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

Game Changers: Kathy Milthorpe


Getting her start in accounting, Milthorpe never saw herself working in sports.
Organizational Drivers
Kathy Milthorpe
LPGA | Chief Financial Officer

K
athy Milthorpe has overseen the finances of the LPGA at three different times in her life. First hired as director of finance in 1986, coming in from the group’s outside accounting firm (the former Coopers & Lybrand), she stayed until 1996. She came back to the LPGA in 1999 as chief financial officer after having run a men’s senior tour event in California, but she left again in 2005 to take a job at International Speedway Corp. She’s been in her current position again at the LPGA since 2010.

Her impact has been seen across those years. In 1993, she was the lead LPGA executive responsible for the creation of a child care center for women athletes, the Smucker’s LPGA Child Development Center. In the last year, Milthorpe led the development of, and is now implementing, a three-year strategic growth plan for the tour. The plan aims to develop the tour across its areas of operation, including tournaments and its overall fan following.

— Liz Mullen


  • Crowning professional achievement: The ability to have three different tenures at the LPGA under a variety of leaders.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Charlie Mechem, the former LPGA commissioner (1991-95), because he was a very seasoned executive with the talent of being the smartest person in the room but made you feel like the smartest person in the room.
  • Best advice you’ve received: Work hard and be fair to others, and the rest of it will happen naturally.
  • What would you, at age 18, find surprising about the person you’ve become today?: I never thought I would be working in sports. Going into accounting, I didn’t think I’d end up in sports.
  • The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: Not enough time in the day.
  • My vision of success is …: A collaborative team that accomplishes goals together.

“Kathy is a unique blend of overwhelmingly high capacity and laser-sharp strategic thinking skills. It is virtually impossible to give Kathy more work than she can handle — and trust me, I’ve tried. In addition, Kathy understands the history and personality of the LPGA but can still challenge the status quo, given her experiences outside the LPGA. Due to her ability to bring strategic insight to any situation, she is involved, in one way or another, in almost every business decision we make at the LPGA.”

— Mike Whan | Commissioner | LPGA

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