Word out of Far Hills, N.J., today is that in 2016 the USGA will have a woman president for only the second time in its 121-year history. Diana M. Murphy of St. Simons Island, Ga., will add USGA president, a volunteer post, to her paid duties: managing director of Rocksolid Holdings, LLC, a private-equity firm focused on small business and real estate in the Southeast, and managing director of the Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund, which supports the state’s public and private research universities.
Read on for the scoop from the USGA’s Janeen Driscoll on the nomination of Murphy, a 15.7-handicapper with memberships at Sea Island, Frederica and Ocean Forest golf clubs.
FAR HILLS, N.J. (Nov. 30, 2015) – The Nominating Committee of the United States Golf Association today announced the nomination of Diana M. Murphy, of St. Simons Island, Ga., to serve a one-year term as the 64th president of the USGA. The election of officers and the 15-member USGA Executive Committee will take place Feb. 6, 2016, at the USGA’s Annual Meeting at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, Calif.
“I am deeply honored,” said Murphy. “Since first being introduced to the USGA in 1988, I have had opportunities to watch the organization evolve and develop stronger relationships with Members, golf facilities and industry colleagues. Golf has greatly benefited from the leaders and volunteers who have come before us, and who continue to give back to the game.
“While having the privilege to serve on the Executive Committee, I have worked closely with Mike Davis, the executive director of the USGA, as he built a diverse management team to reflect the strategic focus of the Association. Together, we remain focused on the health, enjoyment, values and traditions of this wonderful game at all levels of ability.”
In her fifth year as a member of the USGA Executive Committee, Murphy currently chairs the Championship and Compensation committees and serves on the Audit and Corporate Partners committees.
Murphy has been formally associated with the USGA since 1996, when she became a member of the USGA Membership Committee. She joined the Executive Committee in 2011, and has chaired several committees during her tenure, including the Commercial (2012-13), Compensation (2014), Finance (2012-14) and U.S. Senior Amateur Championship (2014) committees, in addition to her current responsibilities. She was elected treasurer in 2013 and vice president in 2014 and 2015.
Murphy, 59, is the managing director of Rocksolid Holdings, LLC, a private-equity firm focused on small business and real estate in the Southeast. She is also managing director of the Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund, which supports the state’s public and private research universities. Past appointments include managing director of Chartwell Capital Management Company, a private equity firm in Jacksonville, Fla., for 11 years, and senior vice president of The Baltimore Sun Company for 15 years.
An active community supporter, Murphy has served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia since 2006, spearheading the establishment of the Elizabeth F. Correll Teen Center in 2008, among other activities. She is a member of the executive committee of the College of Coastal Georgia, and played an instrumental role in developing its master plan as it moved from a two-year to a four-year institution. She is the non-executive chairman of Landstar System Inc. and a board member of CTS Corporation, both public companies.
Murphy earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University in 1978, and holds an advanced executive business degree from Northwestern University.
She is the second woman in the association’s 121-year history to be nominated as president, following Judy Bell, who served as USGA president in 1996 and 1997.
Two other current members of the Executive Committee have also been nominated to serve as officers. They are: Sheila C. Johnson, of Middleburg, Va., to continue as secretary, and George J. Still Jr., of Atherton, Calif., as treasurer.
The other 10 current members of the Executive Committee nominated to continue their service are: William E. Fallon, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; J. Stuart Francis, of Hillsborough, Calif.; C. Malcolm Holland III, of Dallas, Texas; G. Thomas Hough, of Atlanta, Ga.; Robert D. Kain, of Gates Mill, Ohio; Martha J. Lang, of Birmingham, Ala.; Gregory B. Morrison, of Duluth, Ga.; Asuka Nakahara, of Merion, Pa.; Mark E. Newell, of McLean, Va.; and Mark P. Reinemann, of Pewaukee, Wis.
There are two newly nominated candidates for the 2016 Executive Committee: J. Michael Bailey, of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Clifford J. Shahbaz, of Portland, Ore. Robert C. Weber, of Hobe Sound, Fla., has been nominated as general counsel.
J. Michael Bailey, an attorney and shareholder in the litigation and government relations departments of Parsons Behle & Latimer, has concentrated his practice on commercial and environmental litigation, and government relations. Bailey has served on the USGA’s Regional Affairs Committee since 2002, and has supported the Association as a Rules official or scoring volunteer at a dozen USGA amateur championships. He played collegiate golf at Santa Clara University, where he earned his B.S., before graduating from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. A former board member of The First Tee in Salt Lake City, he has also volunteered on the boards of Utah Youth on Course, the Utah Championship Advisory board and Friends of Utah Golf. He is a current board member of the Utah Golf Association and advisor to the Golf Alliance of Utah.
Retired Lt. Col. Clifford J. Shahbaz, a decorated Air Force pilot with two combat tours in Vietnam, is an instructor pilot for Boeing Training & Flight Services in Portland, Ore. He flew 28 years for United Airlines, retiring in 2006 as a B-747 captain. Shahbaz learned to play golf in high school and has dedicated more than 20 years as a volunteer to the Oregon Golf Association and Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) as a Rules official. A member of the PNGA’s board of directors since 1998, he served as its president from 2007-2010 and assisted the association in the purchase and management of The Home Course in Washington. He is a trustee of the Pacific Coast Golf Association, having served a one-year term as its president in 2012. Shahbaz is a nine-year member of the USGA Mid-Amateur Committee, and he has supported the Association as a Rules official at the U.S. Senior Open and several national amateur championships. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
Robert C. Weber is a senior advisor to IBM, following a nine-year career with the organization as its senior vice president of legal and regulatory affairs and general counsel. A member of the Chairman’s Operating Team and the Chairman’s Performance Team, he held global responsibility for IBM in government affairs and policy, environmental affairs and security, legal and corporate governance and other key functions. During his tenure, he co-chaired the North American Women’s Diversity Council and was IBM’s representative on the board of directors of the United States Chamber of Commerce. While in private practice, he served as president of the Cleveland Bar Association and established its Juvenile Justice Initiative, which received the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest award for public service. Weber is a graduate of Yale College and the Duke University School of Law.
Two current members of the Executive Committee will retire at the 2016 Annual Meeting: Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., of St. Louis, Mo.; and William W. (Skip) Gist IV, of Omaha, Neb. Ernest J. Getto, of Santa Barbara, Calif., will also retire as general counsel.