Eric Dickerson, the equipment manager for the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Ga., has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Most Valuable Technician Award, presented by GCSAA and GCM magazine in partnership with Foley Co.
Now in its 11th year, the award recognizes excellence among golf course equipment managers and the vital role they play in the golf course management industry. Equipment managers are nominated by their golf course superintendent, and a panel of industry judges narrows those nominations down to three finalists, who are then voted on by GCSAA members through an online voting process.
“There is no debate among golf course superintendents just how much equipment managers contribute to successful golf course operations,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “Award programs such as the Most Valuable Technician are wonderful ways for those contributions to be more publicly recognized, and we are excited to present Eric Dickerson with this year’s award. He is a key member of the team at Reynolds Lake Oconee and has contributed much to GCSAA as one of the nearly 1,000 equipment managers who are members of the association.”
Dickerson has been a fixture at the sprawling Reynolds Lake Oconee property for more than 20 years, having started at the facility in 1997. The 20-year GCSAA member is fond of the saying, “I don’t embrace excuses; I embrace solutions,” and that perspective is obvious in the work he does on the property’s Great Waters Course, according to superintendent Brandon Hayes, who nominated Dickerson for the MVT Award. “I view Eric as my third assistant,” Hayes says. “He does such a great job managing his shop and time.”
A graduate of Lake City Community College (now Florida Gateway College), Dickerson has completed the Level 1 and 2 exams in GCSAA’s Equipment Management Certificate Program, has hosted and facilitated equipment manager seminars for the Georgia GCSA, and is the founding member and first chairperson of Reynolds Lake Oconee’s golf course maintenance safety committee.
“It was a great honor to be nominated for the MVT Award this year, but to actually win it left me humbled and speechless,” Dickerson says. “I want to thank GCSAA for really ramping up their efforts the last few years in providing resources for equipment technicians. I have been in the business for 28 years and have seen firsthand the changes in the way equipment technicians are valued and respected. I would also like to thank Foley Co. for sponsoring this award; it is greatly appreciated.”
Watch the presentation of the 2020 Most Valuable Technician Award, which took place Sept. 22:
“Eric has been the backbone of our operation at Great Waters for years,” Hayes says. “His attention to detail and drive are second to none. This work ethic and dedication is something that he has had his entire career, then when we went through the full renovation of Great Waters (completed in 2019) and he became a heavy equipment mechanic, operator and shaper and still performed all of his other duties, there was no doubt in my mind he was deserving of a nomination. I was thrilled and shocked that he won because of the stiff competition that he was up against, but I cannot think of a more deserving individual.”
Paul Rauker, the president of Foley Co., which has been the presenting partner of the Most Valuable Technician Award since its inception, says, “Foley Co. remains a proud sponsor of this award especially during these challenging times where we know the equipment technicians are working tirelessly to ensure their courses are in top playing condition. Congratulations to Eric for being selected as this year’s MVT and for all the hard work and great results that he produces at the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee. We would also like to thank all those who submitted nominations, as there were many great candidates.”
Also selected as finalists for this year’s Most Valuable Technician Award were Justin Prescott, the equipment manager at Kenosha (Wis.) Country Club, and J.R. Wilson, the equipment manager at Noyac Golf Club in Sag Harbor, N.Y., who was also a finalist in 2016.
Past MVT Award winners
2019: Greg Neill, Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Irving, Texas
2018: Trent Manning, Ansley Golf Club, Atlanta
2017: Blas Huezo, Barona Creek Golf Club, Lakeside, Calif.
2016: Yvon Jeaurond, Victoria (British Columbia) Golf Club
2015: Cory Phillips, Horseshoe Bend Country Club, Roswell, Ga., and The Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta
2014: Joe Stefanick, Seven Lakes Golf and Tennis Community, Fort Myers, Fla.
2013: Brian Heywood, The Valley Club, Hailey, Idaho
2012: Jim Stuart, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Golf Club by Marriott
2011: Gene Pascarelli, Colorado Springs (Colo.) Country Club
2010: Ramon Salas, Azusa Greens Country Club, Azusa, Calif.