PGA VendorMatch: Creating Opportunity for Diverse-Owned Suppliers
By Charles Dillahunt, PGA of America
Creating a golf industry supply chain more representative of America’s population is a strategic priority for the PGA of America.
One pathway to creating said supply chain is through PGA VendorMatch, which takes place annually, and encourages diverse- and locally-owned suppliers to provide sourcing in support of the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup.
“It’s important to the PGA to bring value to our host cities,” said PGA of America Chief Championships Officer Kerry Haigh. “This opportunity increases our ability to deliver economic impact and an outstanding experience through our championship operations.”
Golf is an $84 billion industry annually, and major championships like these generate substantial entertainment and tourism dollars for host cities and surrounding areas. Accordingly, building a supply chain representative of the population is imperative. Outreach efforts to diverse business associations include those within host cities, states, and national associations.
The PGA of America has found success with the program, and has provided access for sourcing opportunities for many like Dave Cook, the Owner of Americana Foods, a minority-owned food services company.
Cook has provided food service, catering and concessions at major sporting events around the United States since 1994. Dave became interested in the game of golf at the age of 8 when he began to caddy at a golf course, and has partnered with the PGA of America for nearly 23 years providing food service as a Tier II vendor to Levy Restaurants, the PGA’s Tier I supplier. Since first working with the PGA at the 1999 Ryder Cup, he’s served 22 PGA Championships and five Ryder Cups.
The key to the successful partnership is his success as a businessman—at his first event he made $70,000 more than expected, solidifying the partnership for years to come. “Working with the PGA of America helped grow my business,” Cook says, with fans and even players and their family members seeking him out year after year for his excellent service.
“Golf has always been a real big part of my life,” added Cook. “To be so involved in it with the PGA of America in such an impactful way, it’s hard to put into words how happy I am. The PGA has truly been the wind beneath my wings during my career, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities they provide.”
His success has inspired other minority-owned vendors, including some who are interested in starting a business that could someday work with the PGA. When he began, he was one of the few minority vendors in the game of golf, so his visible role working in operations was inspirational for minority fans of golf, as well as minorities working at the tournament in other capacities.
Another African American businessman inspired by Cook and also finding success through PGA VendorMatch is Darrell Searcy, President of Chandler, Campbelle and Daschle (CCD), who provides shuttle transportation logistics and staffing at PGA Championships.
CCD works with PGA of America’s Tier 1 vendor, The Convention Store, to deliver uncompromised service and logistics so fans get where they need to go with ease at PGA Championships. CCD provides centralized and local staffing for shuttles and parking to meet the demands of the championships. This includes hiring, training, and mentoring young adults from the inner city to help introduce them to the game of golf, in addition to working with local high schools and universities.
“We show up and perform to the best of our ability,” added Searcy. “It’s great, especially when we have an organization like PGA advocating for us.”
CCD attributes their success to being proactive, communicative, and honoring commitments. Their keys to success also include teamwork and empowerment – putting the right people in the right seat on the bus and getting out of the way so they can do what they do best.
Companies interested in PGA VendorMatch for the 2021 PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort can apply now through July 31, 2020 at PGAVendorInclusion.org.
“We are thrilled to host our fifth annual PGA VendorMatch for the PGA Championship,” said PGA of America Chief People Officer Sandy Cross. “The PGA has a rich history of successful championships in the Palmetto State. We’re excited to provide a unique opportunity to connect qualified, local and diverse-owned vendors with our prime vendors, to deliver value and innovation to our Championship supply chain, and positively impact the economy within the state of South Carolina.”
All registrations must be received by July 31, 2020, to be considered.
PGA of America
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