February 6 - 8 • San Antonio, TX

Premier Sponsor

  • Yamaha logo

Presenting Sponsors

  • John Deere Golf logo
  • Pepsi
  • Teesnap logo
  • Toro logo
  • TSYS logo
  • USGA logo

Participating Sponsors

  • entegra
  • Golf Genius Software
  • GolfZon
  • Hilda Allen Real Estate
  • Syngenta

Supporting Sponsor

  • Antigua
  • FlingGolf
  • Sunbelt Rentals

techno facts

Facebook continues to have the most engaged users 70% log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day.Pew Research Center, 2015

Featured Speakers

Bernard Baumohl

Bernard Baumohl headshotBernard Baumohl is chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group. He is well known for being ahead of the curve in assessing the direction of the U.S. and world economy. Mr. Baumohl began his career as an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank specializing in international affairs and national security. He later served as an economist at European American Bank with responsibilities to monitor the global economy and develop forecasts. Mr. Baumohl was also an award-winning economics reporter with TIME magazine who covered the White House, Federal Reserve and Wall Street. Apart from his role as chief global economist, Mr. Baumohl is on the faculty of the New York Institute of Finance. He has also lectured at New York University and Duke University, and served as a commentator on TV's Nightly Business Report. A sought out international speaker, Mr. Baumohl has made keynote presentations before conferences, workshops and legislatures. He is a member of the monthly Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel and his projections on the economy and geopolitical outlook are frequently cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, Financial Times and on National Public Radio. Mr. Baumohl is author of The Secrets of Economic Indicators: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and Investment Opportunities (Pearson Education). The best-selling book is in its 3rd edition and has been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Russian and German. He is also a recipient of the John Hancock Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism, and is a member of the National Association for Business Economics and the American Economic Association. Mr. Baumohl holds an M.A. from Columbia University's School of International Affairs.

Max Brown

Max Brown headshotMax Brown is the Director of Leadership and Executive Education at the Shingo Institute (Home of the Shingo Prize ), located at the Huntsman School of Business. In this capacity, he is creating, keynoting, coaching, and certifying licensed affiliates in course content on enterprise excellence, the Shingo Model, and leadership development. In the last seventeen years, Max Brown has made over two thousand presentations and met with leaders in locations all around the world. He’s taken clients rappelling off the Great Wall of China, facilitated at the Parliament of World Religions Conference in Spain, and spoken in Athens, Bangalore, Beijing, Dublin, Hong Kong, The Hague, Mumbai, Paris, New York, Singapore, Toronto, Vancouver, and Sydney… Nebraska, to name a few. S. Max Brown’s presentations on enterprise excellence and leadership have received high ratings from audiences at companies such as 3M, American Express, GE, Southwest Airlines, The Nature Conservancy, HSBC, and The Canadian Federal Government. These reviews led to an invitation from GE to regularly present to leaders at one of the highest-rated leadership programs they offer. He has also received an “all-star” recommended speaker designation from the International Association of Business Communicators. As a result, he travels 200,000 miles per year to deliver presentations to clients around the globe. Max Brown has a certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University, a Master’s degree in Organizational Learning from George Mason University, and graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University. He also speaks Mandarin Chinese. Max and his family live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Cathy Harbin

Cathy Harbin headshotCathy Harbin’s pedigree includes Class-A membership in the PGA of America since 1992 and PGA Master Professional status since 2000. She's also a member of the LPGA and CMAA. With more than 20 years as an operator in the golf business, including 12 years managing the World Golf Village golf courses, Cathy has perfected training and operational systems that created a consistent world class experience and sustainable profits. Her reputation is known for creating exceptional member and guest experiences. As executive director of Golf 20/20 for three years, Cathy helped drive the World Golf Foundation mission: to increase awareness and participation in the game of golf. She led the successful launch of Get Golf Ready, a national instructional program and also served as Vice President of Public Golf, Golf Academy and Programming for ClubCorp in Dallas, Texas. Golf Inc. magazine named Cathy as one of the Most Admired Golf Course Operators, Golf News magazine named her as Woman of the Year and United Athletes Foundation named her Athlete of the Year. In 2016, she launched On Course Operations, a new golf course management and consulting company.

Mike Loustalot

Michael Loustalot headshotMike Loustalot, 55, co-founder of The ORCA Report has spent a lifetime connected to the game and business of golf. Loustalot is the eldest son of a 3rd generation golfing family from northern California. His father Gary, uncle Victor, and grandfather Edward, and both brothers, were all members of the PGA of America. In 1993 Mike joined PAR Golf Systems in a sales role. While at PAR Loustalot was instrumental in working with “early adopter” golf course owners and managers transitioning to electronic tee sheets from pencil and paper. PAR merged with Aptech Computer, of Pittsburgh PA and began selling regional golf reservation systems. Loustalot successfully sold, installed and launched regional reservation networks in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, San Antonio, and San Diego. From 1993 to 2002 Loustalot was employed at PAR, Golf Digest Information Systems, and Spectrum Golf. In 2003, Mike teamed up with the founders of Cypress Golf Solutions, and led the B2B sales & marketing strategy and drove course acquisition creating the largest online tee time booking site. Cypress Golf Solutions was acquired by Comcast and became GolfNow.com. Loustalot spent five years as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Golf Channel. In 2015 Loustalot co-founded The ORCA Report. The ORCA Report is the first, and only independent, confidential, validated round and revenue benchmarking report in the golf industry. It allows golf course owners and managers to confidently compare performance to the market as well as a self-selected competitive set of golf courses. Modeled after the STAR report for the hotel industry, ORCA is an acronym for Occupancy, Revenue per Available Round, Channel Mix and Average Rate Per Round. ORCA has entered into a partnership with the National Golf Course Owners Association and is also helping subscribers bring clarity to their 3rd Party Marketing Partner relationships. Mike is married to his wife, Elizabeth for 26 years, they reside in Scottsdale, Arizona and have two children, Reed (24), and Colleen (22). Mike is a life member of The Scottsdale Charros, a civic philanthropy group dedicated to raising monies for youth sports and education programs in his community. Mike is a member of the Papago Men’s Golf Association and has a USGA index of 0.9. Mike received his B.S. in Business Administration from Arizona State University in 1985.

Whitney Reid Pennell

Whitney Reid Pennell headshotWhitney Pennell is owner and President of the award winning consulting company, the RCS Hospitality Group (formerly Reid Consulting Services). 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 golf 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 of varying types and sizes, assisting with everything from budget and service “troubleshooting”, new club openings and remodels, to the roll-out of strategic plans and the development of training programs for lasting improvement. 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. In 2014, Whitney was further honored by BoardRoom Magazine as one of the Top Female Influences in the Club Industry. RCS is also the creator of the wildly popular service training series ‘Food and Beverage Boot Camp™’. Recognized as an expert in Club Management with a sharp focus on club operations, Whitney has been invited to speak to managers around the world professing new concepts for the long-term operational success of private and country club communities. She has been an invited speaker at the World Conference on Club Management, the Club Managers Association of Europe, the National Golf Club Owner’s Association, the Assistant Club Managers Conference, the Golf Inc. Conference and Strategy Summit, and at the Business Management Institute International, hosted by St. Andrews in Scotland. Whitney has also been an invited speaker/educator for numerous CMAA chapters throughout the country presenting varying programs about Club Management and Leadership.

Additional Speakers

Tiffany Cox

Tiffany Cox headshotMs. Cox is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law. She primarily represents employers in all aspects of employment law, including counseling, training, drafting of policies, procedures, and agreements, and litigation. Cox has represented employers before state and federal agencies and has defended employers in lawsuits brought in state and federal courts across the U.S., involving claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower violations, leave violations and wage and hour claims arising under state and federal law. She has also sought enforcement of and defended against enforcement of non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements, successfully obtaining injunctive and declaratory relief in favor of her clients. In 2019, she will become the next president of the San Antonio Human Resource Management Association.

Ted Eleftheriou

Ted Eleftheriou headshotTed Eleftheriou is the Director of Golf Program Development for the PGA of America. He was also the Director for the PGA Learning Centers and Director of the Player Development Regional Manager Team. In addition to other responsibilities, Eleftheriou currently builds, manages and facilitates the PGA of America’s Player Development Workshop program. A PGA member since 1998, Eleftheriou’s responsibilities include business planning, financial reporting, curriculum and product building, hiring, training, and managing the day-to-day operations for the PGA Learning Centers. In addition, he is charged with developing curriculum content and programs for the PGA of America that emphasize creating and retaining new golfers, as well as servicing and retaining existing ones. During his career, Eleftheriou was a popular golf instructor in Los Angeles, with a client list that included TOUR players, celebrities, professional athletes, musicians and people of all ages and abilities. After moving to Florida in 2000, he became a consultant for both the PGA of America, with the launch of Play Golf America, and the PGA TOUR with the creation of Link Up 2 Golf. He was also the owner and director of instruction of the Create Golfers Academy and the Orange County National Golf Learning Center, both located in the Orlando area.

David Frem

David Frem headshotDavid Frem graduated from Dartmouth College magna cum laude with a computer science major. He joined a small technology education company after graduation, but left after 2 years to form his own IT consulting company. His clients included large corporations such as John Deere, United HealthCare, and Kohl’s Department Stores. In 1997, he joined his family in developing Cyprian Keyes Golf Club, and his first decision was to create the hardware, software, and telephone infrastructure for the club. Once Cyprian Keyes opened in August of 1997, he oversaw the sales and marketing for the next three years before becoming General Manager. As General Manager, he is responsible for all aspects of the club, which includes two golf courses (an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole par-3 course), golf shop and custom club fitting center, golf school, full-service restaurant, and an event venue with five distinct function rooms. Dave has been on the board of the New England Golf Course Owners Association (NEGCOA) for over fourteen years and been President of the NEGCOA Board since 2010. Dave lives with his family in Boylston, MA.

Dana Garmany

Dana Garmany headshotDana Garmany has more than 35 years of industry experience developing and operating golf facilities worldwide. He has been named by both Golf Inc.Golf Digest and Golfweek as one of the most powerful and influential people in golf. Garmany founded Troon in 1990, and today serves as its Chief Executive Officer. He's received numerous honors during his career, including the DeKalb County Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Southwest Section PGA Hall of Fame, the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame, the University of Alabama Hospitality Hall of Fame and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the HSBC International Golf Forum. He also serves on the Advisory Board of McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, and holds a BS Degree in Restaurant and Hospitality Management from the University of Alabama. His leadership at Troon helped create a company that continues to lead and set standards for domestic and international daily fee, resort, and private golf courses.

Allison George

Allison George headshotAllison is the Wizard of Fun at her family’s golf course in Des Moines, Iowa. Having been involved in the golf business since she was age 2, there aren’t many jobs in the golf business Allison hasn’t experienced. After taking over her family’s business in 2004, she had an uphill battle to bring back the club and tackle marketing in a competitive area. There are many programs Allison has introduced over the years to bring new golfers to the game, increase women and children play, and fill the tee sheet. She has taken many of her ideas, programs and learning experiences and shared them on her Golf Mentor Blog, www.TheAllisonGeorge.com.

David Hamilton

David Hamilton headshotDavid currently manages sales and operational activities for all ICS/Entegra National Accounts in the Hospitality segment as well as overseeing Regional Managers in the Southeast, Southwest and Western U.S. markets. He is also responsible for the ICS business relationships as a Preferred Supplier status of the National Golf Course Owner’s Association (NGCOA) and the Corporate Alliance Partner Program with the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). David spent over two decades with Club Car responsible for Sales & Operations. During his tenure, he was 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. He is an alumnus of Augusta University and received an Executive MBA from Rollins College.

Peter Hill

Peter Hill headshotPeter Hill co-founded Billy Casper Golf—one of America’s largest owner-operators of golf courses, country clubs and resorts—in 1989 with business partner Robert Morris and PGA TOUR legend, the late Billy Casper. Hill oversees all aspects of the firm’s holdings that include more than 151 golf properties in 27 states that touch one of every eight public golfers in the U.S. Golf Inc. has named Hill among the top 10 “Most Powerful People in Golf” the past 11 years, joining Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Donald Trump, Tim Finchem and other luminaries on the list. In 2011, he created the World’s Largest Golf Outing, the record-breaking single-day, simultaneous golf outing played nationwide to benefit Fisher House Foundation. Since its inception, the highly emotional event has seen more than 45,000 golfers donate more than $3 million. Billy Casper Golf is also leader in grow-the-game initiatives like FootGolf, the widely popular golf-soccer hybrid. BCG Ventures / Casper Labs is a testing ground for new products and initiatives which help contribute to player attraction, retention and development, and the $69 billion annual golf economy.

Jim Hinckley

Jim Hinckley headshotJim Hinckley rose from a 15-year-old bag boy at California's Porter Valley Country Club all the way to CEO of both Century Golf Partners and American Golf Corp. His career truly started in 1977, when he moved to ClubCorp's corporate office and, under the direction of founder Robert Dedman, Sr., learned the business and continued to grow within the organization. In 1994, Jim was named as ClubCorp's president, and served in that capacity until late 2002. After his departure, he assisted in the formation of WMC Management Company, which managed over $3.5 billion in assets. Three years later, Jim acquired WMC and formed Century Golf Partners, an investment and management company created for the purpose of acquiring and managing private clubs, resorts and public golf courses. Today, it manages and operates more than 500 golf courses, which combined represent more than $6 billion in golf, hospitality and real estate assets.

George Kelley

George Kelley headshotGeorge Kelley is the visionary behind Greenway Golf and is responsible for business development, facility assessments and strategic planning. Upon graduating from the University of Colorado, Kelley spent the next three years traveling the world chasing his dream as a professional golfer. In 1995, he developed and co-designed the acclaimed Stevinson Ranch GC in California’s Central Valley. The course has garnered many awards, including being ranked the No. 5 Best Public Course in America by Golf World magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards in 2010. Unfortunately, the California drought and challenging economics forced the course to close in 2015. George is a past President of The California Golf Course Owners Association, a chapter of NGCOA. Kelley has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences and was recently named as one of the 18 Most Innovative People in the golf industry by Crittenden Golf Inc. magazine. Some of the innovative programs initiated by George include solar power and the Greenway Fun Starts Now initiative with Ambassadors of Fun. Kelley resides in Stevinson, California, with his wife Carla.

Rock Lucas

Rock Lucas headshotRock Lucas is the Past President of the NGCOA and operator of Charwood Country Club in West Columbia, S.C. A Class-A PGA professional and CGCSA superintendent, Rock has also served as president and charter member of the South Carolina Golf Course Owners Association. Under his guidance, Charwood has won the Lexington County Business of the Year award, the local Chamber Commerce Business of the Year award and a South Carolina Golf Course of the Year award.

Jay Miller

Jay Miller headshotJay Miller is a course management and marketing consultant. He is the past President and Owner of Gratitude Golf Management Company, and past President of Hidden Valley Golf Club (named 2011 NGCOA National Golf Course of the Year.) He previously founded and served as CEO of the Get a Grip Foundation, which was twice named the National Junior Golf/Education Foundation of the Year. He has served as Board Member, Officer, and 2011 President of the California Golf Course Owners Association, and has been honored as Southern California Korean Golf Assoc. 2010 “Man of the Year.” His work founding the Youth Prison Golf Ministry program earned him recognition in 2004 as one of the Five Most Giving People in Golf. Jay is also an accomplished author, having written and published Growing the Game of Golf Internet Thesis. Jay is a graduate of Purdue University, and is married with two adult children.

Don Rea

Don Rea headshotDon Rea is the founder of Your Course and current managing partner of Augusta Ranch Golf Club. For Your Course, he oversees operations, business development and long term strategic planning. As managing partner of Augusta Ranch, purchased in July 2008, he oversees daily operations. Rea worked as a Minor League Professional Umpire for nine years before joining the golf business in 1999 starting at Augusta Ranch Golf Club. He became a Class – A member of the PGA of America in 2002 when he transferred to the Golf Club at Eagle Mountain. Augusta Ranch Golf Club has been rated the “Best Executive Golf Course in Arizona” by the Arizona Republic and was selected “Host Club of the Year” by the Arizona Women’s Golf Association. He is a Certified PGA Professional in General Management and serves as President for the Southwest Section PGA. Don is also Certified in Advanced Hospitality Revenue Management: Pricing and Demand Strategies through Cornell University. Mr. Rea attended San Diego State University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, studying Aerospace Engineering.

Monty Riffer

Monty Riffer headshotA former college football coach, Monty Riffer knows the importance of winning, because, if you’re not, you’re losing. One example is that he has established growth strategies for a company that drove a $14 million increase in 1.5 years by delivering new technology. For another company, he generated an 18 percent average profit annually vs. that company’s 10 percent average. Monty works with businesses to meet or exceed their goals. With more than 25 years of leadership experience in growing high-tech companies, Monty is able to help small-and-medium size business owners and executives to execute their current operations; improve their operational effectiveness; strategize their planning development; improve their sales, marketing, and talent acquisition; and coach merging managers. Monty brings a proven track record of achieving revenue objectives.

Shane Riley

Shane Riley headshotShane Riley is the Director of Golf at Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center (MGCOA Course Of The Year 2011), in Comstock Park, Michigan. He has been with them since 2011. Shane is responsible for day-to-day operations, which include more than 900 league rounds each week. He is also responsible for the courses POS System, online booking, all social media and the club’s app. He has never had a job outside of the golf industry, as it his true passion.

Harvey Silverman

Harvey Silverman headshotHarvey Silverman began his golf business career with EZLinks in 1996, and has since followed and studied the rise (and fall) of technologies designed to improve the business and profitability of golf course operators. Silverman is the co-founder of Quick.golf, a pay-by-hole web app that uses technology to make it easy for golf courses to offer and manage an alternative way to play the game we all love.

Bill Van Valer

Bill Van Valer headshotBill Van Valer is the general manager of StonyCreek Golf Club in Noblesville, Indiana, where he has operated the golf course with his brother for the last 17 years. An entrepreneur at heart, Bill earned top honors for teaching by being named one of the Top 50 Teachers by USKids Golf in 2012, as well as PGA Indiana Junior Golf Leader in 2013. Bill and his wife own an Elements Massage franchise in Indianapolis, where he has been able to translate many of the business lessons learned to the golf facility. Bill is also the Secretary of the Indiana Chapter of the NGCOA.

Jared Williams

Jared Williams headshotAs managing director of the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition, Jared Williams provides education and counsel to golf course operators on all matters involving online tee time distribution. Acting as an industry watchdog, the Coalition is developing solutions for many of the issues that some operators experience due to the business practices of many online tee time distributors. Before joining the Coalition, Williams worked in legislative affairs in college athletics, and has eight years of experience in the golf industry, working at the AJGA, the LPGA and TPC Sawgrass. The Coalition is a cost-free resource available to all PGA and NGCOA members.

Michelle Wittig

Michelle Wittig headshotMichelle Wittig is the general manager of the family-owned Juday Creek Golf Course in Granger, Indiana. The 18-hole, semi-private course and event facility is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. A previous NGCOA Player Development Award winner, Juday Creek has an unparalleled junior program with proven profitability, as well as a ladies program with waiting lists. Michelle is an adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, where she also earned her degree in International Business. She has a master’s degree in marketing from Loyola University Chicago. Michelle currently serves as the vice president and interim executive director of the Indiana Golf Course Owners Association. She is also past president of the St. Joseph Valley Home Builders Association and was a long-time member of the Executive Board of the Potawatomi Zoological Society. She also created and runs an afterschool cooking club where her kids, Joe and Maryella, attend.

Mike Zisman

Mike Zisman headshotMike Zisman founded Golf Genius Software in 2009 after a long career in information technology. Prior to founding Golf Genius, he was founder and CEO of Soft-Switch, Inc., CEO of Lotus Development Corp and a senior executive at IBM. Soft-Switch, founded in 1979, was one of the very first companies to participate in the electronic mail industry, and Mike is regarded as a pioneer in the field of electronic mail. Zisman has served and continues to serve on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards. He is a board member of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and a former director or trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Board of Overseers of the Penn School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Main Line Health. He is also a director of a number of venture-backed technology companies. Mike has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University, a Masters in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Decision Sciences from the Wharton School at Penn. Prior to founding Soft-Switch, Mike was a member of the faculty at M.I.T. Mike and his wife Linda Gamble have four children, ages 34 to 14; they and their younger daughter live in Wayne, PA. Mike and Linda are avid golfers and enjoy skiing.

Ron Zraick

Ron Zraick headshotRon became general manager and partner of Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in 2011 and, along with an exceptional management team, navigated through the most difficult drought in California’s history. In May 2017, he left Cinnabar and after a few months recharging his batteries, came “full circle” and went back work for a second time with Petrinovich, Pugh & Company, where his career first began in 1983. With PP&Co., Ron was commissioned by the California Society of CPAs to author and teach a full-day CPE seminar in restaurant accounting and financial systems. He is also the immediate past president of the California Golf Course Owners Association and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Board of Governors of the Silicon Valley Capital Club, the Rotary Club of San Jose and has served on the executive committee of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, the California CPA Society’s Silicon Valley Chapter Members in Industry Committee and the Construction Financial Management Association.