After 21 years in the public education arena, Jerry Vickerson was ready for a change. He had the idea that he would like to become a golf course superintendent. With that in mind he decided to attend the Winter School for Turf Mangers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Three months later in March of 1980 he began work at the Naples Golf & Country Club in Naples, Maine as a turf manager.
Early in his tenure at Naples G&CC Jerry met Dave Huff, a technical representative for the O.M. Scott Company. Dave explained during their initial meeting that he not only sold Scott's products but also provided turf management advice to his clients. Jerry asked if Dave if he called on the schools in the area. Dave explained that he was unable to do that because his territory also included golf courses and spanned Maine, New Hampshire and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Dave further offered that if Jerry were so concerned about the condition of the school facilities that he should do something about it.
With that thought planted in his head, later that fall, Jerry contacted a few acquaintances in the education administrations about the perceived need to improve the condition of their outdoor athletic facilities. He quickly learned that there was an awareness of the need to improve these facilities and a strong interest in doing so.
In January of 1981 Sports Fields was founded. Jerry recruited his sons Jim and Bill to startup the business. In 1982 Eugene Duplessis was hired as the demand for services began to increase. A few years later Bill left Sports Fields to pursue his interest in stone masonry.
In the early 1980's the Vickerson family purchased a property on High Street in Winthrop, Maine. At the location there were two apartments, which were rented to tenants, and a commercial building (garage) that was used to house Sports Fields supplies and equipment. The office was located at a separate Winthrop site until the mid 80"s when it was consolidated to the same High Street location.
During the first five years the client list grew steadily and the work force grew in proportion. In late 1985 consultations were held with Sports Fields' accountant and attorney and the decision was made to incorporate the business. Sports Fields Inc. was born into existence early in 1986.
In 1994 land was purchased in Monmouth, Maine and a new building that was able to house the entire operation was constructed on site. After a major decision to stock golf course supplies in addition to the traditional products, the business quickly outgrew the new space and in 1998 a second building was constructed to warehouse the increasing number of turf products available for sale. In 2002, a third building was erected to accommodate for the increase in sales volume. Finally in 2006 a local off site building was leased in order to increase storage capacity yet again.
Also in 1994 Jerry decided to retire. He sold his interest in the company to his son, Jim Vickerson and Eugene Duplessis. Jim and Eugene became partners in a growing business that would flourish in the coming years under their leadership.
Over the first fifteen years Sports Fields concentrated almost exclusively on providing turf maintenance services to their clients. In the subsequent years, maintenance products sale steadily became a larger and more vital component of the business. Many clients that perform in house maintenance, especially golf courses, found Sports Fields' product mix was very specific to their needs.
As the company approaches its 30 anniversary the challenges that we are facing are as great as they have ever been. The economic instability and the current business climate are cause for great anxiety. Many clients are experiencing significant budget reductions, so all efforts are being made to come up with alternatives that minimize any negative impacts on the fields themselves due to maintenance decreases. A sincere commitment to our clientele and performing the highest quality service will help weather this storm. We value the relationships with our customers above all else and will always make satisfaction our number one priority. To our customers past, present and future, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude and to say with humility and honesty, THANK YOU!
James Vickerson - President
Eugene Duplessis - Vice President
Debra Vickerson Millett - Office Manager
Barbara Theriault - Controller
Larry Baker - Sales Rep
John Worthley - Sales Rep
David Hewett - Maintenance Director
Justin Cobb - Service Team and Sales Support
Tom Dostie - Service Team
Brian Scott - Service Team
David Lorette - Service Team
George Chartier - Service Team