Jasmin Cunningham, PGA (Acushnet Company) has been selected to the 15-person PGA LEAD Class of 2021-22, an opportunity that will prepare her to serve in a leadership position within the PGA at the Chapter, Section and National levels.
“When I started playing golf at the age of 10, I quickly realized that there weren’t a lot of people who looked like me. At the time, of course, I didn’t know what to do about that and I didn’t know if I wanted to even play the sport,” Jasmin said. “Fast forward 14 years later, I realize that I’m now in a position to have a voice in the golf industry to help push the needle forward. Within the PGA of America – let alone the golf industry – there aren’t women who look like myself from a leadership standpoint, which motivated me to apply for PGA LEAD.”
Established in 2016, PGA LEAD is the Association’s leadership development program, which was created to identify, mentor and progress PGA Members from diverse backgrounds into volunteer leadership positions within Association governance.
PGA LEAD also helps PGA Members who have a desire to serve and make an impact on nonprofit boards within the communities where they work and live. PGA LEAD is a complement to PGA WORKS, a strategic initiative designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce.
“I hope to use this opportunity to make a difference on all levels,” Jasmin said. “Within the community, to introduce the game of golf to young, diverse people. From a Chapter, Section and National PGA level, to provide a different voice and perspective. I want to ensure that everyone feels welcome and a part of an organization that does so much for the game of golf, because I know how it feels to be on the other side.”
Since the inception of PGA LEAD, six PGA Professionals in the program have ascended into Board leadership positions within their PGA Sections and another 18 PGA LEAD alumni have served on PGA of America National Committees.
Jasmin is the second New England PGA member to be selected to the PGA LEAD program in as many years. In January of 2020, Allison Mitzel, PGA (Laconia CC) was announced as part of the 2020-21 PGA LEAD class.
“The goal of PGA LEAD is to establish a deep bench of diverse PGA Members who are prepared to ascend to the volunteer leadership ranks of the Association,” said PGA President Jim Richerson. “Through PGA LEAD, this distinguished class will be well-positioned to serve as future leaders within the Association and throughout the golf industry. The PGA remains committed to attracting and mentoring talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.”
2021-2022 PGA LEAD Class Members
Jasmin Cunningham, PGA – Titleist
Fairhaven, Massachusetts (New England PGA Section)
Bridget Ackley, PGA – Don Law Golf Academy
Boca Raton, Florida (South Florida PGA Section)
Jennifer Bermingham, PGA – ClubCorp
Dallas (Northern Texas PGA Section)
Brian Bussinger, PGA – Chambers Bay
University Place, Washington (Pacific Northwest PGA Section)
Claire Castetter, PGA – Onwentsia Club
Lake Forest, Illinois (Illinois PGA Section)
Demarkis Cooper, PGA – CitySwing
Washington, D.C. (Middle Atlantic PGA Section)
Marko Hardin, PGA – Woodhaven Country Club
Palm Desert, California (Southern California PGA Section)
Carl Hetterle, PGA – Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club
Blaine, Washington (Pacific Northwest PGA Section)
Tiana Jones, PGA – Topgolf
Independence, Ohio (Northern Ohio PGA Section)
Vince Juarez, PGA – Kemper Sports
Northbrook, Illinois (Illinois PGA Section)
Sarah Lewallen, PGA – Governor’s Club
Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Carolinas PGA Section)
Patrick Oropallo, PGA – Oak Knoll Golf Course
Ashland, Oregon (Pacific Northwest PGA Section)
Alphonse Peterson III, PGA – Country Club of Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska (Nebraska PGA Section)
Cassandra Prue, PGA – Shady Valley Country Club
Arlington, Texas (Northern Texas Section)
Tom Son, PGA – Arrowood Golf Course
Oceanside, California (Southern California Section)