Ellis taking a swing at top job
BUSINESS principles used at the Casino RSM Bowling Club might help steer the United States Ladies Professional Golf Association tour through the severe recession gripping the country.
Still on a high after being voted in as president of the US LPGA players' executive committee last week, former Casino golfer Michelle Ellis spoke with The Northern Star from America about being the first Australian entrusted with the top job on the $90 million tour.
“There's a lot involved,” she said.
“I don't know where to begin.
“I'm not just the president of the LPGA, there for the events, I take over a role inside the LPGA Foundation and the teaching division.
“I'm still learning about it myself and look forward to trying to do it all.
“It's just hard with the economic times ... I feel like I've been thrown in the lions' den, but I'm taking it on and embracing it.”
One of the first things on her agenda is a call home to her father Bob, at Casino, to learn from his experiences as president of the Casino men's bowling club.
“It's going to be a long road - I'm looking forward to chatting with my father, who's served on boards and committees, to find out what I've got myself into here.
“There's a lot of stuff going on and I want to go in with clear head.
“He (dad) has the experience.
“I just want to get some ideas off him.”
Bob, who was very modest when contacted by The Northern Star, said Michelle would be able to handle the job on her own.
“I haven't had a chance to talk to her yet,” he said.
“I don't know where I'm going to start with that - I've been president of a few bowling clubs. That's all.
“Like any family, we're just proud of what she's achieved in her golfing career and now this is a big feather in her cap.”
Ellis was voted in as president by the tour's seven-woman executive committee during a conference in Hawaii, with Hilary Lunke being dumped from the position.
It was a huge surprise for Ellis, who attended the conference just hoping to be elevated to voting member.
“A lot of stuff went down ... it was a tense meeting,” she said.
“Ellis already has a solid grasp of the challenges facing the tour in these uncertain times.
“Golf will still be my first priority ... but I need to get the organisation back on the upswing,” she said.
“As the LPGA stands, I'm glad I'm in that organisation when it comes to a job. It's still very successful.”
“I feel like I've been thrown in the lions' den, but I'm taking it on and embracing it”