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PGA Increases Diversity Efforts

Lawrence, KS - The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) has joined with the PGA of America in support of the Golf Industry Supplier Initiative.

Established by the PGA of America in 2008, this unique program strives to achieve greater diversity and participation in the game and business of golf. The goal of the initiative is to increase spending by golf industry companies with minority and women-owned suppliers of infrastructure goods and services (not specific golf products), while at the same time growing participation from these same consumer segments in the game of golf.

The minority community is projected to account for over 25 percent (nearly $3.5 trillion) of U.S. buying power by 2013; this projection, coupled with the increase in minority population, represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the golf industry. Targeting a diverse customer base, while simultaneously supporting diverse businesses, can generate additional revenue.

In addition to the PGA of America and GCSAA, the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) is participating in the program.

"We appreciate the PGA of America bringing forth this program for the benefit of the golf industry," GCSAA Interim CEO Rhett Evans said. "The past few years have seen a tremendous amount of collaboration in the golf industry, which ultimately brings greater effectiveness and efficiencies."

Suppliers become part of the initiative by going through a vetting process based on the Baldridge Quality Institute's Criteria for Performance Excellence. Upon successful completion, suppliers are awarded the designation of "Qualified Diverse Supplier." The PGA of America, GCSAA and CMAA, in turn, endorses and promotes these suppliers to golf industry businesses. Additional information on the initiative can be found at www.pga.com/supplierdiversity.

GCSAA will conduct a communications and education effort to inform suppliers of the opportunities associated with GCSAA events. A forum, entitled "Changing the Business of Golf" will be co-presented by the PGA of America and GCSAA, 3-4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 8 at the GCSAA Education Conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Chaired by Evans and Earnie Ellison, Jr., PGA of America Director of Business and Community Relations, the session will present information on how attendees can participate in and use the program.

"The beauty of this program is it provides the opportunity for suppliers to gain entry for their products and services to a new market," Evans said. "At the same time, it provides businesses and organizations, such as GCSAA, the potential for additional options that could result in savings and the delivery of higher quality products and services."

GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to 19,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. The association's philanthropic organization, The 
Environmental Institute for Golf, works to strengthen the compatibility of golf with the natural environment through research grants, support for education programs and outreach efforts. 



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