Gary Bogdanski, equipment manager at The Sharon Golf Club in Sharon Center, Ohio, is the winner of the 2023 Edwin Budding Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The Edwin Budding Award, named for the inventor of the lawn mower, is given annually to an equipment manager or related innovator, technician or engineer who has made a significant impact in the golf course and turf industry.
“There are so many qualified people for the Edwin Budding Award, so it's very humbling and exciting at the same time to receive this award,” Bogdanski said. “My whole goal is to give back to the industry that has been good to me. I hope
to inspire the younger generation to choose this career path and experience its rewards.”
Bogdanski has been with The Sharon Club since 1988, where he began working while still a college student. His mother, Mary Jo, had worked as a baker at the club since 1972, and suggested he apply for a mechanic position that had opened. After graduating
from the University of Akron in 1991 with a degree in mechanical technology, he stayed on at The Sharon Golf Club.
An eight-year GCSAA member, he played an active role in the development of key GCSAA programs designed for equipment managers, including the Equipment Manager Certificate Program (EMCP) and the Certified Turf Equipment Manager (CTEM) certification, the
highest recognition that can be achieved by turf equipment professionals. In addition, he has been a frequent presenter at the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show and Ohio Turfgrass Conference. He also presented several on-demand GCSAA webinars, including
“Best Care Practices for the Turf Care Center”.
Bogdanski’s contributions to educating others doesn’t end with GCSAA. After meeting Ed Nangle, Ph.D., from the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute as part of the GCSAA Equipment Manager Task Group, Nangle asked Bogdanski
if he would be interested in teaching as part of the OSU ATI Turfgrass Equipment Manager Certificate Program. Bogdanski is now in his sixth year of teaching for the university, presenting the courses “Turfgrass Equipment Operation and Maintenance”
and “Turfgrass Reel Mower Maintenance”.
“Gary has not only had a long and successful career as an equipment manager, but he is dedicated to ensuring that the next generation of turf equipment managers have the education they need for successful careers of their own,” GCSAA CEO Rhett
Evans said. “He truly exemplifies the ‘significant impact’ on the industry that the award represents.”
Bogdanski will formally receive the award on Feb. 1 as part of the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in Phoenix. To learn more about the Edwin Budding Award, visit gcsaa.org/awards.