Relishing the chance to hear from their PGA Officers and the new PGA Secretary candidates, PGA Professionals gathered for the back-to-back Town Hall and Secretary Candidate Forum Thursday afternoon in the PGA Member Business Center.
After a two-year hiatus, the annual PGA Town Hall – a favorite session for many PGA Members – provided an update on PGA Frisco and the newly unveiled deferred compensation plan that PGA staff is working on for PGA Professionals.
PGA President Jim Richerson, Vice President John Lindert, Secretary Don Rea, Chief Membership Officer John Easterbrook Jr. and CEO Seth Waugh anchored the session, and stayed well after to interact with those PGA Professionals attending.
“We’re really grateful to be back here in-person with you,” said Richerson. “You’ve brought golf through a global pandemic and it’s booming now, thanks to the work you’ve all done.”
On deferred compensation, Waugh went into the details of working with the IRS on the multi-year project. Since inurement issues negate the PGA from directly providing benefits to PGA Members, PGA of America staff has developed a 401k-style point system to serve as the foundation of the plan. While it won’t be officially rolled out until next year, Waugh sees it as a gamechanger for members.
“We’re looking to make it really strong coming out of the gate,” said Waugh. “We want to do it right, and that takes time, but once this is finished, we think every PGA Member will benefit.”
Easterbrook dove in next with details about PGA Frisco, the new home of the Association in Frisco, Texas. The new headquarters building will be completed at the end of March, with PGA staff moving in April 19. The golf courses, while ready to be played on, will open alongside the Omni PGA Frisco resort, and other features around the PGA Frisco campus.
“I always think of one new thing when I talk about PGA Frisco, and this time around, I was thinking of my grandfather, who was a PGA Member,” said Easterbrook. “He’d be so proud of this place, and we think every PGA Professional will feel at home with PGA Frisco.”
After the Town Hall, PGA Secretary candidates Nathan Charnes of O’Fallon, Missouri, Tony Martinez of Dallas, Texas, and Dan Pasternak of Essex Fells, New Jersey, participated in a forum held by current Secretary Don Rea.
Each candidate introduced themselves, discussed their platform, leadership style, unique character traits, and more, which gave attendees a sense of who they all were – especially those voting in this year’s election.
“I look forward to the next ten months and a chance to make the PGA Member’s livelihood better,” said Charnes.
Pasternak leaned on his governance experience, Martinez discussed his connection to PGA Frisco, and Charnes touched on a passion for being a green-grass PGA Professional. Each presented unique arguments for their candidacy.
“When the eyes of the golf world are focused on PGA Frisco, I will be there,” said Martinez. “I’ll be ready to showcase golf to the next generation of PGA Professionals.”
Added Pasternak: “It’s exciting and humbling to come here today and ask for your support. I’m proud to do this, and I’m ready to serve.”