UPDATED: Woodward steps down as CEO of GCSAA

Mark Woodward resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) on June 22, less than two years after taking the helm in July 2008.

“I am proud of our accomplishments over the past two years, and the GCSAA was great to me,” Woodward said. “It was a great run, but I just thought it was time to move on.”

The resignation was effective immediately.

Woodward declined to give more specifics on his departure, but said his relationship with the GCSAA board and the employees was good. He is seeking career opportunities in the golf industry and said he will entertain any and all offers.

“My plan was to stay [at the GCSAA] longer,” he said. “But things change and there are a lot of challenges in the golf industry.”

The GCSAA was not immune to the economic challenges over the past few years. Faced with revenue shortfalls, especially due to the Golf Industry Show, Woodward was forced to make tough financial decisions, including layoffs.

“We were not immune to any of that,” he said. “We went through reductions in work force. But there are [currently] 90 people working very hard. I am proud of what we did in the two years. But it is now time for me to do something different.”

GCSAA staff said the resignation was sudden and caught them off guard.

"Mark is a talented individual who has made solid contributions to GCSAA," said James Fitzroy, president of the GCSAA in a press release. "He has been a fine representative and a strong steward for the organization. We wish him well in his future endeavors."

Woodward came to GCSAA after serving as operations manager for the city of San Diego, including host of the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course. He also served as GCSAA president in 2004. Fitzroy said Woodward had been instrumental in guiding GCSAA through a difficult economic downturn. His leadership also served to position GCSAA prominently for its research, programs and education regarding golf's relationship with the environment.

Rhett Evans, GCSAA chief operating officer, was named interim CEO while the organization's board of directors conducts a nationwide search to determine Woodward's successor.

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