Skip to Content

Gabriella Montagnino

Legal Assistant, Scottsdale Corporate Office, Legal Department

Gabriella Montagnino HeadshotQ: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up and please explain if there was a story around that.

A: I changed my mind so many times about what I wanted to be when I grew up. The few that stuck with me for a long time were Teacher and Actor.

I’m the oldest of four kids and I loved to play teacher with my siblings when we were little. My dad got us a huge whiteboard that he put in our playroom and my friend’s mom was a librarian and she gave us old classroom books they no longer used. In high school, I joined the Teaching and Learning Careers Academy where I was able to go into real classrooms and learn how to teach kids.

I also always loved acting, everything about it attracted me. My mom always says I was singing before I could talk and dancing before I could walk. In middle school I decided to try out for my first musical and even though I was extremely scared and nervous to be in front of people, as soon as that curtain rose the first time, I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, neither of those stuck with me after high school but I love the career I have now and I wouldn’t change the path I chose in life for anything!

Q: What is one or two interesting facts about your Italian heritage that you would like to share with us?

A: Family is extremely important in the Italian heritage, and not just immediate family but extended family as well. My dad was born in Sicily and moved to the United States with his parents and younger brother when he was 6 years old. They moved here to be closer to other members of the family that moved before they did. My dad loves to tell stories of that time when they would have huge family gatherings that lasted all night with so much food and many desserts and laughter and love. Even as I’ve grown up, we have always had huge family gatherings and parties and we have included not just our family but also brought friends in that we now call our family.

Q: Who got you into the business or game of golf and what was your first experience at a golf course/range?

A:  My dad actually got me started playing golf when I was little. He put me in The First Tee program at one of the local golf courses where they teach kids how to play golf. Unfortunately, I grew bored and stopped wanting to go. I didn’t even think about golf again until I met my now boyfriend when we were in high school. We were just friends then and he was part of the golf team which I thought was pretty cool. After he graduated high school, we lost touch but he went on to play in college. Five years later we started talking again and started dating and he took me out on the course and re-taught me how to play golf. We started going more often after I started working for Troon and now it is one of our favorite things to do together.

Q: Was there a mentor that helped guide you along your current career path and was there a piece of advice that helped you along your way?

A: I honestly never thought that I would have the career I have now. My mom always joked that she wanted at least a doctor and a lawyer in the family so it is funny that I ended up going the legal route. There are two pieces of advice that I have always followed no matter what: 1. You can do anything as long as you work hard at it and not let anyone put you down and 2. Do what makes you the happiest and most successful in life, not what someone else tells you or wants you to do. In the end, you are the one who has to live with the choices you make, not anyone else.

Q: How long have you worked for Troon and what has been your career progression; what do you love most about your job?

A: I have worked for Troon for almost a year and a half. The way I got my job at Troon is actually kind of funny! After college, I worked in Real Estate for two years and decided I didn’t like it anymore so I thought I’d try working at a bank. After a few months I realized it was the worst job for me and I debated quitting for a while. On my birthday in January 2021, my boyfriend took me to Troon North for lunch and it was while were sitting at Dynamite Grille that I decided to leave my bank job, so the next day, I did.

Since I didn’t have another way to make money while looking for another job, I worked for Instacart as a shopper to make money while I applied for jobs. One day in May 2021 I was so angry after getting out of a really bad interview and I was just scrolling through LinkedIn trying to find anything I could apply to, even if it was something I may not have a lot of experience in. I came across a posting for a Legal Assistant at Troon. I had never done anything in Legal but some of the skills and things they described as part of the job I had done so I applied even though I saw there were a lot of other applicants and didn’t think they would even call me. A few hours later, I received an email from Anne Kaufman asking me to do a phone interview.

During the Phone interview I talked to Anne and Jeff Hansen. They asked me about my background and when they got to Instacart, they had no idea what it was so I explained to them that it is an app where someone can order groceries and a shopper goes to the store, buys the groceries and delivers them to the person’s house. Jeff loved that! He told me his sons showed him a similar app and one day he randomly ordered a can of Pringles to be delivered to his house while he was at work and his wife called him and said “Jeff, why is there a can of Pringles sitting on our porch” and he just said “Because I was hungry and I wanted them.” We all laughed at that and we talked about our favorite kinds of Pringles and other things Instacart related. We then scheduled an in-person interview for a couple days later. When I went to the interview, I decided to bring Anne and Jeff each a can of their favorite Pringles flavor and a box of mixed flavors for the rest of the team. Anne and Jeff laughed and thought it was so awesome that I remembered that and did that. I thought the interview went really well and after meeting them I thought I would fit in and I really liked the team a lot but I was afraid they wouldn’t pick me, mainly because I live so far away from the office.  But, within 20 minutes of me leaving the office, Anne called me and told me I had the job. It was the best moment of my life, I was so happy I called my mom and I was crying my eyes out while driving back home. A year and a half later and I am just so happy and thankful to be working for Troon and with my team. I love how nice and how helpful everyone is. I love what our company does and how cool it is that we are in such an awesome industry. Of course, my job would not be the same without my team so that is what I love most about it.

Q: What do you do in your daily job or life to inspire other minorities to get them interested in the game of golf or into the golf business as a career? 

A: I really like to see women out there playing golf and I love to see how many women we have working in the office. Any time we go out to play golf, we invite friends to come play with us, even if they have never played and show them how awesome it is. I look at all of the listings that recruitment sends out and if I find any that I think anyone of my friends would be interested in, I send it to them no matter what their experience is in golf or what their heritage is. I think golf can be such an inclusive and fun sport for everyone to play no matter who you are or where you are from.

Q: What is your dream foursome for golf (you and three others)?

A: I’m terrible at playing golf but I still think it would be so much fun to play in a foursome with Annika Sörenstam, Rickie Fowler and Severiano “Sevi” Ballesteros (if I could turn back in time!)

Learn more about Troon’s DE&I Initiatives, Associates and Stories.

Follow #GolfForEveryone

For more stories on Troon’s DE&I initiative and associates