Women in the Golf Industry
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Women in The Golf Industry (WIGI) was formed in 2001 as a networking group for women in the business of golf. At the time, more women were rapidly advancing in their careers and others were starting up their own businesses within the golf industry. This was the optimum time for this group of forward thinking women to establish an organization where they could share successes and help resolve industry challenges prevalent at the time.
Eleven women formed the 501c-6 organization and reached out to colleagues in the industry to join. Founding Members include: Pat Baldwin, PhD, then, the editor of Private Clubs magazine; Kathy Bissell, golf writer and author of “Fred Couples, Golf’s Reluctant Superstar”; the late Helen Casey, golf radio reporter and writer; the late Alice Dye, golf course designer and past president of ASGCA; Joann Dost, former LPGA player and renowned golf photographer; Jan Gilpin, then, Education Director for the PGA of America; Kendra Graham, then, Chairperson of the Women’s US Open; Mary Beth Lacy, Mary Beth Lacy, Inc.; Marlene Livaudais, then, Tournament Director of the Tour Championship; Jennifer Mills, then, on-air talent, The Golf Channel; and Topsy Siderowf, Associate Editor, Golf Digest.
Every great idea begins as a small thought. Kathy’s daughter, (now also a professional businesswoman and the executive director of Girlstart in Austin, TX) suggested to her mom that she should consider starting a network group for women who work in golf. Kathy’s first reaction, “Yeah, right, who would do that?” Then, she thought about it, and called her friend, Alice Dye, and ran the concept by her. “What a great idea,” exclaimed Alice. “Yes, Kathy, we do need a women’s networking organization in golf!” History emerged. In the fall of 2001, Kathy, Alice Dye and 9 other forward-thinking women formed Women in the Golf Industry (WIGI). The core mission of the organization was connection. At the time, being a woman in the business of golf was no easy feat. It was still somewhat a man’s game/world. But these 11 trailblazing women had the fortitude and vision to power connections for females who held careers within the golf industry.