The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Commissioner Ty M. Votaw made a number of key staff announcements, including promotions, new staff and title changes for LPGA personnel.
Karen Durkin, LPGA’s vice president of marketing, has been promoted to senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the LPGA. Ken Wooten of Daytona Beach has joined the LPGA staff as director of finance and administration and Dana von Louda of Gainesville, Fla., is a new media relations coordinator. The other employees and their new titles are: Eric Albrecht, director of marketing; Dr. Betsy Clark, director of education and research; Laura Neal, senior media relations coordinator; Joyce Reynolds, creative services coordinator; Shannon Ryan, coordinator of player/sponsor relations; and Kathy Widick, communications coordinator. In addition, the LPGA has formed an Interactive Media Department, with LPGA staffers Sandi Higgs and Julie Miller moving into the new area.
‘I am very pleased to make these announcements,’ said Votaw. ‘The LPGA is enjoying its greatest prosperity ever, and the ongoing efforts of the LPGA staff have contributed to the LPGA’s unprecedented growth and success. These individuals have worked hard for the association, and I am glad that we can recognize their contributions to the LPGA in this manner. I also am happy to welcome Ken, an experienced financial administrator, and Dana into the LPGA family. They both will be a valuable addition to the staff.’
Durkin, who joined the LPGA in September 1995, is the first person to earn the title of senior vice president and chief marketing officer (CMO) for the association. She was promoted to vice president of marketing in April 1999. As senior vice president and CMO, she is responsible for the LPGA’s strategic marketing initiatives, including branding and advertising, corporate marketing partnerships and new business development.
Durkin began her tenure with the LPGA as manager of licensing and promotion and was promoted to manager of marketing and new business in December 1997. Just two years later, she was named the LPGA’s director of marketing and new business. Following her graduation from the University of Rochester in 1987, where she studied at the Eastman School of Music and earned a bachelor of arts in music with magna cum laude honors, Durkin earned a master of science in journalism in 1988 at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Wooten brings nearly 15 years of accounting, finance and management experience to the LPGA. As director of finance and administration, Wooten will be responsible for managing the day-to-day financial activities for the association and The LPGA Foundation, including preparation of financial statements, tax materials and audits; assisting in managing the association’s retirement fund; analyzing proposed new business ventures; assisting in strategic financial planning, human resources; and serving as a LPGA representative in local civic and charitable activities.
Wooten joins the LPGA from the News-Journal Corporation, which publishes Volusia County’s newspaper, The News-Journal, where he was controller for the past six years. He was with the News-Journal Corporation for nearly 13 years. Prior to that, he was a senior accountant with Arthur Young & Company. He was graduated cum laude from Concord College in Athens, W.Va., in 1986 with a degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting. Wooten is a certified public accountant and currently serves on a number of local Daytona Beach community boards.
Albrecht joins the marketing department from the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Division, where he was director of operations. One of Albrecht’s key areas of focus as the LPGA’s director of marketing, will be the growth and development of LPGA corporate sponsorships and promotional programs to benefit the LPGA T&CP Division, as well as the association at large. Additionally, Albrecht will support other ongoing marketing initiatives for the association. When he joined the LPGA in February 1998 as director of operations for the LPGA T&CP Division, Albrecht was responsible for managing and directing the operational side of the LPGA T&CP Division’s more than 100 annual events, which includes tournaments, educational workshops and seminars, member programs and other activities. He also identified and worked with the division’s corporate sponsors for these programs and events. Albrecht was graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Clark has been working with the association since 1986 and on staff since 1994. With her more than 25-years of experience in the area of teacher education and research, Clark’s extensive knowledge and expertise will help lead the LPGA’s new efforts for more innovative and impactful research for the golf industry. In addition to research, Clark is responsible for the development and implementation of all of the association’s educational programs and initiatives.
Neal, who joined the LPGA full-time following an internship with the association, has served as a media relations coordinator since 1998. As senior media relations coordinator, she will continue to work as an on-site media relations liaison with players, members of the media and LPGA tournaments, in addition to assuming some additional media and public relations responsibilities.
To consolidate its efforts in the ever-expanding interactive media field, Votaw has created the LPGA’s Interactive Media Department. Higgs, who has been with the association since 1986, has moved from the association’s communications department, where she was manager of online services. As editorial/creative manager, she will be focusing on developing the editorial and creative content for the newly enhanced LPGA.com, as well as managing LPGA.com’s editorial staff. As marketing development manager, Miller’s focus will be on the marketing, sponsorship and promotional aspects of LPGA.com and evaluating new interactive opportunities for the association.
Reynolds has been a creative services assistant for the past five years, where she designs and produces publications, signage and other association materials. Ryan joined the LPGA in May 1998 and has worked closely with LPGA players, tournaments and corporate sponsors to implement player-sponsor programs. von Louda, as a media relations coordinator for the LPGA Communications Department, serves as an on-site media liaison, as well as works on the weekly news release, pitching association stories and working on all association materials. von Louda is a recent graduate of the University of Florida. Widick joined the association in 1990, just after the LPGA moved to Daytona Beach. Moving from communications assistant to coordinator, she coordinates planning for the association’s special events, as well as is an integral part in the production of the LPGA Tour’s statistics and historical information.
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