LAKE MARY, Fla. -- An association executive, a college golf coach and a publisher have made the final ballot in the Business Achievement Category of the 20th Annual ING Industry Honors awards program.
Retired golf coach at the University of Arizona, Rick LaRose, longtime Links Magazine publisher Jack Purcell and retired CEO of the PGA of America, Joe Steranka, earned enough votes form the sub-committee to make the final ballot in the ING Industry Honors.
Called by some the "Academy Awards of the golf industry," the ING Industry Honors program is conducted by the non-profit International Network Of Golf to recognize outstanding achievement in 12 categories of the golf business. Holly Geoghegan of Golf Marketing Services and The Golf Insiders radio show is the committee chair.
Nearly two dozen nominations in this category came to ING from all across the golf industry. A sub-committee vote narrowed the list to the final three. Winners in this and 11 other categories are being decided by a vote of the ING membership this month. Nominees will be recognized and winners announced at the Industry Honors Presentation Press Conference January 25 at 12:30 p.m. at Orlando's PGA Merchandise Show in ClubING, Room 309.
The International Network Of Golf is a non-profit, media-based networking organization whose mission since 1990 has been to enhance and promote communication and education in golf. Membership is open to anyone in the golf industry, related industries and media. "ING is where media and the golf industry connect."
The three finalists in this category all have fashioned productive careers in the golf industry. Here are descriptions:
Rick LaRose, Head Golf Coach, University of Arizona (retired) - During his 39 years at overseeing the Arizona golf program, LaRose established Wildcats golf as one of the nation's finest collegiate programs. LaRose's teams have won two NCAA titles, seven NCAA regional championships, four Pac-10 crowns and three Rolex Match Play titles. He is the only coach in college golf to coach both a men's and women's NCAA championship team. Larose formed the University of Arizona Eagle Club, which is a booster organization for Wildcats golf. Through this group, the Wildcat Golf Tournament is held each year as a fundraiser, and has raised over $1.7 million for the UA golf program. Larose has been inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America's Hall of Fame and the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame. He retired in May of this year.
Jack Purcell, President and Publisher, LINKS Magazine - As publisher and partner of LINKS Magazine for 25 years, Purcell has been the vision and driving force behind this golf lifestyle publication since its inception. LINKS is on the leading edge of trends and issues that pertain to the golf lifestyle, with a mission of bringing the most engaging, sophisticated, and surprising content to its audience of passionate golfers. LINKS has carved out a unique niche over two decades highlighting the country's best golf real estate communities, golf course designs, and golf destinations. Under Purcell's management and leadership, LINKS has stayed committed to its niche, continued to improve its product and remained dedicated to the highest editorial standards. While many print publications have met their demise, LINKS magazine continues to be relevant.
Joe Steranka, CEO, PGA of America (retiring) - Steranka has spent 25 years with The PGA of America, the last seven as the CEO of the world's largest working sports organization. He serves as a member of the leadership teams for the World PGA Alliance and the International Golf Federation's work that will return golf to the Olympic Games beginning in 2016. Joe has steered a new industry government relations program We Are Golf, designed to achieve legislative and public affairs goals on behalf of the multi-billion dollar golf industry. Through his stewardship, the PGA developed long-standing broadcasting agreements to distribute its' premier events to unprecedented worldwide audiences. The 54-year-old sports industry veteran is one of just 11 PGA Honorary Members, joining a prestigious list that includes former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.
ING exists to bring golf media together with representatives from all walks of the golf industry to discuss issues, exchange information and improve communication. The group, which was formed 23 years ago, hosts the annual ING Spring Conference, scheduled this year at Reunion Resort in Orlando May 19-23. Educational seminars, product testing, an appointment show and networking opportunities highlight schedule.
The next gathering for ING is at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Jan. 24-26, 2013. ClubING (Room 309) will be open all day for members and their guests, with morning coffee, Happy Hour cocktail parties with celebrity guests and entertainment, and prizes and giveaways.
For more information regarding ING, call 407-328-0500 or visit www.inggof.com.
Michael W. Jamison
407-328-0500, ext. 1