City employee receives industry Meritorious Service Award - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City employee receives industry Meritorious Service Award

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

An area turfgrass specialist is awarded the 2015 Meritorious Service Award by the Iowa Turfgrass Institute (ITI).

Joe Wagner, turfgrass specialist for Iowa City's Parks and Recreation Department oversees maintenance of all City sports fields.

Wagner has been employed by the City since 1997, and was honored with the award for his outstanding leadership and vision, efforts to improve educational opportunities for those in the industry, and the mentoring he has provided other turf managers across the state.

The award was presented during the 81st Iowa Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show held in Altoona earlier this month.

"The Meritorious Award is typically given to a professor or researcher, not an industry professional," said Zac Hall, Parks Superintendent. "Joe is one of only a few who has received this designation, and it speaks highly of the work he has done to promote and strengthen the industry."

Hall says tat the award demonstrates the high level of respect Wagner has earned in the industry and with his peers.

He also stated that Wagner is one of only two individuals to have received all three of the state's top awards for turf management: the Iowa Sports Turf Managers Association (ISTMA) Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award in 2002, the ISTMA Golden Cleat Award for exemplary service to the association in 2009, and the Meritorious Service Award in 2015.

Wagner was recognized for his significant voluntary contributions and outstanding service to the ITI, including his efforts to expand the accessibility and availability of ITI turf management programs through Iowa's community colleges, his mentorship of people who are just starting their careers in sports turf management, and the support and leadership he has displayed while serving on the ITI board and as past president of the ISTMA.

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