Bernhard Academy

Bernhard Academy announces new education director

British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association’s (BIGGA) Chief Operating Officer, Sami Strutt, will be leaving the association in February 2024 to take up a role as education director at the Bernhard Academy at its Suffolk based production factory.

Sami joined BIGGA in 1993 as an administration assistant and rose through the ranks to become its chief operating officer in 2022. Notable successes of her time with BIGGA include the development of the world-leading Continue to Learn education programme, BIGGA’s innovative Continuing Professional Development system and the Future Turf Managers’ Initiative. She has been instrumental in the development of the Master Greenkeeper Certificate, the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards and the BIGGA Delegation to the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show with Bernhard and Company.

“I’ve loved working for BIGGA and I anticipated spending my entire career with the association,” says Sami. “Being able to have so much input into a business that I joined when I was so young was amazing, but I’m certain that this move is the right decision.

“This opportunity with the Bernhard Academy is one that I never imagined would be made available to me, so it is one that I couldn’t turn down.”

“The Bernhard Academy is providing something really positive to the turf industry, so I’m really excited to be part of that.”

Of Sam’s departure Jim Croxton, BIGGA chief executive, says: “Sami has been a fundamental part of our team for over 30 years and has been at the heart of many of the things that are good about our association. She’s a hugely popular and important member of the BIGGA family and we’re disappointed to lose her, but thrilled that she’s got an opportunity to make her mark on the wider industry and one that will hopefully align with BIGGA’s strategic ambitions going forwards.

Steven Nixon, Managing Director at Bernhard and Company, comments: “We’re delighted to be appointing Sami as our new Director of Education, in what is a really exciting period for the Bernhard Academy. There is absolutely no doubt that Sami has the experience and tools required to take the Bernhard Academy to the next level, as we continue to roll out new programmes and workshop opportunities around the globe.”

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