The PGA of America: Wisconsin PGA Section Professional Josue Reyes named recipient of 2013 PGA Resort Merchandiser of the Year Award

Contact: Michael Abramowitz

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Josue Reyes, merchandise manager of Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits, in Kohler, Wis., has been named the recipient of the 2013 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Resort Facilities.

Reyes, 32, a native of Puerto Rico, was elected to PGA of America membership in 2006. Since the award was established in 1976 to recognize PGA Professionals who excelled as businesspersons and merchandisers in the promotion of golf, he is the fifth Wisconsin PGA Professional to be named a recipient of the PGA Merchandiser of the Year—and the second from his facility (Dirk Willis in 2007).

“We are blessed with a talented class of national award recipients who have always represented our Association at the highest level,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “They have been natural-born leaders and impact-makers in their respective fields. Whether it is in the golf shop, on the lesson tee or in front of community leaders, we are proud that this award class serves as the gold standard in the industry.”

In 2005, Reyes became the PGA head professional and golf shop manager at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in Sarasota, Fla. He was instrumental in the original design and layout of the shop, as well as in the club becoming the only AAA Five Diamond Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Resort in the United States. Reyes joined the Kohler Co.’s Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits in 2008, and since then, the courses have respectively hosted both the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open and 2010 PGA Championship. Whistling Straits will also host the 2015 PGA Championship—for which Reyes serves as the Merchandise and Media Team Chair—and the 2020 Ryder Cup.

In his current role, Reyes ensures that the retail business at the facilities lead the industry, in terms of service levels, aesthetics, product offerings, guest experience, recognition and profitability. He has been named the Wisconsin Section PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Resorts in four consecutive years (2010-13); a Golf World 100 Best Golf Shop award recipient six times (2006, 2009-13); and an AGM Front Nine Award winner three times (2010-12).

“You have got to have personal drive,” says Reyes. “I’ve just been fortunate in landing roles and being associated with great companies in Kohler and Ritz-Carlton. You have to have ambition to reach out and join a team and set up a road that paves a path for success…This is more about recognizing my team. I have a good business acumen, and I have very strong people behind me.”

Whistling Straits is known for its iconic and instantly recognizable logo. The concept for its creation was greatly inspired by a combination of a piece of furniture that contained gargoyle figures in the design of its legs; an image of the whistling wind; and a special twinkle in the eye of the logo’s character, which pays homage to a God of Wind.

“We try to think outside the box from service and assortment,” explains Reyes. “It’s the branding and being associated with the Kohler Company. People constantly tell us that it’s the best logo out there. People recognize us. I think the branding of ours, and the fact that we have hosted major championships, sets up a bucket list experience.”

Reyes’ family moved to Orlando from Puerto Rico when he was 8 years old. In 2004, he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Hospitality Management. Reyes and his wife, Melissa, reside in Sheboygan, Wis., and are the parents of a son, Roberto, and a daughter, Adriana.

The 2013 PGA Merchandisers of the Year will be honored Jan. 17, 2014, at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla. In addition to Reyes, these PGA members will be honored that evening:

Richard Kline of Lenhartsville, Pa. – Public Facilities

Scott Paris of Westfield, N.J. – Private Facilities

Six PGA of America Award recipients for 2013 will be honored Jan. 22, 2014, at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando:

Michael Doctor of Camillus, N.Y. – PGA Golf Professional of the Year

Lou Guzzi of Glenside, Pa. – PGA Teacher of the Year

Nicole Weller of Savannah, Ga. – PGA Junior Golf Leader

Daniel Pasternak of Morristown, N.J.– Bill Strausbaugh Award

John Hughes of Haines City, Fla. – Horton Smith Award

Jordan Young of Flat Rock, Mich. – PGA Player Development Award

The PGA of America will also present two national awards on Nov. 23, at the 97th PGA Annual Meeting at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. The recipients:

Robert Beach of Braintree, Mass. – Patriot Award

Tennessee PGA Section – Herb Graffis Award (for exemplary contributions to Player Development)

About The PGA of America

Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.