Careers

Diverse Former Staff Success

Former diverse AJGA staff excel inside and outside of the golf industry

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Alejandra Sanchez Mendoza

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
Summer 2021
Former AJGA Title(s):
Traveling Operations Intern
Current Company:
Augusta National Golf Club
Current Title:
Championships Coordinator

"The AJGA helped me fall in love with the tournament operations aspect of the golf industry. It improved my ability to act quickly and efficiently to intra-day changes, strengthened my communication skills, and allowed me to gain more leadership experience."

Career Path: I’ve been playing golf since I was 6 years old and played college golf for St. John’s University. I was a Graduate Assistant Coach for Manhattanville Color (mens and womens Teams) for 2 years. After that, I interned with the AJGA. The following summer, I interned as a Merchandise Operations Assistant for the Ryder Cup 2021. In November, I started a seasonal job as an Assistant Golf Professional (with focus in tournament operations) until mid March. I started working at Augusta National Golf Club in March 2022.

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Solomon Hughes

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2016 - 2022
Former AJGA Title(s):
Traveling Communications Intern, Tournament Director, Regional Manager and Director (South Central)
Current Company:
Intersport
Current Title:
Director, Marketing and Development

"I think some of the biggest takeaways I took away from the AJGA is never being afraid to ask the question, whether that's personally or whether it's something you want to do and asking how you can get there."

Career Path: Solomon came to the AJGA with no golf background but quickly learned to love it as both a fan and competitor. Before his time with the AJGA, he completed a communications internship with United Airlines. The AJGA started as an opportunity for Solomon to travel the country and meet new friends. After completing the traveling communications internship, Solomon was pleased to accept a job in the operations department running events.

Sam Joe

Sam Joe

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2017 - 2021
Former AJGA Title(s):
Traveling Operations Intern, Player Services Intern, Tournament Coordinator, Tournament Manager, Tournament Director
Current Company:
Wasserman
Current Title:
Associate Manager - Golf

"I would not be where I am today without the AJGA. Through the AJGA I was able to have a variety of different experiences and opportunities, all helping me grow both personally and professionally. Some of the first skills needed and learned at the AJGA were to be a quick learner and how to be adaptable. From there I learned how to navigate conflict, effectively manage people, quickly problem solve, make key decisions, and handle myself professionally around a variety of different people. The list of qualities and skills that the AJGA helped me develop is truly endless and through all this, I gained confidence in myself and my abilities. I am forever grateful for how the AJGA prepared me for my career and my future.

Career Path: I attended the University of Georgia to pursue a Sports Management degree. In 2016, during my junior year of college, I was a Marketing and Special Events Intern at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, a PGA TOUR Champions event. I had grown up around golf but this is where I fell in love with the golf industry. After I graduated from UGA in 2017, I did the AJGA summer operations internship. I extended the internship through the fall and then interned in the AJGA Player Services department before a Tournament Coordinator position became available in early 2018 and I was on hired full-time. During my time at the AJGA I learned that I loved the player and partner relationships I was able to develop throughout my time, thus leading to my interest in the agency side of the golf industry. I was then extremely fortunate to be offered a job at Wasserman in their Golf Division working in Golf Consulting and Hospitality.

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Jordan Smith

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
Summer 2021
Former AJGA Title(s):
Traveling Communications Intern
Current Company:
PGA TOUR
Current Title:
Coordinator, National Marketing

"The AJGA was special to me because it helped me learn an industry I had very little background in. Before this internship I had never worked, played, or even followed golf and now I am managing the PGA TOUR’s largest brands and campaigns. Whether you are in comms, operations, finance, etc. there is a great opportunity to gain transferable skills and make great connections along the way!"

Career Path: Upon graduation from the University of Florida, I worked part-time in External Events with the University’s athletic department. I worked full-time as a bartender all throughout college and continued to do that up until starting my internship with the AJGA. Towards the end of the summer, I was hired by the TOUR as a freelance social media manager and two months later moved into a full-time position in the Marketing department. 

Caila Roberts

Caila Roberts

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2016, 2017, 2018 - 2022
Former AJGA Title(s):
Operations Intern, Tournament Assistant, Tournament Director, Regional Manager (Northeast), Regional Director (North West)
Current Company:
Excel Sports Management
Current Title:
Tournament Manager, Golf

"Through my two years as an intern and four years full-time, the AJGA has helped build great relationships which ultimately led to this opportunity. Having the confidence and building the relationships have contributed to my progress and put me in a better position to succeed."

Career Path: Caila's family was more into golf than she was while she was growing up. Roberts applied for the AJGA traveling operations internship after learning about the company at a career fair on Elon's campus. She worked hard to build her golf knowledge and get to where she is now.

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Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2004 - 2012
Former AJGA Title(s):
Tournament Director, Senior Tournament Director
Current Company:
LPGA
Current Title:
Senior Vice President, Tour Operations

"The people at the AJGA are what makes working there so special. For most of the new employees, we are moving away from our hometowns to the Atlanta area, which for most, is our first jobs out of college. I always felt that the AJGA was like a second family and big support system that was always there to help you succeed. To this day, most of my closest friends are colleagues that I worked with while at the AJGA."

Career Path: Having played golf in college, I wanted to pursue a career in golf. I did an operations internship with the AJGA in 2004 and was hired on as a Tournament Director in 2005. After 8 years, I took the role of Global Golf Director with the ANNIKA Foundation to help create competitive opportunities for girls and women by running events across the world. After 3 years with the ANNIKA Foundation, I spend the last 6.5 years at the USGA running and overseeing international competitions. The last three years of my tenure with the USGA also gave me added responsibilities for the World Amateur Golf Ranking®, Scoring and the development of the U.S. Adaptive Open. Starting April 12, I will be starting my new role at the LPGA as Senior Vice President, Tour Operations. 

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Shelby Williams

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
Summer 2011
Former AJGA Title(s):
Traveling Operations Intern
Current Company:
Washington State University, Athletics Department
Current Title:
Associate Director of Athletics, Staff & Student-Athlete Development

"AJGA prepared me to be a hard worker, efficient, and a strong leader. It was my first experience on a team with people from so many different backgrounds. It was great to learn how to build a team, work together, and lead one another."

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Joe Mazzeo

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2001, 2003 - 2006
Former AJGA Title(s):
Regional Director (West), Manager of Media Relations
Current Company:
Wasserman, Mayakoba
Current Title:
VP, Golf & Events, Tournament Director, World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba

"The range of experience you can get through the AJGA is greater than any other opportunity you could hope to encounter as you start out your career. The trust the AJGA places in you and the expectations the AJGA places on you.  That combination pushes you to grow and learn and accomplish things you didn’t think you’d be able to at such a young age, which then puts you at the head of the class when you are looking beyond the AJGA for your next career move."

Career Path: My career path started out, like so many others, with college golf.  But not as a student-athlete!  While in college at the University of Arizona, I worked in the athletics department primarily in the Sports Information Department.  My principal responsibilities were with the golf teams, which led me to the AJGA thanks to a recommendation from Greg Allen, a mentor and a former AJGA staff member, who at the time was the Head Women’s Golf Coach at Arizona.  While in college, I had some fortuitous timing as Ricky Barnes won the US Amateur as an Arizona Wildcat and Lorena Ochoa won pretty much everything while a collegian.  My exposure to that and my involvement in supporting these players and the entire golf team was tremendously impactful for me. 

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Andrew Liao

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2014 - 2016
Former AJGA Title(s):
Tournament Manager
Current Company:
Stanford University Athletics
Current Title:
Director of Golf Operations

"It's the people at the AJGA that makes the organization so special. Everyone who is hired at the AJGA has a culture of care and collaboration. You can always count on your teammates to help you out when you need the most - personally or professionally."

Career Path: I started in the golf business at the AJGA. Had aspiration to becoming tournament director at the highest level - USGA. I was hired by the USGA to run U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Women's Amateur as well as the Curtis Cup in 2018. After 5+ years with USGA, I started working in collegiate athletics for Stanford Men's and Women's Golf in October 2021.

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Debbie Lee

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2013, 2014
Former AJGA Title(s):
Traveling Communications Intern, Communications Assistant
Current Company:
Amazon
Current Title:
Senior Product Manager

"Based on my experience at AJGA, I learned how to prepare for the unexpected and always think steps (and even miles) ahead. This is critical in my role as a Product Manager, because there’s a lot of ambiguity, we’re always looking around corners, and we also need to understand our long-term vision. AJGA also prepared me to always look at the details, because even the smallest detail could have a significant impact (ex. Incorrect scorecards, hole locations, etc)."

Career Path: I began my career in digital marketing at a start-up then a financial institution with a focus on acquisition and retention, and product marketing campaigns. I joined Amazon as a program manager, because I wanted to return to tech and also begin pivoting to a technical role. I’m now a Senior Product Manager for the Amazon Advertising business, which generated over $31.2 billion in revenue in 2021. In this role, I solve customer problems, build features, and work with teams such as UX designers, engineers, and Sales to deliver solutions and experiences that are customer-centric. 

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Jenae Jenkins

Year(s) Employed at the AJGA:
2003 - 2006
Former AJGA Title(s):
Manager of Player Services, Tournament Director, Manager of Member Services
Current Company:
First Tee - Metro Atlanta
Current Title:
Director of Programming

"It really is a family! With so many organizations focused on the bottom line and outcomes, the AJGA is special in that there is always a focus on the individual more than the organization as whole. That belief actually instills a better sense of community with all involved, from juniors, employees, sponsors, and volunteers."

Career Path: Began with an internship with the PGA Tour that opened my eyes to the world of golf. I was able to meet a Tour employee at the time, Stephen Nutt, a former AJGA employee who told me about the AJGA.  Upon looking at full time employment opportunities, I applied for the Manager of Player Services position with the AJGA. Spent 3 amazing years with th AJGA before leaving to start my own business and pursue other opportunities. I eventually found my way back into the golf industry and have been with First Tee Metro Atlanta since 2012. 

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