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J. Michelle S. Crace, M.E. 
owner & director of communications

michelle@watermarkgolf.com

A native of the Magnolia State, Michelle completed her undergraduate studies at Mississippi State University (MSU) and began working toward her Masters at MSU before completing her Masters Degree at William Carey.  She is a member of the American Business Women's Association and the National Association of Female Executives.  With nearly twenty years of experience in education, Michelle provides the critical support needed for the firm's communications, marketing, and promotional efforts.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Mississippi State University before earning her Masters Degree from William Carey University.  Michelle has numerous hours of post-graduate work in communications and marketing with a specialized emphasis in Internet marketing, which she puts to good use in guiding the Watermark staff in keeping our web site content fresh and up-to-date.  In addition to her position as the firm's owner, communications coordinator, and a member of the Advisory Board she is involved with Watermark Golf's daily financial operations as well as long-term strategic planning for current and prospective projects.  Add to this her ability to step back from each project and "see the big picture" from an objective point of view, and it's easy to see why she is such a critical piece of the puzzle at Watermark Golf.  Watermark Golf has Minority Business Status (as a certified Woman owned Business Entity [WBE]).

 

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Nathan Crace, APA
principal & director of marketing

nathan@watermarkgolf.com

Our Principal, Nathan Crace, as born in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up in Charlestown, Indiana (in the Greater Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area).  Nathan is a Graduate of Mississippi State University's prestigious Professional Golf Management Program; one of only a few such programs in the world sanctioned by the PGA of America.  He also has a degree in Business Administration with a Major in Marketing from Mississippi State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude.   Nathan is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA).

Through his educational background and work experiences, Nathan has gained invaluable insight into all aspects of golf--the game, the course, and the business.  Nathan has completed several PGA seminars and his educational background includes Turfgrass Management, Golf Course Operations, Design of The Golf Environment, Golf Course Architecture, Plant Biology, and Landscape Architecture in addition to International Marketing, Business Quantitative Analysis, Marketing Research and other specialized business courses.

Nathan has served as assistant golf professional at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi (host site of the 1999 U.S. Women's Open); Castlewoods Country Club in Jackson, Mississippi; Diamondhead Country Club on the Gulf Coast; and Big Spring Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky (site of the 1952 PGA Championship).  Nathan served as the Director of Marketing and Senior Design Associate for Maxwell Golf Group for nearly eight years prior to co-founding Paradigm Golf Management, LLC in the fall of 2002 (now Watermark Golf Management, LLC).  He is also the Principal and co-founder of Watermark Golf/Nathan Crace Design--a golf course design and land planning firm.

Nathan possesses a true ability to create unique and marketable applications that are not always the "norm" in the golf industry in order to help drive play and involvement by customers while working within a wide range of budgetary parameters.  He is also active in promoting the game of golf for juniors and promoting the golf industry for those seeking a career in golf.   In addition to serving as a member of the advisory committee for Hinds Community College's Irrigation and Turf Equipment Maintenance program, he also holds a seat on the advisory board of the LPGA/USGA's Mary Ann Edge Mississippi Junior Girls' Golf League.  You may have read some of Nathan's "literary work" in his freelance column called "Lipouts" where he writes about his perspective on current events in the world of golf.  He has published one book on golf and is currently working on two fictional murder/mystery novels for Moonbay Media.

 

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Randy Tupper, PGA Class A
events and instructional programs
head golf professional, the refuge
rtupper@watermarkgolf.com
Randy has long been respected by his peers in the golf industry as a consummate professional and one of the best golf instructors in the Southeast.  In 1999, he was honored with the coveted PGA Gulf States Section's Teacher of the Year Award.  He comes to our company from Clear Creek Golf Club in Vicksburg, Mississippi where the Arkansas native served as the Director of Golf for 14 years.  In 2004, sister company Watermark Golf, LLC/Nathan Crace Design renovated Clear Creek Golf Club's front nine holes and Randy was so impressed with the company's work that he took advantage of the opportunity to join our management team in the late spring of 2005 as the head golf professional at The Refuge in Flowood, Mississippi.  Randy is also the director of the Randy Tupper Academy of Golf and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Business Management from Delta State University.

 

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Bill Whatley, GCSAA

senior agronomist
superintendent, the refuge
bwhatley@watermarkgolf.com
Bill is a graduate of Mississippi State University's Agronomy & Turfgrass Management program--one of the best in the Southeastern United States.  As our Senior Agronomist, his years of experience as both an assistant superintendent and superintendent at some of the top golf courses in the Southeast serve as a solid foundation to provide the necessary expertise for the successful grow-in and maintenance of golf courses.  He has a reputation for superb course conditions and "running a tight ship."  He is a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Louisiana Mississippi Golf Course Superintendents Association, and the Mississippi Turfgrass Association.

 

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Lara Craft
office manager & administrative assistant
lcraft@watermarkgolf.com
Lara manages the day-to-day operations of the Watermark Golf office, including bookkeeping and staff assignments and travel schedules.  Before coming to Watermark, she had extensive experience in bookkeeping and office management in the medical industry working with private doctors and a public hospital as well as working in the insurance industry.  She brings her organizational skills to Watermark to help ensure that the staff stays on top of the many new opportunities that present themselves each day.

 

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Martin Reeves, PGA Life Member
club operations & advisory board member

mreeves@watermarkgolf.com

A well-respected Life Member of the PGA of America, Martin has years of experience not only as a managing golf professional, but also as a course owner/operator.  His career spans from years as a non-exempt player on the PGA Tour in his younger days to a club professional at courses from Texas to Mississippi.  As a member of our Advisory Board, Martin's area of expertise is in providing support in the development and operation of our properties, assessment of new projects, and in helping to ensure that each works in synergy with one another.

 

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Ralph Ross, CPA
financial planning/assessment & advisory board member

rross@watermarkgolf.com

An avid golfer and a native of Grenada, Mississippi, Ralph earned a golf scholarship to the University of Mississippi, where he earned his degree in 1974.   He has served his community of Madison, Mississippi as the director of the Madison Chamber of Commerce and as Chairman of the Madison Center of Art. Ralph began his public accounting career with the Memphis, Tennessee office of Ernst & Young, LLP before returning to Jackson, Mississippi, where he is an active member of the Estate Planning Council, the Jackson Tax Forum, and is the Senior Tax Partner for Smith, Turner & Reeves, one of the largest accounting firms in the Magnolia State.  As a member of our Advisory Board, Ralph utilizes his extensive experience to provide assistance in the development of pro forma financial statements and financial planning for the firm's on-going projects.

 

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Gene Holbrook
planning/risk assessment & advisory board member

gholbrook@watermarkgolf.com

With more than 30 years of experience in the insurance and estate planning industries, Gene has a keen understanding of the importance of proper planning and due diligence.  His years of business experience, involvement with the Mississippi and Jackson Associations of Life Underwriters, and his vice-chairmanship of the Pre-Licensing School, combined with continuing professional education studies in the areas of Business and Estate planning provide him with the background required to make critical assessments of potential projects for the firm.  An avid golfer, his position as a member of our Advisory Board provides the firm with a wealth of knowledge not only in planning, but also in risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis.

 

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