Strategic Consulting for Private Clubs, Destination Resorts and the Golf Industry

Team Members Profile

Bruce Lucker

President & CEO

Lucker is widely recognized as one of the leading golf and private club industry consultants with expertise in strategic planning, operations, marketing, communications, finance and revenue generation. As a passionate communicator, negotiator, facilitator and branding expert, Bruce has merged his extraordinary experience in sports, entertainment, hotels and golf with The Signature Group, his home for serving clients in the golf, club and hospitality industries worldwide. Currently, Bruce heads up a talented team of professionals serving a diverse cross section of clients including GOLFZON, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Golf Digest Editors’ Choice Award for Best Golf Simulator; GT Air Inject, manufacturer of the award-winning Air2g2 turf aeration system; Perfect Golf Event, the industry leader in providing golf tournament software and services to amateur golf event organizers; The Club at Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany, Italy; Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra, FLA.; Forest Lake Club in Columbia, S.C.; and Equinox Hotels, with their first flagship Hotel scheduled for opening in June 2019 at Hudson Yards, New York, the largest mixed-use real estate project of its kind in the U.S. Prior to starting The Signature Group, Bruce served in such leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame and the World Golf Village; Senior Marketing Strategist for the PGA TOUR; President of Sun International Sports and Entertainment (which includes Atlantis Paradise Island); Executive Vice President of Entertainment and Sports for Madison Square Garden; President and Executive Producer of the Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageants; Head of Business Development for Radio City Music Hall Productions and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Omni Hotels. Over the past 15 years, under Bruce’s leadership, The Signature Group has been engaged by a wide array of companies, organizations and clubs in the golf and private club community to assist them in leveraging their brand, increasing market share and growing revenues through innovative marketing strategies and sound financial business models. Some of these clients include the Asian Golf Industry Federation, National Golf Foundation, Golf Genius, IMG, KPMG’s Golf, Travel and Leisure Practice, Reed Exhibitions - China, Syngenta, Pacific Links International, ClubCorp, Arnold Palmer Design Company and numerous private clubs and golf industry brands. Bruce currently serves on the Advisory Board of the National Golf Course Owners Association and as a Mentor Guide in the Dedman School of Hospitality’s Mentorship Program. Bruce and his wife Jane live in Ponte Vedra Beach, and enjoy walks on the beach with their two Havanese pups, Maxx and Mickie.

Josh LeMaster

Chief Operating Officer

Josh LeMaster has twenty-two years of financial-leadership experience with early-stage, mature and not-for-profit companies. As Chief Operating Officer of The Signature Group, Josh serves a variety of clients, nationwide, with an emphasis on supporting companies in the golf industry, including numerous private clubs. During the last 15 years, Josh has held executive-level positions in the golf industry. Most recently he was Chief Financial Officer of a national distributor of golf and sports products. Prior to that, he was Director of Finance and Controller for PGA TOUR Holdings. In this capacity he supervised the financial area of the PGA TOUR's Tournament Players Club (TPC) network and several other for-profit activities of the TOUR, including PGA TOUR Design and Construction Services. In his five years with the PGA TOUR, Josh participated in the construction of the World Golf Hall of Fame as well as nearly $100 million in golf-course construction. In a leadership position with the World Golf Foundation, he supervised the Hall of Fame box-office and ticketing operations. In this capacity he was responsible for dozens of staff members operating a tourist and special-event facility. During this same period, Josh was also the project manager responsible for the issuance of more than $50 million in tax-exempt bonds for the World Golf Foundation and St. Johns County Industrial Development Authority. He has a vast array of experiences in every aspect of tax-exempt bond financing, from prospectus to ongoing reporting and tax compliance. While responsible for all financial operations of the World Golf Foundation, Josh was part of the team that started The First Tee, which has become one of the most significant junior-golf programs in history. Earlier in his career, Josh was Controller for the ATP TOUR (men's professional tennis tour) and also served in several financial and accounting roles with American Express. Josh graduated from the University of Florida and University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. In 1996, he was recognized as Certified Public Accountant. He has been a lifelong resident of Ponte Vedra Beach and resides there with his wife of 25 years, Tammy, and their three children.

Michele Carroll

Vice President Club Consulting

Michele Carroll is the former Senior Vice President of Marketing for ClubCorp, the largest owner and operator of private golf and country clubs in the world. For 16 years at ClubCorp, Michele was responsible for growing revenue and improving the guest and member experience for more than 180 club and hotel properties. Michele’s success is grounded in what she refers to as the three R’s -- Revenue, Recruitment and Retention. Her vast experience has enabled her to become nationally recognized as an expert in developing membership training programs, hiring processes, employee retention tools, leadership, strategy and vision planning, customer service and member engagement programs. Her talent at being able to engage with colleagues at every level has benefited clubs and hotels immeasurably by instilling loyalty and enthusiasm throughout organizations. A respected industry spokesperson, Michele has most recently been a guest speaker for the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), the Professional Club Marketing Association (PCMA), Crittenden’s Golf Conferences, and at numerous resort and club chapter meetings across the country. Michele developed the advanced curriculum for the PCMA membership certification program and has certified many of their top-level sales professionals. For two years, she received the highest award for "Excellence in Leadership" while working for ClubCorp. Michele also received the IHRSA Gold Design Award for her creative branding and marketing of a private country club. Michele has become widely admired by her peers for her ability to provide strategic focus, vision and judgment derived from a successful 23-year career of leveraging business expertise in a variety of entrepreneurial and market-making ventures. Having worked alongside numerous executive in start-up operations and turn-around situations, Michele’s expertise and marketing competencies have made her a highly sort after resource for helping clubs and hotels to implement innovative revenue improvement programs. She continues to espouse that “IF” the mindset behind the experience is changed, attitudes will change, leading to better customer experiences and improved bottom line results.

Paul Courter

Vice President, Events

For nearly the past decade, Paul Courter has used his expertise for organizing and facilitating golf event planning. Paul’s proven skills in this niche market have provided his clients with the latest methodologies to make their golf events successful. Paul’s methods of technological solutions and tournament services for fundraising golf events have been presented to thousands of event organizers. Paul’s unique, tech-savvy approach eliminates the approximate 300 hours necessary to organize an individual tournament, leaving the event organizers to focus on attracting players and sponsors, maximizing the return on their investment of time. Among Paul’s many services, they include how to organize, manage and market golf events. For example, starting with free webinars and modest question-and-answer e-mail sessions; and ranging up to complete Consulting and Event Management. Prior to his successful entry into the golf event planning Paul was the Vice President and developer of Golf Digest Planner, where he managed corporate branding and promotional product programs in the business-to-business space. His responsibilities included sales management, marketing, e-commerce solutions, direct marketing and operations management. Paul has a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri and a Masters in Business Administration from Fontbonne University. He has been a speaker for the American Marketing Association, Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the European Promotional Products Association and Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Jane Gordon Lucker

Vice President of Hospitality Consulting

Jane serves as Vice President of Business Development for the Signature Group. As such, she is an active participant in the implementation of the multi-platform marketing and branding initiatives for which the company has become known. With a solid career background in marketing and sales, she is also a respected innovator in the real estate industry, as a licensed Florida Real Estate Broker and in the hospitality industry, with over 20 years of experience creating brand positioning and marketing plans and creating and leading successful sales teams for several noteworthy hotel companies.

Bill Oakley

Director of Tournament Business Development and Operations

Bill Oakley, Signature Group’s Director of Tournament Business Development and Operations, has extensive experience with some of the world’s best golf courses and events and in Board rooms around the United States and internationally. Following a stellar career with the PGA TOUR, Oakley launched his own professional golf management company in 2017 with responsibilities for Event Management, Tournament Operations, Title Sponsor Consulting and Corporate Outings. Oakley was recruited to the PGA TOUR in 1989 and served in various areas, including Business Development, Sponsor Services, Branding, Media and Public Relations. These increasing areas of responsibility were directed toward forging strategic partnerships with Title Sponsors, Business and Community Leaders and Corporate Sponsors. He also has significant international event experience, having secured Title Sponsors and launched events in five countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama and the Caribbean. Among the specific companies that Oakley played a pivotal role in securing was Nike as a major umbrella sponsor for what is now the Web.com Tour in the early 1990s and Bass Pro Shops as the Title Sponsor for the Legends of Golf, the first official PGA TOUR event in history to incorporate both an 18-hole course and a Par-3 Course into the competition at the Missouri site. He also secured commitments from, BMW, Xerox and GM. He is also credited with developing the PGA TOUR’s initial tournament evaluation process to measure and improve Financial Performance, Sponsorship Engagement and Fan Experience. For his efforts, he was recognized as the PGA TOUR’s Outstanding Employee, Fall 2000. Oakley was assigned to the PGA TOUR Champions in 2007 to increase its financial stability and to bring new tournaments onto the schedule. This included returning The Tradition to major championship status by securing Regions Financial as Title Sponsor and in securing Shoal Creek as the host site for this major championship and overseeing a TOUR-funded renovation for Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham to host the event. Oakley began his career at the University of Alabama where he was responsible for various special projects ranging from Sports Marketing to Student Recruitment and also served as Assistant Director for the Hall of Fame Bowl, now the Outback Bowl. Bill and his wife Glenda reside in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Bill is also actively involved with family, church and community affairs, including having served as a member of The First Tee of North Florida and as a consultant with neighboring high school, Nease High School, and the development of its athletic program. He also served a three-year term on the Marsh Landing Master Board of Directors and on the Architectural Review Board.

Vince Agusta

Director of Digital Marketing and E-Commerce

Vince is one of the new generation of e-commerce and digital marketing professionals with expertise in SEO & SEM, Pay-Per-Click, website analytics, content creation and social media management along with certificatecation by Google for AdWords and Mobile PPC Advertising. While working at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Vince developed an internal portal for the ticket office to allow management to post announcements about track activities, provide race literature and other multimedia, accessible in real time track wide. Vince also participated in promotional community events for the Speedway and worked all racing events (Daytona 500, Coke 400, Rolex 24 and Daytona 200). For Garden Grocer, Inc., Florida’s largest grocery delivery service focused on tourist needs, Vince handled all digital marketing campaigns. He helped increase sales 25 percent from the previous year and helped implement a more secure mobile website and advised on IOS APP development. During his time at Fender Marine Construction, Vince focused on SEO and handling the Google Adwords account. He dominated the search engines with keyword rankings appearing on the first page, which allowed the company to save on pay-per-click marketing. Vince also was instrumental in placing a story on Fender Marine Construction featured in a leading construction print magazine, detailing the company’s work on the seawall construction project at the Orlando International Airport. The Jacksonville, Fla., resident studied Marketing/Internet Services at Daytona State College and has a Certicate of Completion from the University of San Francisco in Digital Brand Management

Ward Clayton

Director of Communications

Ward Clayton is an accomplished and respected Communications Professional, author and editor with 20-plus years’ experience and a broad understanding of the media, communications and public relations. In his role as the Communications Director for Signature Group, he provides editorial and communications development and supervision for numerous clients. This has included an extensive campaign to provide international outreach for Myrtle Beach, S.C., one of the top golf destinations in the world; TruGolf, a leading golf course simulator and software company; Clubs to Hire golf club travel provider; fitness software provider Membr; Club Spa and Fitness Association and GOLFZON, the world’s largest golf simulator provider. He also serves as the Content Director for Masters.com, overseeing editorial and photography areas, along with key oversight on the site’s look and direction. Other engagements include contacts in South America via a golf/travel venture to Colombia in early 2012; improvement of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association’s communications, successfully gaining community support, state-level government participation, multiple media opportunities and a social networking startup; public relations and communications support for the Florida Chamber Music Project in St. Johns County, Fla.; public relations for Red Bull with its sponsored golf athletes; and editorial assistance with the Wounded Warrior Project. His writing has appeared in Golf Digest, the Wall Street Journal, pgatour.com and lpga.com. He has an award-winning track record in the journalism field, including a 10-year stint as the sports editor of The Augusta Chronicle. As the Director of Editorial Services for the PGA Tour, he was recognized for guiding excellent content development, including the Annual Report and coordination with the Marketing Department. Additionally, he is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Jacksonville, Fla., representative for the PR Consultants Group, a collaboration of PR agencies in the top 50 U.S. markets. Ward is a Durham, N.C., native and a graduate of the University of North Carolina. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in St. Johns, Fla., with their two children.

Evan Berlin

Manager of Client Services

Evan Berlin serves as Manager of Client Services for Signature Group. Evan’s primary responsibility is to engage and support the portfolio of Signature Group clients in the areas of Brand Management, Business Development, Marketing and Financial Strategies developed by the Signature Group team. In addition, Evan works closely with Signature Group CEO Bruce Lucker helping to craft and implement business and marketing plans on behalf of new clients. With a diverse background in finance, sales, consulting and golf, Evan has developed a skillset that allows him to play an integral role in almost all facets of the Signature Group business. Prior to joining Signature Group, Evan worked as a fully licensed investment adviser representative for Northwestern Mutual and NEXT Financial Group where he earned the designation of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®) through the College of Financial Planning. Evan is a graduate of Florida State University where he earned a B.S. degree in Finance with a Minor in Hospitality. He currently lives in Atlantic Beach, FL and is a competitive amateur golfer.