THE PLAYERS Championship has announced that Houston Bowles has been named its 2023 tournament chairman. Bowles succeeds Matt Welch for the role that oversees the more than 2,000 volunteers who support all elements of the PGA TOUR’s flagship event.
In addition, Laura Renstrom has been appointed the newest vice chair, becoming THE PLAYERS’ fourth female chairperson.
The volunteer leadership team, commonly known as the Red and Blue Coats, manages the 47 committees responsible for the operations integral to THE PLAYERS’ success. The 2023 volunteer leadership team is as follows: Chairman Houston Bowles, First Vice Chair Lee Nimnicht and vice chairs Tyler Oldenburg, Marc Hassan, Kevin Copeland and Laura Renstrom.
Entering his 24th year as a volunteer with THE PLAYERS, Bowles has managed a variety of committees, including benefactor, commissary, corporate hospitality, ecology, general parking, offsite parking, volunteer parking, VIP parking and walking scorers.
“I am so honored to work alongside the amazing volunteer team at THE PLAYERS and assume the position of 2023 chairman,” said Bowles. “THE PLAYERS volunteers have become my extended family over the last 20-plus years, and their passion and dedication continually motivate me to always do my best. I hope to live up to the high standards set by Matt Welch and all past chairpersons and am looking forward to a 2023 championship that is successful on the course and throughout the greater Northeast Florida community.”
A Maryland native, Bowles holds a Bachelor of History degree from the University of Lynchburg, where he played on the school’s lacrosse team. Bowles moved to Northeast Florida in 1998 and is currently a federal account manager for North Florida at Florida Blue.
Bowles has been an active volunteer in Northeast Florida’s nonprofit community, with past involvement including work with the American Red Cross, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, Seaside Community Charter School, Cathedral Arts Project, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
Bowles and his wife, Trisha, live in Atlantic Beach with their two daughters, Ellie and Kadie.
Renstrom, a Northeast Florida native, began volunteering at THE PLAYERS as a child, first as a runner on the practice grounds and later as a standard bearer. THE PLAYERS 2023 will mark Renstrom’s 15th year as a volunteer.
Prior to being named vice chair, Renstrom held leadership positions on the apparel, benefactor, standard bearers, tournament support and volunteer off-site shuttle committees.
As the newest vice chair, Renstrom will oversee the Volunteer Services division, which supervises apparel, credentials, concessions, office and volunteer personnel, photography, recognition, supplies, volunteer information, offsite shuttle and volunteer transportation.
Renstrom graduated from Nease High School and then received several degrees from the University of Florida: Bachelor of Music in piano performance, Master of Science in business management and Juris Doctor from the Levin College of Law.
In 2013, she was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame.
Renstrom currently works as a trial lawyer in Holland & Knight's Jacksonville office. She has been recognized as a 2022 First Coast Women in Law honoree by Attorney at Law Magazine, among other accolades. In addition to her involvement with THE PLAYERS, Renstrom has also served on the board of directors for Sanctuary on 8th Street as well as vice president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Laura and her husband Nathan have two children, Parker, 3, and Caroline, 1, and live in Mandarin.
“I am incredibly honored to be selected as a vice chair at THE PLAYERS,” said Renstrom. “This tournament holds a special place in my heart as I have been a volunteer at THE PLAYERS since I was a child. I was born and raised here in Jacksonville, and I have directly seen the community impact that this tournament makes on Northeast Florida. Getting to serve on the leadership team has been a lifelong dream, and I’m honored to work with thousands of dedicated volunteers and the hardworking team of staff to ensure that the tournament grows and improves each year.”
THE PLAYERS 2023 will be held on March 7-12. Volunteer registration is slated to open in the fall.
For further information, go to THEPLAYERS.com/volunteer.
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