New leadership announced at TPI

Five new members were elected to positions with the group.

September 20, 2013
Industry News

At the Turfgrass Producers International Annual Business Meeting in Chicago, Ill. on July 24, 2013, five members were named to new leadership roles for the organization.


Bob Weerts, President of Blue Valley So, Inc. in Winnebago, Minnesota was elected President of TPI. Weerts is the owner and operator of Weerts Companies, Inc.

In addition to being an active member of Turfgrass Producers International since 1987, Weerts also served on TPI’s Board of Trustees from 2003-2005 and has been active in numerous TPI committees and working groups over the years. He has also been involved in the following associations/organizations throughout his career –Winnebago City Council member, Faribault County Futures, South Highway 169 Improvement Association, former President and board member of Corn Plus, and a stockholder of a financial institution.

A pro-active business owner, Weerts has always been interested in cutting edge business opportunities, including businesses involved with increasing energy efficiency and “Green” energy development. In fact, his most recent appointment was to the Board of Directors to the International Green Energy Council which facilitated his establishment of Green Photon Power.

Ed Keeven, Jr., President of Emerald View Turf Farm in O'Fallon, MO was appointed Vice President of TPI.

Ed and the Keeven family have been active members of TPI for more than three decades. During that time, his father Ed Keeven, Sr. and his brother Tom both served on the TPI Board. In fact, his brother Tom was TPI’s President (2001-02) and Keeven himself served on the TPI’s Board of Trustees prior to his recent appointment between 1987 and 1990.

Keeven grew up on the family’s turf farm and has always been active in the turfgrass industry. He has been involved in numerous turf industry related organizations including the Mississippi Valley Golf Course Superintendents Association, Landscape Nurserymen’s Association of St. Louis, the Sports Turf Managers Association, and he is a past president of the Gateway Sod Growers Association.

Will Nugent, owner of Bethel Farms in Arcadia, FL was appointed Secretary-Treasurer of TPI.

Nugent has been active in the turf and green industry for numerous years. He has been a member of TPI for over a decade; he is the past president of the Florida Sod Growers Cooperative; and he has been active in both the Florida Turfgrass Association and the Georgia Turfgrass Association.

Under Nugent’s leadership Bethel Farms has blossomed to become one of Florida's leading agriculture companies; producing cattle, citrus, sod and grass plugs. The company currently employs over 100 people, on over 4,000 acres of farmland, stretching throughout the Southeastern U.S. with locations in Florida, Georgia and Texas.

Jimmy Fox, President of Evergreen Turf in Chandler, AZ was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of TPI.

Fox has been a member of TPI for over a decade and has been active in a wide variety of green industry associations. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Nursery Association and the Cactus and Pine Golf Course Superintendents Association. He is also active in the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Sports Turf Managers Association, Arizona Landscape Contractors Association, Golf Course Builders Association of America and also serves on the Mesa Community College Education Advisory Committee.

Fox’s specialties include sales management, marketing, turf production, turf management, turf fertility and turf chemical consultation. He has also been involved with high profile customers in the turf industry- Super Bowl, Arizona Cardinals, TPC of Scottsdale, Major League Baseball Spring Training facilities, and numerous high-end golf clubs such as, Whisper Rock GC, Desert Highlands GC, Desert Forest GC and Ritz Carlton at Dove Mountain to name but a few of the more than 300 golf courses he has served.

Eric Heuver, President of Eagle Lake Turf Farms in Strathmore, Alberta, Canada was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of TPI.

Heuver has been a member of TPI for over twenty years and has served on The Lawn Institute Research Committee. In addition to his participation in TPI he is also active in other green industry associations including Canadian Golf Course Superintendents (CGSA), the Landscape Alberta Nursery Trade Association, Golf Course Builder of America, Calgary Construction Association, Canadian Nursery Association and the Western Turfgrass Association.

Heuver earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Nova Scotia Agricultural College; he is also an accredited Landscape Gardener Journeyman. Raised in the nursery and sod business established by his father and uncle, he founded Eagle Lake Turf Farms in 1989.