A major announcement Monday as the Humana Challenge names a local businessman to head the tournament.
Humana Challenge President and Chairman of the Board John Foster announced that long-time Coachella Valley business executive Bob Marra has been appointed executive director and CEO of the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
Marra replaces Larry Thiel, who served as the PGA Tour event's tournament chairman since 2010. Thiel will continue with the tournament in an of-counsel capacity, Foster said.
Marra was elected to the tournament's board of directors last May and has been working with Thiel on the transition. One of the nation's foremost golf tournament executives with more than three decades in the industry, Thiel will be retiring and spending more time at his family home in Colorado. "It's been a joy and a privilege to work with the outstanding team of sponsors, players, tournament staff and volunteers at the Humana Challenge," Thiel said. "I'm excited about the giant strides the tournament has taken in the last two years and I know the future is extremely bright and in good hands with Bob."
Marra was CEO of Marra Enterprises, which owns and operates Wheeler's Market Intelligence. He also publishes The Public Record newspaper, which chronicles the desert's business and public affairs news. "I look forward to working with the Desert Classic Charities Board, Humana, the Clinton Foundation, the PGA Tour and our staff to continue building substantially upon the success of the Humana Challenge," Marra said. "The positive economic and social impacts of the tournament have been enormous for our desert communities and these benefits will grow even stronger in the years ahead because of the unique partnership we have established."
The 2013 Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation is a four-round, 72-hole tournament to be played at PGA West's Palmer and Nicklaus Private Courses and La Quinta Country Club from Jan. 14-20. The golf event features an expanded field of 156 PGA Tour professionals and 156 amateurs, including celebrities.