- Golfer Benefits
NORTON, Massachusetts – Taylor Januario, who has been a stalwart for First Tee – Connecticut as a participant, coach, and assistant program manager for nearly 20 years, has joined Mass Golf as the Assistant Director of First Tee – Massachusetts.
First Tee – Massachusetts is the state’s chapter of the international youth development organization that introduces the game of golf and its inherent values to young people by offering affordable junior golf programs to youth and communities across the Commonwealth.
Mass Golf has also promoted Steve Derderian to the role of Senior Manager of Communications. A member of the staff since 2019, Derderian has been a key player in elevating Mass Golf’s news and digital presence.
Januario grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, and said she was first introduced to First Tee in 2004 at age 10 when a physical education teacher handed her a flyer for an after-school First Tee program at Goodwin Park Golf Course in Hartford. She literally hit her first golf shot as a participant, and with guidance from coaches Bobby Powell and Dan Malarney, built up her confidence to become a coach for the first time in 2009. Holding First Tee Level 3 Golf & Life Skill Coach status, Januario became Assistant Program Manager of the Connecticut chapter in 2019.
With these experiences, Januario has become a steadfast proponent of First Tee’s core values and the philosophies the game introduces and now shares those with young people and their families.
“I like that there’s life skills involved and that it’s not about trying to make them the next Tiger Woods or Bubba Watson, it’s trying to make them the best person that they can be,” Januario said. “The game has done a lot for me, and I want to make sure it does a lot for the other kids as well, and I think joining First Tee Massachusetts will allow me to do that on a much wider scale.”
As Assistant Director, Januario will oversee chapter programming, coach observation, and development, primarily conducted at 10 on-course locations, including recently added locations at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club and Sagamore Spring Golf Club. She will also be tasked with creating and developing opportunities for participants from different program locations to engage with each other outside of class.
Januario is a proponent of setting small goals that build toward big dreams. She is also hoping to bolster communication and outreach efforts, citing video and social media as a top priority to capture the attention of young people.
“We are very excited to welcome Taylor to First Tee – Massachusetts,” said Kyle Harris, the chapter’s Director of Operations. “As a First Tee alumnus, coach, and administrator, she brings a ton of experience and knowledge to our chapter. Taylor will provide a unique perspective and very strong work ethic to this position, and I’m confident she will be a key player in helping us reach our strategic goals in the coming years.”
Growing up, Januario said she also could drive the ball equally as far as the boys as a participant, but fellow female participation overall was lacking. Since becoming a coach and leader within First Tee, Januario said her role adds a level of inclusivity, particularly for female participants.
“We all share the same passion, which is golf, but sometimes you just need that familiar face and someone they could come to so they don’t feel like they’re the only one,” Januario said.
Some of her students have already come full circle with First Tee, as well. “I have students who have taught years ago who tell me, ‘I don’t golf as much, but I always think back what you taught me.’ They saw it through. If kids like this choose the golf industry, great. If not, that’s okay. That’s not what golf is all about.”
Januario also has a passion for graphic design, obtaining a degree in Graphic Design & Media Arts from Southern New Hampshire University. For the past few years, she has done freelance work for Millennial Slicers of Greater Hartford, creating marketing material and even golf signs for charity golf events. However, she mainly draws inspiration to create posters based on preexisting signage.
She also enjoys traveling, especially to Portugal, where her father and maternal grandparents were born and raised.
Januario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information about First Tee of Massachusetts, please visit: massgolf.org/play/the-first-tee/
Over the past four-plus seasons, Steve Derderian has just about seen it all, and covered it all too. A key player in the Marketing & Communications Department, Derderian has helped shape Mass Golf’s coverage and storytelling efforts, elevating the brand from a regional one to a national one.
Derderian’s coverage of noteworthy events like – Michael Thorbjornsen vs. Matt Parziale in the Final Match of the 2021 Massachusetts Amateur, Conner Willett’s courageous victory at the 2022 Massachusetts Amateur, Molly Smith becoming the first female to ever compete at the Mass Am, and several USGA Championships – has helped Mass Golf bring these stories to the national scene.
The award-winning MassGolfer Magazine has remained a major focus for Derderian since 2019, as has The Weekender e-newsletter that is delivered to Mass Golf Members every Friday.
“Steve exemplifies what it means to be a member of the Mass Golf team. He loves what he does, and it shows in his work,” said Stephen Hanjack, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Steve is always willing to go the extra mile to help tell those meaningful stories, and through his efforts, has elevated Mass Golf’s standing as a trusted source nationally.”
Derderian will be leaned on as the association prepares for its quasquicentennial (125th) celebration in 2025. He is also set to assist with the preservation of records and history as the Museum and Research Center at the William F. Connell Golf House is reimagined.
He is also a proud member of the Equity Change Team at Mass Golf works in collaboration with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to work work through strategic priorities, making decisions using the Equity Lens and infusing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion into our everyday work.