Q: When and where was your first golf experience and what do you remember most about it.
A: Honestly, my first golf experience was being hired at Ocotillo Golf Club 15 years ago. I was a year or two out of college and had been working at a hotel up in Flagstaff, AZ (where I went to college). I was ready to come back to Phoenix to be closer to family, and frankly escape the snow. I remember driving up to Ocotillo and was in awe of the beauty of the property, it was like something out of a movie. I interviewed for a Catering Manager position and met with their General Manager & Food and Beverage Director. I was so impressed by the level of professionalism conveyed by the entire team at Ocotillo. In fact, I had another interview lined up that day at another golf course and a hotel the next day, but I was sure that Ocotillo & Troon was where I was supposed to be.
Q: What excited you about the golf industry and brought you into the business?
A: For me, it was the proficiency and attention to detail that was expected. Often, you think of catering needs after a golf tournament, and it is easy to presume it is all “hot dogs & hamburgers.” However, specifically at the clubs I have had the pleasure of working at, these are professionals at the top of their game, Chefs who are creating exquisite meals for lavish events and weddings; managers who are logistically executing 5-star events in one day with celebrities involved as well as many other moving parts.
Q: As a female, what do you do in your day-to-day job that helps carry the message about this being a great place for other females to work?
A: To me, attitude is everything! I also come from the school of thought that I would never ask my team to do anything I am not willing to do. Which sometimes means you will see me jump in the dish pit when the dishwasher walks out or work a shift as a gate attendant, whatever it takes. I also find that I can appreciate the daily challenges for my team when I step into their world. A few years back when I became the Food & Beverage Director at Troon North, I had no idea what obstacles our beverage cart team faced daily, so that meant, I needed to take on some beverage cart shifts to fully appreciate what their day-to-day looks like and how I can support them to be more efficient and feel empowered to get the job done.
Q: What do you think the golf industry should be doing differently to attract females into the golf world, both at the playing level and as a career?
A: To attract females to the world of golf we need to be honest about the history of golf. We cannot pretend that this is a sport that has always welcomed females and in fact, I believe there are still clubs today that are “men only.” As an industry, we need to face the past and make the necessary shifts. We need strong female leadership to create an environment where young females feel welcome and inspired. Clubs need to offer female centric programs that create a culture shift. The females on property are not just the beverage cart team members anymore and it is time to emphasize that.
Q: Who is one female mentor you look up to and what words of wisdom or actions did she do to help you become better in your career or game?
A: I am extremely blessed that I have had wonderful female mentors throughout my life, including being raised by a single woman who always let me know that at the end of the day, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. In addition to my very strong and determined mother, my first employer was an extraordinary female who lived by the phrase, “Work hard, play hard.” She was a constant go-getter, she never settled for anything less than what she believed in. She would work shoulder-to-shoulder with you and always encourage you to be the best version of yourself and that work is not everything. There must be a life outside of the office and that family always comes first and I am forever grateful for her wisdom.
Q: If you could play golf with any three women, who would they be?
- My maternal grandmother, Helen Parsley. I never got to meet her, she passed away when my mother was only 19 years old. I’ve heard amazing things about this woman and how I inherited her smile (which is one of my favorite parts about my face).
- Jane Austen-one of my favorite authors, a woman who pioneered an entire genre with her observations about how ridiculous societal norms were (and probably could still use some work).
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she is probably the most iconic strong woman, who defied standards in so many different areas from her law background to her groundbreaking judgements. “It bothers me when people say to make it to the top of the tree you have to give up a family.” —The New Yorker, 2013
- Meryl Streep-I mean, need I say anymore? She’s a Goddess! And yes, we’d play as a five-some (wink emoji)
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