Tell us about your responsibilities as vice chairman for THE PLAYERS Championship.
As the rookie, my responsibilities are basically volunteer services – so all the committees that support our volunteers. That’s everything from shuttles to feeding the volunteers. Getting them to and from their locations within the course, making sure they have the supplies they need, you name it.
The way it works is, each vice chair has a number of committees that they work with. Mine include apparel, credentials, the world famous Darlene’s Diner, office personnel, photography, Players Pride, supply, volunteer information, volunteer offsite shuttle – which, actually, this year we’re not using because volunteers will be parking onsite.
How do you manage it all?
Great volunteers, basically. Every committee has a chair and, depending on the size of the committee, there could be one assistant chair or multiple assistant chairs. There’s a group of leaders within each committee that really run the show, and we’re just here to support them.
How did you first become involved with THE PLAYERS’ volunteer leadership?
Probably the same way most people do, having a friend or a family member who was involved and talking about it, how much fun it was, how rewarding it was. And so, I said, “Hey, I’d like to try my hand at that.”
My contact was Damon Olinto, who was a red coat. He was a past chairman, and he is my wife’s uncle. He started me out in general parking. I served there for a couple of years and then moved around to different committees within the tournament and was fortunate to be selected as the newest vice chair.
What are some of the positions you’ve held with the various committees?
I did two years in general parking. From there, I was moved to tournament support. They’re kind of the go-to committee to step in and help out where needed and kind of supplement some of the other committees. So, I did a year in tournament support and then moved to the chair position for admissions.
I did that for two years and then moved to an assistant chair position in the Patriots’ Outpost and then did Patriots’ Outpost again as the chair last year.
How did this experience prepare you for your role as vice chairman?
Being able to move around and see how things work from what I’ll call outside the tournament and then also being involved within the tournament. It really helps to get a good feel for how everything works together, how the different committees work together.
So, there is volunteer services, which is what I’m doing. Next year, I’ll do the facilities division, which is basically the committee that really helps build the course during the year.
They supply food, so you have commissary that supplies food and drinks and handles all that. You’ve got communications that provides radios to the chairs and assistant chairs. You’ve got construction, course prep, which is I what I was talking about as far as building. You’ve got general parking, disabled guest services, sign design, VIP parking, golf carts. So, all the things that from a physical standpoint you need to make the tournament work.
From there, it goes to spectator services, which are like the hospitality venues, admissions, Will Call, things like that.
Then, players services, which is self-explanatory. It helps get the players what they need.
And then, you go to the first vice chair position. That’s things like evac, tournament support, ShotLink, gallery management – so it’s kind of the last position before you’re the chair of the tournament.
What is the most rewarding part of being involved with THE PLAYERS Championship?
It’s seeing the benefit that goes to our local community. I was born and raised in Jacksonville. And something that the red coats and the blue coats do is ride-alongs, presenting the donations and checks and things like that to different organizations within the community.
Being able to see how many different organizations THE PLAYERS gives back to is amazing. There’s no better way that I know of to be involved with so many different nonprofit charity organizations.
Second to that, I would say, is the camaraderie. It’s like a family reunion once a year. Especially working in different committees, you really get to know and meet a lot of people. And you’re catching up on how their kids are doing and their grandkids are doing and what they’ve done over the past year.
Tell us a little about your work with Spectrum Realty Services.
I’m the owner and broker of Spectrum Realty Services. I got my real estate license basically because we were doing real estate development projects in the family business, and it just made sense to get a real estate license.
And that, naturally, grew into a brokerage and property management firm. We manage a little over 600 residential units in Jacksonville. Anything from single family to smaller multifamily buildings. Probably about 80,000 square feet of commercial space, and another 400-plus association units – so, like condo and homeowner associations, business offices, parks, things like that.
We have some holdings of our own and we manage for other people. And then, I’m also a member of Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank, which is a wetland mitigation bank.