People on the move: Singerling to retire; Wilson and Theirl start own firm

James Singerling, CEO of the Club Managers Association has announced his retirement, effective in 2015. Singerling has worked for the CMAA for 25 years, serving as CEO since 1990. The early timing of the announcement is consistent with the terms of Singerling’s contract and will allow him to assist in the transition to a new CEO by his retirement date.

“The opportunity to lead this organization and continue to develop the club industry and its leaders has been tremendously gratifying,” Singerling said. “Our industry is well-positioned to continue expanding the scope and reach of clubs across the nation while also providing jobs and supporting local small businesses as we have for decades.”

Jackson Wilson and John Theirl have started their own firm, Theirl Wilson PLLC. The two were previously partners at Gordon & Rees, one of the largest firms in the U.S. with more than 500 attorneys. Theirl said the big law firm association was forcing them to increase rates, and they decided to stat their own practice to focus on real estate, business and  hospitality needs both in transactions and litigation.                       

E-Z-GO named Gary Johnson as Director, Golf Marketing and Strategy. As director, Johnson is responsible for all marketing efforts for E-Z-GO’s golf business, its RXV and TXT fleet golf cars, and Cushman utility vehicles in the golf and turf markets.

Johnson has 20 years of experience in the golf industry across several disciplines, including finance, product innovation, customer service, marketing and vehicle design. He spent the last seven years as product manager for E-Z-GO’s golf and turf vehicle lines.

Billy Casper Golf appointed Kyle Ragsdale to the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer. Ragsdale will oversee development of strategic marketing planning and execution for all marketing activities involving BCG and its portfolio of courses.

Ragsdale joins BCG from Vox Media, publisher of SB Nation, The Verge and Polygon. As Vice President of Business Affairs and Finance he led all sales, marketing and finance activities and helped grow it from a start-up to the 8th largest sports property online. Previously, he was Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs at Georgetown University, directing all sponsorships, ticket sales, sports information, media relations and marketing.

BCG also promoted Nick Bednar, Ryan Phelps and Dan Zimmer to Regional Director of Operations positions. In their new roles, Bednar, Phelps and Zimmer will assume greater responsibility in client relations, team leadership, budgeting and business planning, and liaising with the BCG corporate office.

Bednar joined BCG in 2004 and ascended to General Manager of Bear Creek Golf Club in Dallas, significantly growing daily-fee and outing business by more than 10 percent annually.

Phelps began his career with BCG in 2005 as Head Golf Professional of Bent Creek Golf Course in Jacksonville, followed by a stint as General Manager of Falmouth Golf Club in Massachusetts. Zimmer rose in the BCG ranks from General Manager of St. Johns Golf & Country Club in St. Augustine, Fla. to Regional General Manager and then Florida Regional Manager.

National Golf Management hired two new executives to its team. Susan Ladner is the new corporate controller. She was previously in a similar position with Troon Golf at their four-course St. James Plantation property in Southport, N.C. Prior to that, she worked in the hospitality industry on behalf of The Brick Hotel & Restaurant. She has more than 15 years of experience, with particular emphasis on consolidating and streamlining firms’ financial systems.

Michelle Kempe was hired as director of retail. She is a PGA member who comes to National Golf Management after a nearly five-year stint at Pinehurst Resort. She will be responsible for overseeing the retail buying, sales and merchandising of all National Golf Management golf shops.

National Golf Management Company was formed in 2012 with a merger of Myrtle Beach National Company and Burroughs & Chapin Golf Management. It  oversees 22 golf courses in and around Myrtle Beach, S.C., one of the world’s most popular golf destination markets.

Affiniti Golf Partners hired Kevin Cartledge and Shane Taylor to the leadership team of The Georgia Club. Cartledge joins The Georgia Club as the new general manager responsible for all staff, operations and financials. Taylor is The Georgia Club’s new executive chef.  He will oversee the culinary staff, menu development and food quality. Cartledge previously worked with Affiniti in acquisitions and new club development.

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