Dr. Frank Wong Named the
2017 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year

The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) and Project EverGreen announce Frank Wong Ph.D., senior regulatory affairs consultant for Bayer CropScience, as the recipient of the 2017 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year Award.

Wong received the award, which recognizes individuals in the green industry for outstanding communications efforts regarding environmental issues, during the TOCA Annual Conference in Tampa. He is the 19th recipient of this award.

A member of the Bayer family since 2011, Wong has extensive experience in both research and field settings. He is a frequent lecturer to green industry professionals in the United States and around the globe, and is the former editor-in-chief of Plant Disease Management Reports.

Wong earned his bachelor of science in biochemistry at the University of California, Davis and his doctor of philosophy in plant pathology and horticulture from Cornell University. He started his career in academia working at the University of California, Riverside in 2001.

“Dr. Wong exemplifies the type of communicator needed in the green industry today to inform and educate a wide and diverse audience about the true and tangible values of green spaces,” said Den Gardner, TOCA executive director. “His communications style is one that easily translates the positive benefits of turf and ornamentals to consumers as well as to business audiences. We are proud to recognize him for this award.”

“I’m very honored to be receiving this award for my work in pollinator health education, but it’s really easy to be given kudos when you have a great organization like Bayer and a truly sustainable project like Bee Health supporting you,” said Wong. “A huge thanks goes to Project EverGreen, TOCA and its members for their excellence in bringing relevant information and positive change to communities. The value that brings to our industry can’t be understated.”

Promoting and communicating the substantial value of establishing a greener, cooler Earth through the creation, renovation and revitalization of managed recreational and athletic green spaces that result in healthier, happier people is at the core of Project EverGreen’s mission.

“Project EverGreen is pleased to recognize Dr. Wong with this well-deserved honor,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Educating and informing the general public about the value and benefits of turf, plants and green spaces can be challenging. Dr. Wong finds unique ways to identify with his audiences and deliver an on-target message. We applaud him for his tenacity.”

Previous Environmental Communicator Award recipients include:

1999 – Mark Welterlen, former publisher Grounds Maintenance magazine
2000 – Bill Love, W.R. Love Golf Architecture
2001 – Tim Doppel, Atwood Lawn Care
2002 – Doug Fender, former executive director, Turfgrass Producers International
2003 – Allen James, former CEO, RISE
2004 – Rod Dodson, Audubon International
2005 – Jeff Gullickson, Spokane Country Club
2006 – Kevin Trotta, grounds manager/IPM specialist, Cornwall, NY
2007 – Helen Stone, Southwest Trees & Turf magazine
2008 – Allied Golf Associations of Colorado
2009 – Drs. Larry Stowell/Wendy Gelernter, PACE Turf
2010 – Christopher Gray, formerly Marvel Golf Club
2011 – Anthony Williams, formerly Marriott Golf and golf course consultant
2012 – Dr. Frank Rossi, Cornell University
2013 – Phil Fogarty, Weed Man and Crowley’s Vegetation Management
2014 – Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee
2015 – Dr. Brian Horgan, University of Minnesota
2016 – Dr. Dave Shetlar, The Ohio State University