The Southwest Section PGA is proud to name Michael Miller as their new executive director, becoming the fourth executive director in the 57 year history of the organization. Miller spent the past 27 years with the Illinois PGA, serving the past 20 as executive director.
It was recently announced by Southwest Section PGA President Greg Leicht that Miller, 52, was hired after an extensive search and formally assume the position on May 4, 2015. The Southwest Section PGA is the fifth largest PGA Section in the United States with over 1323 PGA members and apprentices in the Section, which covers the state of Arizona and Clark County (Las Vegas) in Nevada.
“The Southwest Section PGA is honored to have Michael Miller as our next executive director,” said Leicht, PGA general manager and director of golf at Vistal Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz. “Michael‘s experience, leadership skills and proven track record of excellence will elevate our Section to a level the membership can be proud of.”
A native of McHenry, Ill., Miller graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1984 with Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism & Communications. He has been married for 26 years to his wife Lisa. They have no children, but have two golden retrievers that they treat like their children. Lisa is a flight attendant for American Airlines and both were born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Miller joined the Illinois PGA in 1986 as the director of tournament and membership operations, where he managed over 70 Illinois PGA member events on the tournament schedule. After a brief two year stint working for a sports marketing firm, Miller returned to the Illinois PGA in 1991 as the assistant executive director and director of the Illinois PGA Foundation, which he was instrumental in creating. In 1995, Miller was named the third executive director in Illinois PGA history and served in that role for over 20 years. When asked what he will miss most about the Illinois section, Miller commented,” The deep history and many wonderful clubs and courses throughout the Chicago area. If you haven’t spent time playing in or around Chicago you don’t realize how many terrific and historic golf courses there are. There are many clubs that have celebrated centennials and have hosted many historic championships and players.”
“It is an incredible honor to be named the executive director of the Southwest Section PGA,” said Miller. “I’m excited to begin this next chapter of my career with the Southwest Section and I am dedicated to supporting the leadership, members and staff with the same passion and professionalism that I’ve tried to demonstrate throughout my career with the Illinois PGA. My continued focus will be serving the men and women professionals who are dedicated to growing the game and giving back to the communities they serve.” When asked about the biggest challenge he will face, Miller responded,” I think learning and working within a different culture of the golf industry will be the biggest challenge. The Illinois section, and Midwest in general, are deep rooted in the tradition of private clubs, while the Southwest section is deep rooted and more dominated by resort and management owned facilities. Also, the demand and responsibilities on our Southwest section members is different.” Miller also said,” I think the opportunity to work with a larger section and help elevate the programming and services for our professionals will be exciting. The leadership of the Southwest section that I’ve had a chance to work with already, in my short time, has been great. They are committed and passionate about the section and I’m excited to be part of that commitment.”
In addition to the day-to-day duties as executive director, Miller will oversee administration of the Southwest Section’s Golf Pass, as well as continuing to grow the Section’s active junior golf program. He will also assume the dual role as executive director of the Southwest Section PGA Foundation.
“Michael’s leadership and operational strength will provide the foundation for long-term success for the Southwest Section PGA,” Leicht said. “Michael’s vast experience growing the Illinois PGA Foundation will be a great asset in connecting Southwest Section PGA members to our community.”
“I’m extremely proud of the career I’ve been able to enjoy in golf so far in my life. Working in this industry, you have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and the friendships I’ve created are something I hope to carry with me throughout the rest of my life. Even though I am not a PGA member, I am most proud of being presented with an Honorary Illinois PGA Membership on my tenth anniversary while serving as the executive director for the section.”