PNW PGA Honors 13 PGA Professionals with 2019 Annual Awards

 

The Pacific Northwest Section PGA selected the top professionals in 13 categories, as recognized by their peers, for outstanding performance during 2019. The winners listed below represent the very best of the Pacific Northwest Section’s 1,100 PGA Professionals in Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho, Western Montana and Alaska. They will join the three Player of the Year award winners in being honored at the PNW PGA Special Awards Ceremony at Tualatin CC on March 22.

 

Bill Shea, PGA, Director of Golf at the Cedars at Dungeness and Peninsula GC, received the Section’s highest honor in being chosen as the 2019 Golf Professional of the Year. Bill has the depth of commitment and dedication to service that make him the model PGA Golf Professional. Currently President of the Western Washington Chapter, Bill has served the PGA for over 20 years. He has also coached the Sequim High School Boys Golf Team for the past 12 years and the Clallam County Special Olympics Golf Team for the past 10 years. Bill prides himself on bettering his community, the PGA of America, his fellow professionals and himself. In 2019, he received his PGA Certification in General Management.


Kevin Story, PGA of Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, OR was named the 2019 Assistant Golf Professional of the Year. Kevin is a true leader at his facility. Beyond his duties at the resort’s three courses and two golf shops, he has been the driving force in the development of PGA Jr. League at Eagle Crest over the last five years, adding a U-17 team in 2019. He also introduced golf in his local middle school, is active in the Oregon Chapter Player Development Committee, and is currently mentoring two Associates in their PGM studies.


Derek Siesser, PGA of Indian Canyon GC in Spokane, WA was honored with the Player Development Award. He has emerged as a leader in teaching the game and growing the game. He has accomplished this by investing in teaching technology including video and True 3D motion capture, designing creative programs to teach lessons, mentoring fellow professionals and helping to mold the long-range vision of PGA Junior League Golf in the Inland Northwest.


Sara Griffin, PGA of Griffin Golf in Sumner, WA received the Youth Player Development Award. Founded three years ago, Griffin Golf has had phenomenal growth. It was one of the first facilities to institute Operation 36; participation in 2019 grew to 135 kids. Griffin Golf began PGA Junior League with a single team of nine kids; 2019 included 65 kids in five U13 teams and two U17 teams. This exceptional growth would not have been possible without Sara’s passion and dedication to the next generation of golfers.


Greg Manley, PGA, General Manager at Meridian Valley CC in Kent, WA was recognized for being an outstanding mentor with the Bill Strausbaugh Award. Greg has demonstrated that growing the game starts with growing people. In his 25‐year career, 17 of which he has held an officer position in our association, he has helped to advance numerous professionals. Since winning this award in 2015, he has continued to focus on developing new leaders and growing new professionals.


Harold Bluestein, PGA of Harold Bluestein Golf LLC in Vancouver, WA was honored with the Horton Smith Award, an award that goes to a PGA model educator. Harold previously won this award in 2016 and 2017, and stands out again because he is constantly challenging himself to find new ways to educate, encourage and motivate his fellow professionals. As the current President of the Oregon Chapter, he collaborated with PGA Career Services Consultant Monte Koch to present education on “Alternative Career Paths” in 2019.


Jason Aichele, PGA, Teaching Professional at Meadow Springs CC in Richland, WA was selected as the 2019 Teacher of the Year. Winner of this award four times previously, Jason maintains the gold standard by continually growing his teaching expertise with a variety of year-round and non-traditional programs. In 2019, Jason reached a record 92 kids with PGA Junior League Golf. This year, his All-Star Team advanced all the way to the PNW PGA Junior League Section Championship.


Chris Runyan, PGA, Teaching Professional at GolfTEC – Spokane in Spokane, WA received the Patriot Award. Chris has personally reached many veterans through his multiple programs. These include “Northwest Golfers for Warriors”, “Vets on the Green” and the Dan Kleckner Golf Classic – which raised $185,000 in 2019. Winner of this award five times previously, his new goal is to help teach golf to veterans with disabilities. To date there are 68 Adaptive Golf Certified PGA Professionals in the Pacific Northwest Section PGA thanks to Chris and his efforts.


Jacob Lippold, PGA, Head Professional at Chambers Bay GC in Tacoma, WA was named Merchandiser of the Year for Public facilities. In his first full year of managing all merchandise operations, Jacob has put Chambers Bay on track to exceed both 2017 and 2018 numbers. He has especially grown headwear sales. Jacob is not afraid to take risks when it comes to merchandising and, to keep shoppers coming back, he employs creative new ideas such as co‐branding the Lone Fir logo with popular brands.


Jeff Simonds, PGA, Director of Resort Operations at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, OR was honored with the Merchandiser of the Year award for Resort facilities. Jeff and his team, who also won this award in 2018, continue to push boundaries and grow sales. Celebrating the opening of Sheep Ranch in 2020, he created merchandise using sample logos, generating buzz as well as revenue. Jeff also capitalized on the U.S. Amateur by carrying championship apparel a year in advance of the event.


Gordon Corder, PGA, Head Professional at Manito G&CC in Spokane, WA received the Merchandiser of the Year award for Private facilities. His phenomenal success is partly due to combining diverse products, including non-golf items, into fun club events such as Ping Pong League and BBQ Demo Days. He also innovated by introducing a new “Pro Shop” logo, popular with new members, while still respecting the famous club crest that has existed since 1922.


Carissa Simmons, PGA of Griffin Golf was recognized with the Deacon Palmer Award for outstanding performance in the face of a personal challenge. She survived a life-threatening illness and returned to her active role in promoting player development through instruction and PGA Junior League Golf. She told her story and thanked those who saved in a video, viewable at: https://youtu.be/S3Y3oDId5ew.


Kathy Brown, PGA, Head Professional at Twin Lakes Village in Rathdrum, ID received the Perry Williams Award for her service to the Section’s Rules of Golf Committee. Kathy, who won this award in 2015 and 2016, continues to serve on the PNW PGA Rules Committee as well as the National Rules Committee. In 2019, she worked the 2019 Rosauers Open Invitational as a PGA Rules Official.


Russell Grove, PGA, Golf Coach at North Idaho College in Coeur D’Alene, ID, was recognized as the 2019 PNW PGA OMEGA Player of the Year. In addition to great playing all year, he was T-2nd at the PNW PGA Professional Championship and earned a spot to the PGA Professional Championship next spring.


Jeff Coston, PGA of Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA, is the 2019 PNW PGA OMEGA Senior Player of the Year award. He won the Senior Washington Open Invitational, Senior Oregon Open Invitational, PNW Senior PGA Professional Championship as well as advanced to US Open.


Colin Inglis of Emerald Valley GC in Eugene, OR earned 2019 PNW PGA Assistant Player of the Year honors. He won the PNW National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship and went on to place T-9th at the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship. He also placed in the top 10 in the Oregon, Washington and Northwest Open Invitationals.


Contact Jeff Ellison with questions at 360-456-6496.