Industry News

Audubon International welcomes new director of Signature Sanctuary Certification

(May 8, 2024 – Troy, New York) – Audubon International – the environmentally focused non-profit organization offering members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play – announces that Mark O’Mell has joined the leadership team as Director of Signature Sanctuary Certification.

“We are thrilled to add Mark at the helm of our important Signature Sanctuary Certification,” said Audubon International CEO Christine Kane. “He knows the golf course operations and maintenance business inside and out, and literally from the ground up. His expertise and leadership will help ensure the program’s continued growth as we add new members, especially at the elite Platinum level.”

Audubon International’s Signature Sanctuary Certification is for new or renovating golf courses, resorts, and communities. The program involves comprehensive environmental planning with architects, owners, managers and key stakeholders to ensure sustainable design, construction and long-term management of each property. Its Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels include all open space, landscaped areas, and maintenance facilities; Platinum level certification also includes clubhouses, lounges, and lodging.

As Director, O’Mell will work with each Signature Sanctuary member’s development team prior to, during, and after construction to ensure the property meets and maintains all sustainability requirements. He will also serve as primary point of contact for any inquiries from current, former, and prospective members of the Signature Sanctuary Certification, and coordinate with appropriate staff members on the development of program materials as well as marketing, growth, recruitment, and communications strategies.

O’Mell is a Class A member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and brings more than two decades of turf management and golf course maintenance experience to the position. Most recently he was golf course superintendent at Piñon Hills Golf Course in Farmington, N.M. He has also held superintendent or assistant superintendent positions at facilities Michigan, Panama, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Crop and Soil Science/Turf Management from Michigan State University.

“Working with Audubon International is the culmination of a career as a superintendent who worked with nature rather than against it,” O’Mell said. “I look forward to working with current and future Signature Sanctuary members to become the best possible environmental stewards they can be.”

To learn more about how your local golf course, community or resort can gain recognition for your environmental efforts or to learn how to expand your initiatives through Audubon International’s numerous environmental certifications, visit or call toll free: 1-844-767-9051.

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About Audubon International
An environmentally focused non-profit organization, Audubon International offers members numerous certifications and conservation initiatives to protect the areas where we all live, work, and play. Its certifications are designed to increase environmental awareness, encourage sustainable environmental efforts, and educate both its members and their communities.

Dan Shepherd Public Relations
Vic Williams,,+1 775 745 3190
Gary Trask,, +1 978-228-0314