Ed Combest, retired professor from Lake City Community College in Lake City, Florida, is the inaugural winner of the International Golf Course Equipment Managers Association (IGCEMA) Edwin Budding Award, sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.
The Edwin Budding Award was created to recognise those in the turf equipment sector whose actions have gone above and beyond the norm to help shape the golf industry into what it is today. Edwin Budding was one of those individuals who helped define golf, not as a player, but as an engineer. He designed the first cylinder mower, which has shaped golf as we know it today.
Ed Combest was selected by a committee of industry professionals chosen by the IGCEMA and David Withers, Managing Director of Ransomes Jacobsen, presented the award at Grande Pines Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.
John Piersol, Director of Golf, Landscape and Forestry at Lake City Community College, spoke of Ed Combest's dedication to the profession and his involvement in the success of the Turf Equipment Technology programme at Lake City. "Ed's organisation, professionalism and vision put Lake City on the map", he said.
David Withers added, "The IGCEMA wanted to recognise individuals who demonstrate the same qualities as Edwin Budding did; influence significant change in our industry above and beyond normal day to day work. IGCEMA has created an award for actual, measurable accomplishments, to make an accurate judgment of contributions made to the industry, and reward those contributions. We are delighted that, having just celebrated the 175th anniversary of Ransomes building the first Budding mower, we were asked to sponsor this superb award."
The 2008 award will be presented at next year's Harrogate Week in the UK, hosted by the British and International Golf Greens keepers Association (BIGGA).
Textron Inc. is a $13.2 billion multi-industry company operating in 34 countries with approximately 44,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Ransomes, Greenlee, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at www.textron.com.