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John Reitman

By John Reitman

Sunderman tapped as GCSAA's next COO


Kevin Sunderman, second from left, on the golf course in Ohio with, from left, Terry Boehm, Karl Danneberger and Ryan DeMay. Twitter photo

When Bob Randquist, CGCS, made the transition four years ago from golf course superintendent to the chief operating officer of his profession's official trade association, it was seen as a home run hire. 

When Kevin Sunderman, CGCS, was named this week as his successor, the choice was met with equal enthusiasm.

"Just when you thought Robert Randquist couldn't be replaced . . . Nice job," golf course architect Jerry Lemons wrote on social media.

"Didn't see that one coming. Congrats, Mr. Sunderman. You'll be great," wrote Kevin Hicks, regional agronomist with EarthWorks.

Sunderman comes to the job imminently qualified.

A superintendent with almost 20 years of experience, including 17 at Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he held the title of director of grounds, Sunderman has been active in GCSAA including serving six years on the association board of directors. During his time on the board, Sunderman has worked on a variety of projects, including the conference and show, foundation, education, environmental programs and diversity efforts.

"The past six years serving on the GCSAA board provided me with valuable opportunities to develop relationships with GCSAA Chapter leaders, as well as to meet, listen and learn from many GCSAA members while expanding my knowledge of the great way GCSAA staff serve our members," Sunderman said in a news release. "As COO, I am looking forward to using these insights to guide the GCSAA team in providing benefits that will have a true impact on the lives of our members. I appreciate everyone at Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club; they are a wonderful group of people that I will truly miss."


Kevin Sunderman celebrates earning at MBA last year from Florida Southern College with daughter Elise, son Trent and wife Melani. Twitter photo

A graduate of the Ohio State University turfgrass management program, Sunderman also earned an MBA last year from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. He also is a Series 7 licensed financial advisor.

"When the opportunity arose for Kevin to join the GCSAA team, we knew we had found our next COO," GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said in the release. "His knowledge of GCSAA and the industry, business acumen and leadership skills provide the association with a speed of transition that will prove advantageous as we expand and enhance the programs and services we deliver to our membership. All members will continue to benefit from his knowledge, passion and dedication."

A past president of the Florida GCSA and the state's west coast chapter, Sunderman was appointed to the GCSAA board in 2017 and this year was elected vice president. In line to become association president next year, he is stepping away from his role on the board.

"From the time I first served on a chapter board to the GCSAA Board of Directors, it was always about service and leadership," Sunderman said in the release. "That hasn't changed. This gives me the opportunity to continue to serve the industry that has meant so much to me in a new way."

Randquist's retirement is effective Oct. 15, and Sunderman will begin his new role in Lawrence on Nov. 7.

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