Staff Changes for MSGA in 2018
Cumberland, ME — The upcoming golf season in Maine will inherently have a new feel for the 2018 campaign due to the merger in January with the SMWGA and WMSGA. It will also be different due to some staffing changes taking place this year at our Cumberland office. After 14 years spent with the MSGA, longtime employee Don Doyon has announced his retirement. Replacing Doyon will be former USGA P.J. Boatwright intern A.J. Simokaitis. The MSGA will also have Barbara Freeman and Sherrie Thomas on board this year, both serving as Tournament Managers for women’s weekly events.
Doyon joined the MSGA in late 2005 as a part-time scorer, the first of many positions he held in his time on staff. Doyon worked as a Tournament Administrator, Handicap Administrator, Website & IT Director, and served most recently as the Director of Member Services and Course Ratings. In addition to helping the clubs and individual golfers around the state, Doyon also worked closely with the USGA in testing and improving their products of GHIN and TPP.
“I'd like to think I'll be remembered for bringing the MSGA up to date in technology,” Doyon says. “I'm proud of my accomplishments on a national level with GHIN / USGA. Having come from the amateur side of things, I'm now starting a new chapter with the PGA of America. I'll miss the many friends I've made over the years, but I'll still be around and hope to play a few MSGA events and volunteer as a Rule Official.”
“To say that Don Doyon has been a valuable employee for the MSGA for many years would be an understatement,” tells Nancy Storey, Executive Director of the MSGA. “His relationships with our member clubs has been outstanding and he’s offered a level of professional service on behalf of the MSGA that will be difficult for us to match moving forward.”
“We wish Don the very best of luck as he moves on,” adds Storey. “We’re sure he’ll continue to influence Maine golf for a long time to come.”
Replacing Doyon as the Director of Member Services is A.J Simokaitis, who worked as a USGA intern for the MSGA from 2014-2016. The University of Southern Maine graduate brings to the staff three years of past experience with the MSGA, primarily working with Junior Golf.
“With the loss of Don, I can’t think of anyone more qualified to take his place than AJ,” admits Storey. “Not only was AJ one of the best PJ Boatwright Interns the MSGA has ever had the pleasure to employ, but he’s also been working for the past several years at Portland Country Club and is intimately familiar with the new Tournament Management software offered through the MSGA by Golf Genius. AJ is bright, personable, attentive, and we expect that if anyone has a shot at successfully filling Don’s very big shoes that AJ is our best bet.”
Simokaitis looks forward to being back with the MSGA this spring. “I enjoyed my time at the MSGA from the very beginning,” he tells. “The people, the organizing, the running of an event from start to finish. It’s very different to see what golf is for the rest of the state and it is awesome. The camaraderie of the MSGA and all its players is truly a special thing within such a small state. I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I am very much looking forward to the challenge. I look forward to building relationships with our member clubs and with those who make golf in Maine such a special experience.”
New this year to the MSGA staff, but certainly familiar faces to our new female players, will be Barbara Freeman and Sherrie Thomas.
Freeman was the Executive Director for the SMWGA and is looking forward to her new position with the MSGA. “I am definitely looking forward to working with the MSGA to support women’s golf in Maine,” says Freeman. “Managing and developing women’s golf within one organization just makes sense. I have worked closely with the MSGA staff even before the merge, so this transition has been pretty seamless for me."
Thomas will move over to the MSGA from the WMSGA and shares in Freeman’s excitement about the new job. “I feel grateful and fortunate to be working for the MSGA. Not only do I get to join a great new team that shares my passion for golf, but I also get to bring my WMSGA family along with me. What could be better than that?”