The Club Champion Team
Keith’s role is to oversee the strategic vision for Club Champion, and is intimately involved in finance, marketing, personnel and the national expansion planning for the company. He is the co-founder and Managing Director at KB Partners and Versatile Sports Partners, and has a diverse background in start-up companies, real estate, and other entrepreneurial ventures.
Keith serves as a board member for Kirtas Technologies, SteadyMed, Ltd., Versatile Sports Partners and Club Champion Golf. He also oversees the firm’s investments in PixelOptics, Inc., Fusion Risk Management and Buddy Media. Keith is a founding board member of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and served as its Chairman for 2005-2006. He was the recipient of the IVCA’s prestigious Fellows Medal in 2006. Keith founded, and for 15 years served as the Chairman of the Chicago Select Golf Invitational, the largest American Cancer Society golf fundraising event in the country, which raised over $6.5 million during his tenure. Keith has been honored by Crain’s Chicago Business as a “40 Under 40”, a Who’s Who of Chicago Executives and as one of the 100 most prominent members of Chicago’s technology economy.
Prior to forming KB Partners in 1996, Keith was a Principal at Hiffman Shaffer Associates, a Chicago-based national real estate development, investment, management and brokerage firm. There he was instrumental in the development, acquisition, financing, sale, and leasing of over three million square feet with a value in excess of $650 million. Other career highlights include co-founding a discount retail chain, the turnaround of a women’s apparel manufacturing company, and the procuring of equity and debt financing for, and producing a feature film entitled Heaven is a Playground.
Keith is a Magna Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA in Finance with honors from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is 90% of the way towards achieving his goal of playing the Top 100 golf courses in the United States.
Joe’s role is to oversee and help drive all corporate activities for Club Champion, including strategy and execution regarding marketing, sales, operations, finance, and personnel. Joe has over 18 years of leadership experience ranging from successful entrepreneurial companies to international program management for Fortune 500 corporations.
Most recently, he held the role of Director of Sales for Cognizant, a Nasdaq 100 IT consulting and services company with a worldwide presence and practices covering almost every major industry. While at Cognizant, Joe personally drove client acquisition for major accounts while leading a team of 10 sales executives across two divisions. Joe held this role for approximately 3 years after his prior company, Fathom Solutions, was acquired by Cognizant.
Joe was co-owner of Fathom Solutions, an IT consulting company focused primarily on the telecommunications and financial services markets. During 5+ years with Fathom, Joe helped grow the firm from a handful of employees to more than 180 consultants with revenues exceeding $24M. As Vice President of Sales, Joe’s efforts were spent acquiring new clients as well as leading the sales team, but also included responsibilities in marketing, HR, finance, and accounting through the early growth years of the company.
Joe began his climb into management at Conxus Communications, a start-up voice paging company in Greenville, SC, where he initially engineered and designed large, metro area paging systems. Joe began his career at Motorola as a systems engineer in both the cellular and international paging divisions. He holds a BSEE from Marquette University. While at Marquette, Joe competed on their Division I men’s golf team and continues to pursue his passion for golf at Olympia Fields CC. He currently resides in Chicago, IL and sits on the board of St. Francis de Sales high school.
Founder / Master Fitter / Builder
Nick’s role is to oversee the training of fitters and builders for Club Champion, as well as to help in vendor management, including the selection and procurement of demo inventory. Nick has over a decade in the custom-fitting industry, having begun his career at EJL Custom Golf, the predecessor to Club Champion, while still in school. He quickly climbed the ranks at EJL, becoming a partner, prior to helping co-found Club Champion.
He is well respected within the club-making circle, receiving numerous awards and recognitions from groups like The Professional Club Makers Society (Class A Club Maker status). He is also fitter-certified by all major club manufacturers. He has worked extensively with PGA tour players, leading amateurs, and professional athletes. Nick holds a BS in marketing from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Brian manages all accounting and finance related functions for CC. He began his career in the Compliance division at Swiss Re Group before becoming Accounting Manager at Financial Security Assurance, Inc., both based in New York. Most recently he ran the financial reporting and analysis at Madison Capital Funding, a leveraged finance firm in Chicago.
Brian graduated from Fairfield University in Connecticut with a BS in Information Systems and Operations Management where he also competed on the NCAA Men’s Division I golf team.