Bob Sparks Elected as the 38th President of the Connecticut Section PGA

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (November 30, 2022) – In addition to several special announcements and a series of panels including PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), elections were held for Officers and Directors at the 89th Connecticut Section PGA Annual Meeting, attended by more than 100 members and guests on November 21. Bob Sparks, Torrington Country Club, was elected the Section’s 38th President. Sparks will serve a two-year term and will be joined by fellow officers Phil Krick, Jr., Mohegan Sun Golf Club, Vice President; and John Dipollina, the Golf Center at Lyman Orchards, Secretary. Outgoing President Howie Friday, Stanley Golf Course, was recognized for his six years of service as an officer, including the last three and a half as president. He will now serve as Honorary President.

Noah Hedberg, TPC River Highlands, and Mark Moriarty, First Tee – Connecticut, were elected to two-year terms as Directors. Sparks will appoint Vice Presidents-at-Large within the coming weeks.

Special announcements included naming three new inductees into the Connecticut Section PGA Professional Hall of Fame. Don Malen and the late Al Fuchs and John Murphy will be formally inducted in a ceremony to take place on April 25, 2023, at the Golf Club of Avon.

Rich Cavanaugh, South Glastonbury, Conn., who has volunteered for the Section the past 12 years, was named an honorary member of the organization.

Marc Bayram, head golf professional at Timberlin Golf Course, was named the recipient of the Frank Selva President’s Award for his efforts toward charitable fundraising.

Reports were given by Friday, Hantke, Sparks, Membership Committee member Donny Kirkpatrick, Player Engagement Director Tim Paragone and Foundation President Andrew Campbell. A PGA HOPE panel was moderated by Tournament Operations Director Dennis Dungee and included PGA HOPE Ambassador Troy Brin, a U.S. Army veteran who works for the V.A. in Western Massachusetts.

The PGA Section’s 2022 champions recognized during the meeting were Chris Tallman, Player of the Year; Fran Marrello, Senior Player of the Year and Senior PGA Champion; C.J. Konkowski, PGA Professional Champion; Adam D’Amario, Assistant PGA Champion; Billy Street, Match Play Champion; and Street and Steve Madison, Del Kinney Pro-Pro Champions.

Special awards winners recognized were Joe Starzec, Professional of the Year; Dan Malarney, Patriot Award; Frank Carta, Bill Strausbaugh Award; Josh Carney, Assistant Professional of the Year; Brian Keiser, Professional Development Award; Sue Cart, Teacher/Coach of the Year; Jason Gobleck, Player Development Award; Bobby Brown, Youth Player Development Award; Mike Svab, Merchandiser of the Year Public; Brad Lusenhop, Merchandiser of the Year Private; and Chris Catapane, Sales Representative of the Year.

Tom Hantke will be stepping aside from his role as executive director at the end of 2023 after 30 years, and a succession plan has been established to fill the position.

Event sponsors were Mohegan Sun, Club Car, AHEAD, Certified Financial Services, PGA National Resort and Reed Exhibitions-PGA Golf Show.

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