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GCSAA Names Konzem New COO


Richard Konzem, who has more than 30 years of managerial experience, primarily in intercollegiate athletics, has been named chief operating officer for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

Konzem, who will officially begin work on October 17, comes to the GCSAA from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., where he served as the director of athletics since November 2007. During his tenure at Rockhurst, Konzem served on the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Regional Advisory Committee and had student-athletes from eight of 11 teams compete in NCAA postseason competition.

"I am pleased and excited to have Richard join the GCSAA team," GCSAA Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans said. "He has an impressive track record of success supporting and facilitating a performance-driven culture among a group of diverse and talented individuals. That will serve the association well as he oversees the day-to-day operations of association programs with a focus on serving the GCSAA membership."

Konzem will be responsible for developing, implementing and executing key member programs that support the achievement of the association's mission, vision and operational goals. He will serve on the association's executive team and oversee the professional development; membership; strategic communications; corporate marketing, sales and business development; environmental programs; and events and meeting planning departments. He will also represent GCSAA in a variety of industry and allied association events, programs and activities.

A native of Salina, Kan., Konzem graduated from the University of Kansas in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and earned a master's in education: athletics administration from the University of Southern California in 1984.

"I am honored to join the GCSAA staff and look forward to working with it, the board of directors and members," Konzem said. "As an avid golfer, I have the utmost respect for the professionals who manage the game's playing field. It is certainly a challenging profession, and one of great value to the industry."

While at USC, Konzem began his career in fundraising and event management in the Trojan athletic department. He returned to his undergraduate alma mater in 1981, serving in a variety of capacities for 23 years. He rose to the position of senior associate athletics director, including a stint as interim athletics director in the summer of 2001. He was a primary sports administrator at KU during six NCAA Final Four appearances in basketball including the 1988 NCAA Championship, three bowl games, and a College World Series in both baseball and softball.

As senior associate athletic director at Kansas, Konzem supervised men's and women's basketball, football, baseball, the Williams Educational Fund (with $5 million in annual scholarship donations), athletic ticket staff, and the events and facilities staff. He executed national search efforts for coaches, served on a variety of NCAA committees, negotiated contracts, oversaw corporate sponsorships, administered rules compliance, and managed ticket operations among other duties. He also supervised the men's and women's golf teams.

Konzem left the department of intercollegiate athletics to become deputy director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, also at the University of Kansas, for two years. He supervised all aspects of operations including: staffing, facility operations, events, budgeting, security, fundraising, donor relations, marketing, promotions, community/legislative outreach and recruitment of speakers and programs.

Active in the community, Konzem recently completed terms on the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors, the Sunflower State Games Board of Directors, the United Way of Douglas County and the City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. He was a member of the Leadership Kansas Class in 2004. Konzem and his wife, Debbie, chaired the 2006 United Way Campaign in Lawrence, raising $1.65 million. He was also the media coordinator for the Kansas Open Golf Tournament (1991-96).

Konzem has two adult children: a son Scott and a daughter Sally.

For more information about the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, visit www.gcsaa.org.