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Meet the HJGT Staff

Mario Conte


Mario Conte serves as the Executive Director and founder of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. Mario started the HJGT back in 2007 due to his passion for junior golf and turned it into the largest junior tour in the country. Mario earned a double major in International Hospitality and Tourism and Business Management from Saint Leo University in Dade City, Florida. In 2017 Mario announced one of the biggest partnerships in the history of junior golf bringing the Nexus group on board as a new partner of the HJGT. Lead partners in Nexus include Tiger Woods, Justin Timberlake, and the Tavistock Group. Mario was an accomplished junior golfer playing in many national tournaments throughout the country since an age of 8 which gave him the inspiration to start the HJGT. Mario’s passion is junior golf and he is committed to offering an unforgettable experience at each event and to help each junior golfer pursue a collegiate golfing career.



Dan F. Crowther


Dan joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour as the Director of Marketing in March of 2013. Originally from the New York area Dan is a graduate of Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. Dan has an extensive background in the areas of Corporate Marketing, Brand Development, Advertising, and Sales Management. Dan has over 25 years of experience in these areas and a great passion for the game of golf. Dan’s vision for the tour is to take it to the next level while continuing to maintain the level of excellence that we provide to our junior participants, members, and sponsors. Dan will work closely with the Executive Director and will continue to give junior golfers a world class experience and the chance for them to pursue a collegiate golfing career. Email Dan: dan@hjgt.org

John Beltran


John came on board at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour as an Ops Intern January of 2016 before being brought on full-time as a Marketing Manager in April. John graduated from the University of Florida where he majored in Sport Management and minored in Business Administration. While in college, John was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and where he found his passion to work in the golf industry. As a South Florida native, John loves the Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat. In his spare time, John likes to play golf, watch Florida Gator football in the fall, and go fishing. John is committed to advancing HJGT to unprecedented levels and providing everyone that plays with us with unparalleled customer service. Email john@hjgt.org

Zsofia Lanstiak


Zsofi came on board at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour as a Marketing Intern in August of 2016 before being brought on full-time as a Marketing Manager in January. Zsofi graduated from Lindenwood University where she earned a Master’s degree in Sport Management, after she attended Lewis University for her undergraduate degree in Psychology.  While in college, Zsofi was an All-American tennis player, which was the main reason she came to the United States in 2010. Originally from Budapest, Hungary, Zsofi is passionate about traveling and is always looking for her next adventure. Zsofi is committed to help HJGT achieve unprecedented success and providing outstanding customer service to everyone that plays with us. Email Zsofi at zsofi@hjgt.org

Thomas Byrne

Director of Operations

Thomas joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in 2015 as a Tournament Director based in Los Angeles and focused on the west coast of the United States .Thomas is now the Director of Operations for the HJGT and oversees all full time tournament directors and all 275 events from coast to coast. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Thomas has been an accomplished tournament golfer since 8th grade and has continued to play competitive golf through 2015. A graduate from Miami University of Ohio with a B.S in Marketing. Thomas strongly believes that the future of golf lies in the hands of the junior players throughout the USA and beyond. His passion for the game of golf at all levels especially at the junior level is the key driver in Thomas’s quest to help each and every participant in Hurricane Golf tournaments have the best experience possible. Email Thomas: thomas@hjgt.org

Chad Peters


Chad joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour as an Ops Intern January of 2016 before being brought on full-time as a Tournament Director in May. Chad graduated from the University of North Florida where he majored in Sport Management and minored in Community Leadership. While in high school, Chad was number one on his tennis team for a number of years. Being from South Florida, Chad has a passion for many sports but connected with golf through his internship with the HJGT. In his spare time, you can find Chad out on the ocean participating in all water sports or out on the golf course. Chad’s passion for the game of golf is evident and he strives to create the best experience for every golfer in his field. Email: Chad@hjgt.org

Jamie Fowler


Jamie joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in early 2016 as the Recruitment Coordinator.  Jamie is born and raised in Jacksonville, FL and graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in Elementary Education with Endorsements in both Reading and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in 2006.  Jamie is the mom of three and after teaching in both the private and public sector for 9 years, she has developed a passion for education in all areas of life.  This passion has extended now into advancing the success of the Internships offered here at the Tour to students and Universities everywhere.  She believes in the real-world learning experience gained through these Internships and the benefits students gain from completing.  Jamie works closely with both the Executive Director and Director of Marketing to further promote and advance the rewarding opportunities offered here at HJGT for full time employees and interns.

Taylor Lambertsen


Taylor joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in January of 2017 as a Tournament Director based out of Atlanta. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Taylor graduated from Tusculum College in 2016 with a degree in Sports Management. She was a member of the Women’s Golf Team and had two top 5 finishes. Taylor has spent the last two years working for the Illinois Junior Golf Association, Mid-American Junior Golf Tour and the International Junior Golf Tour. She loves to watch the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks, go hiking, and working with people. Taylor hopes to help junior golfers enjoy the sport she loves just as much as she does and always believe in themselves. Email: taylor@hjgt.org

Chip Hoch


Chip joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in January of 2017 as a Tournament Director based out of Orlando. He was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida and attended Spruce Creek High School. Chip graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Business Marketing. Chip played on the HJGT from 2009-2011 before accepting an offer from Florida Atlantic University. He was a state champion and won over 15 tournament’s. While attending college, Chip played professional golf for a year on the FloridaPGA Tour.  Chip has spent the last year working for Charisma Media as a Marketing Coordinator and as a social media influencer. He spent majority of his free time mentoring the youth at his church and volunteering in the children’s ministry. He loves to play basketball, scuba dive and travel. Chip hopes to help junior golfers pursue their passions, and make their dreams become a reality. Email: chip@hjgt.org

Shena Yang


Shena joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in February of 2017 as a Tournament Director based out of Jacksonville. She was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. Shena graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. She played junior tours including HJGT before accepting a golf scholarship to USF. Her collegiate career included 2 wins, qualified for the NCAA East Regional as an individual two years in a row, and awarded Freshman of the Year. After graduating, Shena competed as an amateur and won the Women’s State Amateur Championship, qualified for the U.S Women’s Amateur, and was recruited to the NCAA Asian All Star Team. After competing in the 3 stages of Q-School, Shena obtained full status for the Symetra Tour and competed in 13 tournaments. In her free time she loves to play beach volleyball, attend concerts, travel to foreign countries, and find good eats in every town she visits. Shena hopes to inspire junior golfers to pursue their dreams and to play golf at all levels. Emails: shena@hjgt.org

Matt Paolucci


Matt joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in May of 2017 as a Tournament Director based out of Richmond Virginia. He was born and raised in Schwenksville, PA and attended St Pius X High School. In High School, Matt was a two time first team all-conference and all-area golfer and. Matt graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a BSBA in Marketing including PGA Professional golf management coursework and successful completion of the PGA playing ability test (PAT). Matt joins us from the Golf Association of Philadelphia where he served the past year as the USGA P.J. Boatwright Jr Intern. With the Golf Association of Philadelphia, Matt had the opportunity to work local Greater Philadelphia Area amateur events, USGA Qualifying Events and participate in numerous Course Ratings. Matt has had the opportunity to work at a number of private country clubs and public golf courses where he worked inside operations, outside operations, and ran junior golf camps. Matt also runs his own charity golf outing back home for former Coker College golf star and best friend who passed away from cancer in October of 2015. In his free time, Matt enjoys watching and cheering for all Philadelphia Sports teams and encourages fellow die-hard Sixers fans to “Trust the Process”. With a boundless knowledge of the game of golf, we are extremely excited to have Matt as a part of the HJGT family. Email matt@hjgt.org

Dave Thomson

HJGT Certified Rules Official

Dave Thomson is a Rules Official for the South Carolina Golf Association. Dave generally works SCGA tournaments and USGA Qualifiers in the Upstate, north of Columbia. Dave is also the Course Rating Team Captain. Course Raters gather on-course data, e.g. width of fairways, distances to obstacles (water, OB, Trees) and use this data to look up obstacle ratings in the USGA Course Rating System Guide. The SCGA uses a USGA program to calculate each tee box Rating and Slope. Dave Thomson joined the HJGT in 2008 and serves as a certified rules official for South Carolina events.

Brian Chafin


After forty years in college athletics Brian Chafin retired from Centre College as the Director of Athletics and Director of Golf. Brian joined the HJGT in 2011. During his time as a college coach Chafin served on several NCAA committees including the Golf Championship Committee, he also coached an NCAA Champion as well as a two time NCAA Runner-up. Brian manages all operations in the state of Kentucky.

Chad and Lisa Snyder


Chad and Lisa Snyder joined the Hurricane Junior Golf Staff in September of 2015. Chad and Lisa were accomplished junior golfers and both played Division 1 golf in college (University of Kansas and Missouri State University). Both pursued golf as a career after college as playing professionals. They competed on numerous mini-tours across the country while living in both Florida and Arizona. After a few years of playing professionally Chad decided to go work for Ping Golf while Lisa continued to play golf professionally and attend LPGA Tour qualifying school. In 2000 they decided to move back to Iowa to be closer to family and friends to raise a family of their own. “We are two of the most passionate people you will ever meet when it comes to junior golf. We love helping both players and families navigate junior golf. Just like playing the game of golf, by helping others you learn something new about yourself everyday. We are so excited to be apart of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour as state tournament directors and working on bringing what Mario and his staff have created around the country to the Midwest – specifically to Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.” Chad and Lisa live in Ames, Iowa and have two kids, Britta (age 13) and Brock (age 10).

Email Chad or Lisa at snyder@hjgt.org

Steve Jones


Steve Jones retired from Nationwide Insurance Companies in 2006 after 26 years and joined the HJGT in 2008. Steve attended Johns Hopkins and Oglethorpe University. Steve joined the Florida State Golf Association in 2003 and was selected as the volunteer of the year in 2006 and became a certified rules official in 2009. In 2007 Steve traveled with the Duramed FUTURES Tour as the tournament operations manager. Steve has worked as a certified golf rules official for Florida State Championships Amateur and professional events, USGA Open and LPGA qualifiers. Steve joined the HJGT in 2009 and serves as a certified rules official throughout the state of Florida and the Southeast.


Paul Ellis


Paul Ellis joined the HJGT in 2015 as a Tournament Director after serving as President of the Plantations Junior Golf Tour. Paul brings 21 years of experience to the job and loves doing what he does.“It has been such a pleasure to work with Mario and the Staff of the HJGT”, Ellis stated. “Their commitment to the juniors in helping them develop as players and people is outstanding and I’m thrilled to play such a small part in their success”.In addition to his role with the HJGT, Paul works as a Service Provider for Weight Watchers International while also working as a high school and college basketball TV and radio analyst. Paul and his wife Melissa have two sons, Ryan (27) and PJ (19) and reside in St. Louis, MO.


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