Three new keynote speakers announced for GCMA 2021 Conference

Phil Anderton, Jim Croxton and Jonathan Smith will tackle the theme of sustainability at Wyboston Lakes in November…

Three more keynote speakers for the GCMA 2021 Conference in November have been unveiled.

Phil Anderton, the R&A’s chief development officer, will be joined by BIGGA chief executive Jim Croxton and the GEO Foundation’s executive director and founder Jonathan Smith at the three-day gathering at Wyboston Lakes, in Bedfordshire, from November 21 to 23.

The trio will gather around the GCMA Hot Topics banner and talk about sustainability and the impact on the wider golf industry.

They join Paralympian Danielle Brown, and club management expert Kevin Fish, in confirming their attendance at the Conference.

More high-profile speakers will be announced over the coming weeks and the full conference programme will be confirmed shortly. The three key themes for Conference are Leadership and Wellbeing, Sustainability and Technology in Golf.

Phil Anderton joined the R&A as Chief Development Officer in August 2020 – taking on the responsibilities for the operational and strategic activities of Golf Development and Amateur Championships, with the additional responsibility for Sustainability, the British Golf Museum and for The R&A’s overseas operations in Singapore and Argentina.

Phil has a wealth of knowledge and experience of implementing and delivering on business strategy: he has worked in brand management at Procter and Gamble, Global Strategic Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, general management roles at Scottish Rugby Union, Hearts Football Club and the ATP Tour, where Phil was Chairman of the ATP Finals and he has latterly run his own business consultancy.

Jim Croxton will be a well-known figure to GCMA members, having been CEO of BIGGA for 10 years.

During that time he has been instrumental in raising the profile of the Association substantially within the golf industry, ensuring that BIGGA’s nearly 6,000 members have a strong voice in how the sport is governed and managed.

BIGGA’s annual exhibition and conference, BTME, has undergone strong growth under his leadership and is now firmly established as Europe’s premier turf care event.

Jim said: “I’m really looking forward to presenting at the GCMA Conference and delighted to be discussing the key topic of sustainability.

“Golf club managers are critical in capitalising on the pandemic-induced boom our sport has experienced and it has never been more essential they have long-term economic and environmental sustainability jointly at the top of their agendas.”

For more than 20 years, meanwhile, Jonathan Smith has dedicated his career to advancing sustainability in golf, and through golf.
A geographer and graduate of the University of St Andrews, he led the environmental team at Scottish Golf before founding GEO in 2006.

He has led GEO to become the only group in sport to meet the ISEAL Alliance membership criteria for sustainability standards, certification and reporting systems, joining others such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council.

He has also directly advised some of golf’s largest tours and tournaments including the European Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, The Ryder Cup, The Open, The Solheim Cup and Olympic Golf.
Jonathan is a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, and a Board member of the ISEAL Alliance.

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Picture of Phil Anderton: R&A

By GCMA Content Team

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