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Syngenta Business Institute application period open


When Jim Pavonetti, CGCS, applied for a spot in the 2015 Syngenta Business Institute, he did so not to learn more about agronomy, but to develop and polish his management and business skills.
Paul B. Latshaw, left, tries to read Chad Mark's poker face during an exercise at SBI 2015."The reason I came is because this deals with things that are outside of our wheelhouse," said Pavonetti of Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. "Making greens great is what we do, but managing boards and owners, those are the kinds of things we can improve upon."
Golf course superintendents seeking to enhance their business acumen can now apply for the 2017 Syngenta Business Institute, an intensive four-day program designed to grow the professional knowledge of golf course superintendents and assist them with managing their courses. Through a partnership with the Wake Forest University School of Business, the program provides graduate school-level instruction in financial management, human resource management, negotiating, managing across generations and cultural divides, impact hiring and other leadership- and professional-development skills.
"We're negotiating every day," Pavonetti said, "whether it's buying chemicals or fertilizers, or working with the finance committee over next year's budget, or selling projects to committees."
The ninth annual SBI is scheduled for Dec. 4-7, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Syngenta receives nearly 100 applications annually, but only about 25 superintendents are chosen to attend the program.
"I have attended many conferences and educational sessions in my career, but the Syngenta Business Institute is one of the most unique and rewarding experiences I have ever been part of," said 2015 SBI attendee John Cunningham, CGCS at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. "Golf course superintendents are truly responsible for running a business. Having the opportunity to attend three days of business classes focused on the many challenges we face as superintendents was unbelievable. Spending time with other superintendents was beneficial and walking away with best management practices, tools and solutions to help some of these problems was awesome."
To apply, visit GreenCastOnline.com/SBI. Application deadline is Aug. 15, and those selected to attend will be notified in October.


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