The Midwest Classic Has A New Management Team

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Kansas City Crusaders Hire Kansas City Area Sports Marketing and Special Events Experts

The Tour is very excited to see the progress being made by the Midwest Classic.

The Kansas City Crusaders are excited to announce a new management team for the Midwest Classic ( The new Executive Director for the Midwest Classic is Howie Olson. In addition to the Executive Director, Mark Laverentz has been hired as the Director of Sponsorships.

Olson has called Kansas City home since 1987 and brings a unique set of skills to the tournament. As a graduate of the Blue Valley school district, Olson has a significant tie to the Midwest Classic host city of Overland Park. Olson increased his affinity for the area and built upon his skills while he earned an undergraduate degree at Washington University and a Masters at the University of Kansas.

Olson has a successful background in corporate and non-profit settings, and his experiences encompass sports marketing and corporate events. The businesses where Olson has worked include Sprint, EMBARQ, Special Olympics, The Kansas City Blades, The Kansas City Wizards and the United Way. According to Matt Henderson, Chairman of the Board for the Kansas City Crusaders, “Howie is the perfect person to run the Midwest Classic and Kansas City Crusaders. He loves the city and is passionate about sports and charities.”

Similar to Olson, Laverentz shares KC roots and has great experience working with charities and economic development initiatives. Laverentz is a graduate of Kansas State University and he spent many years working with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

The PGA Tour’s Tour is 100% behind Olson, Laverentz and the Midwest Classic. Recently the Kansas City Crusaders and the Tour signed a new three-year contract extension. Bill Calfee, President & CEO of the Tour said “The Tour is very excited to see the progress being made by the Midwest Classic.” Calfee added “The Kansas City Crusaders have done a great job growing the Midwest Classic, and the Tour is excited about the future with Howie Olson as Executive Director.”

Olson and Laverentz have already started their new positions. They are currently at the Tour Tournament Directors annual meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. According to Olson “Mark and I are really looking forward to working with the Tour and the Kansas City Crusaders to drive economic value and to support non-profits in the area by leading the Midwest Classic.”


About the Tour:
The Tour is the Path to the PGA TOUR. Founded, owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Tour identifies those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s greatest stage. Tour alumni have 369 PGA TOUR victories, including 18 major championships. became the tour’s umbrella sponsor in June 2012, signing a 10-year agreement. To learn more about the PGA TOUR and the Tour, visit http://www.PGATOUR.COM, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About the Midwest Classic:
The Midwest Classic is the Kansas City area’s official PGA TOUR event. The tournament was added to the Tour in 2011. The 2014 Midwest Classic will feature 156 players and will be played at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate on July 24-27. To learn more about the Midwest Classic, visit

About the Kansas City Crusaders:
The Kansas City Crusaders organization is a not-for-profit group of business individuals with the goal of supporting area businesses and charities through the promotion of professional golf.

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Howie Olson, Executive Director

Jeff Adams, Director of Communications
since: 03/2009
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