Lawrence, Kan.--The Sports Turf Managers Association’s (STMA) 25 th Annual Conference and Exhibition will be held Jan. 21-25, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas and will build upon the diversity of educational offerings made available to attendees. Nearly 1,200 sports turf managers – from high schools and parks districts to Major League Baseball and NFL groundskeepers – will converge on the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for more than 75 hours of sports turf specific education, dedicated networking functions and exhibitor demonstrations. The keynote speaker for the conference is former broadcaster and current motivational speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby, who will speak to the essential skills managers need to survive in today’s business environment. The association’s continuing education program, “STMA Academy,” continues its second year with the same highly-rated higher level learning opportunities that can be built upon at each successive annual conference. Additionally, STMA will celebrate its 25 th conference and exhibition anniversary in San Antonio with a number of historical educational sessions that will examine where the association has been – and how it plans to position itself for the future.
“For the past 25 conferences and exhibitions, STMA has provided attendees with a best-in-class experience through innovative educational sessions, networking opportunities, hands on tours of sports facilities and a singular focus on advancing the sports turf industry as a whole,” said Kim Heck, Chief Executive Officer, STMA. “As the premier not-for-profit, professional association for the men and women who manage sports fields worldwide, we are excited at the opportunity San Antonio provides to show how our dedicated members have moved our association to where it is now, and to share our board’s vision for the next 25 years.”
New to the conference experience this year is the introduction of a new member benefits and “referral rewards” program, both designed to help the association build on its continued growth. New members – those individuals who have not been an STMA national member since 2000 – are now eligible to receive a free conference registration (valued at $375, to be used within three years) when they purchase an STMA membership. This member offer is valid for the association’s sports turf manager and commercial categories, including individuals at the associate level (sports turf manager and commercial associates). Unfortunately, new affiliate and student members are not eligible for the free conference registration benefit. Those members who joined in 2013 – especially those individuals who signed up during the association’s recent prorated dues promotion – are eligible for the free conference registration promotion if they renew for 2014.
Additionally, all STMA members are eligible for the association’s new “Referral Rewards” program. Any current member who refers a new qualifying individual that signs up for a membership will receive a $100 voucher that can be used on a variety of items, including STMA merchandise, conference registration fees or membership dues. There is no limit to the number of new recruits a member can refer; the referring individual will receive the $100 voucher incentive for each new person they pass along who signs up.
The association’s selection of San Antonio as its 2014 conference destination speaks to the city’s rich cultural heritage. San Antonio has found success as a tourist destination favorite because of its world-renowned Riverwalk – a “picturesque link between restaurants, hotels and shops…providing millions of visitors each year with scenic pathways and waterways leading to the city’s cultural and historic sites”  – in addition to its historical attractions, including the Alamo, Missions National Historical Park , and scenic Texas Hill Country.