Golf Course Superintendents Association of America partner on Diversity Initiative

By
PGA of America

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. –- The PGA of America announced today that several leading golf organizations, including the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) and World Golf Foundation (WGF) have partnered with The PGA in support of the Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative. These organizations join the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) which announced a partnership with the Initiative earlier in 2010.

The Chief Executive Officer of each partner organization noted that they are pleased to be a part of this industry-leading Initiative and their alliance with The PGA is an exciting step in the ongoing advocacy efforts on behalf of the golf industry.

The Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative was established in 2008 by The PGA of America as a unique program designed to encourage golf associations and companies to increase procurement activities with qualified minority- and women-owned businesses and to grow the participation of these same groups in the business and game of golf.

The business case for the Initiative, developed in 2007 by National Diversity Solutions, a certified minority-owned strategic sourcing firm since hired by The PGA to facilitate the Initiative, showed that the minority community is projected to account for approximately 26% (nearly $3.5 trillion) of U.S. buying power by 2015. This projection, coupled with the increase in minority population, represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the golf industry. "The business case shows that enhanced supplier diversity is critical to stimulating growth within the golf industry and participation in the game, as well as delivering a positive financial impact on the profitability of the organizations involved," added Joe. Steranka, Chief Executive Officer of The PGA of America.

In addition to demonstrating continued commitment to diversity and inclusion, the Initiative offers a means for organizations to utilize some of the most successful minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBE) in America while enhancing existing strategic sourcing and procurement efforts. The Initiative brings a broad mix of highly qualified M/WBE companies that partner organizations and companies can promote to potentially reduce operating expenses and improve operational efficiencies while simultaneously increasing diverse supplier participation levels.

"We're proud that these organizations are furthering their leadership role in our industry by championing the value of the Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative," said Earnie Ellison, Jr., Director of Business and Community Relations for The PGA of America.

This value continues to strengthen as the Initiative concluded a banner year (2010) of substantial achievements, including a Supplier Forum at the 57th PGA Merchandise Show, expanding the pool of Qualified Diverse Suppliers within the Initiative, major diverse supplier contract opportunities, PGA Licensee opportunity, international awareness through thousands of visitors from 22 countries to the Initiative's web site and articles in major publications, a Supplier Forum at the 92nd PGA Championship and professional women of color growth of the game programs created by two qualified women owned businesses.

While adding that the Initiative's goals for 2011 are to build upon the prior year's accomplishments, Ellison also stressed its distinctiveness. "To my knowledge, the Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative is unique not just in the golf industry but across all sports today," Ellison said. Not only does the Initiative promote growth and inclusion within the sport while delivering a positive financial incentive, "but you have some of the most prominent organizations in golf coming together and demonstrating their belief and support in that ideal. That's a powerful statement and one that The PGA of America and our partners are proud to make."

To learn more about The Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative, including information on the business case and supplier qualification process, please visit pga.com/supplierdiversity.