SPEAKERS

Randy Anderson | Owner | The Meadows Golf Club, Maine

Randy grew up in Wyoming, won awards in basketball and music in both High School and College, and travelled internationally with Up With People. While studying at University of Wyoming, he needed to pay rent and went to the “now hiring” sign across the street from campus. That accidental call center job led to a 25 year career in the contact center industry. His most recent stint was setting up and running call centers in Latin America, mostly in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Belize, and Guatemala. Then in 2017, he formed PEAK Partners with lifelong friends and golf nuts. Their mission is to acquire small town golf courses and transform them into community hubs with a focus on golf, year-round entertainment and local philanthropy. They do this by engaging the community in the process and preserving the local character and history along the way.

john brown headshot

John Brown | CEO | Brown Golf Management

John has overseen continued expansion of Brown Golf to nineteen facilities and twenty-five golf courses in seven states. John’s background in golf is extensive and he has held roles of Golf Group Sales Manager, Membership Director, Sales Director, General Manager, COO, and CEO. John continues to build a systematic platform that any golf course owner can tap into to increase efficiencies, drive profitability, and increase club awareness.

Damon DeVito | Managing Director | Affinity Management

Damon DeVito has owned, operated, and advised golf courses and private clubs since 1997. He is on the board of the NGCOA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School, and a mentor at Techstars and UVA’s Venture Lab. 

Allison George | Wizard of Fun | Toad Valley Golf Course

Allison George is the Wizard of Fun at her family’s golf course. Having grown up on the golf course, there aren’t many jobs that Allison hasn’t performed. From picking up garbage, mowing fairways to working the snack bar until her current role as General Manager. She has helped to grow her family’s business by introducing programs to the public and staying up to date with modern content marketing. Allison served on the NGCOA Board from 2007 – 2019 when she stepped down to take on a new role as Teesnap’s Marketing Manager. After having much success at her own golf course, she now oversees the marketing plans of other golf courses across the United States. This has given her an advantage to see what works in markets outside of her own course. Over the last fifteen years, she has spoken all over the United States and Canada at various golf conferences sharing ideas and how-to plans to help golf courses grow their number of rounds, players, and revenue. Allison’s love for the business of golf shows in her drive to make a difference in the industry by bringing in new players and sharing her successes with her fellow golf operators.

Tiffany Fitzgerald | Founder & CEO | Black Girls Golf

Tiffany Fitzgerald is a skilled entrepreneur who bootstrapped her way to becoming an industry influencer. She’s on a mission to get more African American women and girls on the golf course and working in the golf industry. Having spent more than 20 years in Corporate America, 10 of those years in Government Affairs and PR, Tiffany understood the role golf played in building successful, professional relationships. She also recognized the absence of African American women on the golf course.

In 2013 she founded Black Girls Golf, an organization that provides access to affordable golf instruction, golf information and community for women who are interested in learning, practicing, and playing golf. Tiffany has grown Black Girls Golf to a community of more than 4,000 members in 38 states and 9 countries, the largest golf community in the United States for African American women and girls.

Black Girls Golf has also gained the respect of the industry with features on Golf Channel, PGA TOUR and Women’s Golf Journal. Tiffany’s work has helped the golf industry take notice of the benefits of diversity and inclusion by introducing more than 4,000 women to the game via Black Girls Golf hands-on clinics, golf outings, networking events and social media campaigns.

Tiffany has also been featured in Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise, African American Golfer’s Digest. She has worked with Topgolf, AT&T and appeared on the Harry Show with host Harry Connick Jr. She also works with Employee Resource Groups to help women leverage golf to be more visible in their organizations.

Pat Kelley | Partner | Advance Golf Partners

Pat’s experience in golf began in childhood. His Dad was a golf professional who worked for the PGA Tour building several well-known TPC properties, and was a highly respected private club manager. Pat’s personal experience dates back to 1995 when he began working in golf maintenance. While in college, Pat had several hands on club roles including outside golf operations and shop associate.

After college, Pat left the golf industry to pursue a sales and marketing career with Newell Rubbermaid. While at Newell Rubbermaid, he learned several sales and marketing skills that would later serve well in the golf industry. Pat returned to the golf industry selling real estate in club and resort communities. When the recession occurred, he returned to his true passion of operating golf facilities. Since then, Pat has been involved as a revenue strategist in over 15 public, semi-private, and private clubs; managing distressed, bank owned properties and serving as an owner liaison to a large multi-national bank.

Mike Loustalot | Co-Founder & Chief Evangalist | Sagacity Golf

Mike is a stalwart champion of the golf industry. Raised in a family of PGA Golf Professionals, he was born with a mission to give back to the game. He introduced the first electronic tee sheets to golf courses. He connected golf courses to wholesalers and packagers creating regional reservation networks. He pioneered the online sales of tee time inventory on golf course websites and 3rd Party marketplaces. He created the industry’s only benchmarking report, ORCA. At Sagacity, Mike continues to help managers and owners see their course’s performance in a new way. When he’s not wrestling golf course data, Mike can be found speaking at industry events, taking road trips and daydreaming about good things to come.

Whitney Reid Pennell| President | RCS Hospitality Group

Whitney Reid Pennell (pronounced Pen–ehl) is owner and President of the award-winning consulting company, RCS Hospitality Group, which she founded in 2000 after a successful hotel and club management career. 

RCS have worked with hundreds of clubs with strategic planning to recruiting to new club openings. RCS continuously provides new solutions and training programs to clubs world-wide and has been recognized as staff training company of the year three times by BoardRoom Magazine, bringing their total Excellence in Achievement awards to ten. She is the creator of the wildly popular Food and Beverage Boot CampTM training series and over 30 hours of virtual and onsite education for staff and managers. Her virtual programs are available with the NGCOA hospitality center, CMAA’s Club Resource Center, and RCS’s own RCS University. 

Whitney was recognized as a top female club influencer in 2014, a top club influencer in 2019 and Gary Player Educator of the Year in 2018. She is a contributing author to many industry publications and is a frequent invited speaker by CMAA chapters, the NGCOA, and Golf Inc. Recognized as an expert in Club Management with a sharp focus on club operations, Whitney has been an educator at BMI International, BMI Food and Beverage, Club Managers Association of Europe, the PGA Merchandise Show and at the World Conference on Club Management.

Don Rea | Owner | Augusta Ranch Golf Club, Mesa, AZ

Don Rea is owner/operator of Augusta Ranch Golf Club, which his company Community Course Rescue Services, leases from the community homeowner’s association. He also is founder of Your Course Consulting, a revenue management solution for golf courses.

Rea worked as a Minor League Professional Umpire for nine years before joining the golf business in 1999 starting at Augusta Ranch Golf Club. He became a Class – A member of the PGA of America in 2002 when he transferred to the Golf Club at Eagle Mountain. Mr. Rea was formerly the Senior Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Platinum Golf Properties in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Golf Club at Eagle Mountain was ranked #1 Public Golf Course in Arizona in 2006 and 2007 under his direction while achieving record-breaking years of profitability. Also, Augusta Ranch Golf Club has been rated the “Best Executive Golf Course in Arizona” by the Arizona Republic and was selected “Host Club of the Year” by the Arizona Women’s Golf Association. He is a Certified PGA Professional in General Management and is a Past Board of Director of the PGA of America. He also is on the Board of Directors for the NGCOA and President of the Arizona NGCOA. Don is Certified in Advanced Hospitality Revenue Management: Pricing and Demand Strategies through Cornell University. Mr. Rea attended San Diego State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studying Aerospace Engineering.

Lim has a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Chungnam National University in Daejeon, South Korea and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea. He and his family reside in Virginia, where GOLFZON’s U.S. headquarters are located.

Kris Strauss | Sr. VP Sales & Marketing | Troon

Kris Strauss is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Troon and is responsible for sales and marketing direction and leadership for Troon and associated Troon brands. Strauss’ responsibility includes leadership of sales strategies, loyalty programs, public relations, promotional activities, digital marketing strategies and social media for Troon. Under his leadership Troon sales and marketing department launched innovative programs such as Troon Junior Club, Troon Women’s Golf Month, Troon Sales Professional fundamentals and Troon’s digital/video marketing innovations. Kris has over two decades of experience selling and marketing upscale resort, daily fee golf facilities and private clubs. He is a frequent speaker at Golf Inc Conferences and the National Golf Course Owners Association conferences. He was honored with Golf Inc.’s Marketing Excellence award in 2005 for multi-course marketing campaigns and was recognized by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) with their national “Media Leader Award” for 2007. In 2017 Strauss was a featured guest on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive related to Troon’s Family Golf and other grow the game initiatives.

Strauss’ background with the company also included prior stints as the Troon Golf corporate Sales and Marketing Manager and facility Director of Sales and Marketing assignments in Troon’s Hawaii destinations. Prior to joining Troon, Strauss was the VP of Sales and Marketing for OB Sports Golf Management. His background also includes experiences at the Southwest Section PGA of America, Scottsdale, Ariz and Gold Canyon Golf Resort.

Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Kris graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Arizona State University in recreation management with a travel and tourism focus. He continues to be active in various civic and community service related organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Experience Scottsdale (formerly Scottsdale CVB).

Sean Taylor | Founder & CEO | Up to Par Management

Sean is a dedicated hospitality and club operations leader with more than 25 years of experience. Sean founded Up To Par Management in 2009 marketing and managing clubs throughout the East Coast. Simultaneously he launched Taylor Hospitality to operate boutique hotels, restaurants, bars, and hospitality venues. Since both companies’ inception, they have focused on three main objectives. 1. Operational Excellence – implementing a culture of continuous improvement through Lean Management and Six Sigma. 2. Sales and Marketing that Work – integrating the sales and operational plan. 3. Live the Brand – Up To Par exists to positively impact others and leading the industry on training.

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