Ben Anderson (on left in photo), golf course superintendent at Arrowhead Country Club in Montgomery, Ala., has received the Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award from GCSAA.
The Grassroots Ambassador Leadership (GAL) Award, presented quarterly in partnership with The Toro Co., honors individuals who have demonstrated growth in advocacy and advancement of the GCSAA Priority Issues Agenda through congressional outreach and relationship development with a member of Congress. Through Toro, the winners receive a trip to the 2019 National Golf Day in Washington, D.C.
“Advocacy efforts are truly making a difference in the public perception of golf,” says GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “We are fortunate to have highly engaged members like Ben who work with members of Congress to bring the issues that affect golf to their attention. Congratulations to him on this recognition.”
The GAL Award is part of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador program, which matches superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships with them. More than 335 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.
A five-year member of GCSAA, Anderson was first approached about becoming involved in government affairs by GCSAA Southeast regional field staff representative Ron Wright, CGCS. Anderson brings a unique perspective to the role, having spent seven years as an assistant superintendent at a military base.
“My involvement with GCSAA government affairs has helped to educate me on real issues that my colleagues and I must think about and approach in our careers,” Anderson says. “By learning what is happening on a national level, it helps to prepare us for how it can impact our local courses and employees.”
As an ambassador, Anderson was paired with U.S. Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama. Anderson quickly started a line of communication with Roby’s office, which led to a visit from her legislative director, Mike Albares (on right in photo), who has since been named Roby’s chief of staff.
“We met for a few hours, had lunch and discussed topics such as the Clean Water Act and immigration laws,” Anderson says. “I shared with him a few of my experiences and some of the ways we engage in wildlife management and water conservation.”
Since then, Anderson has also been in contact with Roby’s office concerning the H-2B visa program, and he met with staff members in Roby’s local Montgomery office in July.