Speakers

Kurt Albertson | Senior Vice President, Golf | IZON Technology

Kurt Albertson has been a PGA member since June 2000 and has spent the last 19 years in Golf Technology. He currently is the Senior Vice President for Golf with IZON Technology. Prior to that, Kurt served in a senior management position at Lightspeed Golf with primary responsibility of Enterprise Sales and Product Development. Before joining Lightspeed in November 2017, Kurt spent 13 years at EZLinks Golf – first heading up Enterprise Sales and then leading Sales Organization for the final 6 years. Operationally, Kurt spent a couple of years as Head Golf Professional at Pinnacle Peak CC in Scottsdale, AZ after getting start in the business at the Arizona Biltmore.

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Anirban Basu | Chairman & CEO | Sage Policy Group

Anirban Basu is Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland with an office in Indonesia. The firm provides strategic analytical services to energy suppliers, law firms, medical systems, government agencies, and real estate developers among others. In 2014, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed him Chair of the Maryland Economic Development Commission (2014-2021). He also serves as chairman of the Baltimore County Economic Advisory Committee. He is also the Chief Economist to Associated Builders and Contractors and Chief Economic Advisor to the Construction Financial Management Association. He serves or has served similar functions for Visit Baltimore, Maryland Realtors, and Marcum, LLC. He has lectured at Johns Hopkins University, most recently in Global Strategy, and has also taught international economics, urban economics, micro- and macroeconomics at Hopkins. His radio show can be heard weekdays on 88.1FM, WYPR, Baltimore. 

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John Brown | CEO | Brown Golf Management

John has overseen continued expansion of Brown Golf to nineteen facilities and twenty-five golf courses in seven states. John’s background in golf is extensive and he has held roles of Golf Group Sales Manager, Membership Director, Sales Director, General Manager, COO, and CEO. John continues to build a systematic platform that any golf course owner can tap into to increase efficiencies, drive profitability, and increase club awareness.

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Brandel Chamblee | Lead Analyst | Golf Channel

Brandel Chamblee was born in St. Louis, Mo. but raised in Irving, TX. He went to The University of Texas on a golf scholarship and while he was there his team was ranked number #1 in the nation. Chamblee was a three time All-American and won multiple college and amateur events including the 1983 Southwest Conference Championship. After graduating with a degree in communications he turned professional and played on the PGA Tour for 15 years. He won four times as a professional including the 1998 Greater Vancouver Open. 

 

In 1999 he was the first-round leader of the Masters before eventually finishing tied for 18th. During his career as a professional golfer Chamblee served on the player advisory council, ran a charity for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and for underprivileged children in Irving Texas and wrote columns for Golf World and Sports Illustrated which opened the door for TV requests and in 2004 he transitioned full time to golf commentating. Since then, he has been at Golf Channel working as their lead analyst on Golf Central and Live From for major championships. During that time, he has been called the best analyst in golf and in all of sports and is known for his ability to parse vast amounts of data and share that in a compelling way with the audience. In 2016 he published his book on the commonalities of the greatest golf swings in history “The Anatomy of Greatness” and it rose to be on the NYTs best sellers list. In 2021, Chamblee joined long-time award-winning golf course architect Agustín Pizá forming Pizá Chamblee Golf design and they currently have projects in both Mexico and the United States.

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Dan Cortese | Founder | Supreme Golf

Dan boasts over 30 years of golf industry experience, ranging from GM to VP of Operations. He developed the retail concept used by over 300 courses today, and worked on the team that created a new occupancy and revenue model for Daily Fee and Private Clubs.

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John Foley | Former Blue Angels Lead Solo Pilot | US Navy

John Foley is a former Lead Solo Pilot of the Blue Angels, “Top Ten Carrier Pilot,” a best-selling author and an expert on high-performance teams. As a keynote speaker, John has inspired over 1,000 organizations to increase trust, elevate execution and build a culture of excellence. No other speaker in the world shares John’s life experiences. Through keynote presentations and hands-on workshops, John clearly applies his lifetime of discovery to real-world situations. He has delivered his extraordinary message at over 1,000 events, to over 1 million people worldwide. John’s keynotes, workshops, and programs inspire individuals, teams, and organizations to reach and operate at their highest potential. His high-performance framework is vital for leaders reaching for the next level of success, and his Glad to Be Here® Mindset is a fundamental tool for maximizing possibility and achieving goals.

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Allison George | Wizard of Fun | Toad Valley Golf Course

Allison George is the Wizard of Fun at her family’s golf course. Having grown up on the golf course, there aren’t many jobs that Allison hasn’t performed. From picking up garbage, mowing fairways to working the snack bar until her current role as General Manager. She has helped to grow her family’s business by introducing programs to the public and staying up to date with modern content marketing. Allison served on the NGCOA Board from 2007 – 2019 when she stepped down to take on a new role as Teesnap’s Marketing Manager. After having much success at her own golf course, she now oversees the marketing plans of other golf courses across the United States. This has given her an advantage to see what works in markets outside of her own course. Over the last fifteen years, she has spoken all over the United States and Canada at various golf conferences sharing ideas and how-to plans to help golf courses grow their number of rounds, players, and revenue. Allison’s love for the business of golf shows in her drive to make a difference in the industry by bringing in new players and sharing her successes with her fellow golf operators.

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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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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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Karin Mast | Senior Vice President | Miles Partnership

Karin has 15 years of experience in senior leadership positions in destination marketing and today works with clients like the PGA National Resort and Spa, the Kahala Hotel & Resort, Preferred Hotel Group Consulting and numerous destination and tourism offices to develop future-focused marketing strategies that align with the needs of today’s travelers. She jokes that her role at Miles really requires “miles” in the truest sense, as you’ll often find her engaged in meetings with hotel and hospitality clients around the globe, or speaking at industry events like the state of Hawaii annual tourism conference or the regional tourism organizations tech summit in New Zealand.  She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication and rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an HSMAI Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM).

Chris May | Senior Vice President | Supreme Golf

Chris joined the Supreme Golf Solutions team after almost 15 years at American Golf. In his role as Vice President of Revenue Management at AGC, Chris was responsible for formulating strategy and driving top-line results across the entire AGC portfolio.

Whitey O’Malley | Owner | Saddleback Golf Club

Whitey O’Malley has built 2 golf courses from scratch. He is the owner of Saddleback Golf Club in Firestone, Colorado, and also the owner of an underground utility business. Whitey has also been an airline pilot for 4 years. He currently sits on 3 different water/ditch boards as well as the board of the National Golf Course Owners Association.

Jason Pearsall | CEO | Club Caddie

Jason Pearsall is CEO of Club Caddie and a serial golf entrepreneur. After selling an e-commerce company in 2010, Pearsall went on to invest in, and become managing partner of, Flushing Valley Golf and Country Club near Flint, Michigan. In 2015, Pearsall started Golfler, a mobile, and tee-sheet system for golf courses that was acquired by Supreme Golf in 2017. Pearsall went on to co-found Club Caddie – one of North America’s leading golf course management SaaS solutions. Club Caddie was acquired by vertical software giant Jonas Software in 2020, who retained Pearsall as CEO.

Agustin Pizá | Founder | Pizá Golf

Award winning architect Agustin Pizá has earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from ITESM and a Master’s Degree in Golf Course Architecture from Edinburgh University in Scotland. He is a proud member of both the European Institute and the American Society of Golf Course Architects. For 23 years, Pizá has worked with legends of the game and world class golf developments. His designs are known for delivering quality, aesthetic, and strategic golf courses.

 

Pizá Golf has been recognized with many international accolades and has garnered a reputation for “Re-defining Golf Facilities” with their concepts – Wellness Golf and Lounge Golf. Agustin Pizá was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 100 creative minds from Mexico and Golf Inc. Magazine included him in their Power 2020 issue as an up-and-coming superstar. Pizá and the company have worked and have been involved in more than 70 projects on three continents. Most recently, Pizá joined forces with PGA TOUR Champion, television personality, and Golf Channel Analyst – Brandel Chamblee. The newly formed partnership will expand the Pizá Golf Branded Collection and their signature Pizá Chamblee golf designs will be made available on select projects.