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Richard Gagnon, a Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Class A superintendent at Segregansett Country Club in Taunton, Mass., has been selected to receive the 2010 GCSAA Excellence in Government Relations Award in the compliance category.

The award will be presented at the 2010 GCSAA Education Conferenceduring Celebrate GCSAA! presented in partnership with Syngenta, Feb. 9. Formerly the Opening Session and Welcoming Reception, Celebrate GCSAA! is hosted by GCSAA President Mark D. Kuhns, CGCS. The conference (Feb. 8-12) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 10-11) at the San Diego Convention Center.
“Rich is such a passionate leader in our industry,” Kuhns said. “It is an honor to recognize his government relations work. He is a shining example of GCSAA and its members seeking to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
In a cost-saving effort, Gagnon hired high school students to work on his grounds crew. In preparation of employing minors, he teamed up with Ron Smith of Sports Club Management, a company that provides training for employees concerning right-to-know, safety training, and labor laws, to get the attention of the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General to better define the child labor laws as they relate to golf course management. 
Gagnon put together a checklist of all the commonly used pieces of golf equipment, including color photographs, to better enable reviewers in the Attorney General’s Office to determine how the law applied to each piece of equipment.   
From these proactive efforts, the Fair Labor Division in the Office of the Attorney General helped interpret the laws as they apply to the turf management business and clarified the tasks minors may perform in the workplace. The information was compiled into a checklist that Gagnon shared with other golf course superintendents across the commonwealth to assist in complying with state child labor law requirements. 
“Rich took it upon himself to tackle an issue that he knew would require a lot of time and effort, but one that he also knew could cause problems to the industry if it was not addressed,” Smith said. “The potential trouble the use of teenage employees could have caused was eliminated thanks to his foresight, his ingenuity, his powers of persuasion, his work ethic, and his professionalism.”
Gagnon graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in his hometown Peabody, Mass., and earned a B.S. degree from Salem State College in 1991. He is also a 1995 graduate of the University of Massachusetts with a B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science. Gagnon currently resides in Mansfield, Mass., and has two daughters, Taylor 11 and Lindsey 9.
Gagnon served as the assistant superintendent at the Salem Country Club in Peabody from 1996-2003 before becoming the head superintendent at Segregansett. The Salem Country Club, a Donald Ross design and host of five USGA Championships, hosted the U.S. Senior Open in 2001.
GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 20,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. The association’s philanthropic organization, The Environmental Institute for Golf, works to strengthen the compatibility of golf with the natural environment through research grants, support for education programs and outreach efforts. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org.

 

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