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November 28, 2018

World Golf Foundation Convenes Historic Minority Supplier Diversity Conference at World Golf Village

Photo via African American Golfer's Digest.

NEW YORK, NY — In a bold and historic meeting held November 12-13 in St. Augustine, Florida at the World Golf Village, seven leading golf industry organizations met to discuss Minority Supplier Diversity. The meeting was convened by the Supplier Diversity Subcommittee of the We Are Golf (formerly Golf2020) Diversity Initiatives Task Force. The session was led by Gina Rizzi, chair of the subcommittee and facilitated by Task Force Chairman Michael Cooper and AAGD Executive Editor and subcommittee member Jim Beatty.

Craig Kirby, founder and president of Golf My Future My Game and Earnie Ellison, both subcommittee members also attended the session.

Tony Starks, Associate Editor of the PGA Magazine and Editorial Director of Golf Range Magazine who serves as Chair of the Communications subcommittee was also in attendance. Tony has been invaluable to the communications efforts of the Diversity Initiatives Taskforce.

World Golf Foundation (WGF) president, Steve Mona, addressed the session attesting to the meeting’s importance and historical significance. I am pleased to say that I recommended this meeting to the subcommittee and worked diligently with WGF staff and fellow members to make it happen.

The purpose of the workshop is to increase the $84 Billion Golf Industry’s spending with Women, Minority, and other diverse companies. Currently, there is no measurement of the Golf Industry spending with Minority or Diverse business. Efforts have been made to measure the spending but the results have been negligible thus far.

The seven-hour workshop on November 13, 2018 was preceded by a tour of the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday evening November 12, followed by a dinner and reception.

Representatives from the United States Golfers Association (USGA), International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA), THE GOLF CHANNEL, TOP GOLF, AJGA and the World Golf Foundation, Professional Caddies Association attended the 2-day event and learned the ins-and-outs of implementing as well as improving Supplier Diversity programs within their respective organizations.

Donna Dozier Gordon, Director, Diversity & Inclusion for the United States Tennis Association (USTA), was the guest speaker and did an outstanding job outlining the efforts of the USTA and shared similarities with the golf industry for adoption.

Material presented throughout the workshop covered the importance of supplier diversity in golf, essential elements, misconceptions and myths, steps for implementation, galvanizing stakeholders, tracking, benchmarking, measuring, case studies, and using communications/marketing teams to celebrate successes.

The occasion concluded with consensus for continued group communications, periodic updates on progress and best practices, and to use the momentum gained from the workshop to influence the golf industry. Gina, Jim and other supplier diversity sub-committee members committed to support participants, as needed, as each organization works to successfully implement supplier diversity programs at their respective workplaces.

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