In our Behind The Drop Q&A series, we bring you brief interviews with some of the minds driving innovation at Aquatrols. We speak to a wide variety of folks who work here at Aquatrols, exploring topics from research, to conservation, to business.
Today we are featuring an interview with Greg Sinner, who recently joined the Aquatrols team as our U.S. Sales Manager. Though he is relatively new to the turf world, Greg brings an interesting perspective to the role with a lifetime of experience in the agriculture industry and an intriguing background in sports.
So word has it that you actually started your career in professional baseball. How did you end up in your current role at Aquatrols?
My dad worked for Elanco (previously DowElanco), so I grew up in Indiana around the agriculture business. Baseball was my first love and I ended up pitching professionally in the Cleveland Indians organization for three years in the early 1990s. I used my MLB contract to get my degree in animal science and ag business at Oklahoma State University.
I initially worked in beef animal production and then started in sales with Bayer Animal Health. From there I spent nearly 20 years in the beef industry with Elanco Animal Health. Two people I had worked with and respected came to Aquatrols and I was fascinated by what the company was doing. I was thrilled when they asked me to join the team.
What’s been the biggest change you’ve experienced in coming to Aquatrols?
Transitioning from a company of 5,000 employees to one with 55 employees has been an eye-opening experience. The team told me before I got here that ‘It’s just us.’ It truly is. I have been involved in more aspects of our business in one year than I had in 20 previous years at a large company. I love it.
I never expected to be part of an organization that is building turf and ag research facilities to showcase products and technologies. It is impressive to have a facility like the Aura Farm to host our customers and demonstrate what our products are capable of and the results they provide.
So your background was not originally in turf. What has been the most striking in your industry transition?
I was amazed at the industry and product knowledge of the sales team. Their ability to go as deep as needed with a customer on every aspect of plant health and nutrition is impressive. In the animal health industry, we utilized technical consultants to present the science behind the products to customers. I am in constant awe of our team’s technical knowledge.
What are you happiest about in your first year?
Our ability to adapt to a broader portfolio has been remarkable. Some of our team had been selling our water management products exclusively for decades and they instantly jumped in and wanted to really get to deeply know our new Redox line. Once they learned about it and understood its benefits, they instantly became brand advocates. The Redox reps who joined us took the same approach with wetting agents and active ingredients. The team has learned so much in a very short time and really broadened their approach to the marketplace.
Did you play golf or know anything about turf?
I am a big fan of the game, but I had limited experience with turf management. I understood the look and playability of a nice course but as far as plant nutrition, plant health, surfactants – it was all new to me. I have been drinking from a firehose for the past year and learning, but my real role is to work with our reps on service and support strategies, selling behaviors, territory and account management. The best part is that we all continue to learn from each other.
What’s a fun fact about you?
Between baseball and my business career I have lived in 13 states and currently reside in Idaho.
Speaking of which, tell us about your family.
We love sports. My dad also played professional baseball, my brother played college hockey, my mom was a basketball player, my brother-in-law played in the NFL and I have two daughters who played college soccer. I have a 10-year-old son who has natural instincts on a baseball field. Skiing is a big part of our lives. My wife Diana manages a large county fair in Idaho. She grew up in agriculture and the fair industry. We work hard and play hard.
What would you like to tell superintendents?
At the end of the day, users buy from people they trust who provide products that work. To me, at Aquatrols, the people, the culture, the products, and the support behind the products are what sets us apart. That’s the reason I came here. The people, the culture and the products.
To learn more about our team and read additional Behind The Drop features, click here.