Vendor Spotlight - Eric Greytok, SMS Additive Solutions
- Tell us about yourself.
I am Eric Greytok. I was raised outside Philadelphia, PA in the farm country in a little town called Wrightstown; close to the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border. The town was so small back then I walked to school, that’s how old I am LOL. I am the National Sales Manager for SMS Additive Solutions and Macro-Sorb Technologies since January of 2015.
- Tell us about your past jobs and achievements.
My career has been amazing, and I have had great opportunities to work all over the U.S. with great clubs and people. You might say, I have had freakishly good luck with my career and the chances I have been given. It started with not knowing anything about golf courses except where the practice tee was located to pound golf balls. From there it escalated at a very rapid pace because of my mentors at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA.
I went there in college not knowing a damn thing about golf course maintenance and was given a great opportunity by Paul B. Latshaw to grow and develop under his leadership and patience. There is no doubt without his mentoring I wouldn’t have had the success I did. I worked my way up through the ranks from grunt to assistant and then Paul said, “You need to go to Riviera Country Club and work for my dad, Paul Latshaw SR.” I packed up and moved to LA on New Year’s Eve in 1997. After my stint there, I landed back in Maryland working for Mr. Latshaw until the fall of 1999 where I landed the assistants job under Mark Michaud at Pebble Beach. Mark left shortly after and I landed the superintendent’s job for the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach, right place and right time.
I spent 2 years there until the spring of 2001 and then headed to Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY. My first day on the job we were aerating both golf courses, I can remember it like no other first day on the job, LOL. Over the next 6 years we completely renovated the infrastructure of both golf courses while getting ready for the 2004 US Amateur and 2006 US Open. I am excited to see how it plays for 2020, Steve Rabideu has taken that place to the next level of good.
After Winged Foot, we moved to a golf/residential community project in Bend, OR; that was in the Spring of 2007. Well as we all know the economy went to crap that year and in less than a year we were moving to Bluffton, SC, to Belfair Plantation. Over the next 6 years I got my butt kicked learning how to grow warm season turf, it was hard for me coming from the north and having to learn warm season cultivation. For 2013 and 2014 I worked at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, NC, - what a great place. January 1st, 2015 I decided to make the career change and went to work with SMS Additive Solutions and Macro-Sorb Technologies.
- What was it like changing from golf course maintenance to traveling sales?
I loved the change from superintendent to sales, I have grown more agronomically in the last 5 years. I am so lucky to travel around the U.S. and learn from so many great superintendents and how they resolve the same issues with a different approach. It’s been very rewarding for me to meet so many great people and develop friendships. All superintendents have experience in sales. How else are you going to get what you need on the golf course? You gotta sell it to the membership or ownership.
- What is your relationship with Tenbarge? Share your experience working with Tenbarge.
My relationship with Tenbarge? Tenbarge is like family. I don’t know how else to explain it. They have been a family business since 1940, and their philosophy has always been the same; great customer and vendor care. I can call anyone within the organization, and they know me and treat me like family. They are a great company who is connected with their customers and care for them. Tenbarge is very personalized and professional in the way they support their customers and always have the customers best interest as a priority. I always look forward to working with everyone in the company because they have become friends and they have introduced me to great people within the industry.
- Anything else you would like to add or share.
I get to reflect while sitting on the plane as much as I do. Reflection is a great teacher. I know when I was a superintendent, we get pulled in so many different directions. We are HR managers, trainers, agronomists, public relations with our membership, purchasers, budget administrators, and these are just some of what we have to do. My point is to take the time to stop, reflect, be present and prioritize. I can see the stress when I walk into appointments on the superintendent’s face and it's concerning. Take care of yourself, your workers and most importantly your family. The grass will always be there!