In the world of sports, women athletes have made enormous strides toward leveling the playing field in a profession once open only to men. This progress is due in part to the leadership of female athletes and their willingness to encourage and inform young players. On Wednesday, June 23, this tradition continues as five world-class athletes gather at the fifth annual Conversations with Champions luncheon and panel discussion at the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans. It will be sponsored by the University of Rochester's Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership and the Polisseni Agency, a Fairport business that specializes in insurance.
This year's event reaches beyond the world of golf to include Rochester native and soccer star Abby Wambach, Olympic Gold Medalist skier Diann Roffe, and LPGA professionals Christina Kim, Meg Mallon, and Betsy Rawls. Golf insider Gail Graham will serve as the moderator for the discussion, titled "All Things Major," on what it takes to be a female athlete.
According to Nora Bredes, director of the Anthony Center, "Since the emancipation of women, the number of women athletes in professional sports has gradually increased and today their performance is just as acclaimed as that of male athletes. In order to keep this momentum going and to inspire others, it is important for us to discuss how far we have come and where we need to go next."
The Ladies Professional Golf Association was established in 1950 and is the oldest women's professional sports association in the world. "LPGA members serve as role models both on and off the course to their fans and sponsors," says Kim Osur, marketing manager of the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans. "Conversations with Champions is an important event because it provides the players with an opportunity to educate others on what it takes to be a champion."
Amy Leenhouts Tait, the CEO and co-founder of Broadstone Real Estate, LLC, will be awarded the 2010 Susan B. Anthony Promise Award at a VIP Reception before the luncheon. Established in 2006 by the Anthony Center and University's William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, the award honors a Simon School alumna whose career, leadership, energy, and wisdom exemplify the social, political, and economic equality of women. Tait is a 1985 graduate of the Simon School's Executive M.B.A. Program.
"Amy Tait has demonstrated exceptional leadership at the highest level nationally by providing managerial and entrepreneurial innovation in the real estate sector," says Simon School Dean Mark Zupan. "She is also deeply committed to the vitality of our community. For being a trailblazer in her industry and a champion of her community, Amy is truly deserving of the Susan B. Anthony Promise Award."
Tait believes that her decision to take breaks from her career and spend more time with her family is one of the reasons for her success. "By being able to focus my priorities in different areas at different times in my life, I have been able to realize deep satisfaction from friends, family, career, and community- it all balances out in the end." In 2006, she returned to the real estate industry, as the CEO of Broadstone, a commercial real estate investment, management, and development agency, which she co-founded with her husband, Bob Tait, and father, Norman Leenhouts. Tait also serves on the boards of several community organizations, which include the United Way of Greater Rochester and the M&T Bank Regional Advisory Board.
The 2010 Conversations with Champions will take place at 11:30 a.m. on June 23, inside the ESL Champions Pavilion at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford. Unique this year is a special VIP Reception being held before the luncheon where members of the panel will be available for autographs and photos in a private setting. Tickets are $50 for the reception or luncheon alone; $75 for the reception, luncheon, and conversation. All tickets include a course pass for the day and can be purchased online at www.wegmanslpga.org/. Tickets for the VIP Reception are limited. For reservations or more information, contact the tournament office at (585) 427 7100 or the Anthony Center at (585) 275- 8799.
Proceeds from the LPGA Championship, presented by Wegmans, and all special events, will benefit the United Way's Graduation is the Goal Fund, aiding programs that serve children at risk of dropping out of school.