About American Golf: Executive Profiles

Paul Major

President and CEO

Mr. Major has been involved with a variety of roles within American Golf and prior to becoming President and CEO oversaw business development, transactional, and legal activities for American Golf and National Golf Properties. 

Mr. Major joined National Golf in 1993 and was appointed the Company’s Executive Vice President in 1998 after rising through the ranks in a variety of roles in the business development group.  Mr. Major joined American Golf at the closing of the Goldman/Starwood acquisition in 2003 and was appointed as President in 2006.  Prior to joining National Golf, Mr. Major was a corporate lawyer at Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles.

Mr. Major received a JD degree from the Boalt Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Sciences degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Rick Rosen

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Rosen joined American Golf in 2011 as Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for all financial functions at American Golf. 

Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Rosen served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for Black Angus Steakhouses, a multi-unit restaurant company.  Mr. Rosen has also served as Chief Financial Officer for several other privately held corporations, including The Ruby Restaurant Group, Barbeques Galore, and The Johnny Rockets Group. He also worked in a variety of finance roles for The Walt Disney Company, Pepsico, and Amoco. 

Mr. Rosen earned a Master of Management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

Keith Brown

Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President

As Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President, Mr. Brown is responsible for operations of American Golf’s properties across the United States. 

Since joining the Company in 1992, Mr. Brown has held a variety of positions including as general manager of several private clubs, regional manager in the Pacific Northwest, regional vice president of American Golf’s private clubs and, prior to becoming COO, was the senior operating executive in the western United States.  Prior to joining American Golf, Mr. Brown was an associate at Houlihan, Lokey, Howard and Zukin, an investment banking firm based in Los Angeles. 

Mr. Brown received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from California State University Northridge, where he played NCAA golf and served as an assistant coach.  He also earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Christine Chong

Senior Vice President - Real Property and Legal Affairs

Ms. Chong joined American Golf in 2004 and is currently responsible for managing the company’s transactional and legal matters and real estate portfolio.  Prior to joining American Golf, she worked in a variety of real estate and legal roles for ARCO and Public Storage. 

Ms. Chong holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California. 

Jim Allison

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing

As Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Mr. Allison is responsible for managing American Golf’s diversified sales organization and marketing group. 

Mr. Allison joined the Company in 1992 as a regional director of sales and in 1995 was promoted to National Director of Sales for the private club division of American Golf.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Allison served as Vice President of Sales where led American Golf’s national, regional, and local sales teams.  With 27 years of sales and sales management, Jim has a track record of building successful sales organizations through proven sales standards, measurement processes, training programs, recruiting, and product development.  Prior to joining American Golf Mr. Allison spent several years in sales organizations in the computer and electronics industry.

Craig Kniffen

Senior Vice President of Maintenance

One of the golf industry’s most respected professionals in the area of golf course maintenance and agronomy, Mr. Kniffen is responsible for overseeing American Golf’s network of golf course superintendents.

Mr. Kniffen joined American Golf in 1983 as a golf course superintendent before serving as a regional superintendent for six years.  He became the Director of Maintenance for the Southeast Region before becoming Vice President of Maintenance and Construction.  In 2001, he was promoted to his current role as Senior Vice President of Maintenance and is one of the industry’s leading authorities in agronomy and golf course management. 

Mr. Kniffen studied Business Administration at Suffolk County Community College; Agronomy at Oregon State University; and Architecture at Arizona State University.

Joe Stegman

Vice President of Human Resources

As Vice President of Human Resources, Mr. Stegman is responsible for overseeing the recruitment, hiring, training, professional development and employee relations of approximately 7,000 co-workers nationwide. 

Mr. Stegman joined American Golf in 1988 as an assistant golf course superintendent and then served as superintendent at various golf clubs throughout the Midwest and New England.  He was appointed Regional Superintendent in 1994 before becoming a general manager at several courses in Ohio. Mr. Stegman was named Director of Recruiting & Training in 2001, and became Vice President of Recruiting and Training in 2006. 

Mr. Stegman holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Heidelberg University.