PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The PGA of America has selected 15 PGA Members who will comprise its fifth PGA LEAD class (2020-’21), which is the Association’s leadership development program. PGA LEAD was created in 2016 to identify, mentor and progress PGA Members from diverse backgrounds into volunteer leadership positions in the Association.
“The PGA of America has made meaningful advancements in embracing and leveraging inclusion, and this impressive new class of PGA LEAD members represents a diverse group of individuals who are on a pathway to serve as future golf industry leaders,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley, PGA.
PGA LEAD was created to establish a deep bench of diverse PGA Members who are prepared to ascend through the volunteer leadership ranks of the Association at the Chapter, Section and National levels. PGA LEAD also aids in developing PGA Members who have a desire to serve and make an impact on nonprofit boards within the communities where they work and live.
Since the inception of PGA LEAD four years ago, six PGA Professionals in the program have already ascended into Board leadership positions within their PGA Sections, including three currently serving as Section Vice Presidents. In addition, another 15 PGA LEAD alumni serve on PGA of America National Committees.
“Embracing an inclusive development program that intentionally identifies PGA Professionals with strong leadership qualities is helping position our Association’s governance and Membership for future success,” said PGA of America Chief People Officer Sandy Cross. “It’s inspiring to see several PGA LEAD alumni assume vital leadership roles within our Association, and we’re excited to watch this positive trend continue.”
PGA LEAD is a complement to PGA WORKS, a strategic initiative, designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce. Funded by PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events, and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue key employment positions across the golf industry.
The 2020-2021 PGA LEAD Class Members include:
Allison Mitzel, PGA, Laconia (N.H.) Country Club (New England PGA Section)
Ashley Grier, PGA, Overbrook Golf Club, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (Philadelphia PGA Section)
Vincent Kabaso, PGA, Laurel Creek Country Club, Mount Laurel, N.J. (Philadelphia PGA Section)
Michael Powell, PGA, Firekeeper Golf Course, Mayetta, Kan. (Midwest PGA Section)
Maggie Hartman, PGA, ExperienceGolf at CommonGround Golf Course, Aurora,
Colo.(Colorado PGA Section)
Jon Seward, PGA, Springfield (Va.) Golf & Country Club (Middle Atlantic PGA Section)
Richard Sheppard Jr., PGA, Carroll Park Golf Course, Baltimore (Middle Atlantic PGA Section)
Briana Sweeny, PGA, Cassique at Kiawah Island Club (Carolinas PGA Section)
Elias Eilers, PGA, Sonoma Ranch Golf Club, Las Cruces, N.M. (Sun Country PGA Section)
Thomas Fernandes, PGA, Northwood Club, Dallas (Northern Texas PGA Section)
Heather Angell, PGA, Heritage Palms Golf & Country Club, Fort Myers, Fla. (South Florida PGA Section)
Rashad Wilson, PGA, Ansley Golf Club at Settindown, Roswell, Ga. (Georgia PGA Section)
Carissa Simmons, PGA, Griffin Golf, Sumner, Wash. (Pacific Northwest PGA Section)
Landyn Lewis, PGA, The First Tee of Tucson (Ariz.) (Southwest PGA Section)
Carrie DeGree, PGA, Columbia Edgewater Country Club, Portland, Ore. (Pacific Northwest PGA Section)