Jay Karen has been named CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA).

Formerly Director of Partner Relations and Membership of the NGCOA from 1997 to 2007, Karen returns to lead the organization that represents more than 3,000 member golf course owners and operators worldwide.  He will assume his new position on October 1.

To bolster NGCOA relevancy and increase membership, his strategy includes strengthening chapter relations, expanding member services, modernizing online curriculum and other educational resources, and amplifying legislative advocacy.

Karen replaces Michael Hughes who, after 25 years leading the NGCOA, in January announced he would step down from his CEO post.

“The bedrock of the golf industry is the golf course owner,” says Karen.  “Therefore, I’m eager to aggressively build on Mike Hughes’ remarkable accomplishments of helping owners and operators run more successful businesses.”

“Jay Karen brings fresh, new ideas, motivation and a profound love of golf to the NGCOA,” says Matthew Galvin, president of the NGCOA.  “While we look forward to a smooth transition and exciting changes, we are grateful to Mike Hughes for his legendary and expert leadership as he’s leaving the organization at a high point.”

Under Hughes, the NGCOA significantly increased membership and raised the statures of the organization and golf courses owners across the industry.  He also led the formation of the Golf Industry Show, the second-largest and fastest-growing trade show in golf.