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Susan Havens

Director of Sales & Marketing, Kā’anapali and Hokuala Golf Courses, Hawaii

Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

A: An interior designer

Q: What/who got you into the game of golf and what do you like most about it?

A:  My Dad.  He took my brother and I as kids to Old Oakland Golf Club in Indianapolis where we joined junior golf camps in the summer.  I played high school golf and have always enjoyed experiencing new courses.  What I like most about golf is the ability to spend time with friends, colleagues, and family all on the same playing field.  Golf is another language and a skill everyone should have to grow in their personal and professional careers.  My Dad always said, “you’ll learn more about someone during a round of golf then you would over dinner.”  I met my husband through golf and got engaged on the 12th teebox at Manele Bay on Lana’i, and even made par on that hole!

Q: Who was your most impactful mentor as you progressed in your career? 

A:  Chip Bahouth.  He was the General Manager of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa and pushed me to grow my career and exceed my goals in the hotel business at Sheraton Maui.  The expectations were high, but I rose to the challenge through experience in Front Office, Catering & Convention Services, Group Sales, and rounding out my tenure as Director of Sales & Marketing.  On the weekends he would take some of us from the office to play Ka’anapali Golf Courses.

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

A:  In 2011 I co-founded Spare for Change, a 501 c 3 non-profit with the mission to recycle golf clubs for kids and adults.  To give women and minorities a chance to learn golf, we have to break down the barrier that golf is out of reach.  Through golf, opportunities are created: personally, to spend time with friends & family, and professionally by networking with colleagues and clients.  We accept unused, donated golf clubs and recycle them for free to kids and adults to have the equipment needed to join the game.  Adults are just as important because if they do not have the equipment to play, then their kids might not be taken to the course as often.  It all starts with one club.  To date, we have distributed over 35,000 free, recycled golf clubs to adults and kids all over the world.

Q: What is your dream foursome for golf?

A: Me, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, Jason Day.

Q: What is one interesting fact not many people know about you?

A: I was a NCAA Division 1 cheerleader at Purdue University.

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