Joanne Flynn of Windham CC Selected for Chamber’s Distinguished Businessperson Award

August 22, 2014
Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

submitted by the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce

Although her profession certainly sounds glamorous, PGA Professional Joanne Flynn says her own golf game has often taken a back seat over the years.  Instead of swinging a club, you typically will find her organizing corporate golf outings and charity events, teaching golf clinics, or doing volunteer work throughout the community.  Despite not much “free time” to speak of, Joanne would not have it any other way as she loves what she does.

The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce has recognized Joanne’s commitment to the Greater Salem business community by selecting her as the 2014 William A. Brown Distinguished Businessperson Award, the chamber’s most prestigious award.  Joanne, who is the director of golf at Windham Country Club, was chosen based on her business leadership, community improvement, charitable involvement, public service, and high moral character.  This award, in its 33rd year, is given in the memory of William A. Brown, who was the first to receive it.  Carrying on with this great tradition, the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce and the Platinum Sponsor, Citizens Bank, will honor Joanne and recognize other award recipients at the chamber’s annual dinner meeting on Sept. 24.

Joanne picked up her first golf club at age six.  Early on she developed a passion for the business as she learned under the tutelage of her father, PGA Professional Bill Flynn, at the Thomson Country Club.  For Joanne, her game was usually secondary, as she has worked alongside her father focusing on how to manage the course and quickly developing a passion for the business.

This led to her becoming an assistant professional in 1988 and taking over the management of the family’s nine-hole course, Lakeview Golf Course in Wenham, Mass.  In addition to playing, she began teaching and developing junior golfers.  Monday mornings throughout the summer consisted of giving free clinics to approximately 50 juniors and letting them play on the course.  In 1994, she was elected “Class A” PGA professional.  Her family purchased land in 1992 and built Windham Country Club, which opened its doors in 1995 and is now celebrating its 20th season.  The Windham Country Club began giving back to the community from the moment it opened its doors, holding yearly summer golf camps for the Lowell Boys & Girls Club (instructing 200 low-income children for a week) and hosting adaptive Golf Program with Northeast Passage for disabled people and veterans.

Joanne was the first woman head golf professional in New Hampshire.  She has been recognized by the NH chapter of the New England PGA as the 2002 & 2008 Junior Golf Promoter, as well as awarded the 2012 Bill Straughsbaugh Club Relations Award.  In 2014, she received the Outstanding Women in Family Business Award at the New England Family Business Conference.  Joanne received her undergraduate degree from Leslie University, and master’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Joanne has exemplified the Flynn family spirit of giving back and been recognized by numerous groups for her passionate support and active involvement in various charitable organizations.  She currently serves as the president of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, and has received several awards from that organization, such as 2007 Volunteer of the Year, 2008 Presidents Award and in 2011 the Richard McCoy Award.  Joanne also currently serves on the Board of the Salem Animal Rescue League as vice president.  She has been critical to their fundraising effort and keeping the organization financially stable.  Joanne has been an avid supporter of A Safe Place, an organization that strives to eliminate and prevent domestic abuse.  She organizes a Women’s Charity Golf Classic that has raised approximately $200,000 over the past 16 years, and was twice voted a Sign of Hope by the organization.

The chamber will also be honor the following volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the chamber over the past year:  Ed David, from Edward C. David & Company, CPAs, with the Chairman’s Award and John B. DeBaun, from Pentucket Bank, with a Volunteer of the Year Award.  The presentations will take place Wednesday, September 24, at Castleton Banquet and Conference Center, Windham, and will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m.  Dinner will begin at 7 p.m., with the presentation of awards immediately following.  Tickets are $60 per person, with tables of 10 available.  For additional information, to purchase a congratulatory ad for any of the three award winners, or to purchase tickets, contact the chamber office at 893-3177.