Charleston, South Carolina, United States: Jay Karen has been named Chief Executive Officer of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), a leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management.
Formerly Director of Partner Relations and Membership of the NCCOA from 1997 to 2007, Karen returns to lead the organisation that represents more than 3,000 member golf course owners and operators worldwide. He will assume his new position on October 1.
Karen holds a deep knowledge of and passion for the golf industry. To bolster NGCOA relevancy and increase membership, his strategy includes strengthening chapter relations, expanding member services, modernising online curriculum and other educational resources, and amplifying legislative advocacy.
Karen replaces Michael Hughes who, after 25 years leading the NGCOA, in January announced he would step down from his CEO post.
“The bedrock of the golf industry is the golf course owner,” said Karen. “Therefore, I’m eager to aggressively build on Mike Hughes’ remarkable accomplishments of helping owners and operators run more successful businesses.”
With deep roots in the hospitality industry, Karen was most recently CEO of Select Registry, a collection of more than 300 fine inns, bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels.
For seven years prior, as CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, his creation of the ‘A Better Way to Stay’ promotional campaign and a strategic partnership with TripAdvisor elevated the organisation’s prominence and revenues.
“Jay Karen brings fresh, new ideas, motivation and a profound love of golf to the NGCOA,” said Matthew Galvin, President of the NGCOA. “While we look forward to a smooth transition and exciting changes, we are grateful to Mike Hughes for his legendary and expert leadership as he’s leaving the organisation at a high point.”
Under Hughes, the NGCOA significantly increased membership and raised the statures of the organisation and golf course owners across the industry. He also led the formation of the Golf Industry Show, the second-largest trade show in golf.
Hughes’ indelible impact on the golf industry is highlighted by his service as Chairman of the Executive Committee of GOLF 20/20, a member of the Board of Governors of the National Golf Foundation, an Advisory Board member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Chairman of WE ARE GOLF.
With more than 15,600 courses, country clubs and resorts in America, golf is a US$69 billion industry and generates nearly two million jobs. Its US$4 billion charitable impact is greater than Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League combined.