LifestyleShining A Light


Business or pleasure? It’s a combo at the Honda Classic

'The who's who of Palm Beach County'
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Posted at 11:00 AM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 12:43:22-05

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The art of the deal unfolds each year at the Honda Classic.

"(Business leaders) see everybody in the community within a couple of days," said Kenneth Kennerly, who is the president, CEO and executive director of the Honda Classic.

"The most important aspect of business is relationship building," said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General Hospital.

Tampa General Hospital has digital ads, commercials and billboards targeting Palm Beach County and beyond.

"It's a very complicated message to get out to the community," said Couris. "Part of our strategy is to come into communities like Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast and to augment the services that already exist. We're not here to compete with the local facilities."

That includes treatments you can't get in South Florida.

"Our focus primarily is on rare and complex work... ...You don't have to go to New York. You don't have to go to Boston. You don't have to go to Chicago," said Couris. "You can just go to Tampa, three hours away."

Tampa General Hospital bought a chalet to hold court and to get the message out to its stakeholders.

"The Honda Classic has become, you know, the networking haven," joked Kennerly. "I mean, people come out Friday at 12 o'clock. They might work for a few hours on Friday maybe and they come out and they're not checking in until Monday morning. They're probably not feeling too well Monday morning, by the way."

"The Honda Classic is the who's who of Palm Beach County," said John Channing, owner of PGA Commons.

At the Honda Classic, deals are done outside of the conference room.

"One of the things COVID has taught us is we can do business in all sorts of different ways in all sorts of different venues," said Couris.

"I've had other projects that we've done based on the meetings I've had here," said Channing.

"I not only get to see a lot of my clients and get to be amongst the community here in Palm Beach Gardens, but a lot of people, you know, ask me for a card," said Tracey Benson, a photographer and owner of Tracey Benson Photography.

Relationship building, connecting and networking is the business of the Honda Classic conducted in a laid back and unintimidating way.

"A great place to see everybody that we know in this community and connect," said Benson. "Working at the Honda Classic for many years has paid off for me, because I not only get to see my clients and say hello that I work with on a daily basis, but I also get to network and it has increased my business substantially over the years."

"Network with business and community leaders, come out have a great time, all in the end to raise money for charity and for philanthropy," added Kennerly.