River Bend Golf Club course foreman Carmen Kozak is the 2014 winner of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association Future Superintendent of the Year award.
The award is presented to a full-time student member of CGSA who is completing his/her graduating year in a CGSA recognized turf management program. The nominees who are considered for this award are interviewed by a three-person panel comprised of a representative of the Toro Company (the award sponsor), the industry (an architect, owner, superintendent, etc.) and the CGSA.
Kozak began her golf course career five years ago working as a seasonal greenskeeper at Wolf Creek, then took on a senior staff member role at Wolf Creek before taking over her current post. She completed her Turfgrass Management Diploma at Olds College in April of this year.
Jason Pick, the Olds College golf course management instructor, said Kozak’s “long term plans to become a superintendent are well planned, strategically pursuing the accredited golf superintendent, followed by the ultimate goal of becoming the first female master superintendent of CGSA.” Kozak said working at Wolf Creek provided her the opportunity to work under Rick David and Cameron Kusiek (past winner of the CGSA/Toro Future Superintendent of the Year Award) who both helped to provide the foundation for her beginnings in this industry.
“Cameron has had the biggest influence on my career and my love for the game of golf,” she said. “It is through him that I developed a true understanding of how to be an exceptional turf manager and still have fun doing so. It is his passion and professionalism that ultimately made me decide to pursue this career.”
Kozak’sother achievements include being on the Olds College dean’s list (2012-2014), being awarded the 2013 AGSA scholarship and being the winner of several gold and bronze medals as one of the top swimmers in Alberta.