USGA Elects Diana M. Murphy as 64th President
February 06, 2016 | SAN DIEGO, CALIF.
Diana M. Murphy, of St. Simons Island, Ga., today was elected to serve a one-year term as the 64th president of the United States Golf Association, which together with The R&A governs the game worldwide. The election of officers and the 15-member USGA Executive Committee also took place today during the USGA Annual Meeting.
As president, Murphy assumes the leadership of the more than 300 professional staff and nearly 1,200 volunteers who serve on more than 30 USGA committees.
“Although golf will always face challenges, the great golfers – such as Bob Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and my dear friend Louise Suggs – had one trait in common: they were optimistic about their games and the game,” said Murphy after her election. “It is a time for all of us, together, to be positive about golf and act accordingly.”
Murphy has been formally associated with the USGA since 1996, when she began a 12-year tenure on the USGA Membership Committee. She joined the Executive Committee in 2011, and has chaired several committees, including the Championship (2015), Commercial (2012-13), Compensation (2014-15), Finance (2012-14) and U.S. Senior Amateur Championship (2014) committees. She was elected treasurer in 2013 and vice president in 2014 and 2015.
Murphy, 59, is the managing director of Rocksolid Holdings, LLC, a private-equity firm focused on small business and real estate in the Southeast. She is also managing director of the Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund, which supports the state’s public and private research universities. Past appointments include managing director of Chartwell Capital Management Company, a private-equity firm in Jacksonville, Fla., for 11 years, and senior vice president of The Baltimore Sun Company for 15 years.
An active community supporter, Murphy has served on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Georgia since 2006, spearheading the establishment of the Elizabeth F. Correll Teen Center in 2008, among other activities. She is a member of the executive committee of the College of Coastal Georgia, and played an instrumental role in developing its master plan as it moved from a two-year to a four-year institution. She is the non-executive chairman of Landstar System Inc. and a board member of CTS Corporation, both public companies.
Murphy earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University in 1978, and holds an advanced executive business degree from Northwestern University.
She is the second woman in the association’s 121-year history to serve as president, following Judy Bell, who was president in 1996 and 1997.
Two other current members of the Executive Committee have been elected to serve as officers. They are: Sheila C. Johnson, of Middleburg, Va., continuing as secretary, and George J. Still Jr., of Atherton, Calif., as treasurer.
The other 10 current members of the Executive Committee who are continuing their service are: William E. Fallon, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; J. Stuart Francis, of Hillsborough, Calif.; C. Malcolm Holland III, of Dallas, Texas; G. Thomas Hough, of Atlanta, Ga.; Robert D. Kain, of Gates Mill, Ohio; Martha J. Lang, of Birmingham, Ala.; Gregory B. Morrison, of Duluth, Ga.; Asuka Nakahara, of Merion, Pa.; Mark E. Newell, of McLean, Va.; and Mark P. Reinemann, of Pewaukee, Wis.
Two new members were elected to the Executive Committee for 2016: J. Michael Bailey, of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Clifford J. Shahbaz, of Portland, Ore. Robert C. Weber, of Hobe Sound, Fla., has been elected general counsel.
J. Michael Bailey, an attorney and shareholder in the litigation and government relations department of Parsons Behle and Latimer in Utah, has concentrated his practice on commercial and environmental litigation, and government relations. Bailey has served on the USGA’s Regional Affairs Committee since 2002, and has supported the Association as a Rules official or scoring volunteer at a dozen USGA amateur championships. He earned his undergraduate degree at Santa Clara University, where he played on the golf team, before graduating from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. A founding board member of The First Tee in Salt Lake City, he has also served on the boards of Utah Youth on Course, Friends of Utah Golf, and the Utah Championship Advisory board. He continues to serve as an advisor to the Utah Golf Association and the Golf Alliance of Utah.
Retired Lt. Col. Clifford J. Shahbaz, a decorated Air Force pilot with two combat tours in Vietnam, is an instructor pilot for Boeing Training & Flight Services in Portland, Ore. He flew 28 years for United Airlines, retiring in 2006 as a B-747 captain. Shahbaz learned to play golf in high school and has dedicated more than 20 years as a volunteer to the Oregon Golf Association and Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) as a Rules official. A member of the PNGA’s board of directors since 1998, he served as its president from 2007-2010 and assisted the association in the purchase and management of The Home Course in Washington. He is a trustee of the Pacific Coast Golf Association, having served a one-year term as its president in 2012. Shahbaz is a nine-year member of the USGA Mid-Amateur Committee, and he has supported the Association as a Rules official at the U.S. Senior Open and several national amateur championships. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
Robert C. Weber is a senior advisor to IBM, following a nine-year stint as its senior vice president of legal and regulatory affairs and general counsel. A member of the Chairman’s Operating Team and the Chairman’s Performance Team, he held global responsibility for IBM in government affairs and policy, environmental affairs and security, legal and corporate governance and other key functions. During his tenure, he co-chaired the North American Women’s Diversity Council and was IBM’s representative on the board of directors of the United States Chamber of Commerce. While in private practice, he served as president of the Cleveland Bar Association and established its Juvenile Justice Initiative, which received the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest award for public service. Weber is a graduate of Yale College and the Duke University School of Law.
Two current members of the Executive Committee will retire at the 2016 Annual Meeting: Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., and William J. (Skip) Gist IV. Ernest Getto will also retire as general counsel.