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11/6/2017 » 11/7/2017
2017 Annual Symposium

2017 September October Affiliate Angle
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Affiliate Angle
by Tyler Gillette, Sales/Business Development Representative, Granite Seed & Erosion Control
I joined the Rocky Mountain GCSAA Chapter a year ago and have enjoyed getting to meet many of you over this past year.  Whether it has been through the great events that the chapter puts on, or stopping by your respective courses, I appreciate the warm welcome I have received.  I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself to those of you I may not have had the chance to meet yet and give you all some further background on me.

I am originally from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago where I grew up and lived until college.  I am a diehard Chicago sports fan, particularly of the Bulls, Cubs, and Blackhawks.  I played a lot of competitive golf during my junior high and high school days and was the captain of my high school golf team for my final 3 years.  I considered playing collegiately, but instead chose to focus on my education and enjoy the college experience.
I attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (not Florida) where I majored in Marketing with a minor in Entrepreneurship.  I can’t say enough good things about my college experience and the lifelong friendships I developed during those years.  I was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and was able to graduate in 4 years.

My father Steve worked in the fertilizer industry for over 35 years as the Western Regional Sales Manager for PCS (Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan).  Once I headed to college he and my mom relocated to Sacramento, CA where he could work from home and reduce his cross country travel as they adjusted to becoming empty nesters.  

During Christmas and summer breaks from college I started going “home” to Sacramento and instantly fell in love with California.  It was pretty great to be out playing golf while my friends back in the Midwest were shoveling out their driveways.  It only took a couple of those visits before I determined that after college I would move west to start my career.

After graduation I relocated to California and started working for Target Corporation where I managed a team of about 40 employees at one of their distribution centers.  This was a great first job out of college that taught me a lot about building relationships and managing people.  After a couple years with Target, I moved into a marketing position for an erosion control distributor in Northern CA.  During my time in this role I was introduced to David Gilpin, the owner of Pacific Coast Seed, in Livermore, CA.  David was looking for a new sales rep and someone to manage his turf grass division.

Over the next 9 years with Pacific Coast, I gained a ton of knowledge on grasses and helped further develop the Northern California market for the company.  During this time I lived in the East Bay about 25 miles outside San Francisco.  David was a tremendous mentor to me during these years and really helped me become knowledgeable about both turf grass and natives despite my lack of a formal education in agronomy.

During my time at Pacific Coast Seed, I joined the Northern California GCSAA chapter and was actively involved with the chapter for several years.  I developed many great relationships with the members and was able to help increase our presence in the golf industry.  Over the last few years in my role, California was undergoing a historic drought which actually led to more opportunities in the golf realm.  I worked with many superintendents to develop native seed mixes to replace out of play maintained turf.  These projects helped conserve water usage and reduce overall maintained acreages.  Once established, these projects also provided a great aesthetic with the contrast of the maintained turf and wispy, native areas.  I was involved with some major course renovation projects at Poppy Hills, Orinda Country Club, Pasatiempo, and Las Positas GC.

In 2010 I was introduce to my now wife, Jennessa through a mutual friend.  We got married on July 25, 2015 in Montana.  Within a week of returning home from our wedding she was given a promotion and transfer opportunity to the Denver area.  Since the cost of buying a house in the Bay Area is astronomical and we didn’t have kids yet, we decided to go for it.  The next few months were a whirl wind with us buying a home in Centennial, CO and relocating here with our dog Wilbur at the end of 2015.  
I was able to stay in the seed and erosion control industry when I joined Granite Seed & Erosion Control in May of 2016.  I was brought on to help develop the Colorado market for the company as we opened the Denver branch in 2012.  Granite Seed was originally founded in 1988 in Lehi, Utah.  Our corporate office is still there while we have expanded with locations both here in Denver and in Tempe, AZ.  My role with the company is a combination of outside sales and business development and I spend a good amount of time on the road.  

I am excited to be continuing my career in the green industry in Colorado and exploring this amazing state.  It is tough starting over in a new place, but over time I look forward to developing some strong personal and business relationships here as well.  Whether it is for turf, natives, wildflowers, or other erosion control materials that we distribute, please let me know how I can be a resource for you and your course in the future.  

Cheers!





Contact Gary Leeper at RMGCSA
Voice: 303-255-9611 Fax: 303-458-0002
12011 Tejon St., Ste. 700., Westminster, CO 80234 EMAIL: info@rmgcsa.org