An in-house publication
January 2015
A Message from STC Chairman


To all STC members,
I trust that you all enjoyed a happy and healthy holiday with your  families.
First, I want to offer sincere and heartfelt thanks to the past two STC chairmen, John Baize and John Giraud. Under their great leadership the STC has served you and the industry with distinction, thanks in large part to those of you who have volunteered their time and talent to participate on the STC's productive committees and task forces.  
As you know, over the past several months, the industry has come under intense scrutiny due to the biased and unfair national news stories that NBC aired on crumb rubber infill. As a result, the STC and your Board have been preoccupied defending the human health and environmental safety of crumb rubber infill to media outlets across the United States, school officials, politicians, parks and recreation officials and concerned parents. At the end of November, we hired Cohn & Wolfe, a highly regarded PR/crisis management firm, and recently Clark-Hill, a law/lobbying firm to help us work against the legislative initiative in California. These are significant financial commitments that we have made to act quickly in defense of an issue which threatens our entire industry. We may need to seek your assistance to help pay for these large investments on behalf of the industry.
Despite this time-consuming distraction, we are moving ahead with some exciting initiatives, including a professional branding and educational video, a spring webinar - "Is Synthetic Turf Right for Me," and, with the help of our European members, working on some service offerings that are needed in Europe.
Finally, STC President, Rick Doyle, will be retiring after the 2015 Fall Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia October 5-7. His leadership and knowledge of the industry have been unprecedented and he will be greatly missed.
In closing, please know that I am honored that the Board elected me their Chairman for the 2015 year. I will strive to serve all of you to the best of my ability.
Robert Thomas



Rick Doyle, President

Terrie Ward, Marketing & Education Director

Melanie Taylor, Member Services Director

In This Issue
Doyle to Retire

At the San Antonio meeting, Rick Doyle informed the Board of Directors that he intended to retire as the STC's President by the Annual Membership Meeting in Atlanta on October 5-7, 2015.  This would allow plenty of time for him to provide leadership and assistance in responding to the current crisis on behalf of the synthetic turf and crumb rubber industries.  Doyle joined the STC on November 1, 2006 as its first employed chief staff executive.
See What's New in This Issue

The content of this newsletter has been organized based on the four pillars that represent the strategic priorities of the STC:
  • Advocate on Critical Issues
  • Marketing & Public Relations Outreach
  • Educate
  • Retain/Recruit Members

STC Communications Kit for Concerned Consumers

The STC has been proactively sending the following packet of information (aka Crumb Rubber Communications Kit) to citizen groups, schools, parks & recreation, and municipal officials who have been reported as being concerned about the safety of crumb rubber infill in recent news reports.

Here are the attachments (which you can share together or separately):

  • Cover Letter to Concerned Consumers - A one-page letter to address the concerns of customers, parents, school administrators, parks and recreation officials, municipalities and others.
  • CRI Test Results - Results of the EN 71-3 test analysis on the crumb rubber infill at Lower Canada College in Montreal, Canada that concluded its synthetic turf sports field is safe for continued use by its students. These favorable results against a rigorous standard for toys convinced concerned parents to allow their young children to play on the school's synthetic turf playfield.
  • FAQs on Crumb Rubber Infill - This four (4) page document includes answers to the most frequently asked questions about crumb rubber infill and highlights important research and scientific studies, key quotes from third-party medical professionals and scientists, and  information on alternative infills and shockpad systems.
Tell Us What You've Heard

The STC wants to learn more about your experience with the unfair and biased news reports on crumb rubber.

How many phone calls have you received from concerned buyers and end-users?
Have you received any interview requests by the media?
What are your customers saying?
Have you seen a decrease in sales or your bottom line?
How many of your customers have cancelled their projects?
How many projects have substituted an alternative infill for crumb rubber?  What infill was chosen?  What was the additional cost?
Thought You Would Be Interested!
Editorial: NBC News Fuels Unproven Links between Artificial Turf and Blood Cancer
Floor Focus Magazine, Nov 2014,

The basis for this news story traces back to 2009 when the associate head coach for the University of Washington's women's soccer team talked to a nurse at a local hospital who had noticed that several of the girls she was treating for the disease were soccer goalies.

Granted, this is a serious disease and could be cause for further investigation into the turf if this is more than just a coincidence. But in the five years that have passed since the coach noticed the association, multiple studies have been conducted, and none of them linked the use of styrene butadiene rubber with blood cancer.


In fact, Dr. Davis Lee, a Georgia Tech grad and the scientist for the Synthetic Turf Council, (also a father, I might add) told NBC on camera that 14 different studies have been conducted, and no negative health effects have been determined.


It's not lost on me that one of the roles of a good journalist is that of an investigative watchdog to ensure that big businesses don't poison us in pursuit of profits. But to air this story in front of over eight million Americans without more conclusive evidence does seem a bit premature and reminds me a bit of the Don Henley song, "Dirty Laundry."


Since this story was aired, a few schools that were in the middle of installing a new artificial turf athletic field have opted to replace the recycled tire rubber that was called out as a potential carcinogen with ground-up tennis shoe rubber called Nike Grind. I found it interesting that the upcharge for Nike Grind from standard recycled tire rubber is $20,000 per field.


I spoke to Rick Doyle, president of the Synthetic Turf Council, prior to writing this editorial, and the council has added a section to its website to address all the news related to this story. The council takes the health, safety and welfare of all the users of synthetic turf very seriously. For more information, the website is  


Register Now for the Spring Membership Meeting

March 23-25, 2015
Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine
3777 La Jolla Village Dr
San Diego, California  92122

The $285 member and $385 non-member fees includes access to all STC events and programs, including the Exhibitor Showcase, Welcome Reception, educational and breakout sessions, coffee breaks, lunch, evening social functions, etc.
Register online at

The special STC room rate of $199 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine is available for rooms booked from March 20-27, 2015. You should book your room early, but no later than Friday, March 6. After this date, rooms are on a 'space available' basis at the STC rate.

To make your hotel reservation, call (858) 552-1234 or book online at

Spring Webinar: "Is Synthetic Turf Right for Me?"

Recognizing that selecting a new turf system can be a challenge for any community, the STC will host the webinar, "Is Synthetic Turf Right for Me?" to focus on the benefits, cost-effectiveness, maintenance, and end-of-life disposal options for synthetic turf sports fields.

If you or your company have an interest in participating in a  future webinar, please contact Terrie Ward at or 678-385-6720.

2015 Industry Calendar

January 21-23, 2015SurfacesLas Vegas, NV 
February 17-19, 2015The Grass, Yarn and Tufters ForumVienna, Austria
February 20-22, 2015ASBA (American Sports Builders Association) Winter MeetingGrand Bahama Island
February 21-26, 2015
Golf Industry Show
San Antonio, TX
February 26-28, 2015
American Association of School Administrators
San Diego, CA
March 21-23, 2015NSBA (National School Board Officials Association) Annual ConferenceNashville, TN
March 23-25, 2015STC 2015 Spring Membership MeetingHyatt Regency La Jolla, San Diego, CA
September 15-16, 2015ESTO (European Synthetic Turf Organisation) CongressRome, Italy
September 15-17, 2015NRPA (National Recreation & Park Association) Congress & ExpositionLas Vegas, NV
October 5-7, 2015STC 2015 Annual Membership MeetingJW Marriott Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
October 23-26, 2015
Association of School Business Officials
Grapevine, TX
October 27-30, 2015
Cologne, Germany
October 28, 2015
ESTO Awards Dinner
Cologne, Germany
November 2-5, 2015
GA Recreation & Parks Association Annual Conference & Tradeshow
Dalton, GA
November 6-9, 2015
American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting/Expo
Chicago, IL
November 18, 2015
Tampa, FL
November 19-21, 2015
Athletic Business Conference/Expo
New Orleans, LA
December 6-10, 2015
ASBA Technical Meeting
Ponte Vedra, FL
December 8-10, 2015
Baseball Trade Show
San Diego, CA
December 12-15, 2015
National Athletic Directors Conference
Orlando, FL

STC Launches Project on Industry Video

The STC has hired Kanga Marketing to create two new videos on the benefits and different applications of synthetic turf as well as the key message points about the human health and environmental safety of synthetic turf.  The video will also showcase the community service projects that the STC has completed.

Call for Synthetic Turf Projects

The STC is looking for synthetic turf projects that Kanga Marketing can visit to include in the video.  We are particularly interested in projects in the Florida area (headquarters for the video company) and Arizona (various weather conditions from desert to snow).  Other locations may be considered. So if you have a project that you believe would tell a great story, please let us know right away.  Also, tell us about any non-traditional uses for synthetic turf that you have been involved in.

Here's what we need to know:
1.    A description of the project (e.g., school playground, dog park, etc.)
2.    Location (City, State)
3.    Completion Date (e.g., when completed, or scheduled date of completion)

This is a great opportunity to obtain high-quality video of synthetic turf projects that you will be able to use.
The DEADLINE to have this information back to Terrie Ward,, is Wednesday, February 11th.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact STC Headquarters.
Atlanta-based Non-profit to Benefit from STC Community Service Project

The STC Board has approved the City of Refuge as the recipient for the 2015 Community Service Project in downtown Atlanta, the host city for our 2015 Annual Membership Meeting on October 5-7. Since 1997, the City of Refuge has offered both life-saving resources and life building tools to individuals and families who have been living on the margin. The organization has programs that span multiple areas of need from food, clothing, and shelter, to job training, placement, housing, life skills, and transportation.  
In an area of Atlanta where it is virtually impossible to play outside in a safe and secure environment, the City of Refuge through many generous sponsors installed two indoor synthetic turf play areas in 2012. Through the generosity of its members, the STC will donate a 5,000 square foot indoor play field and fitness area to accommodate the growing population of the 110,000 squarefoot campus. We urge you to plan to attend the field dedication ceremony which is scheduled to be held on Monday, October 5, 2014 in Atlanta, GA.
The City of Refuge was the 2012 Grand Prize Winner of the STC's Search for the Real Field of Dreams Contest in the Community Parks category.
2014 Project Donations to Carry Over to the 2015 Project

If you donated cash for the 2014 cancelled project in San Antonio, we have held the funds in an escrow account and will apply them as needed to the 2015 City of Refuge project. As with past Community Service Projects, the STC will continue to recognize all of its project donors and contributors.  
The 2015 project scope and a list of needed materials and services will be forthcoming soon.  
This project will generate strong media and public relations attention, attract high profile support, and will provide even greater awareness to City of Refuge and the homeless women and children it serves.  
Thank you for continuing to support the STC community outreach efforts!


The City of Refuge was the 2012 Grand Prize Winner of the STC's Search for the Real Field of Dreams Contest in the Community Parks category.


STC Membership Tool Kit for Trade Shows

For your 2015 trade shows and any other speaking engagements, don't forget to download the STC Membership Toolkit that is located in the Members Only Section of the website under the Toolkit(s) and Resources Tab.  It will help you raise awareness about the benefits of STC membership and attract new members to our growing organization. 


Newly Elected STC Board Members

Congratulations to the newly elected and re-elected board members (term ending 2016):
*    Jake Alexander, Genan Inc.
*    Zach Burns, The Motz Group
*    Stefan Diderich, Bonar Yarns Inc.
*    Catherine Eiswerth, Binnie & Associates
*    Craig Honkomp, Sportworks Field Design
*    Heard Smith, AstroTurf, SYNLawn

We thank them for their service and leadership.
A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Members

The STC extends a warm welcome to all new members who joined since October 1, 2014:

Applied Landscape Technologies, Inc.
Independent Professional/Consultant
PlaySafe, LLC
Specialty Services & Manufacturers
STEC Equipment
Specialty Services & Manufacturers
Specialty Services & Manufacturers

Featured Member Category: Independent Professionals & Consultants

STC member companies in the Independent Professionals & Consultants category are firms with legally registered or licensed design professionals or engineers, as well as those with non-licensed practitioners or consultants that represent or advise the owner/end-user with surface and systems selection information, technical specifications, system designs, bid and construction documents, etc.

To contact an architect, landscape architect, engineer, or independent synthetic turf consultant in your area, please visit the STC Buyers' Guide & Member Directory.


Abel Bainnson Butz LLP
Activitas Incorporated
AK Sales & Consulting Inc.
Appel Osborne Landscape ArchitectureSTC CERTIFIED
Architerra, PC
Athletic Field Consultants, Inc.
Athletic SurfacesPlus
Beals Alliance

Bowman Consulting
Brooks & Sparks, Inc.STC CERTIFIED
BSC Group, Inc.
C. Allan Bamforth Jr., Engineer - Surveyor, Ltd.
Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture & Planning
Catella Engineering LLC
CHA Consulting, Inc.
D.A. Hogan & Associates Inc.STC CERTIFIED
Design & Solutions for Sports Surfaces Ltd. (DSSS)STC CERTIFIED
DK Enterprises
DMA / DiGeronimo-Mikula Associates, LLCSTC CERTIFIED
ELA Sport
Foresite Design Inc.
Fukunaga and Associates
Holcombe Norton Partners, Inc.
Huntress Associates, Inc.
JSA Sport Architecture Inc.
MS Consultants
MSA Sport, a division of MSA Archtiects
RDA Landscape Architecture
RK & Associates
RK International Sports Consulting
Robert W. Droll, Landscape Architect, PS
RossTarrant Architects
Sasaki Associates, Inc.
Schmidt Associates, Inc.
SLA Landscape ArchitectureSTC CERTIFIED
Sports Design Group, LLC
Sportworks Field Design
Stantec Sport
Turf, Track & Court, LLC
Warner Larson, Inc.

Congratulations to STC Member Viconic Sporting

STC member Viconic Sporting was selected as one of the winners in the NFL, Under Armour, and GE sponsored Head Health Challenge II Initiative. Launched in September 2013, the challenge is an open innovation awarding up to $10 million for new innovations and materials that can protect the brain from traumatic injury and for new tools used to track head impacts in real time. The challenge is part of the Head Health Initiative, a collaboration to help speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury. Viconic submitted its proposal under the "Protection Against Injury or its Consequences" category aimed at developing a resilient turf underlayment system for enhanced head impact protection.
If you have a news item that you would like the STC to post on its website and in this e-newsletter, please add Terrie Ward, to your distribution list. 
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