Two New England PGA Professionals have been appointed to the role of Executive Director of State Golf Associations in the region, as Brian Bickford, PGA, was hired as the Executive Director of the Maine State Golf Association while John Goodchild, PGA, takes the reins of the Vermont Golf Association.
Bickford joins the MSGA after spending a dozen years as the Director of Golf and Head Golf Professional at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland, Maine. While at Val Halla, Bickford increased membership and grew the junior golf program from just 16 juniors to nearly 400, one of the largest junior programs in New England.
In his role at the MSGA, Bickford will foster junior golf statewide, aligning with the association’s goal of making golf more accessible and appealing to young people.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Bickford, who will begin this month. “Following (outgoing Executive Director) Nancy (Storey) will be extremely tough, but I think we are well-positioned to continue making a difference in our sport in Maine, and I look forward to the challenge.”
“Brian is no stranger to golfers in Maine,” said MSGA Board President Curtis Jordan. “He has been involved in Maine golf at so many levels and has done so much for the game. We know we have found the right replacement for Nancy, and we are thrilled to have him as our next Executive Director.”
Prior to his tenure at Val Halla, Bickford built a career in the healthcare industry, ending with a term as a hospital CFO before transitioning his career to his lifelong passion of golf. He has also served as an NEPGA board member and treasurer of the MSGA.
“Brian’s stellar reputation, wide-ranging talents, and deep experience, both in golf and as a successful executive, make him uniquely qualified to lead the MSGA into the future,” Jordan added.
Goodchild has been part of the Vermont golf community for nearly two decades, beginning his tenure in the state in 2000 and eventually working his way into the position of Head Professional at Barre Country Club (Barre, Vt.).
“I’m very fortunate to have been afforded sound mentorship over the years, preparing me for this opportunity to lead the VGA into the future,” Goodchild said. “I look forward to establishing many lasting relationships as Executive Director. Furthering the growth of the VGA and game of golf in Vermont, as well as New England, is a never-ending goal, but one that I welcome. It’s very important to me.”
“John comes to us highly recommended by his peers and past employers,” said Gene MacCallum, President of the Vermont Golf Association. “He knows all VGA Member Clubs, their Professionals, and has great knowledge of our industry, which will greatly benefit us immediately, but even more so for years to come. We are very excited to have John leading our organization.”