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Our Board

  • The board of the OGPA will always have majority of player-members.
  • Our Non-Player Directors are volunteers.
  • We are always accountable to our shareholders; the player-members.

Joseph C. Sponholz

Chairman

  • Joe is the first Chairman of the OGPA, elected by the founding player-members in 2021. He is a Partner in L.E.K. Consulting Sydney office, and has over 20 years of experience advising in professional sports including as an attorney with Weil, Gotshal and Manges and as a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and Mitchell Madison in New York City.
  • Select Sports Experience:
    • Rugby League Players Association: Independent Director. Lead advisor on development and execution of strategy to ensure player welfare and drive growth from grass roots to professional level of the sport
    • NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement: Team member representing NBA Players Association in understanding and enforcing key provisions of Collective Bargaining Agreement with Owners, including salary cap, broadcast media and use of player image and likeness
    • NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement: Team member representing NFL Players association in negotiation with owners on key Collective Bargaining Agreement components including revenue sharing, player well fare and rookie training and education
    • Players Inc. (NFLPA): Represented Players Association in dispute with former athletes Marcus Allen and Ronnie Lott over creation, ownership and rights to “World’s Largest Super Bowl Party” event held at Super Bowls beginning in 1992
  • Joe has a Juris Doctor cum laude from Fordham University School of Law and a B.A. (Politics And Economics) cum laude from New York University. He attended the EMBA program at Columbia University and has completed Textron’s Global Leadership Programs at the Thunderbird School of International Management; and Wharton Business School..

Bryden Macpherson

Player Director and Co-President

  • Bryden is a Director and founding player-member of the OGPA and was elected President by the founding player-members in 2021
  • He played college golf on a scholarship at the University of Georgia
  • He has played professional golf in the USA, Asia, Europe and Australasia for the last decade.
  • He has 5 professional wins
  • He is a current member of the PGA Tour of Australasia, Challenge Tour and China Tour

Whitney Hillier

Player Director and Co-President

  • Whitney is a Director and founding player-member of the OGPA and was elected Vice President by the founding player-members in 2021
  • She has been playing professional golf in Europe, Asia, Oceania and the USA for almost a decade.
  • She has 4 professional wins
  • She is a current member of the LET (Ladies European Tour) and the WPGA Tour of Australasia

James Marchesani

Player Director and Vice-President

  • James is a Director and founding player-member of the OGPA
  • He currently serves at Vice-President
  • He completed a Bachelors of Business Admin from Oklahoma City University
  • He is a current member of the PGA Tour of Australasia
  • He has played professional golf in USA, Asia and Australasia for almost a decade.
  • He has one professional win at the 2017 Clearwater Bay Open in Hong Kong.
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Ian Watt

Non-Player Director and Company Secretary

  • Ian is the first Secretary of the OGPA, elected by the founding player-members in 2021
  • Ian is a Partner of PwC Canada, based in Calgary, Canada.  He is a leader in its Power and Utilities Practice and has served clients across the globe, specialising in corporate strategy development and business model transformation.  Previously, Ian led the Australian Energy and Environment Practice of L.E.K. Consulting, a global strategy consulting firm.
  • Ian holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (first class honours) from the University of Strathclyde, where he also received the University Medal, and the JCB Award for the best undergraduate Honours project

Jessica Blomfield

Non-Player Director

  • Jess is currently the Regional General Counsel and Company Secretary for a global logistics company for Asia Pacific and Australasia.
  • She graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor Business Management majoring in Industrial Relations and HR.
  • She has a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, was admitted to the Roll of Legal Practitioners in 2006. She is also a GAICD and member of AICD, a member of: NSW Law Society; Association of Corporate Counsel; and the Governance Institute. 
  • Jess also sits on the Maritime Super board as an alternate director and is on their Audit and Risk Sub Committee. Jess brings legal and governance experience to the Board.

Nicholas Saady

Non-Player Director

  • Nick is a New York attorney, currently working at Pryor Cashman LLP on media, entertainment and sports law matters;
  • He previously worked in the Litigation Department of global law firm Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP on some of the world’s largest litigation and investigations, and prior to that, was a solicitor in the Employment / Industrial Relations Department of another global law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills;
  • He also worked as a tipstaff to two judges of the New South Wales Supreme Court, Justice Monika Schmidt AM and Justice John Sackar
  • Nick holds a Master of Laws from New York University – where he studied as the Dean’s Graduate Award Scholar and Lieberman Fellow, and was awarded the George Colin Award as the student graduating with distinction from the LL.M. class
  • He also holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology Sydney – where he graduated with the University Medal and First Class Honours
  • He has published widely on employment, corporate, and labour law topics in renowned peer-reviewed journals and newspapers; and lectured on employment, corporate, and labour law issues at the University of Technology Sydney and the Governance Institute of Australia
  • Nick played cricket professionally in Gloucestershire, England, and is an avid but improving golfer

Lisa Jean

Player Director

  • Lisa is a Director and has been essential to the growth of the OGPA
  • She officially joined the Board of Directors in September of 2021
  • She has played professional golf for 17 years, playing on the Ladies European Tour (6 years), South African Tour (2 years) and WPGA Australasian Tour (17 years).
  • She has one professional win.
  • She is currently a teaching professional as well as a player, she is currently the head golf professional at Murray Downs Golf and Country Club.
  • She is a current member of the WPGA Tour of Australasia.

Steven Jeffress

Player Director

  • Steven is a Director and has been instrumental in the formation of the OGPA
  • He officially joined the Board of Directors in July of 2021
  • He has played professional golf for 22 years, playing on the Australasian Tour (20 years), Japan Tour (5 years) OneAsia Tour (5 Years), Asian Tour (2 years) and Gateway Tour (2 years).
  • He has 2 professional wins including The 2014 Fiji International.
  • He has 68 Pro Am wins in Australasia.
  • He is a current member of the PGA Tour of Australasia, and Japan Golf Tour.

Nathan Hedges

Board Assistant and Manager

  • Nathan is a Graduate at Wotton + Kearney, a specialist insurance law firm
  • He graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney with a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Business majoring in Finance
  • Nathan has been a key part of the early formation and organisation of the OGPA.

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