Changing of the guard at GIS 2019

Rafael Barajas was elected the 83rd president of GCSAA at the association’s Annual Meeting.

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Rafael Barajas
Newly elected GCSAA president Rafael Barajas, CGCS, (center) is escorted by past GCSAA presidents at the end of the association’s Annual Meeting on Feb. 7 at the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego. Photo by Angela Hartmann


GCSAA has its first Hispanic president, two new membership classes and one new member on its board of directors after delegates voted at the Annual Meeting at the 2019 Golf Industry Show on Thursday in San Diego.

Rafael Barajas, CGCS, officially became the association’s 83rd president. Barajas, director of golf course maintenance at Boca Grove Golf & Tennis Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and a 33-year GCSAA member, replaces 2018 president Darren Davis, CGCS.

“I will dedicate my full attention and my uncompromising commitment to the process,” said Barajas, the fourth youngest of 14 siblings who was 14 years old when his family moved to the United States from Mexico. “I assure you, I will not take the responsibility lightly.”

John R. Fulling Jr., CGCS, grounds and facilities manager at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Country Club, was named vice president, and Mark F. Jordan, CGCS, natural resource leader at Westfield Country Club in Westfield Center, Ohio, was elected secretary/treasurer.

Jeff L. White, CGCS, superintendent at Indian Hills Country Club in Prairie Village, Kan., and T.A. Barker, CGCS, superintendent at Fore Lakes Golf Course in Taylorsville, Utah, were both re-elected to the board of directors. Delegates selected Paul L. Carter, CGCS, director of agronomy at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay in Harrison, Tenn., to the third open board position. Directors serve two-year terms.

Also Thursday, delegates voted to approve three bylaw changes. Two created new association membership classes: Facility Membership and Friend of the Golf Course Superintendent.

Facility Membership: To qualify for Facility Membership, an applicant must be a golf course facility that employs no current GCSAA member. Facility Members shall have all rights of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify in the Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office.

Friend of the Golf Course Superintendent: To qualify for Friend of the Golf Course Superintendent membership, an applicant must be an individual who supports the course and does not qualify for membership in any other class. Friends of the Golf Course Superintendent shall have all rights of the Association as the Board of Directors may specify in the Standing Rules, except those of voting and holding office.

Delegates also voted to approve this wording for Article II, Section 1:

The annual dues shall be sums fixed by the Board of Directors, except for Classes A, B and C. Annual dues for Classes A, B and C shall not exceed the sum fixed at any annual meeting of the Association, as decided by a balloting conducted under regular voting procedures set forth in the Standing Rules of the Convention established by the Board of Directors, in accordance with Article V of these Bylaws. Dues shall be payable in advance of the member’s annual renewal date.

Delegates also approved annual dues increases for Class A and Class B from $380 to $400, and an increase for Class C superintendents from $195 to $205.

Attendees also heard an emotional farewell from Bill H. Maynard, CGCS, director of golf course maintenance operations at The Country Club of St. Albans (Mo.), who retired from the board after serving the past year as immediate past president.

After Davis presented Maynard with the traditional white sport coat awarded to the association’s past presidents, Maynard addressed the gathering and echoed sentiments he had expressed to the membership throughout his service. He took the opportunity to issue a final challenge: “Impacting someone and changing a life is easier than you think,” he said. “You’re in this association for a reason. I think that reason is to impact someone positively.”


Andrew Hartsock is GCM’s managing editor.