Today is Steve Mona's final day as the CEO of GCSAA. We've received the all-staff farewell message, he is currently making the rounds here at headquarters saying his goodbyes, and later this evening, he and his wife Cyndi will hop into their car, point it southeast and begin the drive to St. Augustine, Fla., and Steve's new job as the CEO of the World Golf Foundation.
This has been an extended farewell tour for Steve, one that dates back to the initial announcement of his departure last September. Steve is always quick with the sports analogy, so its no surprise that we've all heard him mention Cal Ripken Jr. and his farewell tour through baseball in his final season before retirement in reference to Steve's final few months representing GCSAA. I don't believe he picked up any rocking chairs along the way like Ripken did, but it has been one emotional goodbye after another for Steve. Although I won't give away much of what he wrote to staff in his e-mail, he did say, "I've had so many opportunities to say goodbye that I can't find an original word anywhere in my body."
That being said, we're not going to pile on here. But we would definitely be remiss if we didn't mention Steve's final day on the blog and at least tacitly acknowledge the enormous impact that he's had on not only GCSAA but the profession as a whole in his 14 years as CEO. Those who know him know that Steve would dismiss those acknowledgments in a heartbeat, deflecting that praise to the boards of directors he's worked with, the staff here at headquarters and superintendents all over the country who have all combined to lift the profession and the association to the perch it occupies today. And he'd be justified in doing that, I suppose -- accomplishments are usually bigger than just one man.
But in my little corner of the world, I know that Steve's presence at GCSAA has opened doors for this magazine and offered us access that we would not normally enjoy. Our position as the No. 1 publication in the golf course management industry owes much to Steve Mona and the credibility he brought to this association and this industry.
So from all of us, Steve, thanks. Best of luck in your new endeavors.