Jeffrey L. Rivard, who came from Michigan in 1993 to accept the Executive Director’s position with the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, will retire at the end of this season. He will continue on a part-time basis lending his expertise to championships and special projects.
In his 22-years as CEO, the WPGA has more than doubled both Member Clubs to nearly 130 and individual members to over 27,000. The Association’s financial assets have increased nearly seven fold.
Among the Association’s achievements include accepting public courses and golfers into membership, programs including Player Honor Rolls, Hall of Fame, a centennial celebration, 1998-99, a Fall Players Dinner, Public Links and Spring Stroke Play championships. Other enhancements during his tenure include publications, web-site, meetings, workshops, development of the West Penn Open into an event with one of the area’s top purses and strongest fields, and association reorganization. The WPGA has received several awards and recognition for excellence among golf associations of its size for overall programming and administration of GHIN, the USGA’s Golf Handicap & Information Network.
The Association’s use of GHIN has grown from five clubs to over 125 today. In 1997, Rivard hired Handicap Director Terry Teasdale to supervise this vital program that funds dues and touches all its 27,000 members.
The WPGA Scholarship Fund has grown into one of western Pennsylvania’s most sought after financial assistance programs for deserving students currently employed at WPGA Member Clubs.
Rivard’s deep interest in championships and the Rules of Golf is evident by serving as a Rules official at nearly sixty USGA championships of all types starting in 1979. He has attended nearly 40 PGA/USGA Rules of Golf workshops and has been recognized for Rules knowledge on nearly twenty occasions for superior test scores. Rivard has taught many Rules workshops himself to a wide variety of audiences.
Rivard began his career in 1977 as Executive Director of Sun Country Golf Association headquartered in Albuquerque, NM. The territory includes all of New Mexico and El Paso County, Texas. He was the organization’s first full-time employee, 1977-79. He also worked as a Tournament Official on the LPGA Tour in 1980, for USGA in Regional Affairs, 1981-84, 1981 Atlanta office, Southeast Region, and 1982-84 as Director, Regional Affairs at USGA headquarters, Far Hills, New Jersey. He then returned to his home state in 1984 as the Golf Association of Michigan’s Executive Director, 1984-92, prior to heading here. He is one of two persons to be Executive Director of three different state and regional amateur golf associations—Sun Country, Michigan, and West Penn.
Rivard holds degrees from two universities – Central Michigan and Michigan State. He has volunteered with both alumni associations and his fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau. His first association job was as Chapter Consultant for his fraternity, 1974-76, just prior to his start in golf administration. He has held volunteer posts with Phi Kappa Tau since leaving its employ as a Domain (Regional) Director, Foundation Trustee, and several committee posts.
For President Tim Fitzgerald’s comments, click here.