The Golf Club Managers’ Association have announced the first keynote speakers for the association’s 2021 Conference – the only major conference in Europe devoted to Golf Club Management – which takes place from 21 to 23 November.
Paralympian Danielle Brown and golf industry expert Kevin Fish join Phil Anderton, the R&A’s chief development officer, BIGGA chief executive Jim Croxton and the GEO Foundation’s executive director and founder Jonathan Smith at the three-day gathering at Wyboston Lakes, in Bedfordshire.
Danielle and Kevin will present GCMA Inspire sessions around leadership and wellbeing, whilst Phil, Jim and Jonathan will gather around the GCMA Hot Topics banner and talk about sustainability and the impact on the wider golf industry.
A two-time Paralympian gold medallist, Danielle Brown will talk about how she has broken down barriers in her life and will aim to empower attendees to unlock their potential and overcome adversity.
After becoming disabled as a teenager, she took up archery on her 15th birthday and made the Great Britain team three years later. She was the world number one for her entire career and the five-time world champion won gold at the Paralympics at Beijing and London.
Kevin Fish has more than 20 years’ experience in the golf industry, including nine years as general manager of The Glen, in North Berwick, and a further seven as the the development manager for Scottish Golf.
He was GCMA Club Manager of the Year in 2004 and became a Certified Club Manager four years later. He has toured the UK many times speaking on behalf of each of the Home Unions and has provided keynote Conference Presentations for GCMA, CMAE and BIGGA, as well as addressing the World Conference of Club Management on over a dozen occasions.
Phil Anderton joined The R&A as Chief Development Officer in August 2020 – taking on the responsibilities for the operational and strategic activities of Golf Development and Amateur Championships, with the additional responsibility for Sustainability, the British Golf Museum and for The R&A’s overseas operations in Singapore and Argentina.
Phil has a wealth of knowledge and experience of implementing and delivering on business strategy: he has worked in brand management at Procter and Gamble, Global Strategic Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, general management roles at Scottish Rugby Union, Hearts Football Club and the ATP Tour, where Phil was Chairman of the ATP Finals and he has latterly run his own business consultancy.
Jim Croxton will be a well-known figure to GCMA members, having been CEO of BIGGA for 10 years.
During that time he has been instrumental in raising the profile of the association substantially within the golf industry, ensuring that BIGGA’s nearly 6,000 members have a strong voice in how the sport is governed and managed.
Jim said: “I’m really looking forward to presenting at the GCMA Conference and delighted to be discussing the key topic of sustainability.
“Golf club managers are critical in capitalising on the pandemic-induced boom our sport has experienced and it has never been more essential they have long-term economic and environmental sustainability jointly at the top of their agendas.”
For more than 20 years, meanwhile, Jonathan Smith has dedicated his career to advancing sustainability in golf, and through golf.
A geographer and graduate of the University of St Andrews, he led the environmental team at Scottish Golf before founding GEO in 2006.
He has led GEO to become the only group in sport to meet the ISEAL Alliance membership criteria for sustainability standards, certification and reporting systems, joining others such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council.
He has also directly advised some of golf’s largest tours and tournaments including the European Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, The Ryder Cup, The Open, The Solheim Cup and Olympic Golf.
More high-profile speakers will be announced over the coming weeks and the full conference programme will be confirmed shortly. Registration will also open soon. The three key themes for Conference are Leadership and Wellbeing, Sustainability and Technology in Golf.
For more information, visit the Conference page on the GCMA website.