As the calendar turns to 2018, many Turf Managers begin to prepare for the upcoming season. Preparations take on many forms. During my time as a Golf Course Superintendent, I took great pride in evaluating the previous season and establishing goals for the next season. So I thought I’d share with you the 5 criteria I used to evaluate our programs each year in hopes they may help you in this time of preparation.
Paula Koziol began working for Walker Supply, Inc. in October 2010 after moving from Cleveland, Ohio to the Pittsburgh area. She works as a part-time member of the Business Operations staff where she assists sales reps, processes orders, and greets and assists inbound callers to our main line. Having since moved to Philadelphia, she was thrilled when WSI expanded the company to include the eastern half of the state!
Prior to joining WSI, Paula earned her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. She later put her pursuit of a career aside to raise her children and joined the WSI family once her kids were older.
Paula appreciates the personal touch that WSI provides its customers, even as the company grows. “Being on the WSI team really is like being a part of a family. I make it my mission to extend that kindness and welcome to our customers as best I can,” she explained.
Paula and her husband, Alex, have been married for twenty-one years; they have two sons, Alexander (19) and Miles (17), as well as a daughter, Lanie (13). Paula enjoys hiking with the family’s German Short-Haired Pointer, working on home renovations, and traveling. She dreams of someday owning a lake house in the family’s favorite vacation spot, Maine.
Dan Olson is a Territory Manager located in Northwestern Pennsylvania near Lake Erie. When Dan was in college, he spent his first two years as an engineering student at Penn State University. During the summers he worked for a landscape company and realized that he preferred working outdoors rather than behind a desk. He decided to make a course adjustment and change his major to Agronomy with an emphasis on Turfgrass Science.
Randy Ratcliff joined the WSI team in March of this year as part of the acquisition from Turf Trade. Randy’s journey in the turf business started when he was in college at IUP, and he worked the summer months at Sunset Golf Club in Middletown, PA. In 1983 he graduated with a Business Degree, and went on to establish a career in the sales and service side of the turf industry.
Randy started out with Chemlawn for 7 years as a Sales and Service Senior Specialist. He later transitioned to Lesco and John Deer Landscapes where he held positiosn as Branch Manager for Lawn Care and then Outside Sales Rep for the Golf Division for a total of 17 years. He continued down this path in outside sales over the coming years, spending time with both Genesis Turfgrass and Synatek, before putting his roots down with Turf Trade in 2016. “After 25 years in the turf business, I enjoy most establishing relationships with customers and watching them grow their business year after year,” Randy reflected.
“I have really enjoyed my time so far with Walker Supply. The leadership, sales, and support team members are such a great bunch of people,” said Randy. “Now being part of the team myself since the Spring, I can honestly say it feels like being part of a family. Over the years that is something that has become very important to me, and I’m thankful for such an environment.”
Randy is an avid golfer himself and self-described golf equipment junkie. He usually spends his weekends at the golf course trying out something new! You’ll also find him recharging around the house, spending time with his girlfriend and their two Havenese dogs.
Territory Manager Rick Catalogna has proudly been in the golf business for 21 years... and counting! What makes his journey special is the fact that he spent nearly 15 of those years in golf course operations before transitioning to the dark side about 7 years ago. Prior to joining the Walker Supply, Inc. team in 2011, Rick spent 8 years at Pikewood National Golf Course in Morgantown, WV as the grow-in Superintendent. In 2007, Rick earned his Golf Course Superintendent certification through GCSAA and has maintained this status to this day.
Nick joined the Walker Supply, Inc. team on October 2012 after serving as an Assistant Field Manager with the Pittsburgh Pirates for two seasons. He graduated from Penn State in 2010 with a B.S. in Turfgrass Science. After experiences with working with the Philadelphia Eagles and then the Pittsburgh Pirates, Nick joined Walker Supply, Inc. as the team's first Athletic Field Specialist.
Doug Gagnon, Warehouse Sales Associate in Pittston, PA, comes from an extensive sales background. His career started as an independent sales rep for a wholesale jewelry company where he traveled eastern PA, NJ, DE, and MD, and participated in trade shows throughout the year. Then Doug made the transition to Sears in Lebanon, PA where he was the Auto Center Manager. His role later expanded, managing the Lancaster and Allentown Auto Centers. As Doug grew professionally, so did his responsibilities with Sears. In 1999, he moved to Scranton, PA to be Operations Manager and Brand Central (Appliances) Manager. In 2003, Doug had the opportunity to manage a store in Preque Isle, ME, where he proudly led the team to be a Top 100 store throughout the country for two consecutive years. He later returned to manage the Scranton store in 2006. Then in 2011, Doug encountered another pivotal transition in his career, and he joined Lowes and became the Delivery Manager.
Early this summer, Doug joined WSI, becoming an integral part of the Pittston team. Doug tells us, “The opportunity I have had with WSI has been fantastic. I have already learned so much about the turf business from Barry Craig! It has really been an interesting turn in my career.” Doug has always gotten much joy from helping customers, and in his new role its no different. “My background in sales has been invaluable in my new position, helping me get to know and better support all of our customers. They’ve all been a joy to be around so far. It’s been so great to be able to help them find the solutions they need for their businesses!” he continued.
Doug isn’t your “all work, no play” kind of guy. He enjoys playing golf, hunting, and fishing. But most of all, his favorite pass time is riding his motorcycle! In fact, you’ll find him out riding most weekends during the summer. We’re pretty sure he already has a countdown running waiting for those great summer weekends to return once again!