December 14, 2007

USGA Names Wightman Managing Director, Communications

Chris Wightman, formerly of Golf Digest, replaces Marty Parkes as communications director

(Far Hills, NJ) -- Following a comprehensive national search, the United States Golf Association has named Christopher P. Wightman to the position of Managing Director, Communications. In this newly-created position, Wightman will oversee all communication functions and work across the organization to integrate the growing initiatives of the USGA.

"The addition of Chris, with his talents and experience, will help the USGA in identifying and presenting new, creative approaches to our programs and services," said USGA Executive Director, David Fay.

With 25 years of media expertise, Wightman brings the USGA a diverse and sophisticated background in publishing, broadcast, digital media, marketing and media relations. Wightman recently completed five years as Publisher of GOLF Magazine, one of the largest media companies serving the golf category.

"Our communication efforts at the USGA are expanding rapidly and Chris has a unique blend of communications, marketing and business skills that will help take our efforts to new and diverse venues," USGA Chief Business Officer Peter Bevacqua said. "As we continue to transform our approach to communications, public relations, branding and other related initiatives, his leadership and strategic guidance will be critical. Chris is exactly what we need and we are confident that his knowledge of the game, business acumen and rich professional experiences will help improve our approach to everything we do throughout the game of golf."

Wightman is the latest addition to a new-look, multi-talented business and communications staff at the USGA. With Bevacqua leading the effort, Wightman joins a team that also includes newcomer Alex Withers, the USGA's recently appointed Director of New Media, and Barry Hyde, the Chief Marketing Officer.

As Publisher of GOLF Magazine, Wightman provided business leadership, worked with Fortune 500 brands and directed a 40-person advertising sales and marketing staff that generated record results in annual revenue. During his tenure, GOLF Magazine acquired and integrated Golf.com, launched GOLF Magazine Living and produced a reality television show that combined magazine, online, TV and nationwide events.

"My past 15 years serving the golf market gives me an important level of confidence as I join one of the most trusted brands in the world of sports," said Wightman. "To be part of the team that is driving the evolution of this historical organization and to build out dynamic new paths to its future success provides an inspirational challenge. And, as a life-long golfer, I am honored to be given the chance to enhance the incredible reputation of the USGA."

Prior to leading Golf Magazine, Wightman worked for several years at Golf Digest, where he served as Vice President-National Sales Director. During that time, he worked closely at the intersection of the golf, communications and business worlds – developing an expertise in the golf industry that is well known and well regarded.

In addition to his long record of success in the golf industry, Wightman brings a set of experiences from outside the game that will benefit the USGA. He learned the broadcast trade during his stint with top cable network MTV, and focused heavily on the business markets at Chief Executive Magazine and MONY Financial Services. Wightman began his career as a sports reporter, writing for newspapers in Pennsylvania.

Wightman graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Journalism and was the winner of the Lawrence G. Foster Journalism Scholarship.