In our Beyond The Drop Q&A series, we bring you brief interviews with some of the minds driving growth and innovation at Aquatrols. We speak to a wide variety of folks who work here, exploring topics from research, conservation and business to field sales and back office.
Today we are featuring an interview with Michael Fance , our European Account Manager. Michael joined the company in 2016 and worked for Farmura in the London and South East area before taking on the European role in September 2018.
What was you first role within the turf industry and what was it that inspired you to take a job in this arena?
Summer casual greenkeeper at Channels Golf Club in Essex.
How has your previous role helped you in your current role as European Account Manager and what has been your biggest learning in your new area so far?
Having worked “at the coalface” in sports turf management myself, I believe I have an empathy for those who I still see as my peers. As such, I always aspire to suggest practical solutions that are easy to integrate into turf management programmes.
What was it that attracted you to become part of the Farmura/Aquatrols team and what is it about your job that you most enjoy?
That’s easy; the products and the people. Firstly it was the portfolio of products that attracted me then meeting those involved in the interview process added to the appeal.
What is the biggest challenge to the customer in your area? What’s the main problem that we help them to solve?
I would say that has to be a combination of player expectations and unpredictable weather. I would like to say that we can help temper players’ expectations but the turf management industry is a victim of its own success as greenkeepers and groundsmen have significantly raised the bar in recent decades. As far as problem solving is concerned, the soil surfactant technologies that we supply can definitely assist in combatting weather extremes with both proactive and reactive options.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in your position. What are some things that most customers don’t realize you can help them with or do for them?
During my years working in the UK I was asked to present to maintenance teams, golf club members and other sports turf users on many occasions. Now covering Continental Europe as I do, this is something that people are only just realising that I can do. Being both BASIS and FACTS qualified I’ve often been asked to cover subjects both relating to as well as not associated with our portfolio when addressing maintenance teams. When asked to present to sport turf users, the players, I will always try to add to their knowledge in an understandable way that can also assist the turf manager in his or her interaction and communication with “their” customers. I really enjoy both.
What is the one thing about the Aquatrols brand and products that you always want new or potential customers to know?
The investment in research and the fact that we will not bring a product to the market without robust, independent supporting data.
And finally, where can you be found when you’re not working?
Running, snowboarding, skiing, stand-up paddleboarding,