn Park
General Member Representative: Marshall Syvertsen, City of Edina
General Member Representative: Ben Wallin, St. Francis Schools
General Member Representative: Luke Wittrock, University of St. Thomas
Commercial Member Representative: Matt Krey, Gertens Wholesale
Commercial Member Representative: Mike Zwisler, The Tessman Company
MTGF Representative: Joshua Gerth, CSFM, Bethel University
Vice President: Mark Kruse, CSFM, City of Lakeville
President: Reid Johnson, CSFM, St. Paul Academy and Summit School
Treasurer: Roger Weinbrenner, CSFM, Minnesota Sodding Company

Candidate Profiles

Luke Wittrock

University of St. Thomas
Turf Technician
Member: 6 years

Generally, I perform maintenance on athletic fields, landscapes, sidewalks and parking lots while managing a grounds team. I believe I am a strong leader and communicate well with others. I’d like to see the MPSTMA focus on experimenting with new products to see what works best. For 2021, we need to find ways that we can be safer working in groups or share equipment while COVID is still an issue. I appreciate the support and guidance of other sports turf mangers who are willing to help.,

Matt Krey
Gertens Wholesale
Sales Representative
Member: 3 Years

I open and close our Eagan Branch on a daily basis while selling products and watching inventory levels. I’m running for office so I can be in touch with the latest MPSTMA news. As MPSTMA members we need to focus on introducing someone new to the sports turf industry. I enjoy getting to know all the members and meeting new people.

Mike Zwisler
The Tessman Company
Sales Representative
Member: 1 year

My job description at The Tessman Company is to develop relationships with existing customers and new customers. I am a candidate in this election because I believe it is important to be involved in our community. The MPSTMA needs to focus on younger turf managers. I’ve only been a member of MPSTMA for a year but I enjoyed the Spring Workshop and meeting members.

Greg Hoag
City of Brooklyn Park
Park & Building Maintenance Manager
Member: 26 Years
Board Member 2003-2006, President 2005

I am the Manager of the Park system for the 6th largest city in the state, including all city buildings. Daily responsibilities include project management, planning, policy development, budget and capital projects and equipment and daily oversight of all operations. It has been 15 years since I was last active as a Board member.  As I am reaching the latter part of my career I feel it is time to once again be more active in this great professional organization. In 2021 I believe we need to be aware of the ever- changing things that COVID-19 will bring to our workplaces. Long term I would like to focus and see presentations on what technology is available to help us all do our jobs better. I appreciate the friendships both professional and personal that I have made in my 26 years as a member of the organization.  Everyone is always willing to share their knowledge and ideas with each other.

Mark Kruse, CSFM
City of Lakeville
Parks Superintendent
Member: 11 years

I am running for offfice because I have enjoyed being on the board the past two years and feel that I can continue to make an impact for our membership. This year has shown me that our network of professionals can be very impactful to our membership if they have the opportunity to connect.  Actively working to create these opportunities to our membership is important to me. I also would work to expand our membership to all sports turf manager areas such as schools, universities/colleges, counties and municipalities. The association will need to maintain the interest and involvement of the current members and continue to find avenues to grow. Legislative decisions on many areas that we work in will become more impactful to our members in the future. I believe that we need to find a way to proactively position the MPSTMA to be a part of those decisions and discussions. MPSTMA membership has many advantages, to me the best part is the large network of professionals that we can contact. The opportunity to meet other professionals that work in different environments and our commercial members is a great advantage.  Getting to know these people provide me with options to ask questions, get advice and learn how others are working through situations.                 

Board of Directors Ballot

MPSTMA Members Rise to Occasion; Renovate
Legion Field in Buffalo on August 19 for CSP

Once again, members of the Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association rose to the occasion and renovated a baseball field each year since 2001. This year’s project was Legion Field in Buffalo, MN. In general, the field was in good shape prior to the renovation but needed work on the mound and home plate areas. MagicTurfs' Mike Brunelle, Dave Simeon and Ben Wallin, all MPSTMA members, did prep work on the renovation prior to the August 19 project. MagicTurfs also provided equipment and supplies and labor for this year’s CSP.

The project itself was led by retired member and certified sports field manager Mike McDonald who made sure all volunteers had something productive to do. McDonald has been the driving force behind all the MPSTMA renovations. Those who participate in the CSP’s know how valuable McDonald’s knowledge, work ethic and managing abilities are to MPSTMA’s annual project. McDonald noted that he "would like to personally THANK all the vendors, their donations and all of the volunteers that took their valuable time to help out in this year's CSP 2020. Without your help this would not be possible." 

The City of Buffalo was represented by Adam Farrell, Carrie Kutiliner, Adam Lettimgo, Tim Pearson and Thomas Eckstein. Other’s from Buffalo included high schoolers: Carson Schwartz, Jack Lauer, Jon Euerle and Jake Duke. Ramon Vega, a former Buffalo town ball player and now a coach with a homerun record on the field paid close attention to the renovations and will make sure those maintaining the mound and field will do it properly. Vega was in the San Francisco Giants Baseball Club system.

Luke Wittrock, University of St. Thomas, took control of recreating the pitcher’s mound with help from Simeon who then turned his attention to revamping the home plate area. Mike Zwisler and Tom Thul, The Tessman Seed Company, provided needed supplies and labor. John Braunshausen and Eric Brunelle, MN Equipment, provided key equipment and labor. MTI Distributing Inc.’s Larry Gorman was a useful participant by bringing a couple of Toro Workmans and hauling clay, sod, dirt and whatever else was needed throughout the day. The City of Plymouth volunteers included Brian Swartzer, Jesse Belarr and Samantha Poeschl. Other valuable assets for the day include: Matt Grosjean, CSFM, ISD 197; Nate Mezera, EC Grow; Trent Watters, City of Roseville; Mark Roschen and Joe Bronk, City of Lakeville; Gary Ringus, SlatTrax, and Ben Boeding, CSFM, Minnesota Sodding Company. Also, special thanks to Joe Churchill, Reinders, for donating supplies.

The following projects were performed at Legion Field: Home Plate Circle Renovation; Pitcher Mound Renovation; Arc Restoration/3rd Base Overrun Repair, and Ag-lime Restoration.

Home Plate Circle:
+ Plate to be raised 2 inches
+ Clay added and graded
+ Front of circle: cut out, graded, sodded

Pitcher Mound:
+ Mound returned to 18 ft. diameter
+ Mound rebuilt to specs with clay

Arc Restoration/3rd Base Overrun:
+ Arc restored to 92”
+ Lip from 2nd to 3rd removed and restored
+ Overrun at 3rd restored to match 1st Base

+ Fill Base paths
+ Grade Infield

Each year, the MPSTMA chooses a CSP from a list of applicants by visiting the fields that apply. If your field is in need of renovation, go to the CSP tab at and apply!

CSP Volunteers were:
Adam Farrell, Buffalo
Carrie Kotlinek, Buffalo
Carson Schwartz, Buffalo
Jack Lauer, Buffalo
Jake Duke, Buffalo
Jon Eaerle, Buffalo
Ramon Vega, Buffalo
Thomas Eckstein, Buffalo
Tim Pearson, Buffalo
Nate Mezera, EC Grow
Matt Grosjean, CSFM, ISD 179
Joe Bronk, Lakeville
Mark Roschen, Lakeville
Ben Wallin, MagicTurfs
Dave Simeon, MagicTurfs
Mike Brunelle, MagicTurfs
Eric Brunelle, MN Equipment
John Braunshausen, MN Equipment
Jeff Turtinen, MPSTMA
Ben Boeding, CSFM, MSC
Larry Gorman, MTI
Brian Swartzer, Plymouth
Jesse Belarr, Plymouth
Samantha Poeschl, Plymouth
Mike McDonald, CSFM, Retired
Trent Waters, Roseville
Gary Ringus, Slat Trax
Mike Zwisler, The Tessman Company
Tom Thul, The Tessman Company
Luke Wittrock, University of St. Thomas

Simeon, Brodd, Gustafson and McDonald Capture 2020 MPSTMA Scramble Title at Royal Golf Club

The 1st Annual MPSTMA Scramble at Royal Golf Club fielded ten, 4-person teams on July 16 at the beautiful Lake Elmo site. Winning by five strokes, with the help of a couple of eagles, at 14-under-par and a score of 58 was the team of Dave Simeon, Magicturfs/Town & Country Landscaping; Gregg Brodd, Turfco Manufacturing; Cody Gustafson, Turfix, and Mike McDonald, CSFM, recently retired from TCF Bank Stadium. A team of MTI Distributing representatives finished second at 63. The MTI team included Bob Frank, Larry Gorman, Joe Buegge and Tim Fleegel. Third place finishers at 7-under par was a City of Lakeville team comprised of Brandon Oppelt, Jeff Vinkemeieer, Mark Roschen and Tom Weiss. A big winner was Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation Board Member Tom Redmann, pictured on the right above, who had the best shot of the day on MTI's Closest-to-the-Pin contest on Hole No. 4 and won a 21-inch Toro lawn mower. Pictured with Redmann is Jim O'Neill, Eco Works Supply and a tournament sponsor, looking on. Pictured left above is the winning team. Seated on the left is McDonald and on the right is Simeon. Standing on the left is Brodd and on the right is Gustafson. The day was a fun success. Blue skies and happy golfers. Special thanks to Head Golf Pro Kent Blaschko and Course Superintendent Mike Sonnek for helping us produce a first-class day.

MPSTMA thanks our golf tournament  sponsors for their support and participation!

2020 MPSTMA Fall Workshop Scheduled for Nov. 18

Nice Crowd in Lakeville at the 2019 Fall Workshop. Pictured is former MPSTMA President Josh Gerth, CSFM, Bethel University, with Keynote Speaker Glen Mason, former Golden Gopher Football Coach and currently serves as an analyst with the Big Ten Network

he MPSTMA Fall Workshop is scheduled for November 18 at Brackett's Crossing Country Club in Lakeville.. Last fall the Workshop also took place at Brackett's Crossing Country Club and attracted 203 registrants. The Workshop featured speakers on relevant topics for Park Supervisors, Sports Turf Managers and their staffs. Commercial members provided tabletop displays of their products, equipment and services. The Workshop began at 7 am with an hour of socializing and networking with peers and vendors along with a Continental Breakfast sponsored by St. Croix Recreation, Superior Tech Products and Midwest Groundcover Express Blower Service. The trio of companies also helped sponsor lunch. In the main ballroom, Travis Gannon, North Carolina State University offered a webinar focusing on the use of pesticide on athletic fields. At the same time, in the Pearl Room, Joel Muller, League of Minnesota Cities gave a talk about onboarding and training new staff. After those sessions, the ballroom featured a Minnesota State Patrol Officer updating the audience on new roadway laws and roadway safety. Joe Churchill spoke about a proactive approach to high performing ball field maintenance, at the same time in the Pearl Room. A mid-morning break to spend time with peers and vendors took place before lunch. After lunch, Nick Ryan, Assistant Superintendent at Brackett's Crossing, talked about the massive resodding and course renovation that took place at Brackett's Crossing during 2019. Keynote Speaker Glen Mason entertained the audience with stories about his Golden Gopher days as a coach and a question/answer session. To wrap things up, Mark Kruse and Mac Cafferty, both from the City of Lakeville talked about the Lakeville's case study: Low Grow, Low Input fescue. Discussion followed. After the event, a number of people ventured to Rock Hard Landscape Supply's social hour at their new yard in Farmington.

Let's Re-Open the Conversation about COVID-19

As I am sure is the case with everyone, I find myself trying to navigate through the new COVID-19 world we are experiencing.  It seems that information is changing and being updated almost hourly.  As an organization, following social distancing guidelines we will be suspending our in-person board meetings opting to hold them virtually for now.  - Paul Miskimen, City of Burnsville and MPSTMA President.

We are looking for a way for members to share information on how their organizations are handing the COVID-19 response.  We have members from across a wide range of organizations and I think there would be benefits to having ideas shared.  We set up a blog at: on the MPSTMA website where you can post questions you have about how others are handling something or give details on different work practices you have instituted.  As an example, here in Burnsville we have shut down all spring athletic programs, water features, shelter rentals and recreation programs.  We have also suspended hiring of any seasonal staff.  Are others having a similar response?  What do maintenance practices look like on athletic fields that are not being used?  Please access the blog, I hope you find it a useful resource.

MPSTMA Spring Workshop Able to Take Place in March
Hours before State Lockdown for Covid-19 Pandemic

Marcus Campbell, CHS Field/St. Paul Saints speaking in left photo, and Larry Divito, Target Field/Minnesota Twins, right photo, both addressed nice audiences at the MPSTMA Spring Workshop on March 11 where more than 230 registered for the event.

The MPSTMA Spring Workshop took place on March 11 at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. Fortunately, the event took place 48 hours before Governor Walz put a "shelter in place" mandate for MInnesotans where no more than 10 people can gather. The MPSTMA had its biggest crowd and vendor support as more than 230 registered and 26 companies participated. The event annually sets up MPSTMA financially for the year. We were lucky. Minnesota Twins head groundskeeper Larry DiVito keynoted the event with a presentation on his first 10 years at Target Field."  Tim VanLoo, CSFM, Grounds & Facilities Manager at Iowa State talked about "Mentoring the Next Generation of Turf Managers."  Derek Hollanitsch, City of St. Paul, and Marcus Campbell, CHS Field,  put together a presentation and video documentary of the winter setup of a hockey rink and slide at CHS Field in St. Paul. The presentation shared experiences of lessons learned in 30 years of park work. Michael Richard, Mississippi State University, performed a webinar on how to teach coaches and field users about field maintenance. Dominic Petrella, University of Minnesota, hosted a session titled: "Understanding and Managing Turfgrasses Under Shade." Dominic is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota working in the turfgrass science group with Dr. Eric Watkins. A Roundtable on salt brines and pre-treating - what works and what doesn't took place after the Keynote.

Sponsor Opportunities
The MPSTMA annually holds events throughout the calendar year that seeks sponsorship and participation from our Commercial Members. The annual events include our Spring Workshop, Tour-on-Wheels, Demo Day, Community Service Project, Chapter Clash and Fall Workshop. Please click the link below if you would like to sponsor any of our events.

Become a Sponsor