As I am going on week 2 in Ireland, I first want express my appreciation to all who helped get me here. The dream of working in Ireland at the Island Golf Club began mid-summer 2016 with Chris Tritabaugh, my boss at Hazeltine. Chris introduced me to Mike O'Keeffe from Ohio State who, in turn, put me in contact with Jon Kiger of TurfNet who ultimately put me in touch with Island Club superintendent Dave Edmondson. The hard work of these four men was fundamental in aligning me for this opportunity and internship.
Me with Mike O'Keeffe of the Ohio State international internship program.
This lead me to Tampa, Florida, the first week of May 2017, where I attended the annual TOCA (Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association) meeting with Jon Kiger and John Reitman from TurfNet. While there, I met many suppliers, agencies, and media representatives and the TOCA staff (special shoutout to Kristy Mach for her help with my travel arrangements to the meeting).
I learned a lot about writing for the turf industry; and I played golf at the beautiful Saddlebrook Resort. After a long Minnesota winter, I enjoyed basking in the sun! But most importantly, I met Jose Milan and Pat Morrow from Bayer - the sponsor for the TOCA Media Internship. Without Bayer's financial support this program would not be possible. I thank TOCA, Bayer and TurfNet for this incredible opportunity.
The group at the recent TOCA meeting in Tampa.
The final thanks go to my family. In the late 1800s, when a family member would leave Ireland for America, the family would hold a long sendoff party called a "Parting Glass" since it was generally understood that the individual leaving would not be coming back to Ireland. Although I will be returning to the United States (I think), I was fortunate to have my parents, sister and her fiancé join me in Tampa for our own version of my "Parting Glass" as I left for my summer in Ireland. I can't tell you how much it means to have the love, support and a little financial backing from my whole family, including those who are back in Minnesota.
As the Irish blessing states, "May your troubles be less and your blessings be more and nothing but happiness come through your door."