SBJ/Sept. 9-15, 2013/Game Changers

Game Changers: Christine Garrity

Photo: MONTANA PRITCHARD
Garrity this year became the PGA’s first female chief administrative officer and general counsel.
Organizational Drivers
Christine Garrity
PGA of America | Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel

C
hristine Garrity has spent the last 23 years with the PGA of America. She began her career with the organization in 1990, as director of contract administration. She continued with the group in the decades to come, working in various roles. In March of this year, she became the first female chief administrative officer and general counsel for the group, responsible for its work with government relations, legal affairs, special events, membership, and diversity and inclusion operations. She reports directly to PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua and manages a staff of 35.
 
Garrity had an affinity for sports while growing up, playing basketball, volleyball and softball through high school. Now also a golfer for the past 10 years — she has a handicap of 20 and, as she says, is “hoping to get it lower” — Garrity helps promote the sport through programs such as the PGA’s Diversity Scholarship Program and National Golf Day.

She also marks as an annual highlight the opportunity to serve as parliamentarian at the PGA of America’s annual meeting, a role she has filled since 1993, when she was director and legal counsel. As parliamentarian, Garrity manages the order, rules and decorum of the meeting. “It is very stressful, but it’s a good kind of stress,” she said. “I love the challenge.”    

— Stephanie Brown

  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: My father, who is a retired college professor. He was responsible for starting my love of sports at an early age.
  • Woman in sports business you’d most like to meet: Rachel Alexandra, because of my love for horses and all that she has achieved, especially when she defeated the colts in the 2009 Preakness and achieved Horse of the Year honors. It is inspirational to see the girls beat the boys, in any sports or business context. (Note: Garrity has an affinity for the sport; she raises racehorses.)
  • Best advice you’ve received: From my legal mentor, Steve Sacks, a retired senior partner at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.: Understand your audience and know how to communicate effectively with them.
  • What would you, at age 18, find surprising about the person you’ve become today?: I would be very surprised about the person I’ve become today because at age 18 I was in nursing school. It wasn’t until we did our first rotation of clinicals that I realized nursing was not for me.

“For nearly two decades, I’ve watched Christine at the table structuring some of the most significant contractual arrangements that are positively impacting the PGA and will do so for years to come — from a commercial standpoint as well as from a membership association perspective. She excels at pushing her team out front and empowers them to lead and grow. She’s also been a role model on how to achieve the elusive work-life integration that so many professionals, particularly career-oriented women, seek.”

— Sandy Cross | Director, women’s and new market initiatives | PGA of America

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