USGA Announces Executive Committee Appointments For 2009 

February 7, 2009

Jim Vernon underscored the USGA's mission during his speech Saturday night. (John Mummert/USGA)
Far Hills, N.J. - James F. Vernon of Pasadena, Calif., has been elected to serve a second one-year term as president of the United States Golf Association by the USGA's Nominating Committee. The election of officers and the full 15-member USGA Executive Committee took place Saturday at the USGA's Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, Calif.

As president, Vernon, 59, will lead the association's professional staff and nearly 1,400 volunteers who serve on more than 30 committees. He begins his seventh year as a member of the Executive Committee, a term that has included two years as vice-president of the USGA and four years as chairman of the Equipment Standards Committee.

Vernon is the owner of Frank Vernon Diamond Brokers and Wholesale Jewelers, a family business that started under his father's name more than 50 years ago. Outside of his golf interests, Vernon serves as secretary for the Diamond Club West Coast Inc., a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and his law degree from Stanford University in 1972 and 1975, respectively. He practiced law for nine years before taking over the family diamond business.

The other nominated officers of the Executive Committee are: James B. Hyler Jr. of Raleigh, N.C., and Cameron Jay Rains of San Diego, Calif., as vice presidents; James T. Bunch of Denver, Colo., as secretary; and Irving Fish of Wayzata, Minn., as treasurer.

The other seven returning members of the Executive Committee are: Christie Austin of Cherry Hills Village, Colo.; Pat Kaufman of Fort Washington, Md.; John Kim of Farmington, Conn.; Brigid Shanley Lamb of Mendham, N.J.; Thomas J. O'Toole Jr. of St. Louis, Mo.; Steve Smyers of Lakeland, Fla.; and Geoffrey Yang of Menlo Park, Calif.

There are three new elections to the Executive Committee for 2009. They are Glen D. Nager of Washington, D.C.; Christopher A. Liedel of Vienna, Va.; and Gene McClure of Atlanta, Ga.

News From USGA Annual Meeting: 

USGA President's Speech 

USGA Women's Committee Appointments 

Douglas New Leader Of
Women's Committee

Cherry Hills C.C. To Host
2012 U.S. Amateur

Lancaster C.C. To Host
2015 U.S. Women's Open

Annual Report 

Video: Joe Dey Award 

Video: Bob Jones Award 

Nager, a partner in the Washington (D.C.) law firm of Jones Day, has been the Association's general counsel for the past three years, and 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. In 2008, Nager served as chairman of the Men's State Team Championship Committee and also served on the Communications, Equipment Standards, Joint Rules of Golf, Public Links Championship, Regional Associations and Rules of Golf Committees for the USGA.

Liedel is the executive vice-president and chief financial officer of the National Geographic Society and has been with the organization since 1996. He is responsible for more than $1 billion in investments, information services, systems and technology, distribution and facilities management, photographic processing, and operating infrastructure.

Liedel has been involved with the USGA for the past several years as a volunteer on the Members Committee, the Communications Committee, and the Nominating Committee. He also serves on the boards of directors for seven other causes, including the National Philanthropic Trust and Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research.

A 2002 Wharton Fellow inductee at the University of Pennsylvania, Liedel graduated from Georgia State University in 1989 with a Masters degree in Decision Sciences, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University in 1982.

McClure was the winner of the USGA's 2008 Joe Dey Award and has been an active volunteer with the Georgia State Golf Association for a number of years in many capacities, including a term as president in 1996-97. The Dey Award is given annually to an outstanding USGA volunteer, recognizing an individual's meritorious service to the game.

McClure's background includes service on the boards of directors and trustees of the Atlanta Junior Golf Association, Georgia Junior Golf Foundation, and Georgia State Golf Foundation. He has been a committee member, rules official and referee at many USGA national championships, qualifiers, and state championships, and was the co-chairman of the 2005 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship conducted at Ansley Golf Club in Roswell, Ga.

A U.S. Air Force captain from 1963-67, McClure was an adjunct professor of law at Emory University Law School and the founder of the law firm McClure & McMorries, P.C.

Joseph W. Anthony, a partner in the Minneapolis (Minn.) law firm of Anthony Ostlund Baer Louwagie & Ross, P.A., has been chosen as the Association's general counsel for the first time. Anthony is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and was selected as one of Minnesota Lawyer's "Attorney's of the Year" in 2007. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut and his Juris Doctor from Temple University School of Law.

The three current Committee members who retired at the Annual Meeting were Secretary Emily R. (Missy) Crisp of Mill Neck, N.Y.; Treasurer Fredric C. Nelson of San Francisco, Calif.; and William M. Lewis Jr. of New York, N.Y.

According to USGA by-law provisions, the 2010 Nominating Committee will consist of two recent USGA past presidents and three at-large committee members. That committee will comprise USGA Past Presidents Reed Mackenzie (2002-'03) and Fred Ridley (2004-'05) and three at-large members - Youngsuk Chi of Skillman, N.J., Peter James of Los Angeles, Calif., and Sarah LeBrun Ingram of Nashville, Tenn. Reed Mackenzie (2002-03) and Fred Ridley (2004-05) and three at-large members - Youngsuk Chi of Skillman, N.J., Peter James of Los Angeles, Calif., and Sarah LeBrun Ingram of Nashville, Tenn. Chi is vice-chairman and global managing director of Global Academic & Customer Relations at Elsevier - the world's leading publisher of science and health information. James is a former USGA Executive Committee member, and Ingram is a three-time former U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion (1991, '93, '94).

The 2009 Nominating Committee consisted of Mackenzie, Ridley, Chi, James, and Leslie Turner of Minneapolis, Minn.

About the USGA

The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world's golfers and golf courses.

The Association's most visible role 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. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.

The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System and administers an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $62 million over 11 years to successful programs that bring the game's values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities.


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