Women Philanthropists Featured at William Blair Golf Event: Women Fore Good

Friday, June 29, 2018


From left, PGA Hall of Famer Renee Powell, William Blair’s Laura Linger, LPGA golf professional Jamie Fischer at William Blair’s Women on Course event.

Renee Powell, the first African-American woman to be inducted into the Professional Golf Association Hall of Fame, shared her remarkable life journey as a professional golfer, business owner, and philanthropist with more than 100 women executives attending William Blair’s Women on Course annual golf event on June 25.

Greeted by a standing ovation, Powell told the gathering she credits her achievements to a lesson from her dad: never give up.

“You never know where life is going to take you. There are peaks and valleys and as my dad said ‘you never give up and put one foot in front of the other,’” Powell says. “A lot of times good things will happen.”

Her father Bill Powell, also a PGA Hall of Famer, lived by that adage too. When he encountered racial discrimination on the golf courses after returning home from WWII, he decided to build his own golf course – Clearview Golf Club – where all were welcome to play.

Today, Renee Powell is the head golf professional at Clearview in East Canton, Ohio.

Women Fore Good

This is the fifth year William Blair and LPGA golf professional Jamie Fischer teamed up to host the outing for women executives and LPGA veterans to network, share life stories and improve their golf skillsExecutives from United Laboratories (UL) and True Partners also co-sponsored this year’s event.

Held at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Illinois, this year’s outing featured women of philanthropy.

Powell was the second African-American woman to play on the LPGA tour, joining in 1967. After playing professional golf for 13 years, she became the first woman head professional at a golf course in the United Kingdom. She is also one of the first American women selected to become an honorary member of The Royal and Ancient Club of St Andrews, the home of golf.

Since leaving the LPGA Tour in 1980, Powell has devoted her life to introducing life skills and growing the game among vulnerable children, members of the military, and golfers of all ages. Powell has also been an International Goodwill Ambassador making 25 trips to Africa.

For Powell, golf has been her life. In both, it’s about staying positive.

“You can look at a golf course and see outbound stakes to the left and water hazards to the right. Or, you can look down the middle and see all the green grass,” she says. “It’s the same thing in life.”

Conversations on philanthropy & investment trends

The event also featured a panel of women leaders who shared their personal stories on giving and investing in their communities: Laura Coy, director of community engagement for William Blair; Laura Linger, vice president with William Blair’s private wealth management group; Cheryl Mankoff, founder of Feel Good Undies LLC; and Sandi Young, philanthropist and social impact investor.

A second panel, introduced by William Blair financial advisor Louise Lane, included William Blair analysts Emily George and Emily Stent along with Oliver Gorman, who leads UL’s digital product innovation practice. They gave an insightful outlook on China’s economic growth, Blockchain, and the hottest research trends in medicine.

Attendees later enjoyed nine holes of golf or a golfing clinic at the practice range with former LPGA players as their instructors.

Host Committee:

Alexis Bergman, True Partners Consulting
Phyllis Cretors, Retired Executive and Philanthropist
Jamie Fischer, Conway Farms, LPGA
Barbara Guthrie, Underwriters Laboratories
Louise Lane, William Blair
Betty Lindquist, Counseling Connections
Laura Linger, William Blair
Maryanne Nugent, MSN Consulting

For more information, email Laura Linger at William Blair.

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