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McCooey to Receive MGA Distinguished Service Award

McCooey (left) with GOLFWORKS interns
and the MGA Foundation's Lou Cutolo.

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (December 1, 2015)The Metropolitan Golf Association is proud to announce Jeanne McCooey as the recipient of its 2015 MGA Distinguished Service Award. The honor recognizes her 38 years of outstanding service to the Association and golf in the Met Area. She is currently the MGA’s Senior Managing Director of Communications and Foundation Operations and will retire at the end of the calendar year.

The MGA Distinguished Service Award, created in 1973, is presented annually to a candidate who has contributed “distinguished service to golf and its related activities, consistent with the valued standards and honorable traditions of the game.” Some of its earliest winners include Joe Dey, Harry Cooper, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and P.J. Boatwright, while names such as Dave Anderson, David Fay and Jim Nantz have received the honor in recent years.

While Jeanne protested that her name did not belong on this outstanding list, her career with the MGA—in which she’s served more than 25 years as head of the communications department and played an instrumental role in the development of the MGA’s charitable Foundation—certainly suggests otherwise. “I’ve been involved with the selection process for a number of years and I can’t remember an easier choice,” remarked past president and chair of the DSA Committee, Jeff Holzschuh.

Jeanne grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Hunter College and joined the MGA in 1977 after a short time of substitute teaching. She was hired by then MGA communications manager David Fay, despite not having a background in golf. But, an enthusiasm and drive evidenced in her work more than made up for any lack of familiarity with the business of the game. Ever since, she has epitomized what lies at the core of the MGA: Service.

As head of the Communications department, Jeanne has always been thorough and effective in communicating the Association’s message no matter the avenue. The Met Golfer, first published more than 30 years ago and quickly recognized as the best regional golf publication, is the greatest example of this. Year-in and year-out, Jeanne has continued to set new standards with the magazine. In recent years, under her watchful eye it has continued to thrive despite the difficult times for most print publications. She strives to make each and every issue the best it can be, down to every last edit and photo detail. Her sharp editorial eye has truly played a key role in the success of The Met Golfer.

Beyond the flagship publication, Jeanne has led the management of, media guides, annual reports, the MGA’s centennial book, live scoring, eNewsletters, mobile apps and the MGA’s digital publication Met Golfer Extra. Communications is an ever-changing landscape, yet Jeanne’s leadership has helped the MGA not only keep pace, but be ahead of the curve and set standards for communications among regional and state golf associations.

In 1992, Jeanne played an instrumental role in beginning the MGA’s charitable Foundation. Once again displaying her enthusiasm and willingness to take on any task, she assisted with fundraising and crafting a successful Capital Campaign, and led the creation of GOLFWORKS. In the years since, Jeanne has nurtured GOLFWORKS to its status as the Foundation’s cornerstone youth program and one of the most successful initiatives in junior golf. The program started with just a dozen participants at six clubs in 1994, and this year more than 250 students worked meaningful summer jobs at more than 80 MGA member clubs. Since its beginning, more than 3,000 young men and women, most of them minority and underprivileged kids, have been positively influenced by the opportunities GOLFWORKS provides.

Beyond her work with communications and the Foundation, Jeanne has also been a key liaison for the MGA. For many years she assisted the Met Golf Writers with organizing their annual awards dinners. She also helped establish the MGA’s relationship with the Met Club Managers Association and other client groups, displaying her ever-present passion for the MGA and golf in the Met Area.

Furthermore, as part of the MGA Management Committee, Jeanne has helped shape and influence every major program and initiative the Association and Foundation have undertaken over the past 20-plus years. “She’s been a friend and trusted advisor, someone who was always willing to challenge me on a decision or direction to be sure we got it right,” said Executive Director Jay Mottola. “With her input, we usually did.”

Just having referenced the tip of the iceberg in terms of her contributions to the MGA and golf in the Met Area, there is no doubt that Jeanne McCooey’s name belongs on the impactful list of names who have received the MGA’s highest honor - the Distinguished Service Award.

The award will be presented at the 118th MGA Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 2 at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y.


MGA Distinguished Service Award

Past Recipients


Jim Nantz



Ira L. Mendell


Emily “Missy” Crisp



Ann Beard


David C. Catalano



Arthur “Red” Hoffman


Paul R. Dillon



John F. McGillicuddy


David B. Fay



Arthur E. Lynch


Gene Westmoreland



Dana Mozley


Dave Anderson



James R. Hand


Joseph C. Cantwell



George E. Sands


J. Michael Carter



Isaac B. Grainger


John C. Baldwin



P.J. Boatwright Jr.


Charles Robson



Dr. Richard Silver


Lowell M. Schulman



Robert Trent Jones Sr.


Gerald T. Mahoney



Harry Cooper


Oliver & Eleanor Lazare



Cynthia Alexander (Foshay)


James Cotter



Al Laney


Rees Jones



Fred Corcoran


William & Lois McTurk



William P. Turnesa


C.A. “Tony” Wimpfheimer



Jerry Courville Sr.


Arthur Weber



Joseph C. Dey


Guido Cribari



Clarence “Gus” Benedict


Joseph A. Donahue





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