History of the CGKA

Long before the CGKA was incorporated, which was March 1970, there was a discussion with a few area landscapers in the field. Needless to say, the individuals that got us off the ground, were Sal Cioffi and Bob Gibbons, who met with Ted Stamen of UCONN in New York. 

Our first meeting was held in a barn in Woodbridge, CT. After that, we held meetings for the board of directors at individuals homes for about two years. Then at the Agricultural Extension Service in Wallingford, CT. We eventually moved the meetings to the Connecticut Agricultural Station in New Haven. 

Our first conference was held at the Waverly Inn in Cheshire, CT. As the attendance grew, we moved to larger facilities. 

The association was started by thirteen individuals and now we have over 200 members.The first conference was attended by about 120 individuals and five exhibitors. 

In recent years the CGKA Conference & Exhibit Hall has drawn as many as over 1,200 people and we have had almost 200 exhibitors during busy years. In 2015 the Conference was held at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, it had 325 registered attendees and 29 exhibitors.

Our Executive Board works timelessly to achieve higher standards and to inform the public of our committment to a better industry.   Through 2010 we worked with one of the founders, Jack Riccio, as an honorary board member.   Our December 2010 annual meeting featured a salute to Jack’s dedication to our group.
In 2000 the board of directors established an award in the name of Sal Cioffi. It was through Sal’s direction and foresight that the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association was founded and progressed through the years. Annually, our board of directors awards it to a person who best exemplifies the attributes of Sal Cioffi. Recipients:

2000 – Jack Riccio 
2001 – John Pallotto
2002 – Joe Maisano, Jr.
2003 – Phil Grande Jr. CLT
2004 – Vincent Mendillo
2005 – George Cargos
2006 – David Peterson
2007 – Robert Taylor
2008 – Emilio Troiano
2009 – Anthony LaBanca
2010 – Giovanni ‘John’ DiMonaco