By Mike Jiggens
DEANâ€ˆPiller, superintendent at Victoria, B.C.’s Cordova Bay Golf
Course, has been named superintendent of the year by the Canadian Golf
A member of the organization since 1985, he will be formally recognized with the award in March during the CGSA’s annual conference and trade show in Vancouver which is being co-sponsored by the Western Canada Turfgrass Association.
Piller, who has been superintendent at Cordova Bay since 1990, was nominated for the honour by the British Columbia Golf Superintendents Association.
“The BCGSA nominating committee has chosen Dean because he is much more than a superintendent,” his nomination read. “Dean is a role model in the community, a leader in environment initiatives, an educator, an author, a dedicated husband and father, a contributor to his associations, and a person who has given a great amount of his time to organizing charity events. He is a person of passion, a person with a vision, and a person whose compassion has helped to make changes for the better.”
The winner of the superintendent-of-the-year award is a CGSA member who has held the position of golf course superintendent for a minimum of five years and who has distinguished himself through dedication to the profession, performance as a golf course superintendent and contributions to his profession and community.
Canada’s seven regional superintendent associations are eligible to nominate candidates for the award. Selection of the recipient is made by a panel of five current or former superintendents who have either received the award in the past or have served as CGSA president.
Piller had previously served as superintendent at the Olds (Alta.) Golf Club from 1985 to 1987 and continued as a superintendent from 1988 to 1990 at Carstairs Golf Club. He has been host to several important events, including the Canadian Tour, the Canadian University Championships and the Future Links Program. Among the boards he has served include the BCGSA, AGSA, SATA and the Vancouver Island Golf Superintendents Association’s MS fundraising committee which has raised more than $70,000 for MS. He was elected to the CGSA board of directors in 1992 and served as its president in 1999.
In 2005, Cordova Bay was named as the first golf course on Vancouver Island to earn a certified Audubon cooperative sanctuary desgination. He has written several industry-related articles for various publications and was the Gordon Witteveen Award recipient three times, in 1998, 2002 and 2006. In 2009, he was honoured as the CGSA/Toro Environment Achievement Award winner and was named superintendent of the year for the BCGSA in 2003.
Piller will be sharing the stage at the CGSA conference in March with John B. Steel Award winner Ashley LeGeyt.
LeGeyt, who retired last year as superintendent at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club in Kelowna, B.C., is being recognized by the CGSA for making an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the profession of golf course superintendent. He will receive an original soapstone carving designed and created by Bill Fach, superintendent at Black Bear Ridge Golf Course in Belleville, Ont.
LeGeyt, who helped build Gallagher’s Canyon in 1978, served as CGSA president in 1980, was superintendent of the year in 1988, was WCTA president in 1997, was a founding member of the Interior Chapter of Golf Superintendents which later unified to become the BCGSA, founded the Pinnacle Award of Excellence given by the B.C. Superintendents Interior Chapter, and was host to the 1988 Canadian Amateur Championships at Gallagher’s Canyon.
His start in the industry began in 1971 when he became superintendent at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club. Since retiring from golf, he now lives in Mexico.