Sandy Cross new Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion with PGA of America

By Jamie Carbone, The PGA of America September 02, 2014

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Sandy Cross, a member of the PGA of America staff since 1996, has been promoted to the newly created position of Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

A native of Hamburg, New York, Cross will plan and direct the Association’s strategy, development and execution of a comprehensive, ongoing diversity and inclusion platform. This strategy and related initiatives, programs and partnerships will permeate the fabric of the PGA, drive transformation of its image, promote consumer engagement and further diversify participation in the game and business of golf.

Her new duties also encompass leading the coordination of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be an important component of the new KPMG Women’s PGA Championship beginning in 2015; heading the PGA’s delivery of the 3rd Annual Sports Diversity & Inclusion Symposium; and having direct oversight of the Golf Industry Supplier Diversity Program.

Cross recently served as director of Women’s and New Market Initiatives, as part of the PGA’s Player Development Department. In this role, she led the groundbreaking “Connecting With Her” strategic initiative to grow women’s participation and retention in the game by leveraging untapped markets for the PGA and the golf industry, in order to ensure the future growth and vitality of the game. In 2013, she led the PGA’s first-ever participation in the Global Sports Mentoring Program, a partnership with the U.S. Department of State and espnW designed to promote the growth of women and girls in sports worldwide.

Previously, Cross served as the PGA’s director of Business Development, where she secured, activated and fostered partnerships for the Association, its Championships and membership programs. She negotiated and executed multi-year, multi-million dollar agreements with blue-chip companies including: OMEGA, PepsiCo, American Express, General Motors, Amstel Light, National Car Rental, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Royal Bank of Scotland, OfficeMax, Lexmark and United Rentals, among others.

During her career at the PGA, Cross has been instrumental in the success of numerous other initiatives, including industrywide education to support the launch and success of Connecting With Her, the Get Golf Ready Employee Talent Development program and the Get Golf Ready Power Mixer. As well, Cross was actively involved with the development and launch of Golf Retirement Plus™, a supplemental retirement program for PGA Professionals.

“Sandy Cross has been instrumental behind numerous groundbreaking initiatives to expand the reach of the golf industry, as well as grow participation in the game,” said PGA of America Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Christine Garrity. “She has also distinguished herself in the sports industry as a leader for women’s diversity initiatives that have a lasting impact on the game both on and off the course.”

“I have a passion for diversity and inclusion and advancing women leaders,” added Cross. “My new role is designed to enable the PGA of America and the golf industry to create new avenues that grow the game and ensure that golf’s outreach encompasses everyone. The relationships I have fostered throughout my career have laid the foundation along this exciting path of breaking new ground for women’s and diversity initiatives throughout the game of golf.”

Cross has served as an Officer and Director of the Executive Women’s Golf Association’s (EWGA) Board of Directors for nine years and the EWGA Foundation Board for two years. She is a member of the GOLF 20/20 Women’s Committee and the USGA Women’s Advisory Board. Prior to joining the PGA, Cross worked as Director of Special Projects for the U.S. Water Fitness Association in Boynton Beach, Florida.

She earned a Masters of Sport Administration from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of Buffalo, where Cross played NCAA Division I volleyball for four years.

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