Matt Ceplo, golf course superintendent at Rockland Country Club in Sparkill, N.Y., has been elected as a member of the board of directors of Audubon International. He succeeds Dan Dinelli, superintendent at North Shore Country Club in northern Illinois. Dinelli continues to serve Audubon International in an advisory capacity.
Ceplo has spent most of his career at Rockland Country Club, which he guided through certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses in 2000. He expanded his involvement with Audubon International to become a member of the Audubon Steward Network and has been a tireless advocate for various environmental initiatives, especially among fellow members of the Metropolitan Golf Course Superintendents Association (MGCSA) and the Metropolitan Golf Association. Under Ceplo’s leadership, Rockland Country Club earned the distinction of being a member of the New York State environmental leader’s program in 2013.
“I am thrilled that Matt Ceplo is joining our Board of Directors,” said Ryan Aylesworth, President & CEO of Audubon International. “Matt is well-respected throughout the golf industry and recognized by his peers as a leader in environmental sustainability on the golf course. As a superintendent, he was an early-adopter of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, and under his leadership the course earned certification over a decade and has been successfully recertified seven times. Matt has also generously volunteered his time over the years to mentor other superintendents by serving as a member of the Audubon Steward Network. As a valued certified member of our program, Audubon Steward, and highly regarded golf industry professional, Audubon International has been benefiting from Matt’s knowledge and experience for years. It is very exciting to have him join our Board, and I am confident our organization will benefit considerably from the well-informed perspectives he offers in this new role.”
“We are delighted that Matt has agreed to serve on the Audubon International board,” said Chuck Bassett, chairman of the AI board which voted on his selection at a meeting earlier this month in Orlando, FL. “He brings to the board a depth of knowledge about the golf industry as well as a sincere dedication to sound environmental management principles and should be very effective in helping us to encourage sustainable practices in the golf business as well as other industries.”
A graduate of the State University of New York-Delhi’s two-year associate’s degree program in horticulture, Ceplo was an assistant superintendent at Ridgewood (N.J.) Country Club and the superintendent at Westchester Hills Golf Club in White Plains, N.Y., for eight years before going to Rockland Country Club in 1995. He is a 28-year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and served on the MGCSA board for 18 years, including serving as president in 2008. He currently serves as president of the Tri-State Turf Research Foundation of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Ceplo also currently chairs the Rockland Water Quality Committee and is a member of the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance.
In 2013, Ceplo was selected by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Board of Directors to receive the 2013 GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship. Ceplo has also been the recipient of several other environmental honors, including the MGA’s 2012 Arthur P. Weber Environmental Leader in Golf Award and the Global Sports Alliance’s 2011 New York Environmental Steward Award.
“I feel very fortunate and honored to be a member of the Audubon International’s Board of Directors,” said Ceplo. “I look forward to helping spread the organization’s message and promoting its programs. On both a personal and professional level, I can honestly say that I have gained so much from Audubon International that I will never be able to fully repay the organization.”