GCBAA honors Mona with 2022 Don A. Rossi Award

In recognition of his significant contributions and service to the golf industry, the Golf Course Builders Association of America has honored Stephen “Steve” F. Mona as the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Don A. Rossi Price.

The Don A. Rossi Award is presented to individuals who have made a significant contribution to golf and its growth, and who have inspired others by their example. “Steve Mona is the epitome of this award which made the effortless decision to select and honor such an incredible recipient,” said GCBAA President. Judd Duininck du Golf Duininck.

Mona has been an influential leader in the golf industry for 41 years. He was first tournament director of the Northern California Golf Association from September 1980 to January 1982, then became deputy director of press relations for the United States Golf Association from January 1982 to June 1993. At that time he became executive director of the Georgia National Golf Association.

In January 1994, he became CEO of the Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSAA). In March 2008, he took over as CEO of the World Golf Foundation, then became Executive Director of We Are Golf (formerly Golf 20/20), one of the three divisions of the World Golf Foundation, in March 2019. In January 2020, he became a senior advisor to the CEO of WGF Greg mclaughlin, a role he occupies today. He is also director of governance and leadership at Club Benchmarking.

During her tenure, Mona fostered relationships with the industry, as well as a continued global focus. He promoted, encouraged and supported the GCBAA and its members. He noted that he had a “great affinity” for the GCBAA and that he was “humble and honored” to be recognized by the Association.

“I am delighted to see the Association honoring Steve with our prestigious award,” GCBAA Executive Director Justin apel noted. “I have had the pleasure of knowing Steve early in my career in the industry, and he has always been a mentor, friend and supporter of our members and the game.”

Mona will receive the Don A. Rossi Award at the opening reception on February 7 at the GCSAA 2022 Conference and Trade Show in San Diego.

Mona has held many notable appointments and / or elections in and outside the golf industry:

• President of the International Association of Golf Administrators (1990)

• President of the Georgia Society of Association Executives (1993)

• President of the Kansas City Society of Association Executives (2000)

• President of Lawrence, Kansas Business / Education Partnership (1997-1998)

• Global Golf Hall of Fame Advisory Board (1998-2007)

• Golf 20/20 Executive Council (1999-2007)

• Board of Directors of the National Golf Foundation (1999-2009), secretary / treasurer (2005-2009)

• Board of Directors of the National Minority Golf Foundation (2000-2001)

• Lawrence, Kansas Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (2002-2004)

• Board of Directors of the Environmental Institute for Golf (2003-2008)

• Board of Directors of the American Society of Association Executives (2004-2007)

• Advisory Board of the United Missouri Bank (2004-2007)

• LPGA Commissioner’s Advisory Council (2006-2007)

Among other highlights, Mona received the 2008 Distinguished Service Award recipient from the International Association of Golf Administrators; was named one of Golf Inc. Magazine’s “Most Powerful People in Golf” list for the 18th consecutive year in 2018, named one of Golf Industry’s “Most Powerful People” in the Golf Industry by Golf Digest in 1999 (when the only younger person on the list was Tiger woods). He was inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 2021 for having successfully created a permanent African-American exhibit at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida.

Originally from New York, Mona received a BA in Journalism from San Jose State University in 1980. He lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida with his wife, Cyndi. They have three children, Close, Stephane and Meredith, and seven grandchildren, Lincoln, Mia, Cooper, Rhythm, Micaela, Ivorian and Calvin.

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