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GBA Spring Conference April 23-25, 2020


April 23 @ 8:00 am

Join 150+ geoprofessional executive level industry leaders for GBA’s 2020 Spring Conference convening April 23-25, 2020 at the Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa, Ponte Vedra  Beach, FL
This two-and-a-half-day conference will offer premier programming on key topics as well as networking and social events allowing attendees the opportunity to build lasting personal and professional relationships with major industry stakeholders.




Thursday, April 23, 2020

  • 8:00AM – 1:00PM – GBA Board of Directors Meeting
  • 1:00PM – 2:00PM – Group Liaison Meetings (Technical, Operations, and External Affairs) –
  •   Committee and Council Chairs and Vice Chairs meet with GBA Board of Director Coordinators
  • 2:00PM – 5:00PM – Committee and Council Meetings
  • 4:30PM – 5:30PM – GBA/Terra Insurance Company Joint Board of Directors Meeting (tentative)
  • 7:00PM – 9:00PM – Networking Reception

Friday, April 24, 2020

  • 7:00AM – 7:45AM – Full Registrant’s Buffet Breakfast
  • 7:00AM – 7:45AM – Council of Fellows Meeting and Buffet Breakfast
  • 7:45AM – 12:30PM – Conference Programming
  • 8:00AM – 9:00AM – Spouse/Guest Buffet Breakfast
  • 10:00AM – 2:00PM – Spouse Activity (tentative – optional activity – subject to additional fee)
  • 12:30PM – 1:45PM – Luncheon
  • 1:45PM – 5:00PM – Conference Programming
  • 6:30PM – 7:00PM – Reception
  • 7:00PM – 9:00PM – Awards Recognition Dinner

 Saturday, April 25, 2020

  •  7:00AM – 7:45AM – Full Registrant’s Buffet Breakfast
  • 7:45AM – 1:00PM – Conference Programming
  • 8:00AM – 9:00AM – Spouse/Guest Continental Breakfast
  • 1:00PM – 1:45PM – Networking Luncheon
  • 1:00PM – 2:45PM – Board of Directors and Committee/Council Chairs Meeting
  • 2:45PM – 4:00PM – Board of Directors Meeting

Anirban Basu
Chairman & CEO, Sage Policy Group, Inc.

Anirban is a study in contradictions and has been called the economist with a sense of humor. He has been named one of the Baltimore region’s 20 most powerful business leaders, twice recognized as one of Maryland’s 50 most influential people, and is among the most recognizable economists for his consulting work on behalf of prominent developers, bankers, brokerage houses, energy suppliers, law firms, and business associations. Anirban founded Sage (an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore) in 2004 and has written several high-profile economic development strategies on behalf of government agencies and non-profit organizations, including co-authoring economic development strategies for Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland. He serves as the chief economist to Associated Builders and Contractors (national), chief economic advisor to the Construction Financial Management Association, chairman of the Maryland Economic Development Commission, teaches global strategy at Johns Hopkins University, and serves the chief economist function for a number of organizations around the country.

Highly educated, Anirban earned his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, two master’s degrees one in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government – Harvard University and one in Economics from the University of Maryland. He also earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Bernard Baumohl
Chief Global Economist, The Economic Outlook Group LLC

Bernard is well known for being ahead of the curve in assessing the direction of the U.S. and world economies. He was an award-winning economics reporter with TIME magazine, covering the White House, Federal Reserve, and Wall Street (where his roots run deep). The Wall Street Journal ranked him as the most accurate economic forecaster for 2018. He is a member of the monthly Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel, and his projections on the economy and geopolitical trends are frequently cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, Financial Times, and on National Public Radio.

Bernard is the author of The Secrets of Economic Indicators: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and Investment Opportunities, a best-selling book is in its third edition that has been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and German. He is a sought out international keynote speaker about the latest economic and geopolitical outlook at conferences, workshops, and legislatures. He served as a regular commentator on TV’s Nightly Business Report, lectured at NYU and Florida Gulf Coast University, and, in addition to his current post as chief global economist, is currently on the faculty of the New York Institute of Finance, where he conducts seminars about how forward-looking economic indicators can help business leaders better foresee turning points in the economy. He received the John Hancock Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism and is a member of the National Association for Business Economics and the American Economic Association.

Dan R. Cassidy, C.P.G.
Principal, SME

Dan joined SME in 1997 and now leads SME’s Environmental Services Group, setting and implementing business strategy and operational plans, providing senior technical leadership, managing liability issues, and advising owners, developers, and the design and construction community about urban and brownfield redevelopment strategies and financing, environmental assessment of contaminated sites, remedial investigations, and environmental regulatory compliance. Dan holds a BS degree in Environmental Geoscience from Michigan State University and an MBA from Wayne State University, where he was also a Juris Doctor candidate. He feels fortunate that a large part of his career has focused on brownfield redevelopment, which he feels is the best example of reuse, recycling, and recovery of urban areas that literally revitalizes communities. These projects are also great examples of his unique ability to facilitate public-private partnerships. Dan’s affiliations include being a Fellow at the Larson Center for Leadership, an active member of the Business Practices Committee of the Geoprofessional Business Association, American Institute of Professional Geologists, Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals, Woodward Avenue Action Association, International Council of Shopping Centers, Michigan Economic Development Association, Detroit Downtown Partnership, NW Ohio Regional Economic Development Association, and executive board member for the Urban Land Institute Michigan (Programs Committee Chair).

Joe Champion, P.E.
Subsidiary President, ECS Florida, LLC

Joe is based in the company’s Jacksonville, Florida office and has 16 years of experience as a geotechnical and construction materials testing and inspection engineer. He is responsible for the leadership, financial management, business development, and training for the Jacksonville, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, and Brunswick offices. Joe also oversees ECS’s foundation and specialty testing and inspection services. He is licensed in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, and holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of North Florida.

Stephanie Cook, Esq.
Principal, Cokinos | Young

Stephanie has extensive experience with a wide range of construction and business disputes, having successfully represented banks, insurance companies, owners, developers, contractors, officers/directors, and individuals in complex commercial and construction cases. She has handled, tried and/or appealed commercial cases in state and federal courts in Texas, including matters related to fraud, construction defects, commercial leases, subcontractor and general contractor disputes, director and officer liability, lender liability, transportation claims, and professional liability. Stephanie’s legal acumen is complimented by experience in all aspects of banking litigation from loan origination to foreclosure, asset recovery, recovery of administrative claims, and workouts in debt restructuring, bankruptcy or collections.

Charlie Head, P.E., P.G.
CEO & Board Chair, Sanborn Head

Charlie is a co-founder of Sanborn Head and, in his current roles, focuses on the successful implementation of the firm’s strategic plan, steering initiatives related to the growth and sustainability of the firm’s services and markets to create opportunities for the next generation. He remains active in the company’s professional practice, with particular emphasis on environmental assessment and remediation, including due diligence for clients globally. For Charlie, the real thrill of working at Sanborn Head is the creative problem-solving and collaboration that fosters deep relationships among both staff and clients.

Charlie received his bachelor’s degree in geology from St. Lawrence University, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree in civil and groundwater engineering from Colorado State University, and is a 2017 graduate of Leadership New Hampshire. He is a professional engineer in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee; and is a professional geologist in New Hampshire. He is a past president of the Geoprofessional Business Association, and currently serves on the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Civil Engineering Advisory Board the board of directors for Granite United Way.

John Hicks, P.E.
Branch Manager, Vice President & Principal Engineer, ECS Florida, LLC

John is based in ECS’s Orlando office and has been a member of the ECS team for more than 15 years. He is responsible for the office’s financial management, technical quality, and business development. He is a licensed professional engineer in Florida, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia, and holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. John is also a major who has served in both the Virginia and the Florida Army National Guard, and currently serves as the brigade engineer for the 50th Regional Support Group based out of Homestead, Florida. While serving as a member of the Army National Guard, he has been activated on multiple occasions in direct support of emergency response operations during periods of natural disasters.

Kevin Hoppe, P.E.
CEO, NTH Consultants, Ltd.

NTH Consultants is an infrastructure and environmental engineering firm with offices in Michigan and Ohio that has been active with GBA since its days as ASFE. Kevin has been involved for three decades, serving as president in 2000-2001, on the Council of Fellows in 2005 (chair of the group from 2008 to 2011), and as a peer review team member or captain for almost 20 years (former chair of the Peer Review Committee). Kevin also has also served as a director of Terra Insurance Company since 2008.

Lee James, CPA, CBI, CMC
Principal, Lee James & Associates, Inc.

Lee is a certified public accountant, certified management consultant, and certified business intermediary, and his firm offers individualized services like benchmarking, coaching, facilitating, financial and operational assessment, leadership development, project-management performance, ownership transition (internal and external), software conversions, strategic planning, and training. Lee is also well known for the many seminars and other training programs he leads and is a highly regarded speaker. He has worked tirelessly for GBA, donating many years of service to the organization’s Business Practices Committee.

Guy Marcozzi, P.E.
President, Duffield Associates

Duffield Associates is a mid-sized geoscience firm in the mid-Atlantic and a longtime member of GBA. Guy originally practiced as a structural engineer, then a geotechnical engineer, and has since diversified into civil and maritime work. Guy says he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning and has weathered prior business cycles, so he encourages his peers to take advantage of opportunities to plan for what’s coming, both good and bad.

Rochelle Nelson, Attorney
Cairncross & Hempelmann

As a member of the firm’s litigation practice group, Rochelle’s experience lies at the nexus of construction and employment litigation. She represents design professionals in resolving a range of conflicts from single-party disputes to complex multi-party ones. Rochelle’s work encompasses all phases of litigation, including complex contractual analysis, discovery, taking and defending depositions, and trial preparation. Her background in finance and accounting allows her to recognize operational challenges and provide digestible advice from a business perspective, empowering her clients to make informed decisions. Rochelle’s practice also includes employment advice, counseling employers on good policies and HR practices to help clients mitigate risk and prevent problems in the workplace, and keeping them abreast of the changing legal landscape including wage and hour disputes, discrimination, non-competition issues, and more.

E. Lynn Price, J.D.
Speaker, Author, Consultant & Attorney, Lynn Price Consulting, LLC

Lynn is a speaker, author, and attorney with more than 20 years of experience providing creative business solutions to clients and executives. She successfully negotiated 11,000+ agreements over the last two decades. She is the author of the bestselling book Negotiate It! How to Crush Your Fears, Develop Your Negotiation Muscle, and Gain Power in the Workplace, which Forbes.com identified as one of “The Best Books That Will Make You A Master Negotiator” and landed as #24 on BookAuthority.com’s list of “100 Best Negotiation Books of All Time.”

Previously, for 13 years, Lynn was an attorney for Terracon Consultants, Inc., where she served as a principal, managed the legal department, and was corporate secretary. Under her leadership, the corporate legal department was awarded the “Top Corporate Department” multiple times from surveys of the company’s business leaders.

Gerard “Gerry” Salontai, P.E., F.GBA
CEO Salontai Consulting Group

The Salontai Consulting Group provides management-advisory services to executives in the areas of strategy, business performance, governance, and leadership. Gerry helps executives with strategic planning, market evaluation, service, and/or market re-positioning efforts, along with guidance with mergers and acquisitions. He also serves as an independent board director for a number of companies. Before starting his consultancy, Gerry served as CEO of a $300-million professional-services consulting firm for 11 years. The revenue of the company grew nearly five times during that period, while improving in every other financial-performance metric.

Terence “Terry” Scanlan, Attorney
Partner, Cairncross & Hempelmann

Terry is based in Seattle, Washington where for more than 20 years, he has represented commercial entities with an emphasis on engineering and architectural firms in complex civil litigation in state and federal courts. Terry’s litigation practice includes contract disputes, risk management, professional negligence, errors and omissions claims, and wrongful death claims and catastrophic torts. Design professionals, consulting firms, local governmental entities and many others have learned to rely on Terry’s experience in mediation, litigation, and trials. With his deep knowledge of construction law, Terry has resolved issues between — and on behalf of — a wide variety of national and international design professionals. With a clear focus on helping businesses, individuals, regulators, and government clients articulate their expectations and perspectives, he works hard to increase mutual understanding and the goodwill needed to keep a project moving.

Derrick A. Shelton, P.E.
Senior Associate and Program Manager – Haley & Aldrich, Inc.

Derrick’s more than 20 years of experience in geotechnical engineering includes projects involving shallow and deep foundation systems, buildings, highways, bridges, homeland security, settlement investigations, ground improvement, pavement design, forensic investigations, and construction monitoring. He is responsible for managing multi-disciplinary projects with net service revenues of $1,500,000 annually, writing proposals, negotiating contracts for large-scale, complex projects, delivering internal training, developing client relationships, and completing instruments of service which include project reports, letters, and client memoranda, as well as acting as primary signatory.

Derrick has significant experience on alternative deliver transportation projects in the Mid-Atlantic states. He has been active in GBA since 2010 and is vice president of the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Highway Engineers. He is a recipient of the Via Department of Civil Engineering’s Outstanding Young Alumni award.

At Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Derrick earned a BS in civil engineering, MS in civil engineering, and an MBA.

Thomas Robert Topping, SHRM-CP
President, Training Perfected

Tom is a professional speaker and employee engagement expert with a master’s degree in human resources management. He has spent his career transforming teams and training individuals for some of the largest organizations in the United States. His professional contributions have been described as innovative, unique, pioneering, daring, and out-of-the-box. He has led large-scale pilot programs in performance management, re-envisioned an entire human resources department, and managed the implementation of a $5 million educational grant through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His company is dedicated to helping organizations and individuals maximize performance and happiness. Tom takes pride in the 15 years he spent as the director/head coach of the Nike Team Florida traveling basketball team. Many of his players went on to win high school, state, and national basketball championships, as well as NCAA Division I National Championships and NBA championships. Six Nike Team Florida alumni have been drafted by NBA teams and more than 120 Nike Team Florida alumni received full college basketball scholarships estimated at a value of $15 million dollars.

As a committed member of the business community, Tom currently serves as district director for HR Florida, and was named the HR Florida Chapter President of the Year for 2017 for his service to Suncoast HR in Pinellas County. What truly excites Tom? “Optimizing staff leadership and team performance at every level of an organization. I love developing cutting edge techniques that lead to award-winning approaches in team building.”

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020
Session Titles, Speakers and Descriptions

An Economic and Geopolitical Outlook Past the Media Headlines
Bernard Baumohl (The Economic Outlook Group, LLC)

Rarely have business leaders and investors confronted so much uncertainty about the future. There is political paralysis in Washington, an ongoing trade war, supply chain disruptions, economic distress in Europe, dangerous conflicts in the Middle East, and social unrest in Asia and Latin America. You can almost hear the geopolitical pot boiling furiously. Simply put, we live in a crisis-prone global economy. At the same time, technology is fundamentally changing how people live and the way companies conduct their business. All these factors have affected the dynamics that impact economic growth, inflation, interest rates, and productivity.
Yet, in the midst of it all is the sobering fact that corporate managers and investors need to make decisions on a daily basis and be able to justify them! Doing so, however, will require tossing out the old rules and forecast models to make way for a more agile framework that can better incorporate the constantly shifting forces that drive modern economies.

Business Snapshot Summary
Derrick A. Shelton, P.E. (Haley & Aldrich, Inc.)

Come share your opinion and hear your peers’ insights about economic conditions across the country. This annual presentation includes the results of our survey, plus an expanded real-time interactive audience survey that will give you a brief but meaningful look at how your firm and region are performing relative to the rest of the nation.

Planning, Preparing and Executing for the Next Recession 2.0
Lee James, CPA, CBI, CMC®, F.GBA (Lee James & Associates, Inc.) & Daniel R. Cassidy, C.P.G. (SME)

This presentation is an expansion of the one presented during the Louisville fall conference with the same name, with more about the What, When, Where, Who, Why and How of planning, preparing, and executing for a future recession. What should be done? When should needed actions occur? Where within your organization should this occur? Who should be the key people involved? Why is it important? How should this be completed? Lee and Dan will share with you best practices and lessons learned from prior recessions; challenges and specifics to help you be better prepared; and the importance of being proactive in planning, preparing, and executing to best survive and thrive through a recession. Everyone will benefit, regardless of participation at the recent fall conference.

How Environmental Services Helped Us Weather the Last Recession
Charles L. Head, P.E., P.G. (Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc.)

When construction and infrastructure projects slow down in a recession, environmental due diligence and remediation services can be a valuable lifeline to weathering the economic downturn. This session will focus on what one GBA member firm learned from the last recession, including:
• How environmental services and other factors contributed to the firm’s success
• How environmental work performed during the recession compared to other service areas
• The value of cross-training staff and project managers in environmental project delivery and business development
• Measures taken in response to the recession
• Lessons learned
• How the firm has adapted to be more resilient in the future

Recession Tune-up Summary
Guy Marcozzi, P.E. (Duffield Associates)

The last few years have been boom times for many GBA firms. Experience suggests that the business environment is cyclical, so it may be time for a tune-up to enable your firm to weather the changing business season in a timely, responsible, and empathetic manner. You will get a tune-up tool kit, including aligning your team and business practices and developing an emotional bank to draw from while making hard decisions. Make your business tune-up appointment now for a healthy future.

The Business Effects of Shifting Cannabis Rules and Regulations
Terence Scanlan & Rochelle Nelson (Cairncross & Hempelmann)

With even more states trending towards the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis, the rules and laws related to cannabis use in the workplace have also evolved. This session will focus on the host of challenges employers now face in responding to cannabis use:
• Significant changes that have been made to several states’ anti-discrimination laws
• How these changes impact employers’ obligation to accommodate cannabis medical treatments
• Best practices for employers’ drug testing procedures and policies in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements
• Employers’ duty to accommodate on- or off-duty medical or recreational cannabis use
• Top considerations for design professionals working for companies who grow, store, distribute, or sell cannabis

What I Wish I Knew About Planning, Preparing and Executing Before the Last Recession
Lee R. James, CPA, CBI, CMC®, F.GBA (Lee James & Associates, Inc.), Kevin B. Hoppe, P.E., F.GBA (NTH Consultants, Ltd.), Gerald J. Salontai, P.E., F.GBA (Salontai Consulting Group, LLC), and Thomas W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting)

This is your chance to hear from these industry leaders the good, the bad, and the ugly about decisions they and their firms made during the last recession. What worked well? What didn’t? What were the disasters they encountered? How did they respond? The panelists represent small, medium, and large member firms, so there will be something for everyone to learn and apply. And this open and honest forum will allow you to dig deeper with them during the Q&A portion.

Session Titles, Speakers and Descriptions

Effective Management of Your Firm’s Most Valuable Asset During an Economic Slump
Thomas R. Topping (Training Perfected)

An internet search of the phrase, “enduring a recession” will generate a universal game plan that seems prudent, predictable, and appropriate for nearly every kind of business. Then why will so many organizations who utilize these tactics still falter? One primary reason is that there is little to no mention of protecting an organization’s most valuable resource: Its people. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. During a recession, people are regularly viewed as a liability! So why should an organization commit the time, energy, and money into a war for talent during good times only to be advised to surrender those assets at the exact moment when times get tough?
Tom will guide you through an experience that will shed light on how and why the smartest companies protect their human capital against future threats. Geoprofessionals will leave this session better equipped to manage an economic downturn by utilizing proven engagement and retention strategies that are shown to boost individual and organizational value by increasing productivity, profitability, retention, and innovation. This presentation is sure to stimulate your critical thinking around people analytics, while developing individual skills that will promote a more engaged workforce.

You Can’t Stop Natural Disasters, But You Can Arm Yourself With Knowledge
Joe Champion, P.E. (ECS Florida, LLC) and John Hicks, P.E. (ECS Florida, LLC)

Geoprofessionals are trained to determine potential environmental impacts to a project. But how do you determine the impact of a hurricane to your firm’s and employees’ safety, security, and field and office operations? Joe and John will share their experiences and lessons learned preparing their teams for hurricane warnings.

The Geoprofessional Standard of Care (In Good Times and Bad)
Stephanie H. Cook, Esq. (Cokinos)

While statutes and professional requirements appear to define the engineer’s standard of care, nuances in contract law, selective word use, and even economics can play a role in elevating and expanding the engineer’s liability for breach or failure to meet his or her standard of care through negligence or by contract. This presentation will look at statutes that define the appropriate standard of care and factors (and words) that can modify and expand responsibility. You’ll engage in a practice session to provide insight into the significance of reviewing for the appropriate measure of the engineer’s standard of care and the economics factor on risk analysis.

Negotiate It! How to Crush Your Fears, Develop Your Negotiation Muscle, and Gain Power in the Workplace
E. Lynn Price, J.D. (Lynn Price Consulting, LLC)

Negotiation is a part of daily life – whether it’s formal or informal. Preparing for the next downturn means having your negotiation skills sharpened and ready!
Based on her bestselling book, Lynn will teach you how to apply the “Formula of the Three R’s”: a quick and effective way to see positive results with your negotiations at all levels. You’ll learn when you should negotiate, how to overcome negotiation fears, and how to avoid common pitfalls. You’ll develop the confidence to defend your position, respond to pushback, and negotiate both strategically and efficiently. You’ll be able to confidently adopt the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Get” philosophy so you are always encouraged to “Make the Ask.”

The Return of the Economist
Anirban Basu, Chairman & CEO (Sage Policy Group, Inc.)

This presentation supplies detailed discussions regarding, global, national, and regional economic performance using the most current data available. Special attention is devoted to certain aspects of economic life, including the performance of financial, labor, real estate, and construction markets.

GBA will award Professional Development Hours (PDHs)

 Details available in January 2020


Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa
1000 PGA Tour Boulevard

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082

Reservations Phone Line:  (800)-228-9290

Click Here for On-line Reservation 

Room Rates and Current Taxes:

Run of House Rooms $239 Single/Double Occupancy plus 10.5% tax per room/per night

 An additional Resort Fee of $20.00 per room/per night includes:

  • Enhanced high-speed internet access
  • Two bottles of water in-room daily
  • Choice of two (2) drinks per stay: (domestic beer, house wine, or resort specialty cocktail)
  • Spa and Cabana Beach Club Fitness Classes
  • Miniature Golf
  • Private access to the Cabana Beach Club

The  Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL offers extraordinary amenities and a terrific location just a short distance from Jacksonville. The resort is right next door to the famed TPC Sawgrass Golf Club, and the resort has exclusive privileges with the complex which allows you to play a round of golf or take a lesson. The resort’s modern rooms, suites and family-friendly villas boasts every imaginable comfort. In addition, the resort features four swimming pools, a full-service spa, a private Cabana Beach Club and seven on property dining options.

Golf Tee Time Information

Individuals interested in scheduling a tee time for golf may call the Marriott Sawgrass Golf Shop directly at 904-273-8146 or the main phone number for the hotel at 904-285-7777 and ask for the Golf Shop.  The golf shop will review with the guest what courses are available along with the costs.   Please note:  Individuals must have a sleeping room confirmation first as the golf fees will be guaranteed to the individual’s guest room reservation.

  • How to Secure a Room Reservation?
  • Phone reservations may be made by dialing: (800)-228-9290
  • Mention the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) or GBA’s 2020 Spring Conference to be quoted the group rate of $239.00 per night, plus  $20.00 resort fee plus taxes.
  • Click Here to Reserve a Room.
  • Secure room reservation early Even though GBA’s cut-off date is Friday, March 27, 2020.  Once GBA’s room block is filled the hotel and GBA cannot guarantee availability of rooms at the GBA group rate or any other room rate.
  • Pre/Post Room Nights Limited guest rooms may be available for up to 2 days pre/post the official conference dates of April 23-25, 2020 based on availability at the time reservations are made and at the hotel’s discretion.  Should you plan to extend your stay, please contact the hotel early for best availability.
  • Hotel Reservation Changes and Cancellations:  The Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa has a Three (3) day (72-hour prior) room reservation cancellation policy.   Room Reservation cancellations received less than 3 days prior to arrival will be subject to one night’s room/tax cancellation.  Individuals who cancel must receive a cancellation confirmation number from the hotel.
  •  Please Note: In-order-to minimize any charges to you, your firm, or to GBA, if you need to cancel your room reservation, please do so in a timely manner so that the guest room nights can be sold to other GBA guests.  Contact Barb ([email protected]) or Sara ([email protected]) even if you have to cancel late so that GBA can try to assign your guest room to someone else.
  •  Check-in / Check-out Times Check-in time is 4:00 PM; check-out time is 11:00 AM. The Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa cannot guarantee any early check-ins before 4:00 PM. If you would like to check-in early, you may contact the hotel’s front desk representative on your arrival day to see if the hotel has any rooms clean and ready earlier than the 4:00PM check-in time.
  • Early Departure Fee/Policy:  The Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa has an Early Departure Fee/Policy; i.e., if you reserve to depart on the 25th, but leave a day early, you will be charged for the night you “missed” at the group room rate plus tax, unless you make arrangements with the hotel’s front desk manager in advance.  Emergency and other special circumstance situations will be reviewed by the hotel on a case by case basis.
  • Beware of unauthorized hotel booking and housing agencies (Poachers):   GBA is not affiliated or contracted with any outside hotel contracting company. If someone other than GBA staff or GBA’s chosen hotel ( Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa) contacts you and suggests that they represent any GBA event, they do NOT.  It is GBA’s recommendation that you book your hotel guest room directly with the  Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa.  Don’t be scammed!   Should you have any questions, please contact Barb Nappy at 727-457-2272 (cell) or via e-mail at [email protected]

Discover endless activities at the  Marriott Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa. There is plenty of activities for adults as well as an array of kid-friendly amenities. From lounging poolside or by the beach to experimenting on the resort’s Surfstream® Wave Machine, you will always find something to do at this resort.

Swimming Pools
Find your favorite spot at one of the resort’s four swimming pools located on the property. There is a child-friendly pool and an adult only pool. Towels are provided at each location.

Fitness Center

Maintain your workout routine at the resort’s state-of-the-art fitness center which is open 24-hours a day. The beach resort’s gym features cardiovascular equipment and free weights as well as fitness classes (for a fee).

Bicycle Rentals

Explore the 65-acre Ponte Vedra Beach resort’s many winding paths and roads on a bike. Bicycle rentals can be arranged at the resort pool towel hut from 9:00AM to 5:00PM daily. Cost: $10 per hour, per bike. (Adult bikes available only).

Ping-pong tables are located in Cascades Lawn. Open daily from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

Miniature Golf

Try your hand at the resort’s 18 holes of challenging and exciting obstacles on the Miniature Golf Course. Open daily from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Check-in at the recreation booth near the resort pool.

 The Floating Hole Challenge
Are you up for the challenge? Take a swing at the resort’s Floating Hotel in the signature lagoon. A portion of the proceeds benefit The First Tee of North Florida, a non-profit organization teaching children life skills and core values through the game of golf. Cost $5.00 for 8 balls; $10.00 for 17 balls; $20.00 for 40 balls. Currently open daily at 5:00PM. Located behind Alice & Pete’s Pub.

A PGA Tour experience awaits golfers who will enjoy privileged golf access to the adjacent TPC® Sawgrass, featuring two championship golf courses: The Stadium Course and the Dye’s Valley Course. The full range of facilities includes a Clubhouse with a restaurant and golf shop, rentals and lessons, a driving range and a putting green.

 The Spa

The Sawgrass Spa transports guests to a world of wellness and serenity. The full-service spa features a variety of pampering treatments, services and amenities as well as fitness classes and counseling, a plunge pool, whirlpool, steam room, salon and more.

Learn to Surf

Do you want to learn how to surf? The Surfstream® accommodates one surfer or up to two boogie boarders at a time, while a team of trained spotters and instructors oversee every surfer so they can fully enjoy their epic experience. Participation is booked in a 20-minute session (five minutes of instruction followed by 15 minutes of surf), with up to three people permitted to ride during each turn.

Riding the waves costs $20.00 per person for a 20-minute session. Reservations can be made once you are on property, but to ensure a specific time, they can be made up to 48-hours in advance by calling 904-285-7777 ext 6707. Currently the Surfstream® operates from 10:00AM to 1:00PM and 2:00PM to 5:00PM on Saturday and Sundays. Hours for April could vary depending on the weather.

 Cabana Beach Club

Escape to the white sands of Ponte Vedra Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, where the resort’s exclusive Cabana Beach Club awaits. Hop on the resort’s complimentary shuttle to explore 26 miles of private beachfront. Lounge on the sand, play in the ocean waves and enjoy delectable oceanfront dining. For water sports adventures, the resort’s Cabana Beach Club offers a wide selection of beach activities like surf camps and rentals including kayaks, paddleboards, surfboards, boogie boards and Hobie Cats. Kid’s camps and surfing lessons are also available.

Ponte Vedra Beach is located less than 22 miles southeast of downtown Jacksonville and less than 28 miles north of St. Augustine. Ponte Vedra Beach is part of the Jacksonville Beaches area.

The Ponte Vedra Beach area is best known for its association with golf and is the home to the PGA Tour and The Players Championship, which is played at the TPC at Sawgrass.

Click any of the links below for information about the many things to see and do while in Ponte Vedra Beach or the Jacksonville area.

Jacksonville International Airport:    

2400 Yankee Clipper Drive
Jacksonville, FL
(904) 741-4902
Visit flyjax.com for more information.

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) is conveniently located near Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, and Amelia Island.

Airlines that service Jacksonville International Airport including: Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines.

Getting to Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa from the Jacksonville International Airport:

The distance is 35 miles between the airport and the hotel via Uber, Lyft or a taxi depending on traffic and time if day.

App-Based Ride Services or Transportation Network Companies Lyft and Uber are both authorized to provide pick-up service at Jacksonville International Airport. Passengers can make a request once they are located on the terminal curbside. Signs that state “App-Based Ride Services” are positioned on the Lower Arrival Curb outside Baggage Claim Door 3 and to the right.

Hotel Parking:

  • Self-parking fee $15
  • Valet parking fee $25

A refund (less $150/per person administrative fee) will be given to individuals whose conference registration cancellations are received by 5:00PM Eastern Time, Friday, March 27, 2020.   For cancellations received after this date, but not later than 5:00PM Eastern Time, Friday, April 10, 2020, the cancellation fee will be $275/per person, for administration, food service and related guarantee charges that GBA will have to absorb. No refund or credit may be given after 5:00PM on Friday, April 10, 2020.

Please note: GBA may charge an individual whatever GBA has to pay the hotel (in attrition fees) if you fail to cancel a room reservation in a timely manner and GBA is unable to assign the room to someone else. Be sure to notify Barb ([email protected]) or Sara ([email protected]) even if you have to cancel late so that GBA can at least try to mitigate any additional charges.


April 23
8:00 am