Speakers

Speaker line-up is being finalized; visit often for updates.

Larry Gulko | Brand Strategist & Strategic Growth Advisor

Larry is a brand architect and strategist, executive coach, keynote speaker, and growth advisor with a track record for positioning an eclectic range of brands to compete more effectively in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. He collaborates with clients looking to take their brand to the next level in terms of driving brand performance, customer affection/loyalty, and business growth to a level of success they envision. He founded and moderates the annual CEO Brand Leadership Roundtable and CEO Fireside Chats at the Harvard Business School. These popular programs have showcased over 50 CEOs of iconic and leading brands including Delta Air Lines, Dunkin’ Brands, Ritz-Carlton, NBC Sports, Greg Norman, Harley-Davidson, PGA of America, Converse, Newman’s Own, TaylorMade Golf, Birkenstock, Wheels Up, TB12, Keurig, Donna Karan, Bose, Polar Beverages, Foxwoods, Talbots. Larry created BRAND: NEW DAY, a one-of-a-kind brand-building and thought leadership Retreat designed exclusively for an individual company’s management team determined to take a fresh look at their brand and drive success to the next level.

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Jeff Hoag | Co-Owner | Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center

Jeff is the co-owner of Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center, a daily fee 33 hole golf course in Comstock Park, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids. Since 1975, Jeff and his brother Paul have been the drivers to growing the business at Scott Lake. Scott Lake was the recipient of the 2011 Michigan Golf Course Association Course of the Year, and the 2012 NGCOA Course of the Year. Together they have expanded from 18 holes to 27 holes with a large practice facility and a six-hole short course. Jeff’s nearly four decades of building and growing the business, even in the face of a national recession, has led to some exciting and progressive programs for building customer loyalty. Jeff is a past president of both the NGCOA and the Michigan Golf Course Association.

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Peter Jacobsen | Analyst, GOLF Channel | Host, MatchPlay

Peter Jacobsen is an analyst for PGA TOUR tournaments airing on GOLF Channel, as well as on coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club. Jacobsen recorded seven victories during his PGA TOUR career, the last coming at the 2003 Greater Hartford Open at the age of 49. He also was voted PGA TOUR Comeback Player of the Year in 2003, and was a member of two Ryder Cup teams (1985 and 1995). He also is a multiple major winner on the PGA TOUR Champions (2004 U.S. Senior Open and the 2005 Senior PLAYERS Championship).

 

In 2013, Jacobsen was the recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, an honor presented annually by the PGA TOUR to a professional golfer who best exemplifies the values of character, charity and sportsmanship. He also is the owner of Peter Jacobsen Sports, an event management company that runs several professional golf tournaments, including the CVS Caremark Charity Classic.

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Kraig Kann | Managing Director | Kann Advisory Group

Kraig Kann founded Kann Advisory Group in 2016 and serves as Managing Director of the organization that provides strategic communications, marketing, branding and media consulting. His vast experience combining roles as network television personality, sports executive and business entrepreneur makes him an industry influencer, respected spokesperson and requested speaker. After a 25-year television career that included 17 at Golf Channel/NBC where he was an original on-air member, Kraig made a career pivot and joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association as its Chief Communications Officer from 2011-2016. He was a member of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Communication Committee.

 

Kraig now conducts unique leadership workshops and seminars focused on message delivery and personal and professional brand development. His “Be a Brand-New Influencer” and “The Power of Presentation” have drawn rave reviews from corporate CEOs. In addition, he is a weekly host on SiriusXM PGATOUR Radio.

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Jay Karen | Chief Executive Officer | NGCOA

Jay Karen is the CEO of National Golf Course Owners Association, where he leads the golf industry’s trade association and initiatives to support the success of the golf course business. In his role at NGCOA, he has chaired the board of the industry-wide advocacy coalition, We Are Golf, and served on the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition board, a joint initiative with the PGA of America, and the advisory board of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CBS Radio, New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, the Golf Channel, Golf Digest and many others call upon Jay for his insights on the golf industry. Jay has also served as CEO of two associations in the lodging and hospitality industry, and he is a certified association executive by the American Society of Association Executives. Jay currently serves on the board of directors of the US Travel Association and ASAE. Jay is an Honorary Commander for the Joint Military Base in Charleston and a mentor in the College of Charleston’s MBA program.

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Craig Kessler | Director, Public Affairs | Southern California Golf Association

Craig came to the SCGA via the merger with the Public Links Golf Association (PLGA), where he served as Executive Director for 11 years and pioneered the development of the nation’s most active and accomplished advocacy component. He has been tasked with doing the same for the SCGA as its first Director of Governmental Affairs, albeit on a much larger stage.

In addition to his current and previous job responsibilities, Craig has served as a USGA Committeemen continuously for 15 years, Chair of the Los Angeles Golf Advisory Commission, Chair of the Los Angeles County Golf Advisory Committee, Member of the City of Los Angeles’ Griffith Park Master Plan Board, Member of the Ventura Golf Advisory Group, Member of the Los Angeles County Junior Golf Foundation Board of Directors and Chair of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce First Tee of Los Angeles Advisory Committee. In 2008 Craig was inducted into the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame.

 

Craig came to the SCGA via the merger with the Public Links Golf Association (PLGA), where he served as Executive Director for 11 years and pioneered the development of the nation’s most active and accomplished advocacy component. He has been tasked with doing the same for the SCGA as its first Director of Governmental Affairs, albeit on a much larger stage.

 

In addition to his current and previous job responsibilities, Craig has served as a USGA Committeemen continuously for 15 years, Chair of the Los Angeles Golf Advisory Commission, Chair of the Los Angeles County Golf Advisory Committee, Member of the City of Los Angeles’ Griffith Park Master Plan Board, Member of the Ventura Golf Advisory Group, Member of the Los Angeles County Junior Golf Foundation Board of Directors and Chair of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce First Tee of Los Angeles Advisory Committee. In 2008 Craig was inducted into the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame.

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Jim Koppenhaver | Founder & President | Pellucid Corp

Jim is the President, founder and principal owner of Pellucid Corp., a leading golf industry information and insights provider. His background includes a decade of Fortune 50 marketing and sales experience in Consumer Goods and 25+ years in data management, reporting, analytics and insights across multiple industries. Jim founded Pellucid in 2001 to address the golf industry’s need for accurate, unbiased information to support better business decisions for industry stakeholders. Since its inception, Pellucid & partner Edgehill Golf Advisors have pioneered nearly every industry information advancement including consumer-based facility price segmentation, quantifying annual supply/demand imbalance, quantifying weather impact (historical and, recently, forecasts), creating the first course Customer Franchise Analysis and developing the industry-standard, web-based Golf Local Market Analyzer tool. Their latest endeavor/challenge is to bring monthly industry performance tracking (Rounds, Revenue, Utilization & RevpAR) and local market benchmarking to fruition. At fruition, it will plug a gaping hole in the industry’s understanding of trends and causes and help stakeholders from facility owner/operators to major equipment manufacturers make better-informed decisions.

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Jon Last | Founder & President | Sports & Leisure Research Group

Jon Last is founder and President of Sports and Leisure Research Group, a full service marketing research consultancy that supports leading brands in sports, travel and media. Last’s 25+ years of professional experience includes seven years as VP Corporate Marketing for Golf Digest Companies, and eight years at the PGA of America, where he oversaw marketing research, consumer marketing and retailing. A frequent speaker and featured columnist for Media Post’s Marketing: Sports, Last holds an M.B.A. from Wharton and a B.A. from Tufts. He is a former national president of the U.S. Marketing Research Association (MRA) and served on the national board of directors for the Executive Women’s Golf Association. He is a former President of Marketing Research Institute International and continues to serve on their board of directors as Marketing Chair. He is one of the creators of the highly acclaimed “Back to Normal Barometer” in March of 2020, which has continuously pulsed public opinion surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stuart Lindsay | Principal | Edgehill Golf Advisors

Stuart Lindsay is the Principal of Edgehill Golf Advisors, a golf consulting and market research company located in Mequon (Milwaukee), WI. Since its founding in 1989, Edgehill has provided services to an eclectic mix of clients including banks, accounting firms, golf software companies, golf course appraisers, and golf management firms along with daily fee, private and municipal golf courses. Since 2001, Edgehill has worked closely with Pellucid Corp., a well recognized golf research and insight provider. With Pellucid, Edgehill has co-developed the innovative Customer Franchise Analysis that tracks golfer retention and value, along with the Weather Impact Analysis that determines golf specific weather impact for individual courses across the US. From 1996 – 2013, Edgehill served as a consultant to Fore! Reservations over which time they grew from 400 to over 2,100 golf courses. Mr. Lindsay has been widely quoted on golf business issues in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, GolfInc, Sports Illustrated, Golf Course News, GolfWeek and Golf Business.

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Peter McGraw | Behavioral Economist |  Business School Professor | Expert in the Scientific Study of Humor

Dr. Peter McGraw is a behavioral economist, business school professor, and expert in the scientific study of humor. He directs The Humor Research Lab (HuRL), hosts the podcast I’M NOT JOKING, and is the author of Shtick to Business: What the Masters of Comedy can Teach You about Breaking Rules, Being Fearless, and Building a Serious Career. McGraw is a professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, and he speaks at businesses and universities around the world.

Ronnie Miles | Senior Director of Advocacy | NGCOA

Ronnie currently serves as the Senior Director of Advocacy for the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). Before joining the NGCOA, he worked for the Department of Navy. He served 37 years holding multiple positions, the last as Director of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation in Millington, TN where he was responsible for numerous community and business activities that included lodging services, a 200-room hotel, eight rental cottages, an 18-hole golf course, multiple food and beverage operations, a conference center, fitness center, sports facilities, and early childhood and youth services employing over 300 employees. He also serves as a board member of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.

Will Robins | CEO | Robins Golf Logistix

Will Robins owns and operates WRGolf Coaching based in Sacramento County, CA and is the CEO of Robins Golf Logistix (RGX), a consulting company that mentors instructors on coaching programs. A certified PGA professional, Will is helping revolutionize golf instruction worldwide by helping golf professionals guarantee results with their players.

 

Through RGX, Will trains over 80 coaches worldwide on how to implement programs that accelerate and guarantee results for their students while doubling their teaching / coaching revenue. A native of the United Kingdom, Will came to the United States to play college golf in Monterey, California. Will played on the mini tours around America before sustaining injuries in the 2004 Thailand Tsunami while on his honeymoon with his wife, Amanda. These injuries led Will to coach the game of golf and Will quickly realized that most of his students came to him not enjoying the game and overthinking to the point of frustration.

Dr. John Silvia | Founder and CEO, Dynamic Economic Strategy | Former Chief Economist, Wells Fargo

John Silvia is the CEO and Founder of his recently launched firm Dynamic Economic Strategy. John recently retired from his position as Managing Director and Chief Economist for Wells Fargo, a position he held since joining Wachovia in 2002 as the company’s Chief Economist. Prior to Wells Fargo, John worked on Capitol Hill as a senior economist for the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee and as Chief Economist of Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

 

Dr. Silvia was awarded a National Association of Business Economics (NABE) Fellow Certificate of Recognition in 2011 for outstanding contributions to the business economics profession and leadership among business economists of the Nation. In 2010, he was recognized for the Best Inflation Forecast, the Best Overall Forecast and the Best Personal Consumption Expenditures Forecast by The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. John holds a B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Northeastern University in Boston and has a master’s degree in economics from Brown University. John’s first book Dynamic Economic Decision Making was published by Wiley in August 2011.

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Harvey Silverman | Principal | Silverback Golf Marketing

Harvey Silverman is co-founder of the Quick.golf pay-by-hole app, a long-time accomplished golf course marketing consultant, and a somewhat less accomplished golfer. Harvey also writes monthly about the golf business as a contributor for Golf Business magazine and Golf Business WEEKLY. His work and words are driven by an affinity for golf course owners and the challenges they face operating a complex business in difficult markets. Harvey’s clients benefit from his marketing prowess, and research and knowledge of the various technologies most effective in improving business operations. He’s presented at both NGCOA technology conferences, as well as the Golf Business Conference and Affiliate meetings.

Michael Williams | Executive Director, Cyrano Communications | Contributor, Voice of America |
Member, USGA Golf Journal Editorial Board | Contributor, PGA.com

Michael has had success in industries ranging from High Tech companies to foreign exchange banking. But his life has been defined by his abilities in the media and communications, for his experience in world affairs and his passion for the game of golf.

 

Michael has established himself as a leading voice for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. His “Open Letter to the Golf Industry from a Black Man Who Loves the Game” became a template that inspired the leadership of the game to implement long-needed change. In addition, Michael’s article for ESPN about his handling of a PGA Tour professional who admitted to dressing up in blackface garnered praise from around the world and was recently recognized as one of the best articles of 2020 by the Golf Writers Association of America.

 

Michael is also known as one of the political world’s most astute commentators as the moderator of “Issues in the News”, the flagship political and current events program for Voice of America. A sought-after speaker and communications expert, Michael has counseled some of the most influential individuals and organizations in the world on topics including crisis management, corporate re-branding and diversity/inclusivity issues.

 

In 2005, Michael launched his first radio show on FOX News Radio, “Sticks and Stones”. Since that launch, Michael has established a reputation as a savvy broadcaster and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Michael has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, business, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world.

 

In his first year as host of The 19th Hole Golf Radio Show on CBS Radio in Washington, D.C., Michael led the show to becoming the top-rated golf show in the 7th largest market in the United States and was named the recipient of the 2014 Middle Atlantic PGA Earle Hellen Award for the Outstanding Media Person of the Year. The 19th Hole with Michael Williams is now a podcast with 40 thousand listeners per week on GolfWRX.com.

 

Michael is a member of the United States Golf Association, the Golf Writers Association of America and the National Association of Black Journalists.

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