The EWGA National Conference was held April 6-8 at the legendary Pinehurst Resort & Spa in North Carolina. Fourteen EWGA members from the Long Island Chapter arrived on April 6 and registered in the Carolina Grand Ballroom Foyer for a Conference that would offer not just leadership development but also interaction both on and off the course—including some face time with celebrities.
Case in point: On the first day, four lucky women played a nine-hole round of golf on the famed Pinehurst #2 course with none other than LPGA Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam. She then joined EWGA’s Executive Distinction members at a private reception where LI’s own Liz Rye spent quality time with Annika, who ended her day at the giant “Schmooze-a-palooza” cocktail reception for all conference participants. The reception featured the presentation of EWGA’s prestigious 2009 Leadership Award to Sorenstam, followed by more fun and mingling with friends old and new.
The next day, more than 350 EWGA members from across the U.S. and Canada were in a party mood while sporting their favorite Mardi Gras-style masks. Enjoying sumptuous southern style food and dancing to the music, members shopped for new golf attire, golf destinations, and more during the exhibitor-laden event.
As for the EWGA Foundation, the third day’s Play It Forward Fun-Raising Evening raised funds for the foundation. Packed with fun activities, the evening had a carnival-style atmosphere with games of chance and skill, a silent auction, 50/50 drawing, fashion show, and entertainment by corporate motivational humorist Zandra Bell (a.k.a. Shirley Best, above left). The fashion show, using EWGA members as models, boasted the latest in fairway fashions from Cutter & Buck, Tail Activewear, TaylorMade, adidas, Nike Golf, Callaway, EP Pro, Fairway & Greene, UBU, and others. Accessories by Glove It and shoes by Adidas were also modeled by members.
One final evening saw the “Gal-a-palooza,” which is the last function of the conference. Chapter presidents from around North America, including LI’s Jackie Meli-Rizzo, were recognized in what has become an annual rite of passage: The Parade of Presidents, which started the evening’s award ceremony. There were a variety of awards given out: The Nancy Oliver Founder’s Award; Businesswoman of the Year Award; Women Who Lead Awards; Member-Get-A-Member Awards; and more.
The Long Island chapter is still the largest in the world, and VP Susan Pickering accepted the chapter’s awards for highest member retention and the Member-Get-A-Member program. LI chapter members also brought home the message that EWGA is changing women’s lives through the game of golf.
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