President Bob Bales called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to Eagle Eye Golf Club. Bob welcomed special guests Heather Burke, Sr. Director of Sports & Wellness-Special Olympics Michigan, Todd Smith, Career Services Consultant, and all Past Presidents in attendance.

Thanks to Joe Neumeyer of Ace Indoor Golf & PGA National Resort & Spa for sponsoring the meeting, and Pepsi for sponsoring the Seminar.

Rachael Nowak, PGA WORKS Fellow, sang a beautiful rendition of our national anthem.

Raquel Bryant delivered the invocation remembering Michigan PGA Members Gene Bone Sr., & Jack Clark, Former Michigan PGA Members Ray Bolo & Keith Mohan as well as Dave Richards, long-time Michigan golf promoter.

President Bales talked about the PGA headquarters in Frisco, Texas is scheduled to open March 2022 with staff moving there June 2022. The golf courses will open March 2023. The putting green there is the second largest putting green in world. Bob stated he was fortunate to tour the property as he attended National Committee meetings.

Bob reviewed several of the Michigan PGA strategic plan completed action items. Like football helmet stickers, also known as reward decals and pride stickers which denote either individual or team accomplishments, the Section has adopted the same approach. Each time an action item is completed, a success sticker is awarded. The following stickers were awarded:

  • Career Consultant Todd Smith on assisting members with employment issues – helmet sticker.
  • The At-Large Director election held virtually fall of 2020, and the Office of Secretary election tomorrow are contested elections – helmet sticker.
  • PGA Jr League – number of participants have grown as well as two nationally recognized programs from Kelly Kuhlman and Dean Marks – two helmet stickers.
  • Virtual Education – continued through COVID challenges in 2020 – helmet sticker
  • Diversity/Inclusion – first ever Women’s Professional Championship in 2021 – helmet sticker
  • Justin Phillips for the COVID related challenges in 2020 with the tournament program – helmet sticker.
  • Diane Lazaros 25 years of service (2020), and staff working remotely for most of 2020 and handling all office and related COVID issues professionally – two helmet stickers.
  • Michigan PGA Foundation expanded the scope. In addition to junior golf, it was modified to include military and diversity/inclusion. We also expanded resources by adding $25,000 into PGA Foundation investment account – two helmet stickers.
  • Kevin Helm 25 years of service – helmet sticker.

Bob thanked the following for their service on the Board of Directors and then presented plaques to outgoing Board of Directors in attendance: Jon Conklin, Matt Koets, Kevin McKinley, AJ Partenio, Dan Urban and Jim Yuhas (absent). He congratulated Executive Director Kevin Helm on his 25 years of service to the Section.

Chris Whitten from Golf Association of Michigan talked about the following:

·         GAM has a good year with amateur golf in Michigan, members up 10%. Reaching over 65,000 members using the world golf handicap system.

·         Tournament program was very successful reaching over 4,300 players

·         USGA hosted the US Senior Amateur Championship at Country Club of Detroit this summer.

·         They will continue Handicapping with GHIN and the world handicapping system. Chris thanked the membership for their support and implementation.

·         GHIN added GPS which has been received very favorably.

·         Renewed AGA USGA relationship. GAM will still offer USGA services.

·         They will continue to support Golf Genius.

·         GAM Foundation main initiative is the Youth on Course Program which allows juniors to play golf for $5 or less per round. They have paid out over $300,000 in golf course subsidies which they cover through fundraising. Please reach out to Chris if you are interested in joining the program.

Vice President Dean Kolstad reviewed investments through the third quarter. Account balances at the end of third quarter were $1,684,848 for the General Fund and $88,583 for the Foundation Fund. Kevin Helm reviewed the year-to-date budget summary through three quarters.

Secretary Stephanie Jennings recognized new members, transferred members into the Section, and quarter and half century members. She also acknowledged Lynn Janson as being inducted into the 2021 Michigan State University Hall of Fame.

Honorary President Kevin McKinley oversaw the Candidate’s Forum where Dan Urban and Randy White spoke of their desire to run for the office of Secretary. The officer election did not take place since a quorum of 148 eligible voters was not met.

Career Consultant Todd Smith reviewed a brief slide presentation and talked about the following:

  • 154 total jobs posted on PGA Job Board for Michigan as of this date
  • Record count of year-to-date interactions with employers
  • The Michigan Section has a 49% completion rate for the compensation survey. He encouraged everyone to complete. The more data we can get the more accurate and useful the data will be for everyone.

Each member in attendance was given a PGA REACH Michigan hat. Chelsea Guoynes showed a few slides regarding the PGA REACH Michigan logo along with an explanation of why the name changed, the expansion of the scope and mission to sign with that of PGA REACH.

Glenn Pulice stated that they need a few more instructors to assist with the Midnight Golf Program. He also is looking for donations of equipment for some newly formed golf teams at a few Detroit high schools. Donations can be taken to the Royal Oak Golf Center.

Tournament Chair Dan Urban recapped items:

  • No Michigan residency restrictions for amateurs participating in the Spring Scramble, Midwest Golf & Turf Pro Am and the Fall Pro Scratch.
  • Lifetime exemption into the Tournament of Champions for the winner of the Women’s Michigan PGA Professional Championship.
  • Congratulated Bradley Smithson, winner of the Turtle Creek Michigan Open, Otto Black, winner of the Tournament of Champions, Benny Cook, winner of the Michigan PGA Professional Championship and Michigan Section Match Play.
  • Doral pro-am will take place January 28-31, 2022. The biggest change is the professionals will receive $1,000 and a free trip for bringing a team, up from $500.
  • Congratulated 2021 Rolex Player of the Year Benny Cook.

During the Town Hall portion of the meeting, Bernie Friedrich, Kevin McKinley, and Todd Smith talked about and shared best practices on hiring and retaining employees. Some incentives heard from the millennial generation is the ability to earn extra time/days off, more flexible schedule and student loan repayment.

A video from Regional League Manager Kim Shafer was shown talking about the PGA Jr. League which has grown 6% in the Michigan Section and is currently up to 1,863 players within the Section. Another video was shown on the 2022 PGA Jr. League season enhancements including the new Championship Season Pathway, All Star Play Days, a new Regional All-Star Leaderboard, and the brand-new PGA Jr. League Technology for the Desktop and Mobile App.

Special Awards Chair Doug Bell congratulated and presented 2021 plaques to those in attendance:
Assistant Professional of the Year– Brandon Dean
Bill Strausbaugh-Chris Sobieck
Distinguished Service Award-Justin Phillips
Media Award-Anna Epkey
Merchandiser of the Year-Private-Paul Lehnert
Merchandiser of the Year -Public-Ian Ziska
Merchandiser of the Year -Resort-Elliott Oscar
Patriot Award-Wally Sierakowski
Player Development Award-Andre Pillow
Professional Development Award-Glenn Pulice
Youth Player Development Award-Kelly Kuhlman
Teacher & Coach of the Year-Jason Guss
Golf Executive of the Year-Bernie Friedrich
Golf Professional of the Year -Dean Kolstad

Heather Burke, Sr. Director of Sports & Wellness-Special Olympics Michigan presented the Conrad Rehling Award to Mike Mignano.

For the afternoon education session, Dr. Gary Wiren gave a very animated presentation about “Life & Lessons On & Off the Course.”