Executive Profiles

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Executive Profiles

Jim Hinckley
President and CEO

Jim is the most experienced executive in the golf course management and ownership industry, having been involved in the ownership & management of more than 350 golf courses during the course of his career. His first position in the golf industry was with ClubCorp in 1971, as a 15-year-old bag boy at Porter Valley Country Club in Northridge, California. Jim worked his way into the golf shop and soon became the assistant golf professional and later head golf professional while he earned his college degree. He moved to ClubCorp's corporate office in Dallas in 1977 and, under the tutelage and direction of ClubCorp Founder Robert Dedman, Sr., he learned the business and continued to grow within the organization.

In 1994, Jim was named as ClubCorp's President and served in that capacity until the summer of 2002. During Jim's tenure, ClubCorp owned and managed over 300 country clubs, resorts, private city clubs, golf courses, and real estate developments; had $1.6 billion in assets; $925 million in annual revenues; and 22,000 employees. Upon leaving ClubCorp in 2002, Jim assisted in the formation of WMC Management Company, LLC (WMC).

WMC managed over $3.5 billion in assets, including golf courses, hotels, resorts, multi-family, and real estate investments. In 2005, Jim acquired WMC and formed Century Golf Partners. Together with his partners, he continued to build the company's golf portfolio by acquiring the Arnold Palmer Golf Management (APGM) brand, plus a total of 40 courses.

Jim also serves on numerous industry boards, including the National Golf Course Owners Association of America; American Junior Golf Association; Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) Education and Employers Council; and he is a past member of the PGA. Jim is also a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and he serves on the boards at the St. Paul Hospital Medical Foundation and the Children's Center for Self Esteem. Jim attended Southern Methodist University and California State University and earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1978.

Keith Brown
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President

As Chief Operating Officer (COO) & Executive Vice President at American Golf, Keith is responsible for the operation of American Golf's properties across the United States. Since joining American Golf in 1992, Keith has held numerous positions within the company, including general manager of several private clubs, regional manager in the pacific northwest, regional vice president of private clubs, and senior operating executive in the western United States. Prior to his time with American Golf, Keith was an associate at Houlihan, Lockey, Howard, and Zukin—an investment banking firm based in Los Angeles.

Keith received his bachelor's degree in finance from California State University, Northridge, where he played NCAA golf and served as an assistant coach. He also earned a master's degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Rick Rosen
Chief Financial Officer

Rick joined American Golf in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and is responsible for all financial functions at American Golf. Prior to his time at American Golf, Rick served as CFO and Treasure for Black Angus Steakhouses, a multi-restaurant company. Rick has also served as CFO for several other privately held corporations, including the Ruby Restaurant Group, Barbeques Galore, and The Johnny Rockets Group. Rick has also worked in a variety of financial roles for The Walt Disney Company, PepsiCo, and Amoco.

Rick earned his master of management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and his bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

Christine Chong
Senior Vice President - Real Property and Legal Affairs

Christine joined American Golf in 2004 and is currently responsible for managing the company's transactional and legal matters and real estate portfolio. Prior to joining American Golf, Christine worked in a variety of real estate and legal roles for ARCO and Public Storage.

She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California.

Jim Allison
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

As Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jim is responsible for managing American Golf's diversified sales organization and marketing group. Jim joined the company in 1992 as the regional director of sales, and in 1995 was promoted to national director of sales for the private club division. He has also served as vice president of sales, where he led American Golf's national, regional, and local sales teams. With over 27 years of sales and sales management experience, Jim as a proven track record of building successful sales organizations through proven sales standards, measurement processes, training programs, recruitment, and product development. Prior to his time with American Golf, Jim spent several years in sales organizations within the computer electronics industry.

Craig Kniffen
Senior Vice President of Maintenance

As one of the golf industry's leading authorities in the area of golf course maintenance and agronomy, Craig is responsible for overseeing American Golf's network of golf course superintendents and maintenance teams. Craig joined American Golf in 1983 as a golf course superintendent before serving as a regional superintendent for six years. He was promoted to director of maintenance for the southeast region before being named vice president of maintenance and construction for the company. In 2001, he was promoted to his current role as Senior Vice President of Maintenance.

Craig studied business administration at Suffolk County Community College, agronomy at Oregon State University, and architecture at Arizona State University.

Joe Stegman
Vice President of Human Resources

As Vice President of Human Resources for American Golf, Joe is responsible for overseeing the recruitment, hiring, training, professional development, and employee relations of approximately 7,000 coworkers nationwide. Joe joined American Golf in 1988 as an assistant golf course superintendent and soon served as superintendent at various golf clubs throughout the Midwest and New England. Promoted to regional superintendent in 1994 and then general manager at several courses in Ohio, Joe was named director of recruiting and training in 2001, and became vice president of recruiting and training in 2006 prior to his current role as Vice President of Human Resources.

He holds his bachelor's degree from Heidelberg University.