Hartman Lands Classic Gig

November 11, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — After two weeks on the job, a whirlwind tour of the country as part of the PGA Tour, a beefed up resume and a deep affection for golf, Lance Hartman says he’s ready to lead the Farmer’s Charity Classic in 2003.

His trip down the fairway began in Ohio, where he graduated from Ohio University and began making connections and friends that would help him along his journey.

“That was probably the biggest thing for me because I am still in touch with many of those people from college and along the way we have all helped each other out,” said Hartman.

Beginning with the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) in a MTV Road Rules esque lifestyle, Hartman traveled across the country with a group of other tournament professionals as a tournament media director. Producing golf tournaments he was in charge of creating stories and reporting on junior golf events along the way.

Hartman then planted himself in Myrtle Beach, SC as an intern for the PGA Tour. Starting at the beginning as an operations intern he was responsible for roping and staking the golf course, selling ticket packages, putting up signs throughout the course, etc.

Continuing his move up the ranks Hartman then took a permanent job with the PGA Tour in Dearborn on the Senior Players Championship, this time as operations manager.

Two years later, in 2000, Hartman was promoted to tournament manager of the President’s Cup, just outside of Washington, DC. There he oversaw the entire tournament, from an on-site management standpoint including marketing, corporate hospitality sales and operations.

By the end of the year Hartman was again promoted, this time to executive director of the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational in Seattle, WA. Working in Seattle until the middle of this year, which brought him to Grand Rapids and the Farmer’s Charity Classic.

“We came here when we lived in Dearborn and chose this because of the stability that it offers in terms of a quality community, quality event, and quality of life,” said Hartman. “I did like the traveling until we had our first child in July and that was enough reason to find a stable location and environment that we want to raise our family.”

Hartman joins the Classic on the heels of Michael Nichols, who resigned in August to pursue a position with an Alabama-based sports management company. And Hartman feels he is taking over an already strong event.

The Grand Rapids Jaycees, through the success of the Farmers Charity Classis, have raised more than $3 million for West Michigan charities since its inception in 1986. Proceeds from the 2003 Farmers Charity Classic will be announced in December.

As executive director for the Classic, Hartman will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and the entire event management on this particular event as well as making sure all of the net proceeds from the event are distributed to local charities and to oversee the process, in conjunction with the Jaycees.

“This is a business environment I am very well-suited for. This is a unique job, we can say there are probably only 60 of these in the country, as far as directing, so it is very unique,” said Hartman. “We wear many hats and are certainly small business people. I am an ambassador of the Jaycees, an ambassador of the game of golf and I am very community minded in how I go about business.”

And while golf is his profession, it is also his game, well, casually anyway. He also enjoys hiking and spending time with his family.

While Hartman has only been at the job for a little less than two weeks, he is already plotting the course for next year and looking forward to new and old challenges of the 2003 Farmer’s Charity Classic.

“We are ready to take the event to the next level,” said Randy Joppie, president of the Jaycees Foundation. “Lance having come up through various tour events is the person to help us get there.”

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