Updated: October 8, 2022
The PGA TOUR today announced that Max Novena has been named Executive Director of the Sentry Tournament of Champions and replaces Alex Urban, who has taken a new role as Executive Director of the TOUR Championship and will relocate to Atlanta. Novena’s official start date is set for May 23.
Novena arrives on Maui having served as Head of Commercial for Kelly Slater Wave Co., an innovative wave technology and experience company acquired by the World Surf League, which developed, built, and operates Surf Ranch in Central California with future venues planned for domestic and international destinations.
Prior to his time at KSWC, Novena worked for the WSL in 2016 as Vice President of Global Business Development before accepting the responsibility in 2017 of setting the Surf Ranch commercial strategy.
Before the WSL, Novena worked for the PGA TOUR as Director of Business Development supporting revenue for the TOUR’s owned and operated events within the Championship Management department from 2012 to 2016.
Novena’s introduction to the golf industry came when he served as Sales and Marketing Director of the 2005 and 2006 US Women’s Open at Cherry Hills Country Club and Newport Country Club, respectively. He was later appointed as the Championship Director for the 2009 US Senior Open hosted at Crooked Stick Golf Club.
After graduating from Lehigh University in 1995, Novena started his career in Colorado working in partnerships for the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets before joining Buffalo Sports Properties selling University of Colorado Athletics multimedia rights.
Novena will relocate to Maui from San Diego, California with his wife, Nicole, and 7-year-old son, Roark.
“I am thrilled to return to the PGA TOUR with the incredible opportunity to bring my family to Maui and showcase what makes the Sentry Tournament of Champions the most unique event on TOUR,” Novena said. “The future of this event couldn’t be brighter with Sentry Insurance as title sponsor alongside a dedicated tournament staff, volunteer base, partners and charities. I look forward to building on the growth and success Alex and his team experienced during his time as Executive Director while continuing to make a positive impact within the local Maui community.”
Urban will take on a new career opportunity as the Executive Director of the TOUR Championship, the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs at East Lake Golf Club, after serving as the General Manger of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2018 and the Executive Director since 2019.
“These last five years have been truly unbelievable, and I cannot thank Sentry Insurance, the fans, tournament partners and volunteers enough for their unwavering support of PGA TOUR golf on Maui,” Urban said. “I’ve been fortunate to work with some incredible people throughout my time on this beautiful island. This event is truly special from the community in which it’s played in, to the people who make it the success that it is, and it will continue to be that and more under Max’s capable leadership.”
The first TOUR event of the calendar year, the Sentry Tournament of Champions is the only event on the schedule that features all winners from the previous calendar year.