2022 Middle Atlantic PGA Awards RecipientsEach year the MAPGA recognizes its most outstanding PGA Professionals and amateurs in the Middle Atlantic region for exemplary contributions to the PGA and the game of golf
- Andy Weissinger - Professional of the Year
- Bernie Najar - Teacher & Coach of the Year
- Scott Graber - Bill Strausbaugh Award
- John Scott Rattan - Professional Development Award
- Shaun Strand - Player Development Award
- Gabby Miller - Youth Player Development Award
- David Grossman - Merchandiser of the Year Award (Private Facilities)
- Matt Summers - Merchandiser of the Year Award (Public Facilities)
- John Mlynarski III - Merchandiser of the Year Award (Resort Facilities)
- Shannon McKew - Assistant of the Year
- Giff Breed - David Wortman Citizen of the Year
- Scott Van Pelt - Earle Hellen Sports Media Award
- George West - Salesperson of the Year
- Glen Pierce - President's Award
This high honor bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional for overall performance as a PGA Professional, leadership, service, and promotion of the game of golf.
Andy Weissinger has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 PGA Professional of the Year Award for his extensive service to the Section, his support of fellow PGA Professionals, and his commitment to growing the game of golf.
Andy was born on November 23, 1976 in Norfolk, Virginia to parents George and Mary-Ellen Weissinger. He started playing golf regularly at age 12 because it gave him an opportunity to be outside, to be involved athletically, and spend some great time alone with his dad. Andy’s dad taught him about life, relationships, integrity and competition during their many rounds of golf together.
Andy got his start in the golf business working and learning from PGA Professionals in the Hampton Roads area such as Mike Waugh, Andy Giles, Mike Fentress, Dean Hurst, and Steve Clark. Andy received a golf scholarship to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Religion with a concentration in Pastoral Studies. Turning pro in 1997 at Ivy Hill Golf Club in Forest, Virginia, Andy worked there as an assistant golf professional until 1999. He then worked at Chesapeake Golf Club in Chesapeake, Virginia as a PGA apprentice from 1999-2001 where he eventually became the Head Professional. Andy was elected to PGA membership in 2001. In that same year, he began working at Lake Wright Golf Course in Norfolk as the Head PGA Professional. When at Lake Wright he had the opportunity to get to know and learn from MAPGA Hall of Famer Claude King over many conversations during breakfast each day and their weekly rounds of golf.
Shortly after Lake Wright, Andy served as the Head PGA Professional at Honey Bee Golf Club in Virginia Beach from 2001-2003. In 2003, Andy moved up onto Virginia’s Peninsula as the Head PGA Professional at the Pines Golf Course at Fort Eustis and was promoted to PGA General Manager in 2005. In 2013, Andy was approached by both Joint Base Leadership and HQ AF Golf, and agreed to take on the additional responsibility as PGA General Manager at Eaglewood Golf Course a short way down the road on Langley Air Force Base, where he continues to serve today.
This is Andy’s fifth Section award. In 2020 he received the Merchandiser of the Year Public Award, in 2016 the Bill Strausbaugh Award, in 2011 the Youth Player Development Award, and in 2009 the PGA Player Development Award. In the same year, he was also the recipient of The PGA of America Patriot Award in only its second year of existence. In 2018, he received the inaugural VSGA Grow the Game Award and the NGCOA Mid Atlantic Public Golf Course Operator of the Year Award. In 2021, he was named the inaugural Air Force Golf Brigadier General Chuck Yeager Person of the Year.
Andy attributes his personal success to keeping things simple – and fun! He feels that golf is a game and games are played to have fun. If he can show someone how much fun golf is, then they will naturally become a lifelong golfer. He feels truly blessed that he has had the opportunity to help so many people fall in love with the game that has given him so much.
When asked, Andy explained that through the ups and downs of life the only constants in his life have been his faith, his family, and the PGA of America. No matter what was going on in life his fellow PGA Professionals have always been there for him with encouragement, inspiration and best of all true friendship.
Andy has been married to his best friend Jennifer since 1998 and they have two boys: Alex (22) who serves in Federal Law Enforcement and Caleb (19) who is a junior at Liberty University.
This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional for excellence in golf instruction along with overall distinguished performance as a PGA Professional.
Bernie was born December 3, 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland to Andre and Bernadette Najar. He grew-up in a large family with siblings; Andre, Johnny, Bob, Maryse, Cathy, Isabelle, Helene, Carolyn, Valerie, and Kenny.
Bernie began playing golf at age 13 when he skipped tennis camp to attend his first junior golf clinic at Kenwood Country Club with head PGA Professional Rod Thompson. Rod and his staff at the junior clinics made Bernie’s introduction to golf a fun experience. The thrill of playing a new sport and the challenge of hitting the ball to a distant target encouraged him to play more.
Bernie caddied at Bethesda Country Club under Jim Folks, PGA and worked at Las Vegas Golf and Tennis during his senior year at Walt Whitman High School. He made the All-Metropolitan Golf Team 1988-1990. After his high school graduation in 1990, Bernie attended The American University on a golf scholarship and graduated in 1994 with a BSBA degree in Finance.
In 1994, Bernie went to work at The Suburban Club of Baltimore County in Pikesville, Maryland. A year later, he was hired by The Staples Corporation to teach PGA Professional Charlie Staples’ son, Whit, full-time in Florida. During the summer, when Whit was traveling to tournaments, Bernie taught lessons at Montclair Golf, Tennis, and Swim Club in Montclair, Virginia. In the spring of 1996, Bernie joined the staff at Woodholme Country Club in Baltimore, Maryland as a teaching professional. He completed The PGA’s Golf Professional Training Program in 1998, at which time he was elected to PGA membership. In 2012, Bernie moved his teaching talents from Woodholme to Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland where he continues to teach today as the Director of Instruction.
Since 2000, Bernie has been recognized by Golf Digest in their “Best Teachers in State” listing. He has been named a Golf Digest Top-50 Instructor, Golf Magazine’s Top-100 Instructor and a GRAA Top-50 Growth of the Game Instructor. Bernie is the author of the “The Game” Enjoying Golf On and Off The Course,” and a regular contributor to Golf Digest and Golf Magazine with instruction articles and videos. He has been a speaker at many MAPGA Teaching and Coaching Summits and other MAPGA educational sessions. In addition, Bernie is a national speaker, speaking at other PGA Sections and at the National PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit in 2015.
Bernie’s success as a PGA Professional is a result of loving his job and being self-motivated to continuously develop and improve his skills as a teacher and as a player. When asked, he shared that his mission as a PGA Teacher & Coach is to help others love the game as much as he does, a value he inherited from his mentors. Bernie explained that this has been supported by his tremendous circle of family, friends, peers and co-workers at the incredible facilities that he has worked.
This is Bernie’s third time receiving the MAPGA Teacher & Coach of the Year, he first received it in 2004 and then in 2014. Najar is also the recipient of the 2012 and 2011 MAPGA Professional Development Award.
He is married to his wife Jennifer, whose father Dr. Mounir Mady is an avid golfer who even had a par-3 in his backyard, and has a step-daughter Amelia (11).
This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional who has shown outstanding integrity, commitment to mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations, and involvement in community and charitable activities. The award is named in honor of the late “Coach” Bill Strausbaugh, former Head PGA Professional at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and member of the MAPGA Hall of Fame Class of 1989.
Giving back to the game and future generations of PGA professionals has long been a passion for Scott. He learned the importance of this through his early mentors. As he enters his 28th year in the golf business, Scott has a much stronger appreciation for “growing the game” and the multiple opportunities that are afforded a PGA professional.
Scott Graber was born October 4, 1973 in Roanoke, VA to his father Stan and his late mother Linda and was raised in Lynchburg, VA with his brother, Brad. He was introduced to the game of golf by his father at the age of 9. Like his father, Scott played several sports through high school, but he quickly realized the safer aspects of golf versus football. Scott and his father played at several clubs throughout the central Virginia area and were fortunate enough to become members at The Waterfront Golf Club soon thereafter.
Scott’s first golf related job was working maintenance and driving range at London Downs Golf Club prior to its opening in 1991 under the guidance of Jerry Conner, PGA. While at Brookville High School, he was named All-District 1988, 1989, and 1990. He attended James Madison University where he played on the golf team all four years before graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration in 1995. While there, he was named the John Health Award Winner in 1994 and 1995.
Scott became a golf professional in 1995 when he assumed the role of First Assistant Professional at Waynesboro Country Club. In 1999, he was elected into PGA Membership and in 2000, Graber accepted his first Head Professional role at Birkdale Golf Club. He served there for two years before moving to The Golf Club at the Highlands, where he served as the Head Professional and was later promoted to Director of Golf and later served as General Manager. In total, Scott spent 19 years at The Golf Club at The Highlands in his various roles. In 2021, Scott moved to his current role of Head PGA Professional at The Federal Club. He acknowledges Jerry Conner, David Johns, Frank Hedderich, Bob Friend, Tom Barry, and Andy Weissinger as mentors in his professional and personal life.
When asked, he attributes his success with members and customers to his enjoyment of his job and career. He encourages people not to take things too seriously and to be happy at their place of employment. “Understanding that we are in the entertainment business and people come to the golf course to enjoy themselves and the company of others is really key to creating an atmosphere that your members and guests will continually gravitate towards.”
Scott has spent a great deal of time cultivating the skills of his assistants; not just ensuring that they have acquired the tools needed to provide superior service through tournaments, programming, teaching, and knowledge of the sport, but, also, developing their personal leadership skills and allowing them to grow into the role of decision maker. Scott has also made conscientious hiring decisions to bring more female professionals into the fold and encouraged their growth and participation in PGA and MAPGA events. Scott also has contributed to many seminars and employment summits and is currently serving as co-chair of the MAPGA Employment Committee as well as fulfilling his role as Southern Chapter President.
Scott and his wife Jenn just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in Italy and are the parents of three daughters: Bella (19), Zoe (16), and Livy (14).
This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional for outstanding service and contributions toward developing and improving educational opportunities for PGA Professionals and Associates.
Professional development and continuing education are two things John Scott is extremely passionate about. He has continually volunteered and contributed to the education and development of his fellow PGA Professionals and their education programs.
John Scott Rattan was born November 26, 1981 in Silver Spring, Maryland to parents Richard and Peggy Rattan and has one brother, Josh. His journey in golf began at an early age when he would go to Montgomery Country Club in Laytonsville, Maryland with his brother and father, an avid golfer, to play and practice.
John Scott played both baseball and golf heavily through his sophomore year at Watkins Mill High School. As a freshman in high school he made the Varsity baseball team but decided to focus solely on golf after his sophomore year. Through his hard work John Scott became an accomplished amateur. He was the Maryland High School Champion in 1999 and in 2000 he was named as the Washington Post All Met Golfer of the Year. In 2004, while attending college at the University of Tennessee, he earned All SEC 2nd Team and All SEC Academic Team honors in golf and was the 2005 WMGA Men’s Amateur Champion.
John Scott’s first job in the golf industry was at Columbia Country Club while in high school working as a range attendant under Bob Dolan in 1997. Bob went on to become his golf coach and mentor through high school and college. By 2006, John Scott began playing golf professionally. In 2013, after two seasons of coaching at the collegiate level, he began teaching full time at Bethesda Country Club. He moved to Congressional Country Club in 2017 where he now teaches. John Scott lists Bob Dolan, Jason Epstein and Jason Baile amongst his mentors in the industry.
Rattan has been a frequent speaker at many Section events, specifically in the popular area of Teaching & Coaching. This included co-hosting a three-event series on Teaching & Coaching with fellow PGA Professional Pat Bedingfield during the COVID-19 pandemic. He served as the Chair for the successful 2022 MAPGA Teaching & Coaching Summit. John Scott was the recipient of the 2020 MAPGA Teacher and Coach of the Year.
John Scott learned from his father, who was a schoolteacher for 41 years, to create a positive impact on students by creating strong relationships and connecting with them on a daily basis. He learned early on that coaching and teaching is about relationships and that “good is what you get, not what you are” from his father. He takes that philosophy into every lesson and instills that mindset into his teaching every day. He owes a heartfelt debt of thanks to all who have helped, taught, coached and mentored him in his journey.
John Scott is married to his wife Alicia, and they welcomed a baby Ava Ray Rattan on August 30, 2022.
This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional for exemplary contributions and achievements in the area of Player Development and for extraordinary efforts in conducting and/or supporting player development initiatives. This award considers the PGA Professional’s growth of the game leadership commitment at the Section and National levels, plus the impact made at his/her own facility.
For his contribution to player development and support of PGA Player Development initiatives, Shaun Strand, PGA was selected as the 2022 PGA Player Development Award recipient.
Shaun was born in Washington State to CMSGT Robert and Debra Strand. He has one brother Quentin and a sister Randi Bergman. Shaun’s father served in the United States Air Force for 31 years and his mother Debra had a degree in early childhood psychology, so she operated daycare centers at various duty stations. He and his family moved to Europe when he was seven years old, giving him a unique opportunity to travel all over the world and experience different cultures.
Shaun started to play golf at the age of 16 when he was introduced to the game by his father. He worked in the golf shop and on the maintenance crew at Rota Naval Station Golf Course in Rota, Spain his senior year in high school. However, Shaun noted that he fell in love with the sport when he got a job caddying for a friend on the European tour and mini-tours traveling across Europe and North Africa.
He returned to the United States at twenty-one to pursue a career in golf. Shaun worked at Temeku Hills Golf & Country Club and Redhawk Golf Club both in California before moving to Colorado where he worked at Telluride Ski & Golf from 2003-2011. He moved to the Middle Atlantic Section working at East Potomac Golf Course before moving to Reston National Golf Course in 2012 where remains today.
For the past ten years Shaun has been the Director of Player Development at Reston National Golf Course in Reston, Virginia. During that time, he has grown the player development programs, started the PGA Junior League team, provided jobs for hundreds of people, and created lasting relationships with PGM programs. He hired 11 PGM interns, 4 of whom were offered full time teaching positions and have been with him for at least 5 years. He also created lasting relationships with guest and community leaders. In 2022, he accepted the role as General Manager, leading a team of over 40 staff members. Along with the General Manager role, he still manages the golf school and oversees the programming/curriculum development. He is always looking for new programming ideas and areas in the current curriculum that present opportunities to grow the golf school and continue to present the game of golf to new and current students. Shaun firmly believes that including his entire team in the thought process is key to creating and providing meaningful programs and helping Professionals grow in their careers.
Shaun credits PGA Professional, Rick Thompson, who he worked for at the golf course in Spain as a mentor in the industry along with Kris Anderson, who he took over as General Manager for at Reston National GC. He considers Kris as one of the greatest people on earth, someone that has inspired him in so many ways. Shaun also has an incredible family including nieces and nephews who he is very close with.
This award bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional who is a leader in junior golf, reflects the image and qualities that juniors can emulate, and provides opportunities for juniors to learn and play golf.
Gabby Miller prioritizes creating an environment where all players feel safe to have their own version of fun at the golf course while respecting the game. She provides and protects space for juniors to play and learn while emphasizing a positive experience for each junior golfer.
Gabby was born February 6, 1993, in Silver Spring, Maryland to parents Harjono and Ivani Gunawan. She has one brother, Nick. She began playing golf at 5 years old as her entire family plays. MAPGA Hall of Fame member Troy Beck at Glenn Dale Golf Club was another significant influence for Gabby as a young golfer.
She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in PGA Golf Management from Methodist University. Upon graduation she was elected into PGA Membership in 2016 and began her professional golf career that year as an Assistant Professional at Columbia Country Club. In 2019, she accepted her current role as an Assistant at the University of Maryland. She lists the late Troy Beck and fellow PGA professional Ashley Grier as two of her mentors in the industry.
Gabby has been a PGA Junior League captain and coach at UMD GC, growing the program to two travel teams and one in house league with 45 players. She has been a First Tee lead coach for multiple classes within 4 sessions a year. In 2020, Gabby began coaching the Elizabeth Seton High School golf team and it has since grown to 10 active players, which is one of the largest golf teams in Elizabeth Seton’s history. She was named as a 2021 and 2022 Top-50 coach for the Operation-36 community. She has run weekly summer camps and created a half day camp for ages 6-10 to introduce young players to golf through fun, game-like activities ranging from designing your own golf cart to a golf course scavenger hunt where you must find items like the starter and the bag drop. In 2022, she started an afterschool golf clinic for 10 6th-graders at MLK Jr. Middle School in Beltsville, MD, where a majority of the students come from minority backgrounds.
She believes that as a coach, you must always remember that you’re developing a person. People require more than just technical instructions. She thinks that you need to address and support every aspect of their growth in the game. The most rewarding success is when your students trust the tools of your guidance to make their own decisions and reach their goals and overcome their toughest obstacles.
Gabby has been married to her husband Matthew Miller for four years. They met at Methodist University, and he works in the golf industry as a master club fitter.
This award is bestowed on those PGA Professionals who have demonstrated superior skills as merchandisers in the promotion of golf. This award recognizes excellence in golf shop operations.
David Grossman was born in Somers Point, NJ on July 12, 1983, to Valerie and John Grossman. They both introduced him to the game of golf at 5, along with his grandmother Bobbie Lutz. His first childhood home was in the neighborhood of Atlantic City Country Club, and as a result, he was fortunate to spend a great deal of time around the club as a junior golfer and as a family friend of the owners – the Fraser & Siok families. Those experiences created his passion for club life which have carried with him over 30 years later. Additionally, his family’s businesses had a profound impact on him understanding of retail and hospitality.
David first began cleaning clubs in the bag room at Atlantic City CC at the age of 11, the same year he began to regularly play golf and practice daily. All of his best friends played golf and as they entered high school they continued to play together. He was a first team all-state high school player and he and his team were inducted into his high school’s sports hall of fame.
David began his golf career after he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Vermont. He worked at Blue Heron Pines, Deal Golf & Country Club, and the Dye Preserve before joining the staff at the Chevy Chase Club. He was working at Chevy Chase Club when he was elected to PGA Membership in 2012. In 2013, he moved to the Country Club of York where he served as First Assistant Golf Professional. In 2017, David accepted the role of Assistant Professional at Gibson Island Club, and he was promoted to Head Professional later that same year.
David’s golf philosophy is based on a strong belief in the total club experience & a commitment to excellence. Whether it is on the golf course, in the locker rooms, in the restaurants, or in the golf shop, he believes members & guests should get to experience excellence & professionalism. He noted that the golf shop is an amenity for the club, and he hopes to create pride in the shopping experience for anyone who visits. David shared that the golf shop is a place where he and his team focus on service and presentation while putting a lot of trust & responsibility on his team, so they can focus on excellence together.
David and his wife Challen have been married for seven years and they share a son Duke (4).
This award is bestowed on those PGA Professionals who have demonstrated superior skills as merchandisers in the promotion of golf. This award recognizes excellence in golf shop operations.
Matthew Summers has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Public Merchandiser of the Year Award for the second year in a row for his outstanding merchandise and professional golf shop management at the Bulle Rock Golf Course.
Matthew was born on January 5, 1980 in Lancaster, Ohio. He and his grandmother played golf together from the time she had him swinging a golf club at 18 months old until 2003 when they played their final hole together. His grandmother was a remarkable golfer, who won her Ladies Club Championship many times and was the first woman to break 40 for nine holes at her club. During his summer, he would spend his weekends at his grandparent’s house playing golf, fishing, learning to drive a golf cart, and hitting wiffle balls around the yard for practice. One of Matthew’s fondest early golf memories was at eleven years old when both Matt and his grandmother beat his grandfather in a round. He went on to play Division II Golf and Baseball for Salem College in Salem, WV.
Matthew’s first job in the golf business was working outside service staff at Lancaster Country Club (Lancaster, OH) but he became a golf professional in the Spring of 2003 when he became an Assistant Professional at Bulle Rock Golf Course. He then served as an Assistant Professional and later Head Professional in 2014 at Mountain Branch Golf Course. Matthew returned to Bulle Rock as the Director of Golf in 2020.
He believes that any Director of Golf or Head Professional is only as good as the team around them. He encourages his team’s input and makes sure they all have current product knowledge about their current brands. He tries to introduce new brands and creates new branding and logo ideas to give their members and guests a different look. His grandmother also influenced his merchandising philosophy when she would say “if you look good, you will play good and if you don’t play good – at least you look good!”
Matthew met his wife Kate, a registered nurse, in 2004 and they have been married since 2012. He believes he is lucky to have Kate as his wife and he can’t say enough about her sacrifices throughout the years when it comes to his career. They share a cat Lila and a dog Addie.
This award is bestowed on those PGA Professionals who have demonstrated superior skills as merchandisers in the promotion of golf. This award recognizes excellence in golf shop operations.
John J. Mlynarski III has been named the MAPGA Merchandiser of the Year- Resort for an impressive fifth time. He won this award previously in 2001, 2007, 2010, and 2015. This award recognizes PGA Professionals who have demonstrated superior skills as merchandisers in the promotion of golf.
John was born in Camden, New Jersey on November 6, 1962, and is one of five children. His parents, John and Rita Mlynarski introduced him to the game of golf when the family moved to State College, Pennsylvania at age nine. Along with his parents, John credits David Redmond, PGA; Gene Yanovitch, PGA; and Peter Duffy, PGA for influencing his decision to work and play golf. John’s passion for golf grew after Duffy, who was the Head PGA Professional at Toftrees Resort and Country Club in State College, asked John to help out as a bag boy. While working at Toftrees, John was always improving his game as he would take lessons and play golf with the professional staff. In 1984, while working toward a degree in Labor Relations at Penn State University, John accepted a job as Assistant Professional at State College Elks Country Club, working for David Redmond, PGA. After graduation in 1986, he moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where he worked for Chip Pellerin, PGA, at Palmetto Dunes Resort. John accepted a First Assistant Position at Lords Valley Country Club in Hawley, Pennsylvania working for Gene Yanovitch, PGA. During the 1986 season. John moved to St. Michaels Maryland to be an Assistant Professional at Harbourtowne Resort in 1987. He was promoted to Head Golf Professional after two seasons and earned his PGA Membership in 1989, he stayed at this position for twenty-eight years. In 2014, Harbourtowne was sold to Capital Properties. The golf course had an estimated twenty-million-dollar renovation redesigned by legendary golf course architect Pete Dye and was renamed as Links at Perry Cabin. Mlynarski was hired as Head Golf Professional and was promoted to Director of Golf in 2017. Currently in his thirty-sixth year on this property, he has now added a Membership Director, Food and Beverage Director and Director of Retail to his list of responsibilities. Retail management is his passion.
At Links at Perry Cabin, John’s merchandise philosophy has not changed from his previous positions, “to provide a quality product, at a reasonable price, and include outstanding service.” The combination of these three factors has brought repeat business and success to the golf shop. The golf shop is small, only 780 square feet, and it takes a lot of imagination to keep merchandise fresh and attractive to customers. Since John opened the golf shop in 2017, there has been an increase in total sales each year. The shop is divided into five sections for ease of shopping, and he and his staff rotate the merchandise weekly. The majority of the golf shop’s merchandise is displayed on various fixtures custom made for the space. In addition to ensuring his shop has a good selection of merchandise, John also trains his staff to be polite, have a neat appearance, and be knowledgeable about the products. Since he recognizes that some customers expect to receive attention from the Head PGA Professional, John spends time on the sales floor making himself available to members and guests. He also devotes a considerable amount of time shopping the market including attending thirty-five PGA Merchandise Shows to ensure the shop has proper product balance. John listens closely to customers, reads trade publications, and consults with sales representatives to gain personal product knowledge and determine demand. Along with his great success at Harbourtowne and Links at Perry Cabin, John was also named Callaway National Club Fitter of the Year in 2004 and 2010 and won a prestigious Association of Golf Merchandiser Platinum Award for Best-of-the-Best golf shops in the Country in 2022.
Even with his busy schedule, John finds time to be active in his community, although with the magnitude of this renovation his time was limited, though he is still proud of his accomplishments. He has served as Vice-President of the Talbot Optimist Club and was on the Board of Directors for seven years. During his career he was Head Basketball coach of Saints Peter and Paul Elementary School, coached the St. Michaels High School Golf team for eight years, turning around a program on the verge of extinction, to winning the North Bayside championship and being selected Maryland Mid-Shore High School Golf Coach of the Year. As Captain, he led Team Maryland to 3-1 record over Virginia in The Capital Cup in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2021. He was also a volunteer basketball coach at the YMCA and a long time Board member and manager for Homerun Baker Little League. John was inducted into the PGA Quarter Century Club in July 2014, and the Eastern Shore Golf Magazine Hall of Fame Class of 2015. John was also on the MAPGA Junior Golf Committee and served as Northern Chapter Eastern Director.
John and Tami, his wife of 35 years, are immensely proud of their sons, John IV, age 32 and Andrew age 29 who both graduated from Ohio University and are employed by Callaway Golf.
This award bestows special recognition on an assistant PGA Professional who, through a commitment to improving opportunities for assistants, has distinguished himself/herself in service to the Section, his/her peers, and facility.
Shannon McKew’s strengths as a player, teacher/coach, merchandiser, tournament operations leader, and enthusiasm for growing the game of golf all contributed to her success as an assistant professional at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
Shannon was born on December 1, 1994, in Baltimore, MD to parents Sydney and the late Thomas McKew. Growing up, she played lacrosse and basketball for recreational and travel club teams and was introduced to golf by her mother and father at the age of 13. Shannon wanted to compete on her high school’s golf, basketball, and lacrosse teams, and was determined to graduate as a twelve season athlete. She began playing golf with her mother and father at local Baltimore County public golf courses and immediately got hooked onto the game, searching for that “secret” to golf that her father was always eager to find.
By her sophomore year, she began taking scheduled golf lessons with PGA Professional, Bill Madonna, and her game started to improve significantly throughout her high school years. While she didn’t think her skills were developed enough to play at the collegiate level, Coach Bill believed in her more than she believed in herself. She credits the support she received from him and her father that inspired her to walk on to the golf team at Florida Southern College. Coach Robbie Davis accepted her on the team as a redshirt freshman and by the time she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science & Biology, she became one of the top players on her team, obtaining an individual tournament win her senior year. She says she would not be where she is today, paying it forward in the industry as a PGA Professional without the influence of Coach Bill, her mother, and her late father.
After her freshman year of college, Shannon spent the summer months working at Baltimore Country Club, as a Golf Services Associate. She obtained valuable experience working for Greg Jones, PGA in her first golf-related position and enjoyed supporting the team with daily operations and member events. Shannon returned to this position the following summer and spent five consecutive seasons at Baltimore Country Club.
In 2019, she entered the PGM Associate Program and joined the staff at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm as an Assistant Golf Professional. Shannon was elected to PGA Membership in May of 2022, and she continued in her role until late 2022 when she was named as PGA Head Professional at the River Bend Club.
In Shannon’s first season at the TPC Potomac, she hosted half a dozen complimentary clinics for beginner golfers who joined the Ladies Golf Association and supported non-golf related events (i.e. cocktail parties and trunk shows), which led to instant growth in membership. Shannon started her first year with 38 members and has grown this association to 70 members and counting. She continues to support this Association, adapting to benefit the needs of its members in a never ending journey to growing the game for Women and beginner golfers at her facility.
Shannon supports her local First Tee Organization by participating in multiple Pro-Am events with members throughout the year. She was also an instructor for summer junior golf camps and clinics and is a PGA Junior League Coach. She supports local women’s events by playing in tournaments such as the Maryland Women’s Open and MAPGA Women’s Championship.
Shannon is engaged to fellow PGA Professional, Grant Strawoet, and they plan to marry in April 2023.
This award bestows special recognition on an outstanding amateur, recognized by the MAPGA and the business community as a leader in his/her field, whose contributions to golf in the mid-Atlantic region include the promotion of the game, the Middle Atlantic Section and its PGA Professionals, and overall support of MAPGA programs and golf throughout the region. This award is named in honor of the late David Wortman, Esq., Section Legal Counsel from 1971-1988 and honorary member of the MAPGA.
Giff Breed was born on December 26, 1958, in El Paso, Tx, to Billy and Rebecca Breed. He was one of four children, with Alan, Michael, and Becky being the other siblings. Giff was introduced to golf at fifteen by his father and began occasionally playing at the Round Hill Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. His father encouraged Breed, his brothers, and his sister to play as it was one more sport, he and his siblings could compete in.
Breed received his Bachelor of Arts in 1981 at the University of Richmond, where he was a four-year letterman on the Baseball team and served as the Captain his senior year. He earned his MBA at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business in 1987. At this time, he began to play golf regularly and has enjoyed playing in various club events.
His first position in the golf industry was in 1996 when he joined Pros Incorporated, a player management company started by Vinny Giles and Vernon Spratley and later sold to Octagon. He purchased Pros, Incorporated back from Octagon in 2011 and has served as the President since.
He and his brother, Alan, purchased Independence Golf Club in October of 2013 and have transformed the entire facility since then. Independence has done a remarkable job at hosting the State Open of Virginia and the Senior Open of Virginia, and in June, the inaugural Women’s State Open of Virginia. The whole Independence Golf Club team is very proud of their achievements and their desire to grow the game.
Giff has been married to his wife Laurie for 39 years, and together, they have two children, Meghan and Rebecca, who are critical care and emergency department doctors.
This award bestows special recognition on an outstanding member of the media who best exemplifies a commitment and service to golf and sport reporting and who demonstrates the same genuine appreciation for the role of the PGA Professional as was demonstrated by the late Earle Hellen (formerly of the Newport News Newspapers).
Scott Van Pelt is host of the midnight edition of SportsCenter, bringing his unique perspective to the world of sports since September 7, 2015. The program showcases Van Pelt’s passion for sports, with his self-deprecating wit and disposition toward celebrating stars and storylines.
Since August of 2020, the program has originated from Washington, D.C. Van Pelt, who grew up in nearby Maryland, moved “home” along with the show to be closer to family.
In addition, Van Pelt serves as main host of ESPN’s golf coverage, including the Masters and the PGA Championship, two of professional golf’s majors, and he hosts SportsCenter reports and specials from the events.
Van Pelt joined ESPN in early 2001 as the network’s lead professional golf reporter, shortly thereafter becoming a SportsCenter anchor and later a co-host on ESPN Radio of Tirico and Van Pelt each weekday afternoon.
In July 2009, The Scott Van Pelt Show made its debut on ESPN Radio and in a simulcast on ESPN2. The show was re-named SVP & Russillo in October 2012 and ended in the summer of 2015 when Van Pelt was preparing for the launch of the new midnight SportsCenter.
Van Pelt also contributed to ESPN College GameDay for several years with his “Bald Man on Campus” feature.
Van Pelt came to ESPN from The Golf Channel, where he was an anchor and reporter for the sport-specific network from 1994-2000. During his years there, he was the co-host of studio programs Golf Central, Leaderboard Report and occasional host of Viewer’s Forum.
Van Pelt began his sports broadcasting career at WTTG-TV (FOX) in Washington, D.C., in 1990. He worked in WTTG sports studio production department contributing content for the station’s The 10:00 News, Sunday Night’s Sports Extra and specials on the Washington Redskins.
A native of Brookeville, Md., Van Pelt graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in radio/television and film. He is proud of his Maryland Terrapins sports teams and often attends games as a spectator when his schedule permits. Scott is an avid golfer at a local club and a regular attendee of golf charity events!
George West grew up in Massachusetts and got into the golf business by caddying and playing in high school. He played college golf at Bentley University. His first job in golf was as a sales representative in 1992 with Lynx Golf, which caused him to move to LA. After 6 years there, he moved back to Massachusetts to work with Champ Spikes. He then joined Bag Boy/Dynamic Brands in 2005. In 2009, he became an independent rep and continues that until this day. He currently represents Levelwear, Tempercraft, Clicgear, Origins of Golf, Alfred/E-wheels, Tour Edge, Volvik, Bionic, and GT Supply.
George is married to Shelly and has three children: Andrew (21), Danielle (22) and Brittany (25). He loves the area and his customers and considers the Middle Atlantic his home. His family is established here, and they would never consider moving anywhere else.
This award bestows special recognition on an individual whose tireless effort, unwavering dedication, and exceptional contributions to the game of golf result in significant benefit to the Middle Atlantic Section, its members and apprentices, and to the entire golf community. The Section President personally selects the outstanding recipient of this award.
The MAPGA President, Andy Weissinger, personally selects this President’s Award winner to recognize an individual who has been working “under the radar,” to improve our game, our industry, and our Association. Mr. Weissinger has identified Glen Pierce, PGA for his endless support of the Section, his fellow PGA professionals, the support of local charities, and the advancement of the game of golf.
Glen was born to Butch and Karen Pierce in Norfolk, Virginia on November 6, 1969. He has two siblings Craig Pierce and Stacey Pittman. A lifelong resident of Virginia Beach, his father introduced him to the game of golf at 9 years old in the field next to his childhood home. His first golf related job was at Kempsville Meadows Golf Course at the driving range. Glen received his Sport & Fitness Management degree from Campbell University where he was on the golf team from 1987-1992.
He became a golf professional in 1993 at Cypress Point Country Club before moving to a role at Stumpy Lake Golf Course. Glen was elected to PGA Membership in 1995 and became Head Professional at Heron Ridge Golf Club in 1999. In 2007, he was promoted to Director of Golf at Heron Ridge Golf Club and Virginia Beach National Golf Club.
In 2006, Glen was diagnosed with MS, an incurable disease which at the time only offered 4 different drug options to help control the symptoms of MS. Glen has been actively involved in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, serving as a Board Member for the Virginia/West Virginia Chapter from 2013-2018 earning Board Member of the Year in 2016. He received Top Fundraiser for Bike MS in the chapter from 2012 through 2022. Through time, money and research there are now over 20 drug options to help the symptoms of MS. Glen urges fellow MS patients to not give up, as everyday miracles are happening, and to keep working hard. Glen continues to work hard by staying in shape, eating healthy, and taking medications to live life to the fullest and support his family and friends in every way possible.
Glen started his own MSGolf charity event and MSBike Team charity ride in 2008 and to date has raised $800,000 for the MS National Society/Foundation. PGA Tour Player Marc Leishman, who also lives in Virginia Beach, has held his annual fundraiser at VB National with Glen for a few years. This year was the most successful fundraising event to date with a net total of $650,000 raised. Glen has also played in the event each time the event was hosted at VB National including this year.
Glen has been married to his wife Jennifer since 2000 and they share two children; Claire (18) and Grace (15).