The PGA Tour announced Thursday that FedEx St. Jude Championship executive director Darrell Smith will step down from the position at the end of the month to pursue new career opportunities.
Joe Tomek, who has helped manage the PGA Tour’s marquee events in recent years, will take over as the tournament’s executive director, effective Oct. 1.
“These last 15 years have been truly unbelievable, and I cannot thank the fans, partners, and volunteers enough for their unwavering support of PGA Tour golf in Memphis,” Smith said in a news release. “From the day I started as an intern in 2005, I recognized the unique connection the tournament has with our community, and it’s been an honor to have a front row view. Our success has been the culmination of hard work by countless individuals, and I will be forever grateful. The future has never been brighter, and I will continue to be the biggest champion of this tournament moving forward.”
Smith will be joining UBS Financial Services in their Global Wealth Management division as a member of the Wilfong Meyer Gage Group. He took over as tournament director of the FedEx St. Jude Classic ahead of the 2016 tournament once the late Phil Cannon stepped down from the role.
Smith then shepherded the Memphis area’s PGA Tour stop through its transition from a regular PGA Tour tournament to a World Golf Championships event the past three years. Next year, the event will be renamed the FedEx St. Jude Championship and become the first Fedex Cup playoff event for the PGA Tour.
The PGA Tour has held an event in Memphis every year since 1958.
Tomek will be relocating to Memphis after spending the past four years managing sales strategy, operations, goal monitoring and sponsorship sales of the PGA Tour’s premier events, including the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
“Darrell has been a staple in the Memphis community and the face of this event for over a decade, and we thank him for his tireless efforts in elevating this tournament to a FedExCup Playoffs event,” said Matt Rapp, the PGA Tour’s senior vice president of championship management. “We are excited for Joe Tomek to transition into this new role and begin to form relationships in the community. Joe has been instrumental in working with our premier tournaments and partners to maximize revenue, sales and brand strategy, and he will bring that same level of expertise and leadership to this new era of PGA Tour golf in Memphis.”
Added Tomek: “I’m excited for this new chapter in my PGA Tour career and getting to work in Memphis as we continue the tremendous elevation of one of our top events – the FedEx St. Jude Championship. As a FedExCup Playoffs event, this tournament will feature the Tour’s best players chasing golf’s ultimate prize. This community has helped to create one of the great charitable stories in sports through St. Jude, and we are going to work diligently to continue those efforts while creating a tournament experience that Memphians can take pride in, and fans in surrounding regions can point to on the calendar as a can’t-miss event.”
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