Meet the team

There’s a growing team behind the sustainable golf movement working closely with others in the sport to raise awareness, increase engagement and play a part in delivering a positive impact for the future.

Find out more about the individuals who are committed to driving the green across golf courses, developments and tournaments. 

Jonathan Smith, Founder and Executive Director

For over two decades, Jonathan has been involved with sustainability in golf, from field support to planning, working for golf and for government. For 15 years he has been bringing a positive vision, progressive strategic direction, an ethos of collaboration and a genuine passion... leading the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf to be a dynamic, credible, influential and trusted organization, helping usher golf to the forefront of the sustainability movement.  

Kelli Jerome, Executive Director

Bringing experience from years in product management and strategic relations at Microsoft headquarters during the early years of the digital age, Kelli is now turned toward another important frontier, sustainability. Responsible for GEO Certification Ltd, and managing the effective, efficient and nimble implementation of GEO's work, to meet the strategic vision of the foundation and stakeholders.

Sam Thomas, Director of Golf Development

Sam is focused on GEO's role in supporting and advocating sustainability in golf development, in both established and emerging markets, working with architects, developers, governments, and tourism bodies. From oversight of the programme for sustainable development and dissemination of best practice and standards, Sam's dedication and focus set a pace at GEO. He is a chartered member of the UK Landscape Institute with an MSc in Golf Course Architecture.

Michael Williams, Project Manager - Sustainability Systems

Michael has built up a knowledge of golf by working in the industry, and through playing at University division level. During his studies, his passion for the game was applied in an academic context on both his MA and MSc programs, which addressed the impact of landscape on golf tourism as well as energy use. Michael supports GEO’s efforts in ensuring the integration of sustainability into golf developments in the most effective and efficient way possible. 

Richard Allison, Project Manager, GEO Certified for Golf Facilities (for subsidiary GEO Certification Ltd.)

Richard brings valuable knowledge and outlook with a BSc in Environmental Science and a Golf Course Management Diploma. He reviews applications for GEO Certified, works with the verifier network, and monitors trends amongst facility reports, inputting to GEO around future Standards and programme usability. A lifelong golfer interested in agronomy and nature, he enjoys supporting the people working toward certification. 

John Kemp, Manager, OnCourse Engagement

With a degree in Golf Management and professional qualifications in Golf Course Architecture and Club Management, John has worked internationally in nearly every kind of job in the golf industry - from greenkeeper to club manager, designer & builder to consultant. He is passionate about helping those who work and volunteer in the industry to be better custodians of their clubs, courses and communities through sustainability and OnCourse.

Moira Fraser, Administrator

Moira is GEO's full-time administrator and is generally the first point of contact for anyone getting in touch with the office.  She brings a wealth of experience with her from previous  roles and has a passion for what GEO stands for. She is delighted to be able to support the team on a daily basis, helping to keep things running smoothly.

Rosie Isaac, Reporting and Localisation Coordinator

Rosie's role at GEO is all things OnCourse. She co-ordinates all things translation, guidance and the analysing of data for OnCourse Reports. Her attention to detail and organisational skills help with the running of OnCourse whilst keeping an eye on how OnCourse can develop. 

Libi Newell, Tournament Specialist

Experienced at both an operational and strategic level as GEO’s Tournament Specialist, Libi supports golf tournament’s around the world to design and implement meaningful, innovative sustainability programmes. Additionally, she was part of the team that helped the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games become the first ever event certified to ISO 2012-1.

Chris Asensio, Carbon Specialist

Chris is our carbon expert - scoping, developing and delivering the tools built specifically for clubs, tournaments, associations and players.  He also informs the low carbon guidance and action plans we provide to partners and programme participants. Chris has over 20 years’ experience in the energy, consultancy and climate action fields, providing energy efficiency, carbon management, sustainability and renewables advice to a wide range of large and small scale clients in the private, public and third sectors.

Roddy Williams, Director, Professional Golf Engagement and Communications

Roddy brings a wealth of experience from two decades working in a variety of senior digital, content and communications roles with the European Tour and Ryder Cup during which he oversaw an award-winning digital content team and led the editorial coverage of the last 10 Ryder Cups.

Jamie Graham, Communications Manager

Jamie has over 15 years' experience in marketing and communications for national and international brands. This includes copywriting, social media management and SEO in agency and client-side roles. He joined the organization in April 2019 and enjoys amplifying the many sustainable golf success stories that are happening worldwide. 

Guy Stirling, Communications Executive

Guy joined the organization as a graduate in 2019. He has an M.A. in Sustainable Development from the University of Edinburgh. His passion for branding and design shines through in his work whether it’s for social media graphics, marketing brochures or updating the website with fresh content.

Ed Syers, Social Media Manager

Ed developed his experience covering sport and producing video in the journalism industry before moving into sustainability. Having joined in May 2021, Ed is the newest member of the comms team and is making a big impact across all social media platforms.

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