PAUL EDELSTEIN | DIRECTOR OF GOLF
Paul’s first stint working at country clubs began in high school, where he picked up range balls in exchange for free golf privileges. After college he returned to the golf business, working in every capacity from caddie to Golf Professional. His work experience includes stints at private, semi, private, and resort golf facilities. Prior to joining Babe Zaharias as the Operations Manager in 2012, Paul had held professional positions in Palm Beach County Florida, New York, and Vermont. Paul was promoted to Director of Golf in May of 2013.
JAN JOHNSON | OPERATIONS MANAGER
Jan is an LPGA Master Professional as well as a PGA Member and a longtime resident of Tampa Bay. Her resume in the area includes the positions of head professional, director of golf, and owner and instructor of a private golf academy. Originally from Kentucky, she had an extensive competitive junior, amateur, and professional career before migrating to Florida and the business side of golf.
KENNIE SIMS, PGA | VICE PRESIDENT OF GOLF OPERATIONS
Kennie Sims is with the Tampa Sports Authority, where he serves as the Vice President of Golf Operations. He has held this position since October 1, 2012. He is responsible for the daily operations and strategic planning for the three golf courses owned by the City of Tampa: Babe Zaharias, Rogers Park and Rocky Point. Collectively these operations generate $3.2 million annually and staff over 130 employees and volunteers.
In May of 2008, he was named Director of Golf Operations, since that time he has improved profitability of the operation by 65% and during the same period he managed over $6 million of capital improvements. He is responsible for managing the TSA relationship with The First Tee which is a nonprofit foundation that impacts the lives of young participants through the game of golf.
Kennie has served as the Executive Producer of “A Tampa Golf Tour” a thirty minute documentary of the three City of Tampa golf courses and several television commercials designed to drive traffic to the courses. He has an extensive background in the golf industry, with thirty years’ experience. He has served in various positions for the Tampa Sports Authority including Head Golf Professional. As an accomplished instructor he has paved the way for many to enter and master the game.
Kennie earned his Masters of Business Administration at the University of South Florida and completed his Business Administration undergraduate studies at Fayetteville State University (NC). He was been awarded Golf Professional of the Year twice by his peers in the PGA of America, he has served as President of his chapter of the PGA and has served on the Government Relations committee for the PGA of America, where he has been asked to represent the golf industry on Capitol Hill.
Kennie resides in Tampa, Fl. He is a savvy executive that enjoys sports, backgammon, travel and personal growth.
ERIC D. HART, CVE | PRESIDENT/CEO OF TAMPA SPORTS AUTHORITY
Eric is the President/CEO of the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA). He is a member of the Westshore Alliance and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission board.
The TSA manages Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida Bulls, the Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex and three City of Tampa municipal golf courses- Rocky Point, Babe Zaharias and Rogers Park. The TSA also serves as the landlord for Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Steinbrenner Field, spring home for the New York Yankees.
Eric previously served as the President and CEO of the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority. Prior to Lansing, Eric served as the Director of Event Services for the Minneapolis Convention Center and as Associate Director for the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. He began his career at the Iowa State Center in Ames, Iowa where he served as the Guest Services Manager and was later promoted to Event Coordinator.
He is currently the Dean of the Graduate Institute at the IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers) annual Venue Management School (VMS GI) at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa. Eric earned the prestigious Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation from IAVM in 2013. He has been nominated to become the Second (2nd) Vice Chair of IAVM’s Board of Directors in 2019.
Eric received a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and a Master of Science in Business Education and Administration from Illinois State University.
He is happily married and the proud parent of two daughters. Eric loves to hunt, golf, fish, wood-work in his shop and spend time with his family.