National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) CEO Michael Hughes has announced his intention to step down as CEO of the organization at the end of 2015, completing 25 years of service. The early timing of the announcement will allow the NGCOA Board of Directors time to identify a replacement and facilitate a smooth transition to a new CEO by the end of the year.
“I’ve enjoyed working with the NGCOA staff and volunteer leaders immensely over the years,” Hughes said. “I am very proud of what we have accomplished to improve and protect the business of golf course owners and operators all over the world.
“The association is in great shape, and I have decided it’s a good time for me to pursue a new challenge,” Hughes added. “Although I have no definite plans at this time, I look forward to leading the NGCOA for 2015 and being a part of the golf industry for many more years to come.”
Hughes began serving as executive director of the NGCOA in 1990, and is credited with helping elevate the stature of the NGCOA and golf course owners throughout the industry. Under his guidance, the NGCOA increased its membership from 250 to more than 6,500 worldwide, and has become recognized as the leading trade association for golf course owners and operators.
“On behalf of the NGCOA Board, I’d like to thank Mike for his years of dedicated service to the association,” said NGCOA President Matthew Galvin. “During his tenure, Mike has displayed the vision and leadership to propel the organization to the stature it holds today. Given where the NGCOA currently stands, Mike is leaving the organization at a high point, and we’re confident that he will ensure a smooth transition.”
Lodewijk Klootwijk, director EGCOA (European Golf Course Owners), told GBN.com, “Mike Hughes is a dear friend and has played an important role in the foundation of the EGCOA. The success of the NGCOA in the US was an inspiration for the Owners Associations in Europe to start the EGCOA. With the stepping down of Mike an Icon for the golf industry steps down. We owe Mike a lot of thanks for his important contributions to the European Golf Industry and the foundation of the EGCOA.”
Hughes’ contributions to the association and industry are far-reaching. In collaboration with Steve Mona, former CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, he led the formation of the Golf Industry Show, the second-largest and fastest-growing trade show in the golf industry.
Named one of the “Most Influential Leaders in Golf” by Golfdom magazine in 2000, Hughes served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Golf 20/20, on the Board of Governors of the National Golf Foundation and on the Advisory Board of the World Golf Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the selection panel for the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was recently appointed as the 2015 Chairman of the We Are Golf Coalition.
The NGCOA Board has established a search committee to identify potential CEO candidates and anticipates completing the process several months prior to Hughes’ departure.
“The NGCOA remains focused on continuing to keep member interests at the forefront of our mission,” Galvin said. “We are committed to executing our strategic priorities during this time of transition.”