U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer and golf course superintendent William Bieck during the senator’s visit to Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook, Neb., in August 2015. Photo courtesy of Deb Fischer
William Bieck, a retired Certified Golf Course Superintendent from McCook, Neb., has received GCSAA’s Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award.
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, GAL winners receive a trip to the 2020 National Golf Day in Washington, D.C.
“We are fortunate to have highly engaged members like Bill, who continues to be an advocate for the industry even in his retirement,” says GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “He is making a difference in the public perception of golf in Nebraska and on the national level. Congratulations to him on this recognition.”
The GAL Award is part of the GCSAA Grassroots Ambassador program, which pairs superintendents with members of Congress to build strong relationships with them. More than 350 GCSAA members currently serve as ambassadors.
Bieck signed on as a grassroots ambassador in 2015, and he recently became the first Grassroots Ambassador Mentor, a role in which he will provide leadership, support and guidance to other ambassadors in Nebraska. Bieck was a key player in the development of Best Management Practices for Nebraska Golf Courses, which was published earlier this year.
“I am proud to be a part of the ‘Grassroots Army’,” says Bieck, a 44-year member of GCSAA. “The BMPs have resulted in the Nebraska GCSA expanding its sphere of influence to Nebraska’s environmental and regulating agencies. It has also opened a dialogue of communication with the governor’s office.”
In his ambassador role, Bieck is paired with U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer. As a result of his engagement with Fischer’s office, Bieck was asked to host one of the senator’s business roundtables at his course, Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook, Neb., in 2015, and the senator and her staff toured the facility.
“I quickly learned that the senator and her staff were eager to hear from constituents, and it has turned into a valuable and respectful relationship,” says Bieck. “I’ve attended several of the senator’s town hall meetings in the last four years, and she always acknowledges me in front of the group.”
Bieck is a regular attendee of National Golf Day, and that event has coincided with the monthly “Nebraska Breakfast,” where the state’s lawmakers invite Nebraskans who are visiting the nation’s capital to meet with them. During the gathering, the National Golf Day contingent from Nebraska has been able to share information about the golf industry.