This column is dedicated to our leader, our peer and our friend, Sean Fredrickson, whose journey was cut short just 10 days ago. We opened the Oregon Open on Tuesday with a tribute to Sean. A moment of silence followed with ceremonial tee shots by the professionals from Tualatin and Oswego Lake, Sean’s most recent postings. To carry his memory, a member playing in the championship made buttons with Sean’s name for everyone and we placed his staff bag on the first tee all day Tuesday. His team is still playing ‒ playing just as a three-person team in his honor. The support demonstrated the depth of the feelings for Sean and showed how he touched so many.

A President and CEO have a special relationship. We talk all the time. With Sean it was no different. He was single-minded in his desire to make the lives of PGA Professionals better. Whether developing a mentoring committee or mentoring himself, he just wanted to help. We adopted a number of new programs during Sean’s nine years on the Board and he always wanted to know how it benefitted you, the PGA member. As the Secretary, he took on the Awards Committee and made our process better. As the Vice President, he elevated our financial process to make sure we always focused on maximizing the return to the member. When he took over as President a year early, he dug in and learned what he needed to best serve you. To say he did the work was an understatement. Sean simply did what it took to serve his fellow PGA Professionals.

As you can imagine, the time demands on an officer and especially a President are significant. Sean had the unique ability to compartmentalize his time. Family always came first, and I always admired that. He’d go radio silent and I knew a family time Facebook post was not far away. He served all of us, never let us down, but had his priorities right!

Sean always worried if we were supporting our Associates enough. Mentoring was the key and the progress we’ve made in these last few years was because of Sean’s drive. He inspired all of us to do better for our new professionals and you can count on this continuing because of Sean.

While Sean could be all business, the fun side of Sean was even more compelling. You all have great stories, but who could forget that all-white Portland Timbers warm up! He managed a trip to Australia and New Zealand with his Tualatin members…brilliant, you say. Well the brilliance was the “scouting trip” the year before, just to make sure everything would go properly for his members. That’s a smart man.

Sean touched so many of you in so many different ways. Please think of him and consider how you can carry on the ways he made your lives better. Do that and he’s still with us.

 

Jeff Ellison, PGA