Board of Directors and Officers
Vernel Bennett, President and Co-Founder, is a retired NYC Department of Finance Corporate Tax Auditor Supervisor; Certified Financial Planner and Investment Broker, and was the President of the 224th/225th Street Civic Association of Laurelton, from 1999 to 2019 (20 Years).
He was bitten by the golf bug in 2004 while on vacation on a cruise ship where he took his first lesson. In 2005, through a work colleague, he learned about the Roosevelt Golfers Association, Inc., which he joined and began taking lessons, eventually becoming the Financial Officer and then the Executive Officer.
It was through the urging and interest of his many friends and colleagues that he and his now Vice President, Jacques M. Léandre decided in March of 2014 to form UBGA to help stimulate interest in the game of golf to people of color in Queens and the surrounding areas.
In 2018 he was elected as a Queens County Democratic Committee Member for the 29th Assembly District.
Jacques Leandre, Esq., Vice President and Co-Founder is a practicing attorney licensed in New York and longtime resident of Queens County and is also the President of the Rosedale Jets Football Organization. Léandre developed a passion for the game of golf after receiving his first set of golf clubs from his older brother while attending Morehouse College. Léandre is a co-founder of the United Black Golfers Association.
Dr. Handel J. Edwards, PhD., Treasurer, is the CEO and Founder of H.J. Edwards & Associates where he oversees a staff of CPAs, EAs, and Consultants. Dr. Edwards has been a member of the National Who’s Who, National Society of Accountants, National Society of Tax Professionals, and National Society of Enroll Agents. Handel joined UBGA because he has a great desire to become a good golfer.
Patrice English-Young, Asst. Treasurer, Is retired from the NYC Department of Education as an educator. As an educator, she was a science teacher and an administrator for middle and high school.
She was introduced to the game of golf when she was invited to play golf with her union. She became interested in the sport and commenced watching golf programs and videos on how to play golf.
She heard about the UBGA, from one of their board members and at that point she decided to become a member.
Julet Barton, Secretary, is a retired NYC public school educator with over 30 years of experience. Most of her experience has been at the elementary level, where she worked as a classroom teacher and later a regional/citywide administrator. Before joining UBGA, Julet never played golf. It is because of her love for learning and exploring new activities and through the urging of her fellow board members, that’s why she joined United Black Golfers Association.
Patrick (Len)Jones, Asst. Secretary, Is a retired Housing Manager Executive, with over 47 years of experience managing over 50,000 cooperative and fair market apartment units in New York State. He also served as the president of the New York Association of Reality Managers (NYARM) for ten years. He has also been the recipient of many awards, such as the 1993 Manger of the Year Award, the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award from the NYARM and in 1999 he received the Co-op and Condo Man of the Year Award. Len was also listed in the 2004 National Register of the Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals that was placed in the U.S. Library of Congress.
He began playing golf in 1970, and was also a member of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Golf Club in Brooklyn and in 1975 he founded the Divots Golf Club of Brooklyn New York.
In March, 2014, after reading an article in the NY Daily News about the UBGA, he joined and is an active member of this organization.
Howard H. Williams, (Acting) Sergeant-At-Arms, Retired from the New York City Police Department, with 23 years of service, as a Sergeant Supervisor of Detectives. He also held the following positions: Chief of Operations for the Gemini Investigations Inc., Chief Executive Officer for the Distinguished Gentlement Investigations Inc. and Director of Security for the Housing and Services Inc. He love the game of golf and played it for several years.
Ronald Summers Sr. (Certified Golf Instructor)
LEGAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Jacques M. Leandre, Esq.
Mario E. Simmons, Esq.
Lisa Quarles, JD
Tanya Hobson-Williams, Esq.
In House Members/Service Providers:
Michael Walker, owner of Fidel Photography is our in house photographer (www.mfidelphotography.com).
Vincent L. Garrett, Senior Partner at Gaulf, LLC is the official supplier of our golf uniforms and hats (www.gaulfapparel.com).