The latest recruit to the burgeoning Golf Consultants Association (GCA) brings extensive experience in corporate social responsibility, community engagement and vocational training.
Alan Johnston, the director and founder of Embarq Ltd, has been employed as corporate social responsibility manager and head of the enterprise foundation for two large PLCs. He has also previously managed high-profile economic development programmes and was involved in creating two industry-led vocational training academies as well as assisting in the development of the Scottish Government’s Community Benefits public procurement best-practice policy.
In addition, he has significant experience in the voluntary/community sector working with a number of high-profile social enterprises and funding agencies.
Embarq provides strategic advice and research on corporate social responsibility, social value, community engagement and socio-economic impacts for a range of clients. This includes providing guidance documents and frameworks for measuring community benefits and social and economic outcomes for golf clubs and golf developments.
Outside of the golf industry, Embarq’s other clients include football clubs, local authorities, social enterprises and private sector organisations.
He explained: “Having a positive social and economic impact on local communities in which golf clubs operate is becoming more essential to the growth and sustainability of golf. Many golf clubs and stakeholders are now starting to understand the importance of being recognised and aligned with community needs, health outcomes, education programmes and life skills.
Johnston is able to provide GCA clients with tools and guidance for measuring the Golf Environment Organization’s OnCourse community activity, including demonstrating and measuring the value of golf in terms of health and wellbeing to golfers, and the wider benefits of golf to the local community and society as a whole.
Embarq’s current projects include providing advice on maximising social value from Local Authority tendered contracts for events and services, as well as advice and support for accessing government and non-governmental funding for renewable energy technology and community-based projects.
He added: “Demonstrating the social value golf brings to people and society can deliver long-term financial sustainability to golf clubs. For example, by providing local employment, demonstrating social inclusion, delivering education programmes and developing a community engagement strategy – all of which can be easily adopted.
“Embarq can provide local and national intelligence, practical guidance and innovative social value measurement tools to demonstrate the club’s value to society and the economy.”
GCA chairman Howard Swan, who has long advocated the game of golf taking more of a social responsibility in the community, was delighted to welcome Scotland-based Johnston to the Association, and believes his experience will prove of immense benefit in future projects.
He said: “Alan is a specialist in a specialised field which makes his extensive knowledge and experience immensely valuable to the GCA and its clients. Whether it’s measuring and advising on social impact, offering guidance material, community engagement plans or developing partnerships, Alan will add another layer of expertise to what is, already, the UK’s leading, all-encompassing golf industry consultancy.”
The GCA, formed in 1999, is unique in the UK in its ability to make available a team of highly-respected and experienced golf industry professionals to see any phase of a project through from conception to end.
Golf Consultants Association www.golfconsultants.co.uk
Embarq Ltd http://embarqconsultants.co.uk/