USGA Executive Committee Slate Nominated For 2006
Far Hills, N.J. (June 28) -- Walter W. Driver Jr., 60, of Atlanta, Ga., has been nominated to serve a one-year term as president of the USGA by the Nominating Committee of the United States Golf Association. The election of officers and the full 15-member USGA Executive Committee will take place on Feb. 4, 2006, at the USGA’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
Driver will replace Fred S. Ridley of Tampa, Fla., who completes the second of his one-year terms as president. Ridley will retire from the Executive Committee following 12 years of service, including four years as chairman of the Championship Committee (2000-03), the group responsible for the conduct of all USGA competitions. Upon becoming president, Driver will lead the Association’s professional staff and nearly 1,400 volunteers who serve on more than 30 committees.
Driver is Chairman of King & Spalding, an international law firm with more than 800 lawyers. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Texas Law School. He began his service to the Executive Committee as general counsel in 1997 and was named to the Committee two years later. He served two years as treasurer and the last four years as vice president.
The other nominated officers of the Executive Committee will be: James E. Reinhart of Mequon, Wis., and James F. Vernon of Pasadena, Calif., as vice presidents; Emily R. (Missy) Crisp of Mill Neck, N.Y. as secretary; and Fredric C. Nelson of San Francisco, Calif., as treasurer. Nelson has served as general counsel for the past three years.
Besides Nelson, the three other new members of the Executive Committee will be William M. Lewis Jr. of New York, N.Y.; Pat McKinney of Charleston, S.C.; and Steve Smyers of Lakeland, Fla.
Lewis, 49, is the Co-Chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard Ltd. in New York City. Previously, he spent 24 years at Morgan Stanley following his graduation from Harvard University and Harvard Business School. He is an avid golfer and is active in a wide array of volunteer endeavors including involvement in the New York City Fund for Public Schools, the American Museum of Natural History, the Cancer Research Institute, Phillips Andover Academy, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He also served as treasurer of the National Urban League.
McKinney, 55, is a successful developer of golf course communities and is the Immediate Past President of the South Carolina Golf Association. He is a single-digit handicap golfer and has served on the USGA’s Mid-Amateur Championship Committee since 2000. McKinney’s civic resume includes service on the South Carolina Board of Education and Board Membership at Furman University.
Smyers, 51, is a well-known golf course architect whose works include Old Memorial in Tampa, Fla., among others. He has served as a consulting member of the USGA’s Equipment Standards Committee since 1999. He was a member of the University of Florida golf team and has competed in 17 USGA championships and three British Amateurs. He and his wife, Sherrin, who competed on the LPGA Tour from 1984-1997, played a leading role in establishing a chapter of The First Tee, a USGA-supported facility, in their hometown of Lakeland.
The other seven returning members of the Executive Committee will be: Craig Ammerman of Cherry Hill, N.J.; Dr. Lewis H. Blakey of Alexandria, Va.; James T. Bunch of Denver, Colo.; Irving Fish of Wayzata, Minn.; James B. Hyler Jr. of Raleigh, N.C.; Cameron Jay Rains of San Diego, Calif.; and Loren Singletary of Houston, Texas.
Glen Nager, 47, a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue, has been chosen as the Association’s next general counsel. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and Stanford Law School where he was President of the Law Review. Among his clerkships was service in 1983 with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He resides within the District of Columbia.
“These individuals from diverse backgrounds possess a wide range of skills and will bring significant expertise to our Executive Committee to meet the evolving challenges facing the USGA,” said F. Morgan Taylor, chairman of the 2006 USGA Nominating Committee.
Other current Committee members who will retire along with Ridley at the upcoming Annual Meeting are Paul D. Caruso Jr., of Helena, Mont.; Mary Bea Porter-King of Kapaa, Hawaii; and Bruce C. Richards of Bellevue, Wash.
“The USGA greatly appreciates the work that all of these retiring volunteers have provided to the Association,” Taylor said. “The rotation of Committee members is a natural part of the nominating process and ensures a number of qualified people have an opportunity to serve on the Executive Committee.”
The USGA by-law provisions governing the nominating process were substantially amended during the past year. The 2006 Nominating Committee consists of two USGA recent past presidents and three at-large committee members, who serve staggered three-year terms. This year’s committee is comprised of Taylor (USGA President in 1998-99) and Trey Holland (President in 2000-01) as vice-chairman. The three at-large members of the committee are Christopher Liedel of Reston, Va., John O’Neill of Southampton, N.Y., and Winfield Padgett Jr. of Dallas, Texas. O’Neill and Padgett are former Executive Committee members. Liedel serves as Chief Financial Officer of the National Geographic Society located in Washington, D.C.
The USGA, golf’s governing body in this country and Mexico, works closely with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland to produce a uniform code of Rules of Golf that are observed worldwide.
The organization’s most visible role, however, is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, and U.S. Senior Open. The other 10 national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Record entries were received in 2005 for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open.