Joseph Imszennik has a golf story or two to share. And they are not of the hole-in-one on the 18th variety.
With 20 years of facilities management under his belt — many of those years at prestigious golf courses throughout the region — Imszennik has been involved in all aspects of keeping facilities running at peak efficiency.
Working with pro golfer Gary Player’s design company, he helped oversee the construction of an 18-hole golf course and maintenance facility at the Ace Club in Lafayette Hill while he was assistant superintendent at the club. While serving in the same role at the Philadelphia Country Club in Gladwyne he built an impromptu helipad for golfing legend Jack Nicklaus.
“It was an intense business where it was necessary to find ways to solve problems as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Imszennik, who joined the Temple Community in 2013 as the Assistant Associate Director of Grounds in the Facilities Management Department at Main Campus. “That’s something that certainly translates to what we do at Temple. I want to take care of the campus and the people that work here to ensure that we can best serve our students.”
Imszennik is no stranger to Temple Ambler. As Assistant Associate Director of Grounds, he managed the grounds department labor at Main Campus and the Ambler Campus athletic fields. He additionally managed the turf at Temple Ambler.
“Temple Ambler provides a new challenge, an opportunity to expand my skill set into facilities management. As a golf superintendent, you needed to know a bit about everything — electricity, plumbing, carpentry,” said Imszennik, who is Temple Ambler’s new Facilities Manager. “I’ve renovated two homes; it’s important to me to have the skills necessary to accomplish these projects effectively and proficiently. This felt like a natural progression.”
Imszennik’s connections to the green industry and horticulture, in particular, run deep. He is a graduate of W.B Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, where students chose a major and two minors, in his case horticulture with minors in mechanics and turf science. He went on to receive a B.S. degree in turfgrass science from Penn State.
“Barbara Brown was a horticulture teach — and Temple alumnus — at Saul High School. She was the one that pointed me in the right direction and got me involved in horticulture and horticulture design,” he said. “I began entering competitions and won eighth place at nationals for the Future Farms of America in the landscape nursery competition. I was also part of the teams that created two Philadelphia Flower Show exhibits during my junior and senior years — I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Temple Ambler’s landscape architecture and horticulture students put together for the Flower Show this year and I’m certainly willing to help in any way I can.”
As Facilities Manager for Temple Ambler, it won’t be long before Imszennik has a firm understanding of all 187-acres of the campus and will have experienced large campus events such as EarthFest, BioBlitz, the Great American Campout and Temple in Bloom in addition to providing support for much of the unique research that takes place on campus.
“There is no question that Temple Ambler is a unique resource for the University. There is much more space and, of course, many more natural areas,” he said. “It is 100-percent Temple, but it is a whole different experience, which I think is a great benefit to our students. Temple Ambler is a beautiful campus and I’m honored to be a part of the team that helps to maintain it.”