I’ve had a great opportunity to get to know Kevin Thistle over the years. I met him in 2005 when I was at Angus Glen.
He’s a trendsetter, very forward-thinking, very committed to our association and to the golf industry and I was thrilled to hear the announcement on Tuesday that he’s the PGA of Canada’s new CEO.
I, quite frankly, latched on to Kevin a little bit and learned a lot. He’s been a mentor for me. He’ll tell everybody that he’s younger than me, I know he’s not, but he’s provided guidance for me over the years and when he got out to Calgary with the Windmill Group, we did a lot of work with them.
He’s provided great support and leadership. If I had a question or there was something I couldn’t figure out, I knew I could give Kevin a call and he would help guide me through what was giving me difficulty.
I’m so happy with the decision they’ve made because it signals the next step to the next stage of the PGA of Canada. I know he’ll not only provide leadership, but also give people enough room to do their jobs, while being there to mentor them.
When I was on the national board, I got to see Gary Bernard’s vision and I’ve had the opportunity to know a lot of our leaders over the years and the youth of our association needs to feed on their visions because that’s what will make them better as golf professionals and leaders in our industry.
I was back-and-forth with Kevin Tuesday night after the announcement congratulating him and I’m so happy to see him going home to Ontario to be with his family. I know he did such a good job with the Windmill Group, it had to be tough being so far away from them.
He’ll do so much for our association, working with the PGA of America, with other associations and all of our zones. We saw it in Alberta, where he was our national rep, which he also did when he was in Ontario.
Kevin has so much information now. He knows the intricacies of different zones, he knows national and what I like about Kevin, and I’ve always admired this, is that he sees everything from 10,000 feet. He’s calm, collected and brings a new vision.
I think the staff will appreciate it, just as we all appreciated what Gary Bernard did for us. I don’t think they could have picked a better person to carry on that legacy.