The Maryland Turfgrass Council is a non-profit corporation governed by the Officers and Members of the Board of Directors. The Officers and Directors have one vote in all matters before the Council.

The officers include a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Past President. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be held by the same person. All officers are elected from the general membership to two-year terms, except the Past President.

There are currently nine Directors who represent different facets of the Maryland Turfgrass Industry. The Directors are elected from the general membership to three-year, two-year and one-year terms.

The Executive Director is a non-voting member of the Council, employed to maintain membership records, publish newsletters and assist Council activities.

There are currently six Advisers who are selected by the Board of Directors, and who serve as non-voting members of the Board. They include faculty of the University of Maryland, personnel of the Maryland Department of Agriculture and Maryland Agriculture Commission.

For more information about the duties of MTC Officers and Board of Directors, see the Constitution and By-laws.


2022 MTC Board of Directors

Executive Director

Vernon Cooper

MTC Executive Director

All States Turf Consultants; Owner/ Agronomist

Email: Execdir@Mdturfcouncil.com

Vernon has served on the MTC Board of Directors from 1975 to 2014 as an advisor and board member. Spring of 2014 he accepted the position of Executive Director. His goal is to continue the MTC's support of research by continuing to provide education in different venues, such as our new and improved MTC Turf News.

President

Brandon Sands

Maryland National Capital Park and Panning Commission

Email: Brandon.Sands@pgparks.com


Current Position: Southern Region Parks Division’s Recreation and Park Maintenance Coordinator.  Brandon Sands has worked with the MNCPPC for ten years, starting as a Park Maintenance Crew Leader. He was later promoted to Landscape Supervisor II, leading Landscape and Turf Development for the Maintenance & Development Division.  Brandon’s turf specialty experience has spanned over 25 years. Before M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation, Brandon worked in professional baseball and collegiate organizations (Bowie Baysox, Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Coastal Caroline University, and the US Naval Academy). He also worked for ten years in the Athletic Grounds Department for Anne Arundel County Schools. Currently, Brandon serves as the President of the Maryland Turfgrass Council and has served as the Turf Liaison on several committees for the MNCPPC.

Vice President

Pat Coakley

Dura Edge Products

Email: pcoakley@duraedge.com


Patrick spent 23 years working in Minor League baseball before joining DuraEdge in November of 2017. More commonly known in the industry as “Irish”, he enjoyed an award-winning career working for seven different teams in five different states. Irish is now settled in Maryland as the Mid-Atlantic Sales Representative for DuraEdge. He joined the MTC in 2020. 

Immediate Past President

Ben Ellis

Golf Course Superintendent, Fort Belvoir Golf Club

Email: Golfturf54@gmail.com

Phone: (571) 340-0122

MTC Committee(s): Media, Communications


Golf runs through Ben Ellis’s veins, and he has spent more than half his life on a golf course. In fact, one of his earliest memories is chipping golf balls on the par 3 hole his grandfather constructed in their front yard. After joining the clubhouse staff at Fort Belvoir Golf Club during his teen years, Ben quickly found a home within the golf course maintenance personnel, and his passion for the art and science of greenkeeping blossomed through stints at Fort Belvoir, Laurel Hill, Andrews and Paint Branch. When not at the course, Ben enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, Sara, and their two dogs Bruce and Leia, near their home in Southern Maryland. Ben is a student of the game and takes every opportunity to get out and play on courses of every variety.

Secretary

Cheryl Gaultney

MTC Secretary/ Treasurer

Email: Sandqueen10@aol.com

Cheryl has served the MTC since 1976. She is the guiding finacial guru of the Council.


Treasurer

Katy Cooper

MTC Treasurer

Email: Treasurer@MDTurfcouncil.com 

Board Member

Brian Haga

Scientific Plant Services

Email: Brian@spsonline.com


Brian has more than 25 years of experience with Scientific Plant Service, headquartered in Baltimore Maryland. As Owner and President of the company he is also a Certified Fertilizer Applicator, a Certified Pest Control Applicator and International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Frostburg State University.

Board Member

Amanda Stillwagon

Calvert County Parks and Recreation

Email: Amanda.Stillwagon@calvertcountymd.gov

Amanda is the Park Planner for Calvert County Government Department of Parks and Recreation. She has a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in Landscape Architecture and a Master’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Environmental Science. Her goal is to support the organization and its continuing education for members of the industry.


Amanda is the Park Planner for Calvert County Government Department of Parks and Recreation. She has a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in Landscape Architecture and a Master’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Environmental Science. Her goal is to support the organization and its continuing education for members of the industry.

Board Member

Perry Whaley

Newsom Seed

Email: Perry@Newsomseed.com


I am the General Manager for Newsom Seed, where I oversee the day to day operations at our main warehouse facility in Fulton, Maryland. Prior to joining Newsom in 2010, I was a Golf Course Superintendent in Fredericksburg, Virginia and an Assistant Superintendent in Ohio. Turfgrass Management has been a passion of mine for about 20 years now. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my five year old son, playing golf and any activity centered around spending time with friends

Board Member

Jamie Roell

Anne Arundle County Recreation and Parks

Email: rproel09@aacounty.org

Past Maryland Turfgrass Council President


Board Member

Matt Coates

Maryland National Capital Park and Planning

Email: Matthew.Coates88@gmail.com


Board Member

Catherine Abramavage

Central Sod Farms 

Email: catherine@centralsodmd.com


Board Member

Logan Freeman

Golf Course Superintendent

Mountain Branch Golf Club

Email: Lfreeman@mountainbranch.com


Board Member

Scott Orndorff

Landscape Supply 

Email: Scott@landscapesupplyva.com


Board Member

Fred Johnson

Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Email: frederick.Johnson@pgparks.com

Board Member

Stephen King

McHale Landscape Design

Email: stephenk@mchalelandscape.com



University Advisor

Geoffrey Rinehart

University of Maryland, Institute of Applied Agriculture

Email: Geoffrey.rhinehart@ars.usda.gov


Maryland Department of Agriculture Advisor

Rick Boldissar

Maryland Department of Agriculture, Turf and Seed Section

Email: Rick.boldissar@maryland.gov




The Maryland Turfgrass Council      P.O. Box 389, St. Michaels, MD 21663   Phone: (443) 742-6618       

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