JIM GARRISON, PGA | DIRECTOR OF GOLF
Jim Garrison is with Rocky Point Golf Course, where he serves as the Director of Golf. He has held this position since March, 2014. He is responsible for the general administration, management, coordination and supervision of the day-to-day activities. Rocky Point Golf Course plays 40,000 rounds of golf and generates over $1 million in revenue annually; with a staff of 40 employees and volunteers.
Jim previously served as the Head Golf Professional at Temple Terrace Country Club from 1999 to 2014, where he was responsible for all aspects of the golf operation, including organizing and running over 30 member and charity tournaments annually.
In 1999, Jim was elected into the Professional Golfers Association, where he served as the West Central Chapter President (2008-2009) and North Florida Section PGA Board of Directors. Jim earned the coveted North Florida Player of the Year honors in 2005 which gained him an exemption into the 2005 PGA Tour Chrysler Championship and the 2005 PGA Tour Funai Classic.
Jim is a graduate of Brevard Community College and studied Engineering at the University of South Florida. Jim resides in Riverview with his wife Melinda, and has two wonderful children. His hobbies are fishing, hunting and playing golf; they all love to travel.
Jim Hanks | Operations Manager
Jim Hanks was born and raised in Chicago’s South Suburbs. During a 2010 vacation to Tampa FL, Jim realized that he had found a new home. After moving to Tampa later that year, Jim became a member at Rocky Point Golf Course. As a member, Jim fell in love with Rocky Point and the services that it provides to the city of Tampa Bay. In 2013, Jim became the Operations Manager at Rocky Point.
Jim’s background is in hospitality and special events. He became a Chef in 2006 receiving his training from Robert Morris University in Orland Park IL. His experience has included fine dining restaurants and hotels, but the majority of his background has been in catering and special events. Jim has a unique and creative outlook on how a party or special event should run. His emphasis is on making an event interactive, different, and memorable with the ultimate goal of the guests feel “at home”.
Jim has now turned his attention into not just growing the game of golf, but also growing upon the services that a golf course can provide the community. He started his golf training by obtaining the Titleist Performance Institute Certification in 2013. He will be entering the PGA apprenticeship in 2015.
Kennie Sims, PGA | Vice President of Golf Operations
Kennie Sims is with the Tampa Sports Authority, where he serves as the Vice President of Golf Operations. He has held this position since October 1, 2012. He is responsible for the daily operations and strategic planning for the three golf courses owned by the City of Tampa: Babe Zaharias, Rogers Park and Rocky Point. Collectively these operations generate $3.2 million annually and staff over 130 employees and volunteers.
In May of 2008, he was named Director of Golf Operations, since that time he has improved profitability of the operation by 65% and during the same period he managed over $6 million of capital improvements. He is responsible for managing the TSA relationship with The First Tee which is a nonprofit foundation that impacts the lives of young participants through the game of golf.
Kennie has served as the Executive Producer of “A Tampa Golf Tour” a thirty minute documentary of the three City of Tampa golf courses and several television commercials designed to drive traffic to the courses. He has an extensive background in the golf industry, with thirty years’ experience. He has served in various positions for the Tampa Sports Authority including Head Golf Professional. As an accomplished instructor he has paved the way for many to enter and master the game.
Kennie earned his Masters of Business Administration at the University of South Florida and completed his Business Administration undergraduate studies at Fayetteville State University (NC). He was been awarded Golf Professional of the Year twice by his peers in the PGA of America, he has served as President of his chapter of the PGA and has served on the Government Relations committee for the PGA of America, where he has been asked to represent the golf industry on Capitol Hill.
Kennie resides in Tampa, Fl with his wife of 20+ years, Lesa, and their two children, Kevin and Leslie. He is a savvy executive that enjoys sports, backgammon, travel and personal growth.
ERIC D. HART, CVE | PRESIDENT/CEO OF TAMPA SPORTS AUTHORITY
Eric is the President/CEO of the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA). He is a member of the Westshore Alliance and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission board.
The TSA manages Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the University of South Florida Bulls, the Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex and three City of Tampa municipal golf courses- Rocky Point, Babe Zaharias and Rogers Park. The TSA also serves as the landlord for Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Steinbrenner Field, spring home for the New York Yankees.
Eric previously served as the President and CEO of the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority. Prior to Lansing, Eric served as the Director of Event Services for the Minneapolis Convention Center and as Associate Director for the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. He began his career at the Iowa State Center in Ames, Iowa where he served as the Guest Services Manager and was later promoted to Event Coordinator.
He is currently the Dean of the Graduate Institute at the IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers) annual Venue Management School (VMS GI) at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa. Eric earned the prestigious Certified Venue Executive (CVE) designation from IAVM in 2013. He has been nominated to become the Second (2nd) Vice Chair of IAVM’s Board of Directors in 2019.
Eric received a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and a Master of Science in Business Education and Administration from Illinois State University.
He is happily married and the proud parent of two daughters. Eric loves to hunt, golf, fish, wood-work in his shop and spend time with his family.