Industry News

Flickinger to lead GCSAA Foundation as executive director

Newly created position will focus on fundraising, expanding the breadth of the Foundation

Lawrence, Kan. (Jan. 3, 2022) – Ryan Flickinger, CFRE, a fundraising professional with more than two decades of experience, has been named as executive director of the GCSAA Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

In the newly created executive director role, Flickinger will focus on increasing philanthropic support of Foundation-funded programs such as First Green, the Golf Course Environmental Profile and scholarships and grants. He will be working to develop new initiatives and fundraising strategies to support improving access to the game of golf, critical aspects of course management and pathways to the profession.

Flickinger began his position Monday.

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Prior to coming to the GCSAA Foundation, Flickinger most recently served as chief executive officer of the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation for 10 years. In his time there, the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation’s endowment nearly tripled in size, and he was personally responsible for raising more than $15 million for the organization.

“Ryan’s track record as a fundraiser speaks for itself,” GCSAA Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans said. “His leadership skills and wealth of experience in foundations will be a valuable asset as we continue to grow and raise awareness of the many ways the GCSAA Foundation benefits not only the golf industry, but also the communities the golf courses serve, which is why we developed this new position. He has a true passion for our cause, and I’m looking forward to working with him as he helps us further the Foundation’s mission.”

In his role, Flickinger will also be responsible for increasing brand awareness of the Foundation and growing funding by expanding the network of donors ranging from individuals to corporate entities.

“I want to develop a culture of giving back,” Flickinger said. “I want to carefully build an infrastructure that will enable the Foundation to increase and grow its support every year. I immediately picked up on the close-knit community of GCSAA and the entire golf industry, and I am excited to help advance a meaningful and important profession. “

A native of Illinois, Flickinger spent much of his childhood growing up on a farm, which gave him a deep understanding of the importance of managing resources, engaging in environmental stewardship and working to benefit the local community in a similar manner to the job of superintendents. He graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in administration of justice. He also holds the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation. In addition, Flickinger serves many local and national philanthropic organizations and causes by giving of his time and by serving in volunteer leadership roles. 

When he is not on the road networking or visiting with donors, Flickinger will work remotely from Memphis, Tenn., but will make frequent visits to GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan. Flickinger and his wife, Krissy, have two young sons, Evan and Dane.

To learn more about the GCSAA Foundation, visit

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 19,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at

The GCSAA Foundation is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to secure funding and support to strengthen advocacy, education, and research that advances the work of golf course management professionals. Visit the Foundation at

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