SPEAKERS

Speakers are being finalized; check back often for the latest information.

John Cunningham | General Manager | Aronimink Golf Club

John Cunningham, CGCS, is currently the General Manager at Aronimink Golf Club, a Top 100 Platinum Club in Newtown Square, PA, which recently hosted the 2018 BMW Championship and is poised to host the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the 2026 PGA Championship. John received his degree in Agronomy from Valencia College in Orlando, FL, and has been a Certified Golf Course Superintendent since 2003. He spent the first 10+ years of his career in Florida, most notably at Black Diamond Ranch a 45-hole, top-100 golf facility, and then joined the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Dallas, Texas, where he was responsible for the complete renovation and rebranding of the TPC at Las Colinas golf course, which was the host course of the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship.

Allison George | Wizard of Fun | Toad Valley Golf Course

Allison George is the Wizard of Fun at her family’s golf course in Iowa. Although she has been playing golf since she could walk, her true love is the business of golf. She spends hours reading and researching new marketing practices to help her business succeed and profit using today’s modern technology. Through her natural drive and organizational skills, she has implemented many great marketing practices that have resulted in an increase in revenue. Never satisfied with the status quo, Allison is constantly changing and adapting to technology to continue modernizing the business of golf. She writes about her experiences on her Golf Mentor blog, GolfMarketingMadeEasy.com.

Glenn Gray | Vice President | Buffalo.Agency

An executive at Buffalo.Agency since 2010, Glenn drives high-profile golf industry association partnerships such as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, LPGA, Mass Golf, Topgolf, United States Golf Association, Washington State Golf Association, WE ARE GOLF, World Golf Foundation and Youth on Course, to name a few.

 

Prior to joining Buffalo, Glenn held sports marketing positions with Nike, Octagon and Junior Sports Corporation.

 

Glenn serves Boards for the Virginia State Golf Association, Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Sports Leadership, University of Mary Washington College of Business and is Co-Chair of the WE ARE GOLF Millennial Task Force. Additionally, he is a member of the Forbes Communications Council, Golf Writers Association of America and serves industry committees for Get Golf Ready, The First Tee of Greater Washington D.C., the International Association of Golf Administrators and the National Golf Course Owners Association.

Spencer Hadelman | CEO | Advantage Marketing

After a decade of experience in marketing, Spencer Hadelman founded Advantage Marketing in 2015 and has since been leading his team with outside-of-the-box thinking to strategize and implement marketing tactics for some of the most notable golf resorts across the country. Through taking calculated risks, Spencer has increased awareness and revenue for Sand Valley Golf Resort, Forelinx, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, and The Golf Courses of Lawsonia to name a few.

 

An avid golfer himself, Spencer knows the ins and outs of his client’s target audience and uses this knowledge to successfully strategize both traditional and digital media plans with budgets both big and small.

David Hamilton | Vice President, National Accounts | ICS – entegra

David manages Direct and Beyond Prime Vendor sales for all International Club Suppliers/entegra National Accounts in the Hospitality segment, as well as oversees the Southeast territory and Regional Sales Managers in the Southwest and Western U.S. markets. He is also responsible for the ICS business relationships as a Preferred Supplier of NGCOA and the Corporate Business Partner Program with the Club Management Association of America (CMAA).

 

Prior to his current role, he spent over two decades with Club Car in the Golf segment responsible for Sales & Operations. During his tenure, his responsibilities ranged from a progression of Direct to Distribution Sales/Dealer Relations to ultimately Vice President of Golf Americas, overseeing all US based branch operations, Distribution and Canada/Latin America before transitioning to Vice President of Global Strategic Accounts that encompassed both Golf and Commercial sales. He is an alumnus of Augusta University and received an Executive MBA from Rollins College.

Cathy Harbin | PGA & LPGA Golf Professional | Pine Ridge GC, Paris G&CC

Cathy Harbin’s pedigree includes Class A PGA Master Professional status since 2000. She is also a member of the LPGA and NGCOA. With over 20 years as an operator in the golf business, Cathy has perfected training and operational systems that creates a consistent world class experience and sustainable profits. Still, she has a diverse path through golf that few others match. As Executive Director of Golf 20/20 for three years, she helped drive the World Golf Foundation mission: to increase awareness and participation in the game of golf as she lead the successful launch of Get Golf Ready.

Cathy worked as Vice President of Public Golf, Golf Academy and Programming for ClubCorp in Dallas, TX and provided operational experience for over 150 clubs. In this role she helped to drive rounds and revenue and lead a culture shift where programming and golf instruction became key engagement activities. Cathy’s dedication to the field of golf combined with leadership acumen has resulted in an esteemed reputation with numerous awards and accolades; including three Hall of Fame inductions.

Phil Immordino | President | Golf Tournament Association of America

Phil Immordino is currently serving as the President and CEO of the Golf Tournament Association of America, National Golf Sales Rep Association and the Night Golf Tournament Association.

 

Phil has spent the last 30 years involved in the golf industry. As a Speaker, Author and Consultant he has assisted thousands of organizations produce better golf tournaments, hundreds of golf courses increase their tournament business and suppliers and vendors to sell more products and gain more exposure.

 

He understands the needs and objectives of golf courses to increase revenue. He has trained major companies such as ClubCorp, Arcis Golf, Century, Arnold Palmer and others. As a Speaker at the PGA Show and the NGCOA he has helped many golf courses to not only better serve their tournament customers but also increase their bottom line.

Steve Jubb | CEO/Executive Director | National Alliance for Accessible Golf

The National Alliance for Accessible Golf is an organization working to ensure the opportunity for all individuals with disabilities to play and have access to the game of golf. Formed in the summer of 2001, the Alliance is represented by major golf organizations in the United States, organizations that provide services for people with disabilities and others who advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities into society. Formerly President of the Alliance, Steve is a PGA Professional, and has also been Director, PGA Charities for the Professional Golfers’ Association of America and PGA REACH. Steve is also head rules official for Special Olympics national and world competitions and a member of the Special Olympics International golf committee. Steve has throughout his career been dedicated to the development, marketing and implementation of programs that enhance and make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities around the world.

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 to leaders of all organizations. 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 and ultimately the lead studio host, Kraig made a career pivot and elevated the Ladies Professional Golf Association as its Chief Communications Officer from 2011-2016. His vast experience in front of the camera and comfort interviewing athletes, politicians and corporate executives positioned him as a unique voice on the LPGA’s board and its executive leadership team. He was a member of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Communication Committee and hosted press conferences on site.

 

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 CEO’s, while thought leadership offered in his blog has contributed to attention from PR News, Sports PR Summit, and Forbes, who have identified him as a keynote speaker, featured industry panelist, council member and content contributor in the areas of media and public relations, brand marketing, public speaking and strategic communications. In addition, he is a weekly host on SiriusXM PGATOUR Radio.

John King | Co-Founder | Golf Marketing University

John King is the Co-Founder of Golf Marketing University, a dedicated marketing training platform for commercial golf clubs.

 

After spending nearly a decade marketing facilities and venues within the golf and hospitality industry, John has harnessed how to effectively guide his clients to increased sales in today’s competitive and ever-changing market.

 

John doesn’t just preach and teach marketing to golf clubs, he actually does the business every day as founder and director of Digital Distilla, a golf only marketing agency that brings in hundreds of thousands in sales every year for some of the UK’s most commercial and well respected golf clubs.

 

Not afraid to tell it like he sees it, John is an entertaining, thought provoking golf marketing speaker. His practical approach incorporates the fundamentals of consumer behavior and embeds this ethos throughout his marketing, centered on the customer first – not the product. Prepare yourself to leave motivated and armed with new ideas and a fresh perspective.  

Jeehae Lee | Director of Business Strategy | Topgolf

Jeehae Lee is the Director of Business Strategy at Topgolf Media, a global sports entertainment leader. Jeehae works to develop and oversee new programs and business units that grow Topgolf’s brand and revenue. Prior to Topgolf, Jeehae worked at IMG, a global sports marketing agency, where she represented LPGA golfer Michelle Wie.

 

Before IMG, Jeehae played professional golf for five years. She dedicated the majority of her time on the LPGA Tour but also spent part of the 2010 and 2011 seasons playing on the Ladies European Tour, competing in 24 countries. She holds a BA in Economics from Yale University and received her MBA at the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania in 2015.

 

Jeehae currently serves on several World Golf Foundation task forces including the Women’s Task Force and Millennial Task Force, which forms strategies and provides best practices for the golf industry to grow the game of golf in the US and globally.

Ed Ormsby | Principal | Ormsbyte & Associates

Ed Ormsby grew up in the Sandhills of North Carolina. His first job was shagging balls at the Donald Ross-designed Southern Pines Country Club for members and guests.

 

After over thirty years in the corporate world, Ed started his first company in the mid-nineties promoting golf, hospitality and real estate services in high-profile resort areas in the Southeast on the Internet. For over twenty years, he has been providing leadership, management and small business training to clients, including the importance of providing over-and-above expected service to guests in hospitality industries.

 

In addition, Ed is currently a starter at The Cradle, Pinehurst Resorts acclaimed new Gil Hanse-designed nine-hole short course, described by The Golf Channel as “the most fun 10 acres in all of golf.” After a recent visit to The Cradle, Jay Karen described Ed as “jovial, humorous, and accommodating, providing the perfect blend of hospitality.”

Whitney Reid Pennell | President | RCS Hospitality Group

Whitney Reid Pennell is President of the award-winning consulting company, the RCS Hospitality Group. She is a regular contributing writer to BoardRoom Magazine and Golf Inc. Magazine, highlighting ideas accumulated over three decades of hospitality management experience with private clubs, golf management companies, and hotel industry leaders. Prior to founding RCS, Whitney held several top management positions with companies such as Marriott Management Services, The Desert Mountain Club, and Troon Golf.

 

Since founding RCS in 2000, Whitney and her team have worked with hundreds of clubs, assisting with everything from new club openings and remodels, to the roll-out of strategic plans and the development of robust training programs. RCS has twice been awarded “Consultant of the Year” by Golf Inc. and was recognized as “Consulting Company of the Year” in 2011, 2016, and 2017, “Strategic Planning Company of the Year” in 2013, and “Staff Training Company of the Year” in 2017 by BoardRoom Magazine.

Jeremy Poincenot | Inspirational Speaker, Coach & World Blind Golf Champion | Jeremy Inspires Inc.

At 19, Jeremy Poincenot was your typical college sophomore. Friends, sports, fraternity and most importantly, perfect 20/20 vision. Then Jeremy suddenly lost central vision in his right eye, followed closely by his left. At first, Jeremy thought losing his sight meant forfeiting his life. But he soon learned that with every challenge comes an opportunity for growth.

 

When Jeremy lost his central vision, he thought the game of golf he loved was over. But he quickly learned that his golfing career had just begun. At 20 years old and with his Dad as his guide, Jeremy competed in and won the 2010 World Blind Golf Championship with a dramatic chip-in in a playoff. They have since gone on to win 7 National Championships, and 3 World Blind Golf Championships.

 

Jeremy is an Inspirational Speaker, sharing his story to inspire audiences to take control of life and turn trauma into triumph.

Tony Santelli | Digital Marketing Manager | Adidas Golf

Originally from central Massachusetts, Tony Santelli grew up playing golf and started working at a local golf course in high school and throughout college. While at Westfield State University, he realized he wanted a career in the golf industry, and started looking into professions where he could make this a reality. Two years later, that search lead him to a customer service position with TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Within that first year, he worked his way through sales and service, eventually landing a position on the Marketing team where he helped start its Social Media department. He wanted to grow his knowledge about equipment, so he began working in product marketing, including TaylorMade golf clubs. His subsequent social media work with adidas Golf evolved into his current role managing Digital Marketing in the US.

Tony Starks | Associate Editor | PGA Magazine & Golf Range Magazine

A graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, Starks grew up in rural Virginia where he discovered his affinity for the game by knocking golf balls around a cow field. His career in the industry spans more than a decade and includes nine years with PGA Magazine, where he currently serves a Associate Editor, and a two-year stint with TaylorMade Golf. Starks also co-chairs the Communications Committee of the WE ARE GOLF Diversity Task Force and is the Editorial Director of Golf Range Magazine.

Van Tengberg | Partner | Foley & Lardner LLP

Van A. Tengberg is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, focusing on real estate acquisition and development, with a primary focus on shopping centers, office complexes, industrial business parks, hotels, golf courses and resort facilities. He is chair of the firm’s West Coast Real Estate Practice, and is a member of the Real Estate and Finance & Financial Institutions Practices and the Hospitality & Leisure and Sports Industry Teams. He provides comprehensive legal services in connection with the acquisition, planning, financing, construction and development of all types of commercial projects, including hotels, resorts, and golf courses.

 

Van is highly skilled in all phases of golf course and resort acquisition and development and oversees the negotiation and preparation of the definitive purchase and sale agreement reflect the inter-relationships of the golf course and the surrounding community or resort. He also has extensive experience in forming and structuring both equity and non-equity private golf clubs, and has experience in all areas relating to club operations. Van received his J.D. from McGeorge School of Law (1982) and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of San Diego (cum laude, 1987). He earned his B.A. from the University of California in Davis (1979). Van is admitted to practice law in California and the District of Columbia.

Beth Ziesenis | Author. Speaker. Nerd. | Your Nerdy Best Friend

Although the only real trophy she ever won was for making perfect French fries at McDonald’s in high school, Beth Z has been featured on Best Speaker lists by Meetings & Conventions magazine and MeetingsNet.

 

Since her first Commodore 64 computer, Beth has made a verb out of the word nerd. She helps computer users all over the country filter through thousands of apps, gadgets, widgets and doodads to find the perfect free and bargain technology tools for business and personal use through presentations and her books, including the latest title, Nerd Know-How: The 27+ Best Apps for Work and How to Use ‘Em, available on Amazon.com.

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Full Conference Registration includes: Opening Keynote, Opening Reception, Education Sessions on Wednesday (including lunch), Education Sessions on Thursday (including breakfast and lunch) and access to the Golf Industry Show. Yamaha Golf Outing, Preconference Master Classes, and Celebration & Awards Dinner require an additional fee.

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