Chief operating officer

BIGGA announced last week the resignation of their chief operating officer, Sami Strutt.

Sami (née Collins), will depart the association in February 2024 before taking up a role as education director at the Bernhard Academy.

Sami joined the association in 1993 as an administration assistant. Over the ensuing 30 years Sami rose through the organisation, being appointed chief operating officer in 2022.

The Association says notable successes of her time include the development of the Continue to Learn education programme, BIGGA’s Continuing Professional Development system and the Future Turf Managers’ Initiative. She has been instrumental in the development of the Master Greenkeeper Certificate, the Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards and the BIGGA Delegation to the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show with Bernhard and Company. 

In 2019, Sami was invited to officially open the Bernhard Academy at the company’s headquarters in Haverhill, Suffolk.

In recent times Sami assisted BIGGA chief executive Jim Croxton as the association navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, hosting webinars to give members ongoing access to digital learning despite the enforced cancellation of BTME 2021. 

Upon being appointed chief operating officer in January 2022, Sami gained responsibility for a wider portfolio, overseeing the activities of BIGGA’s membership team with a remit to advance the operational structure of the association.

Sami is a graduate of The R&A’s Women in Golf Leadership Programme and has since progressed to become a coach for participants of the programme.

Sami said, “I have loved working for BIGGA and I anticipated spending my entire career with the association. Being able to have so much input into a business that I joined when I was so young was amazing, but I’m certain that this move is the right decision. This opportunity with the Bernhard Academy is one that I never imagined would be made available to me, so it is one that I couldn’t turn down. My certainty that this is the right decision is testament to what I have achieved with BIGGA, as the association has given me the experience and ability to take this next step.”

Jim Croxton, BIGGA chief executive, said, “When many people think of BIGGA, they think of Sami Strutt. She’s been a fundamental part of our team for over 30 years and has been at the heart of many of the things that are good about our association. She’s a hugely popular and important member of the BIGGA family and we’re disappointed to lose her, but thrilled that she’s got an opportunity to make her mark on the wider industry and one that will hopefully align with BIGGA’s strategic ambitions going forwards.

“I’m sad to lose a valued colleague but glad that we’ll still be in regular contact. She’s had a wonderful journey with BIGGA and I’m proud that the Bernhard Academy has chosen her to take on this key role.”

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