Ohio native served as vice chairman for the past two years
Glenview, Ill. – Joe Desch of Cincinnati, Ohio, begins his two-year term as the new chairman of the Western Golf Association (WGA), leading the WGA and Evans Scholars Foundation (ESF) during a critical period of nationwide growth, leaders announced today.
The organization’s Board of Governors elected Desch to serve as the WGA’s 69th chairman at its December meeting. After serving as vice chairman for the past two years, Desch will succeed Kevin Buggy of Park Ridge, Illinois.
“I’m honored by the opportunity to lead the WGA, an organization that has been a significant part of my family’s life,” Desch said. “It has not only been transformative in the lives of countless young men women, but also in the game of golf. Our prestigious championships are best-in-class, and the Evans Scholars Foundation continues to provide life-changing opportunities for thousands of caddies, just as it did for me and my brothers.”
Desch has served in several key leadership roles since becoming a WGA Director in 2001. He was the WGA State Chairman in Ohio for 10 years, where he led more than 50 WGA Directors in raising funds, awareness and caddie opportunities across the state.
His term as chairman begins as the WGA, which conducts national golf championships and oversees the acclaimed Evans Scholars Program, is working through a long-range plan that will carry the organization through 2030. The ESF is also entering its final year of The Promise Campaign, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the history of the organization.
Desch’s top priorities will include the continued expansion of the Evans Scholars Program and establishing additional youth caddie programs across the country to reach more young people than ever before.
“We are fortunate to enter the year with an incredible amount of momentum, thanks to the generosity shown by our Alumni and supporters, and the record-setting contributions from our championships,” said Desch. “As the cost of college continues to rise, the need for the Evans Scholarship continues to grow, and we have a responsibility to continue driving this momentum and helping to meet the needs of more families.”
As an Evans Scholar Alum, Desch’s familiarity with the Program will serve him and the organization well during his term, said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowski.
“Joe has been a critical part of sending many, many deserving caddies to college in Ohio during his time as a WGA Director,” Kaczkowski said. “His dedication to our mission and his drive to pay it forward for future Evans Scholars makes him the perfect choice to lead our organization as we continue this critical period of growth.”
Desch caddied at Dayton Country Club and earned the Evans Scholarship to Miami University in 1980, graduating with a degree in marketing in 1984. He spent over 35 years in the marketing, communications and commercial printing industries and founded PrintManagement in 1999. He is married to Jean Desch and has two children, Madolyn and Olivia.
Desch is a member of Maketewah Country Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, Moraine Country Club in Dayton, Ohio, and Kiawah Island Club in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.