Nick Zwick, Founder and Chairman
Nick Zwick was born in Rochester, NY, and received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from SUNY Stonybrook. After holding various engineering, sales and management positions with IBM, Cessna Aircraft and Advanced Micro Devices, Nick co-founded an eventually became Chairman of Dialogic Corporation, a technology company bridging the interface between computers and telephone systems. After going public in 1994, the company was purchased by Intel Corp in 1999. In 2000, Nick moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he manages an investment portfolio, is President of The Zwick Foundation, a private charity, and runs a small vineyard and winery. Nick is a member and past Director of La Cumbre Country Club in Santa Barbara, CA and a member of Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, TX.
Statement of Founder:
I did not grow up playing golf and came to the game later in life. If I had been exposed to it earlier, I would have understood the many benefits that are intrinsic to the game, but not readily visible to someone who does not experience it. Once exposed to golf, I immediately fell in love with the game. There were a couple of things that brought me to golf. One was the fact that the telecom business has a golf centric culture. I needed to participate for business reasons. Second, and more importantly, I became good friends with a gentleman who grew up in Scotland who convinced me to give it a try. Under his wing I learned not just to play the game, but the traditions and history of golf. I can still hear him saying, “Play it as it lies, Laddie”. Eventually, we went on pilgrimages to Scotland to be steeped in the traditions and history at their source. Many of these values are found in the philosophy of Alister MacKenzie. To be clear, there were several golf architects who espoused similar philosophies, but MacKenzie caught my attention because he expressed it so prolifically.
I now find that golf and its greater elements have considerable value in my life. I love that it is a game of honor and honesty. I found that I could learn more about a person’s character while playing a round of golf with them than I could in an interview setting. I love that the game is usually played in a beautiful, natural environment. I love the camaraderie that can develop between people who play together. I love that you can have competition for sport with other players, or compete against the course, or just enjoy the round. I love that in order to play well you need to use your skill as well as your brain. I love that there are such rich traditions and a well-chronicled history of the game. I would like all these things the game brings us to be preserved. I believe that it is best preserved if, like me, people can experience it and take it on as a value for themselves. To have that experience, golf courses must exist which embody such characteristics. Many such courses have been built over the years. For a variety of reasons, a much smaller number remain today, particularly in anything close to their original state. These facts and desires led me to the idea for the Alister MacKenzie Foundation. I saw a need for an entity that can provide support to course owners or operators who are battling the attrition forces or looking to restore their course to a more traditional state.
David L. (Larry) Biehl, Vice President, AMF
Larry Biehl is an avid golfer who shares the values of Alister MacKenzie. Larry brings a wealth of skills and expertise to the Foundation working as a Financial Advisor and Investment Manager for over 40 years. He authored two books on finance, Personal Money Management, SRI and McMillan, 6 Editions (1972-1990) and Personal Profit Series, Dow Jones (1976-1977). In addition to serving as Vice President of the Alister MacKenzie Foundation, Mr. Biehl serves as Advisor to: Heart to Heart Foundation, Project for Economic Growth (Russia), Entrepreneurs Foundation, The American Prairie Foundation, the da Vinci Society and Interculture Foundation. He holds his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a graduate degree from Stanford Business School.
Steve McHugh was raised in northern Los Angeles county and received a Bachelors of Science from University of California, San Diego in 1979. Steve started Santa Barbara Infrared in 1986 and IRCameras in 2011. Steve serves as President of both organizations. Steve is active in golf at The Valley Club of Montecito (Board of Directors, 2010 – present; Green Committee, 1996 – present) and The MacKenzie Society (past President, Valley Club Director and Historian). Steve is a member of The Valley Club of Montecito, Pine Valley Golf Club and Rock Creek Cattle Company. Steve has two grown daughters.
Michael L. Keiser
Michael L. Keiser is owner of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort was recently recognized in 2011 by GOLF Magazine and Golf Digest as the No. 1 Golf Resort in North America. Located on Oregon’s South Coast, the Resort now includes five courses designed in the tradition of Scotland’s ancient links.
Mr. Keiser is active on the boards of numerous civic and charitable organizations focused on health care, education and conservation. He is the former Board Chair and Vice Chair of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. In the education arena, he serves on the boards of Academy for Urban School Leadership and Chairs the Board for Teach for America, Chicago. He also is a member of the Board of Directors for the Evans Scholar Program and the Field Museum of Natural History of Chicago.
Mr. Keiser is the Founder of the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA), an organization funded by net proceeds from Bandon Preserve golf course, with the goal of supporting environmentally sustainable industries on the South Coast of Oregon by bridging the ecological and economical assets of the region.
Mr. Keiser received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Amherst College.
Born Oct. 31, 1933 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Fully qualified electrical technician for 2 years in the Royal Air Force. Upon returning from the RAF, met and married his wife, Betty, ( Scottish parentage) and moved to the US.in 1957. Obtained a BA from Drew University in Madison, NJ, and attended the Graduate School.
Ron started an electrical contracting business in 1964 which he built over the years and retired from in 2012. Ron is a member of the St. Andrew’s Society of New York. Currently, Ron and Betty spend half of each year in Scotland and half in New Jersey where their daughter and two granddaughters reside.
“I met Nick as a customer and as he had started playing golf, included him in my group We became good friends and he has made his annual visit to Scotland for many years to our Edinburgh apartment and our cottage on the North Sea cliffs 6 miles from Carnoustie. We have played courses big and small and there are still many to go.
“When friends are walking down a Scottish fairway, sun shining, larks singing, a ball on the fairway, all is well with the world.
“P.S. I was with Nick when he had his great 180 yard hole in one at the 3rd at Crail, Fife.”