Seven new members of the PGA of America’s Board of Directors were sworn in Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Association’s 94th Annual Meeting at the Westin Copley Place in Boston.
The new PGA District Directors are Mike Ahrnsbrak of Winchester, Va.; Stephen Cox of Bonita Springs, Fla.; Leo De Gisi of Medford, N.J.; Gil Gusweiler of Loveland, Ohio; Michael Haywood of Tucson, Ariz., Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Conn., and independent director John Jacob of Aventura, Fla., who each will serve three-year terms.
2010 PGA OF AMERICA ANNUAL MEETING
The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the Association’s President, Vice President, Secretary, Honorary President and 17 Directors. The Directors include representatives from each of The PGA’s 14 Districts, two Independent Directors and a member of the PGA Tour. New District Directors are elected by their local PGA Sections.
A closer look at the newest members of The PGA of America Board of Directors:
John Jacob succeeds Junior Bridgeman of Louisville, Ky., as Independent Director. Jacob, 75, is a former president-CEO of the National Urban League and a former executive vice president-global communications of Anheuser-Busch. From 1982 to 1994, Jacob served the National Urban League, overseeing its affiliates in more than 100 cities and its government affairs and research operations in Washington, D.C. During his 29-year career with the league, Jacob ran Urban League affiliates in Washington, D.C., and San Diego. Joining Anheuser-Busch’s senior management in 1994, Jacob was one of 18 members of the company’s Strategy Committee, which oversaw all corporate major policy and strategic issues.
Mike Ahrnsbrak succeeds Mike Thomas of Goshen, Ky., as District 10 Director for the Carolinas, Kentucky and Middle Atlantic PGA Sections, and was elected to membership in 1981. Ahrnsbrak, 55, is the general manager and PGA head professional at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Winchester, Va. He is a past president (1996-97) of the Middle Atlantic PGA Section and was the 1992 MAPGA Golf Professional of the Year, 1991 Section Merchandiser of the Year for resort facilities; the 1990 Section Horton Smith Award recipient and the 1983 Section Assistant Professional of the Year. In 2000, Golf Digest designated Ahrnsbrak as one of the best teachers in Virginia.
Stephen Cox succeeds Ray Cutright of Macon, Ga., as District 13 Director for the Georgia, North Florida and South Florida Sections, and was elected to membership in 1976. Cox, 59, is a PGA Master Professional and PGA director of golf at Pelican Sound Golf and River Club in Estero, Fla. He is a four-time South Florida PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient; a member of the Master Professional faculty; is in a second term on the PGA Employment Committee and served from 1986-90 on the PGA Club Relations and Junior Golf Committees.
Leo De Gisi, who succeeds Rod Loesch of Easton, Conn., as District 2 Director for the New Jersey, Philadelphia and Metropolitan PGA Sections, was elected to PGA membership in 1977 and returns to the PGA Board after serving from 2002-04. De Gisi, 59, is the general manager and PGA head professional at Medford Village Country Club in Medford, N.J. De Gisi has served at Medford Village Country Club since 1979, and has been one of the most active members of the Philadelphia PGA Section for two decades. He served as Section president from 1992 to 1993, and was named the 1996 Philadelphia PGA Golf Professional of the Year and the 1988 Section Junior Golf Leader. During his first PGA Board term, De Gisi served on the PGA Budget and Member Benefit Committees.
Gil Gusweiler, 54, who succeeds David Mocini of Saugatuck, Mich., as District 5 Director for the Michigan, Northern Ohio and Southern Ohio PGA Sections, was elected to PGA membership in 1983. Gusweiler, 54, is PGA director of golf at Kenwood Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gusweiler turned professional in 1980 and served three years at Golf Center at Kings Island. In 1983, he accepted an assistant professional post at Kenwood Country Club, and has remained there since. He was named PGA director of golf in 1990. Gusweiler has mentored 10 assistants to become PGA head professionals, and was recipient of the 2004 Section Merchandiser of the Year award and was the 2006 Section Golf Professional of the Year.
Michael Haywood, who succeeds Roger Wallace of Polson, Mont., as District 14 Director for the Pacific Northwest and Southwest PGA Sections, was elected to PGA membership in 1997. Haywood, 45, is PGA director of golf at Tucson (Ariz.) Country Club. Haywood, the current vice president of the Southwest PGA Section, is a decorated member of the U.S. Army First Cavalry Division. Following his military career, he entered professional golf while working in New Mexico and Texas. He began serving at Tucson Country Club in 1991, the past 13 as PGA director of golf. Since 2007, Haywood has served on the PGA National Apprentice Committee, and as Section chairman, played a key role in the development and enhancement of the Southwest PGA Apprentice Orientation Program that has been adopted in more than a dozen PGA Sections.
Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Conn., 43, who succeeds Derek Sprague of Malone, N.Y., as District 1 Director for the Connecticut, New England and Northeastern New York PGA Sections, was elected to PGA membership in 2001. Whaley, is the second woman PGA Professional, following Sue Fiscoe of Modesto, Calif., to be elected to the PGA Board of Directors and is the fifth woman overall to serve on the Board. In July 2003, Whaley became the first woman to qualify and participate in a PGA Tour event in 58 years, following the legendary Babe Zaharias. Whaley, a PGA golf clinician at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., became a national spokesperson for women’s golf, including the promotion of American Express Women’s Golf Month. A past Connecticut PGA Board member, Whaley is a 2003 Section Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient and two-time (2004, ’07) Section Teacher of the Years. She is a member of the PGA National Instruction and National Diversity Committees.
About The PGA of America
Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold; to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.