Industry News

First Tee – Greater Richmond announces board of directors, staff updates, additions

Patty Merrill becomes first female chair of the board of directors in organization history

RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 25, 2022) – First Tee – Greater Richmond has announced several updates and additions to both its Board of Directors and operational staff as it continues its organizational evolution.

“As First Tee - Greater Richmond continues to grow and evolve, I am grateful that we have been able to attract talented mission-minded staff and volunteer leaders to guide the organization into the future,” CEO Brent Schneider said.

Joining the Board in 2022 are Andrea ArcherCary Baronian and Bryan Jones. Archer serves as the Senior Director of Human Resources at Altria, while Baronian is a partner and Director of Research at Heritage Wealth Advisors. Jones is currently the Chief Administrative Officer at Hourigan. 

Additionally, Patty Merrill was elected to become the Chair of First Tee – Greater Richmond’s Board. Merrill is the fourth person and first woman to serve in the role in the organization’s history. Since joining the Board in 2017, Merrill has served on the Governance Committee and been actively involved in the organization’s strategic planning, including the renovation and restoration of Belmont, which reopened in 2021. 

“I am honored to build on the strong leadership of each of the prior Chairs,” Merrill said. “I look forward to working with our Board and staff to continue impacting the lives of young people through educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.”

Schneider also announced the creation of a new leadership team to reflect the growth and increasing needs of the organization:

● Mark Lynch, PGA, as Vice President of Operations, will now oversee all three First Tee – Greater Richmond facilities – Belmont, The Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range, and The Tattersall Youth Development Center – leading its PGA Professionals, operations, and maintenance staffs. 

● Kelly (McAnally) Brown is now the Vice President of Impact, helping formulate and grow strategic partnerships across First Tee – Greater Richmond facilities and youth programs while also leading efforts to build a high-performing, inclusive, mission-driven culture across the organization. 

● Bill Potter was promoted to Vice President of Communications and Engagement, where he is responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization’s external and internal communications and marketing efforts, along with leading selected special events. 

● Brittany Woo will continue to serve as the organization’s Senior Director of Programming, where the First Tee – Greater Richmond alumna has led its evidence-based youth programs, camps, coaches and volunteers since 2020.

All four will serve on Schneider’s leadership team, along with a newly-created Vice President of Advancement position. Additionally, First Tee – Greater Richmond will be adding positions within social media and administration in the coming months.

First Tee – Greater Richmond has also added to its operational staff, welcoming Olivia Bowling, PGA, as its Head Golf Professional at Belmont, and Josh Pawlus as its Director of Golf Operations at The Tattersall Youth Development Center. 

Bowling joins First Tee – Greater Richmond from The Country Club of Virginia, where she has been a PGA Assistant Golf Professional since 2017. A Class A PGA Professional, Bowling received the P.J. Boatwright Internship at the Virginia State Golf Association (VSGA) after a four-year career on the Randolph-Macon women’s golf team, captaining the Yellow Jackets in 2015-16. Bowling was the first four-time All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) First Team selection in conference history, twice being named ODAC Player of the Year.

Pawlus comes to the organization after spending the last seven years at Ball State University, where he rose to the Assistant Athletic Director of Game Operations for the Cardinals. In his seven years in Muncie, Ind., Pawlus served as a member of the athletics leadership team while coordinating daily scheduling for all 19 varsity sports and serving as the liaison between the athletics department and facilities. In total, Pawlus brings 13 years of collegiate athletics operations experience to First Tee – Greater Richmond.

About First Tee – Greater Richmond
First Tee – Greater Richmond is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.