Sankofa Youth Golf Association Team

Get to Know Us

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Founder and President 

Tano Malentin

Tano Malentin is the Founder and President of Sankofa Youth Golf Association. He has more than 25 years of management experience in the golf industry from golf operations and Food & Beverage Operations to Agronomy. During those years he has managed different types of courses ranging from municipalities, public, semi-private and private courses under different management groups including American Golf Corporation, one of the most successful golf management company in the United States back in the early 90s and late 2000s. In 2013 he was asked to join another management company as COO where he oversaw over 30 courses in Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, New York, and Pennsylvania.  Very quickly that company became one of the top 20 management company in the United States with over one thousand employees and over $75 million in annual sales. His marketing and operational expertise have redesigned how golf operations are managed. Several of his operational practices and approach are still being used successfully by hundred if not thousands of golf professionals.

n 2017 Tano joined NBC Sports NEXT as Senior Area Sales Manager consulting with courses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Mexico, and Hawaii.  During his tenure he advised courses on best practices to be efficient operationally and maximize revenue.

Tano is a family and spiritual person who has always presented himself with levelheadedness and grace. He has the moral compass and character that allow him to put the needs of others ahead of himself. He is a unique individual who has in his DNA to serve people.

Tano is known in the golf industry as an innovator, a passionate about Junior golf and his generosity and unmatched dedication towards growing the game of golf through various Junior Golf Programs and associations on a local and national level such as Orlando Minority youth Golf Association (OMYGA) in Orlando, Florida

 

where he was recognized as an outstanding leader for three consecutive years and the First Tee of Greater Seattle in Seattle, Washington where he also serves as a staff coach. His efforts have helped mold and build hundreds of juniors to become outstanding adults and citizens.

Tano is also an accomplished golfer, golf Coach and golf Instructor currently coaching Jean-Romaric Djezou, the number one professional golfer in Ivory Coast.

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Head for Marketing and Advertising

Lauren Rykwalder

Since 2015, Lauren has worked with a wide range of businesses and individuals delivering web development, marketing and visual design services 

As a skilled Graphic Designer and Marketing Professional, Lauren specializes in graphic designs and visual media services. Since 2021 Lauren joined the Sankofa Youth Golf Association Team.

Coach Jean-Claude N’da
Director of Programs for Sankofa Youth Golf Association

Jean-Claude has more than 35 years in golf as a professional golfer and a teacher. Jean-Claude is very passionate about growing the game of golf in Ivory Coast. He was also the Founder of an NGO called Golf Pour Tous (Golf For All) to help provide access to underprivileged youth in Ivory Coast. He has helped started many youth programs in villages without any resources or equipment and now joins Sankofa Youth Golf Association. He brings a wealth of experience and local knowledge to SYGA. He has one goal in mind, help grow the game of golf in Ivory Coast and Africa.

Coach Edwidge Aka
Program Coordinator for Sankofa Youth Golf Association

Edwidge is driven by a desire to see more girls taking up the game of golf in Ivory and Africa. She is very accomplished in Kayaking before deciding to get into golf. She was the Ivory Coast champion in Kayaking from 2006 to 2008. In 2009 she took up Rowing where she competed professionally across Africa till 2018. In everything sport she has played she has always made it a focus to help the youth especially girls. No location is too far for Coach Edwidge who will walk miles carrying whatever golf equipment she could find to provide free coaching to kids. Today she joins SYGA because she wants to devote the rest of her life making a difference. She wants to use the life skills (Perseverance, courage, patience, etc…) she learned in Kayaking to impact the lives of the youth

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Coach Jean-Romaric Djezou
Number one professional golfer in Ivory Coast.

He is a very accomplished golfer who learned the game of golf from his father, Jean-Claude N’da, the Program Director. He started playing golf when he was six years old and has grown to become the best player in Ivory Coast. When he was not competing which was most of the time due to lack of professional events he would coach with his dad. He is also the student of Coach Tano Malentin, the Founder and President of SYGA. Jean-Romaric wants to be the role model of the youth in Ivory Coast. He joined SYGA because he wants more youth to learn the game of golf.