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Awards Champagne Toast
(L-R) Debert Cook, publisher of the African American Golfer's Digest and Brian Whitcomb, Honorary Past President of the PGA of America.

Honoree, Robin Aikens (LPGA) graced the audience with lovely classical music on her violine during the reception.

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Roster Of Distinguished Winners Encompass
Various Professions, Industries and Ethnicities.

New York, NY (January 31, 2009)--The African American Golfer’s Digest held its inaugural “Outstanding Leaders In Golf” awards program and honored a distinguished list of honorees at the PGA Merchandise Show & Convention in Orlando, Fla. Recipients represented various professions, industries and ethnicities and represented themselves and their organizations as a beacon of the strong leaders and diversity present in the game of golf today.

The recognition program was presented by the African American Golfer’s Digest, Diversity Pavilion and took place in the upstars meeting room of the convention center. Brian Whitcomb, PGA of America Honorary President presented the closing remarks.

“Each of those who are being honored here today has made a substantial impact on the game, and the golf industry, as it relates to the African American community in particular. I am happy to salute their contributions with this award and I am pleased to introduce each of them to you personally through our publication,” said Debert Cook, CMP, publisher of the national quarterly magazine that is heading into its sixth year of publication.

The honorees were selected from among dozens of nominations that arrived over the spring and summer 2008 season and winners were personally selected by Ms. Cook for their commitment to professional excellence and dedication in growing the sport, business, careers and participation of golf among African Americans.

“Our 2009 honorees are exceptional individuals whose endeavors are opening doors and extending opportunities in the game throughout the industry to African Americans. Their efforts, foresight, courage and devotion are very deserving of this prized honor,” said Cook who made the individual presentations.

To commemorate this special tribute, honorees profiles were featured in the Winter/January 2009 (PGA Show edition) of the African American Golfer’s Digest. They were officially congratulated on Friday, January 30, 2009, from 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. during a special champagne toast and reception and received their awards.

The awards program conveniently coincided with the second day of the 56th annual PGA Merchandise Show & Convention and is presented by the African American Golfer’s Digest, exhibiting onsite for the fifth consecutive year to more than an estimated 45,000 attendees and over 1,200 exhibitors at this, the largest golf trade-only showcase of its kind in the U.S. and an ideal environment to advance careers and business.

2009 Honorees included:

Robin Aikens (LPGA)

Inner City Youth Development
(Chicago, IL)

William L. Allen

ALW Sourcing
(Hockessin, DE)

Geoff Bryant

United States Golf
Teachers Federation (USGTF)
(Port Saint Lucie, FL)

Jeffrey Callaway
Ace Kids Golf Program
(Oakland, CA)

Addie Cobb

Addie Cobb Golf Academy (Valdosta, GA)

Coach Dave Davis
Golf Coach
First Tee of Columbus, GA
(Columbus, GA)

William “Bill” Dickey

President/Founder, Bill Dickey
Scholarship Association (Phoenix, AZ)

Sgt. Charles J. Eggleston
Administrator/Commissioner Salute Military Golf Association (SMGA) (Germantown, MD)

Earnie Ellison, Jr.

Director of Business & Community Relations
PGA Foundation
(Palm Beach Gardens, FL)

George Fellows

Callaway Golf Company (Carlsbad, CA)

Bill Fullard

BF Golf Tournament Services (Hempstead, NY)

Wendell Haskins

Original Tee Golf Classic
(New York, NY)

Robin Herrington

U.S. Marketing Manager
(Beverton, OR)

Mike Jamison

President, International Network of Golf
(Lake Mary, FL)

Sheila Johnson
Innisbrook Golf Resort
(Tampa Bay, FL)

William E. Lewis (PGA)
The First Tee of Atlanta at John A. White Park
(College Park, GA)

Leonard Martin (PGA)
Gateway All-Par Golf Academy
(Atlanta, GA)

Iain Page

Host Reporter
The Golf Channel
(Orlando, FL)

Paula Pearson-Tucker (LPGA)
President, Fore Life, Inc.
(Miami, Fl)

Hercules O. Pitts
Lake Arbor Golf Course & Marlborough Golf Club (Mitchelleville, MD)

Gary Player

The Player Foundation
(Palm Beach Gardens, FL)

Renee Powell (PGA/LPGA)
Head Golf Professional Clearview Golf Course
(East Canton, OH)

Paul A. Pradia (USGTF)
US Golf Teaching Professional (Las Vegas, NV)

Carl Seldon (PGA), Administrator
Impact Youth Development Initiative (Atlanta, GA)

James “Bonecrusher” Smith
Champion For Kids
(Lillington, NC)

Nancy Stulack
Registrar for the
Musuem & Archives
USGA Museum
(Far Hills, NJ)

Pam Swensen
Executive Women’s Golf Association, (EWGA)
(Palm Beach Gardens, FL)

Thelma Thompson, Ph.D.
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
(Princess Anne, MD)

Brunilda Turner
Ebony Ladies Golf League (Youngstown, OH)

Brian Whitcomb
PGA of America Honorary President
(Palm Beach Gardens, FL)

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