Meet the new AJGA staff

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By Tim Jackman (@AJGAJackman), AJGA Communications

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At the beginning of the year, a new group of full-time employees joined the AJGA. We are very excited to have this talented group from around the country join our staff. As you are at tournaments this year be on the lookout for these nine new faces and welcome them to the AJGA family!


Kelsie Berke

Position: Communications Coordinator
Intern Class: 2015, Communications
Education: University of Iowa
Sports claim to fame: I was in the newspaper for meeting Zach Johnson last summer right after he won the British Open. (And he said Go Hawkeyes, we are now bffs)
Fun Fact: I took piano lessons for 12 years. I also like to dip my grilled cheese in chocolate milk. (actually really good)
Favorite thing about AJGA: Definitely the people I get to work with and the places I get to travel to.
Anything else interesting: I’m from Iowa and I have never lived on a farm. Shocking, I know.

Houston Denney
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Spring / Summer 2015, Operations
Education: The University of Tennessee
Sports claim to fame: I made an albatross on a Par 5.
Fun Fact: My sister and I share a birthday, but we are 11 years apart.
Favorite thing about AJGA: The family-like atmosphere.

Emily Martz
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Summer 2014, Summer Tournament Assistant 2015, Operations
Education: Graceland University
Sports claim to fame: I saw Mark McGwire hit his 500th home run at Busch Stadium and I watched Pat Summit coach her last basketball game in 2012.
Fun Fact: I played golf all four years of college and I was in charge of intramural sports my senior year of college.
Favorite thing about the AJGA: Being able to see so many juniors go to college for a sport they love and all of those golfers who are now giving back to our program.

Johnny Garstka
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Summer 2014, Summer Tournament Assistant 2015, Operations
Education: Clemson University, Class of 2015
Sports claim to fame: I have attended THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass twice.
Fun Fact: Skydiving is the most exhilarating thing I have ever done! If you have not had a chance to try it for yourself, and you are up for a thrill, I highly recommend it!
Favorite thing about AJGA: My favorite thing about the AJGA is definitely the people. From my co-workers, to the players and parents that we serve on a daily basis, I have met so many incredible people the past two summers and I am looking forward to meeting many more in 2016.
Anything else interesting: I am originally from Springfield, VA, just outside of Washington, D.C. and I am the oldest of four siblings. I love sports, spending time outside hiking and skiing, and traveling to new places.

Nathan Nottrott
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Summer 2015, Operations
Education: McKendree University
Fun Fact: Found my first gray hair at age 16
Favorite thing about AJGA: My favorite thing about the AJGA is getting to work in a family atmosphere with such an amazing group of people and the ability to interact with the best junior golfers in the country.

Brett Polachek
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Summer 2014 (Communications), Fall 2014 (Communications in-house), Summer 2015 (Operations)
Education: University of Georgia
Sports claim to fame: Played collegiate baseball at South Georgia College
Fun Fact: Called the Dawgs at the Georgia/Florida game in Jacksonville, Florida.
Favorite thing about AJGA: How united the entire company is. I’ve worked in two completely different roles over the last two years and was treated the same throughout. The role of Tournament Coordinator was an easy pick.

Bobby Puchner
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Summer 2015, Operations
Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Claim to fame: Caddied for AJGA Alum Patrick Rodgers in the 2010 Western Junior Championship, which he won.
Fun Fact: I have dual citizenship with the U.K.
Favorite thing about the AJGA: My co-workers and the privilege to work with the best junior golfers in the world.

Carly Ragains
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Summer 2015, Operations
Education: Kansas State University
Sports claim to fame: 2011 AJGA alumni
Fun Fact: I was a ballerina for 11 years before I decided to become a full time golfer.
Favorite thing about AJGA: Being around junior golf and building relationships along the way.
Anything else interesting: I am deathly afraid of fish.

Kyle Rickert
Position: Tournament Coordinator
Intern Class: Summer 2014, Summer 2015 Tournament Assistant, Operations
Education: Indiana University
Sports Claim to fame: Three-time Big Ten Water Polo MVP
Fun Fact: I have played water polo for the last 16 years.
Favorite thing about AJGA: The relationships formed in this organization make it like a family.

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