The Mission of the South Carolina Landscape & Turfgrass Association is to service its membership by increasing professional knowledge and competence through research,
educational programs, scholarships, grants, publications, industry-wide expositions, and similar related activities.
On November 7, 1977, the first Ad Hoc Committee met in Clemson to form a South Carolina Turfgrass Organization. Dr. Bob Mazur conceived the idea and called the meeting to order with a group of concerned turf and ornamental professionals. Dr. Mazur stated the reason for the meeting was to explore the need for a statewide organization which would unite all turf-related individuals and organizations into one body to declare research needs, influence the state legislature and independently raise funds to support research endeavors.
A second Ad Hoc Committee met in Clemson on February 24,1978. The objectives were discussed for the South Carolina organization and it was agreed the name would be the South
Carolina Lawn and Turfgrass Association. The objectives for SCLTA read as follows: “The SCLTA is a non-profit organization composed of individuals, turf-related organizations, and commercial enterprises whose primary interest is in the establishment and maintenance of turfgrasses, ground covers, and related landscaping materials.
Subsequent meetings followed. The constitution and by-laws were ratified, and dues and membership fees were established. On September 22, 1978, the first officers were elected. President – Mr. James “Whitey” Wright, Treasurer – Dr. Bob Mazur, Secretary – Dr. Paul Alexander. The focus for the young organization was increasing membership and sponsoring an educational conference. The first SCLTA board meeting was held on August 21, 1979. Mr.Charles “Sonny” Willimon, Jr. was the new president and the first SCLTA two-day conference was organized for March 1980 in Columbia. Conferences have varied between one and two day events over past years. Conferences have been held in Charleston, Greenville and Columbia, with Columbia being the most successful because of its central location. Moving the conference to the SC State Fairgrounds in 2009 improved the conference/trade show tremendously- more exhibitors, large room for educational programs, more parking, etc.
In 1981, SCLTA received non-profit corporate status from the Internal Revenue Service. In 1986, the name was changed to the South Carolina Landscape and Turfgrass Association, so as to represent all of the green industry.
Professionals have served the association from all areas of the turfgrass and landscape industries. The officers and board members provide the leadership and planning for the annual conference and trade show as well as other training events and resources. The revenue from exhibitors, conference attendees, and membership fees help SCLTA provide the best educational conference possible. It also provides the monies for newsletters, website, support research, provide scholarships and grants, and to conduct surveys to monitor the growth and direction of our industry.
The South Carolina Landscape & Turfgrass Association is your association. Our goals are the same as when this group was formed back in 1977, and with the strength of our membership, we can become an even stronger voice to help this industry succeed into the 21st century.
Past Presidents of SCLTA
- James “Whitey” Wright 1977-78
- Jack Bracken 1978-79
- Charles “Sonny” Willimon, Jr. 1979-81
- Ronnie Oliver 1981-83
- Steve Long 1983-85
- Roger Young 1985-87
- Gerry Beaman 1987-89
- George Hyams 1989-91
- Greg Burris 1991-93
- John Gay 1993-94
- Dan Walker 1995 –97
- Tom Vaughan 1997–98
- Bob Mazur 1998–00
- John Hayes 2000-02
- Rande Lane 2002-04
- Clay Kinard 2004-06
- David Kizer 2006-10