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2014 Qualified
Diverse Supplier


The PGA of America’s commitment to achieving greater diversity in participation in the game and business of golf is a component of the Association’s strategic and annual business plans. Scholarship programs introduce young people of color to the golf profession, Play Golf America Days in minority communities and successful supplier diversity initiatives provide minority and women owned businesses access to the $76 billion golf industry. The PGA of America is proud to be a leader of diversity and inclusion in the golf industry through our workforce, supplier, member and player programs.

About The Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative


L-R: Phil Wilkins (President/CEO, Rising Star, Inc.), Joseph P. Steranka (CEO, PGA of America), Earnie Ellison, Jr. (Dir. Business & Community Relations, PGA of America), D. McGinnis Mitchell (Founder/CEO, NDS), Dennis Skidmore (COO, NDS)

The motivation for creating The PGA of America’s Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative began with the first ever “Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Forum” held in conjunction with the 55th Annual PGA Merchandise Show in February of 2008. Facilitated by National Diversity Solutions (NDS), a leading certified minority-owned strategic sourcing and supply base optimization company, the event explored the business case of “The Power of Supplier Diversity in a Global Golf Economy”. Attendees included Joseph P. Steranka, CEO, The PGA of America, PGA of America Officers and Earnie Ellison, Jr., Director of Business and Community Relations, The PGA of America, as well as some of the leading minority- and women-owned business owners in the United States.

Based on a powerful business case that shows a definite correlation between the projected increase in minority population, the overall buying power of this growth market and its potential to affect the game and business of golf, The PGA of America’s Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative was officially launched the following year in conjunction with the 56th Annual PGA Merchandise Show.

In 2010, at the 57th Annual Golf Industry Merchandise Show, the Initiative and its suppliers had an increased presence and further integration into the event.

Most recently, the “Diverse Supplier Forum” was held in conjunction with the 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Forum events included a luncheon, a recap of Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative highlights and an overview of exciting new additions to the Initiative presented by Joseph P. Steranka, CEO of The PGA of America. Inaddition, Initiative M/WBE suppliers were able to interact directly with golf industry decision makers. Executives from prominent industry organizations, including the CMAA, GCSAA, NGCOA, the WGF and others participated and voiced their support for the Initiative.


The Opportunity, Goals and Strategies

The PGA of America believes that an effective supplier diversity program will increase interest in golf which, in turn, can lead to greater participation. The minority community is projected to control about 25% of U.S. buying power by 2012; this projection, coupled with the increase in minority population, represents a great growth opportunity in these emerging markets for the golf industry if approached strategically.

The goals of the Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative are threefold;  1) Increase the number of minority- and women-owned businesses “invested” in golf, 2) increase the volume spend of spend with these companies, and 3) leverage the above to increase participation rates in golf among people of color and women.

The Initiative intends to accomplish these goals by; 1) Leveraging the PGA brand to bring recognition to current diverse suppliers of The PGA of America and its championship events, 2) create a certification program to qualify minority and women owned businesses for the golf industry, 3) leverage the PGA Merchandise Show to introduce these companies to the broader golf industry and 4) engage other industry leaders in the value of a supplier diversity program.

The PGA of America has retained National Diversity Solutions, LLC (NDS) to facilitate the Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Initiative. The processes and methodology used by NDS to register, assess and qualify M/WBE companies will help ensure that potential golf industry suppliers meet or exceed the high-performance standards set by The PGA of America. All M/WBE companies endure a vetting process.  Upon successful completion they are awarded the designation of  “2009 PGA Qualified Diverse Supplier.”

Once this designation is earned, the “PGA Qualified” M/WBE suppliers are promoted by The PGA of America to the golf industry as quality suppliers of golf industry-related goods and services.

The PGA of America will continue to lead this initiative as it looks to allocate a portion of the organization’s spending with qualified M/WBEs. By championing a coalition of industry leaders to help drive this initiative, The PGA of America asks that their strategic partners do the same to lead the golf industry down this progressive path.