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Darrell Smith to pursue new career opportunity in Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The PGA TOUR today announced that longtime FedEx St. Jude Championship Executive Director Darrell Smith will step down from his position for a new career opportunity in Memphis. Smith will remain in his role through September 30, 2021, before the TOUR’s Joe Tomek will take over as Executive Director, effective October 1.
“These last 15 years have been truly unbelievable, and I cannot thank the fans, partners, and volunteers enough for their unwavering support of PGA TOUR golf in Memphis. From the day I started as an intern in 2005, I recognized the unique connection the tournament has with our community, and it’s been an honor to have a front row view,” said Smith. “Our success has been the culmination of hard work by countless individuals, and I will be forever grateful. The future has never been brighter, and I will continue to be the biggest champion of this this tournament moving forward. I can’t wait to watch in 2022 as TPC Southwind hosts the first FedExCup Playoffs event.”
Outside of one year with the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas, Smith spent 2006 through 2021 with the PGA TOUR’s longtime event in Memphis, rising from Tournament Manager to Tournament Director of the FedEx St. Jude Classic between 2011-18, before being named Executive Director of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in August 2018.
Smith was instrumental in elevating the tournament to a WGC event in 2018, and most recently to the kickoff event for the FedExCup Playoffs, as the FedEx St. Jude Championship will serve as the start of the TOUR’s annual season-ending Playoffs beginning in 2022.
Smith will be joining UBS Financial Services in their Global Wealth Management division as a member of the Wilfong Meyer Gage Group.
“Darrell has been a staple in the Memphis community and the face of this event for over a decade, and we thank him for his tireless efforts in elevating this tournament to a FedExCup Playoffs event,” said PGA TOUR Senior Vice President of Championship Management, Matt Rapp. “We are excited for Joe Tomek to transition into this new role and begin to form relationships in the community. Joe has been instrumental in working with our premier tournaments and partners to maximize revenue, sales and brand strategy, and he will bring that same level of expertise and leadership to this new era of PGA TOUR golf in Memphis.”
Tomek, who has spent the last four years working on the TOUR’s Championship Management events (including the FedEx St. Jude Championship), will transition into his new role as Executive Director in the coming weeks ahead of his official start date, October 1.
“I’m excited for this new chapter in my PGA TOUR career and getting to work in Memphis as we continue the tremendous elevation of one of our top events – the FedEx St. Jude Championship,” said Tomek. “As a FedExCup Playoffs event, this tournament will feature the TOUR’s best players chasing golf’s ultimate prize. This community has helped to create one of the great charitable stories in sports through St. Jude, and we are going to work diligently to continue those efforts while creating a tournament experience that Memphians can take pride in, and fans in surrounding regions can point to on the calendar as a can’t-miss event.”
Tomek began his career with the TOUR in corporate partnerships, facilitating the day-to-day management of 20+ Official Marketing Partners (OMP) and title sponsors. In his current role in tournament revenue, he manages sales strategy, OMP spending, goal monitoring, and sponsorship sales and fulfillment for the TOUR’s portfolio of marquee events, including THE PLAYERS Championship, TOUR Championship, Presidents Cup, World Golf Championships and FedEx St. Jude Championship, to name a few.
Tomek, who holds degrees from the University of Dayton (BS, Sport Management) and University of Central Florida (MBA, Master of Sport Business Management), will be relocating to Memphis with his wife, Paige.
As the first event in the 2022 FedExCup Playoffs, the FedEx St. Jude Championship will host the top 125 players in the FedExCup standings at the conclusion of the FedExCup Regular Season, with only 70 players advancing to the following week’s BMW Championship.
The PGA TOUR has held a tournament in Memphis every year since 1958 with Colonial Country Club playing host until the event moved permanently to TPC Southwind in 1989. FedEx first became the title sponsor in 1986 and has supported the tournament ever since. Since 1970, Memphis’ PGA TOUR stop has raised more than $50 million for the tournament’s primary charitable beneficiary, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
For more information on the FedEx St. Jude Championship, please visit PGATOUR.com.
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