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F. MORGAN TAYLOR, JR. will replace JUDY BELL as USGA President. Taylor has been VP for three years (Mult., 12/18)....BILL JEMAS has been named Exec VP/MSG Properties. He was Founder & President of Blackbox, a collectible card company (MSG)....Raptors Senior Manager of Sports Communications RICK KAPLAN is leaving the team to work for ISIAH THOMAS (TORONTO SUN, 12/18)....The WTA Tour named BROOKE LAWER as Communications Manager and NICK IMISON as Senior Communications Manager, Europe. Lawer was previously with National Media Group, while Imison was on the European Communications staff of the ATP Tour (WTA Tour).
Wieden & Kennedy's GARY KOEPKE, TOM BLESSINGTON and STACY WALL, who each work out of W&K's N.Y. office, are featured in NEW YORK magazine's "Innovators" section. NEW YORK calls W&K's "SportsCenter" ads "TV advertising's most persuasive argument against the MUTE button" (NEW YORK, 12/29 issue)....Chicago-based publishing exec BOB NIENHOUSE, co-founder of Merrill Corp., has purchased RICK GALLES' team of cars, equipment and crew for the '98 IRL season (STAR- NEWS, 12/16)....ROCK NEWMAN has signed on to manage the Cubs' SAMMY SOSA (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/17).....ANDRE AGASSI and BROOKE SHIELDS purchased a new home in Pacific Palisades, CA, for a reported $6M (SUN-TIMES, 12/17).
Burton Snowboards Founder & President JAKE BURTON is profiled by Tony Chamberlain in the BOSTON GLOBE. Burton, "whose very name is synonymous with snowboarding, does not even claim to be a visionary. Or creator. Or inventor. Or, for that matter, revolutionary." Chamberlain: "Yet it is hard to imagine that snowboarding would ever have happened without Burton, who, despite his simple tastes, is president of the largest pure snowboard manufacturer in the world." In its first year, Burton said the company sold 300 snowboards and then "went up 100 percent" for "about" ten years. Now, sales are going up "around" 25% a year. Burton: "Eventually, boarding will be bigger than skiing." Burton, on the sport being recognized by the Olympics, and the Int'l Ski Federation's involvement: "Snowboarding isn't skiing and it isn't a team sport. Accepting and recognizing individualism is what the sport is built on. The concept of an American snowboard team traveling around the world, year in, year out, all dressed up in red-white-and-blue uniforms, is enough to make me gag" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/18).