The links between golf and business

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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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Scarpetta

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Scarpetta

By Kate Scarpetta

Coming in “under-par” is my (and every other professional golfer’s) goal. However, in terms of pay equality, being “under par” is a bad score.

As a young girl growing up in Northeast Pennsylvania, I spent a considerable amount of time on the golf course; I also spent a lot of time around men. These men were socializing and conducting business on the course while I was in pigtails on the putting green. I have always felt that my place and presence was welcome — provided I hit the ball well enough. It’s a testament to the men at the clubs I grew up playing on, because I can honestly say, it’s never taken more than one well-hit driver for me to win over a man on the golf course and if it ever does, I’ll just wave him through.

However, I can see a real history of exclusion at the country club — not just to women but to certain ethnicities, races and religions — as a place where women, regardless of how accomplished they are in their professional field, still feel they don’t belong. Many women take up the game later in life, so they may experience the anxious, spotlight-effect feeling all golfers face, because they feel like they can’t catch up.

Believe me, everyone hits more bad shots than good ones. No one is exempt even if they’ve been playing their whole life. It also doesn’t take long to realize that what drives competitive people to the game is the fact that you are your own competition. This realization is when most fall for the game and become life-long players and fans.

Golf still carries enough baggage for women to hesitate picking up a club. This is sad, because the game is the only sport that is set up for different skill and age levels to play together. Basketball doesn’t adjust the three-point line to take into account for arthritis and aging, but golf actually does. There are tee-boxes of various lengths and handicaps that allow everyone to be competitive and have fun. These elements set the stage for good company. No other sport has the reputation for being more exclusive than golf, but at the same time, no other sport is actually set up to be more inclusive than golf.

The overlap of golf and business extends further, because a round of golf takes several hours, but only about fifteen minutes are spent hitting the ball. This time in-between shots is when relationships form and conversations that lead to trust and interest happen. Try spending four and a half hours with someone and not get a good picture of who they are and what they represent. Not even Boyden, a top head-hunting agency, could devise a better litmus test for employers. Golf is the best networking tool that I’ve experienced, but how do more women get to a point where they can use it to advance in business?

Some of the solutions to overcoming the wage and opportunity gap — that powerful women like Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook suggests — can be navigated more organically and rapidly by growing the female golfing population.

One specific fact referenced in Sandberg’s book, “Lean In,” is that women do not negotiate their salaries as much as men. Being poor at negotiating will certainly result in getting paid less than men, even if you have the same title. Sandberg presents a study which looked at starting salaries of students graduating with a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. The report found that 57 percent of male students, but only 7 percent of female students, tried to negotiate for a higher offer. She is quick to mention the cause: “women often have a good reason to be reluctant to advocate for their own interests, because doing so can easily backfire.” (This author hopes this article is not one such occurrence.)

Sandberg nails down the sweet spot: combine niceness with insistence. This is a style that Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan, describes as “relentlessly pleasant.”

A great way to practice being “relentlessly pleasant” is to play golf properly. Playing “properly” doesn’t mean having a perfect swing or knowing every complex rule and decision; it means reading and aspiring to adhere to the guidelines in the first section of the Rules of Golf, entitled, “Etiquette.” This section comes even before the “Definitions” section. This ordering of the index is intentional and suggests that “Etiquette,” is comprehensible for even the non-golfer. The only rival to the “Little League Pledge,” as far as inspiring sports vows go, is the second paragraph, which describes “The Spirit of the Game.”

“Golf is played, for the most part, without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other players and to abide by the Rules. All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be. This is the spirit of the game of golf.”

If those words don’t draw a tear or make you wish everything was like golf, then the game isn’t for you. “The Spirit of the Game” is a prescription for being an ethical and likable businessperson: don’t cheat and don’t be someone that no one wants to spend four and a half hours with. Any golfer, even if his or her own etiquette is not paragon, will always prefer the company of a player with good etiquette. The characteristic even trumps talent, because sharing company with someone who throws clubs or cheats in a $5 Nassau gets old quickly. The “Etiquette” section wraps up with:

“If players follow the guidelines in this section, it will make the game more enjoyable for everyone.”

There’s nothing suggestive about this statement. Follow these guidelines and you’ve done it right. This means that women can enter and be “business-golf-ready” sooner than they think.

More women in business need to play golf. Period. These first four pages on “Etiquette” are a prescriptive way to be welcomed and respected by any golfer. When playing with clients or one’s boss, a woman will get ahead by being “relentlessly pleasant,” which, recall, is a skill people like Sheryl Sandberg think women need to master anyway, if they want to lean in effectively.

Golf needs women too. Women make up half of the population and only account for 19 percent of golfers, according to The National Golf Foundation. Numbers-wise, the game is in decline by 30 percent in the number of golfers ages 18 to 34, and having more girls and women pick up a club can help fix this problem. Incentives for more women to play and take an interest in golf couldn’t be more attractive or logical.

Personally, my confidence in negotiating and interacting with men and women who are successful comes less from my college degree than it does from early interactions with people who are older than me on the golf course.

The golf course is a setting where being young and female, at least for now, means you’re in the minority. Navigating this type of setting on your own increases your self-esteem, people skills and confidence. Introduce your sisters, daughters and granddaughters to golf so that they can use it to their advantage on and off the course.

Girls don’t have the luxury of being socially intimidated and a great way to overcome this is by spending time on a golf course. When more girls and young women start playing and acquire golf etiquette, (aka “relentless persistence”) women and golf will improve their scorecards.

Kate Scarpetta is a professional golfer and founder of the 2017 PA Women’s Open. She said “The 2017 PA Women’s Open Tournament I am running is actually making history. It’s the first professional golf tournament to have a larger purse for women than for men. We’ve also partnered with Geisinger Health System to raise money for their Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute. It’s a great project and it will be a truly awesome event.”

2017 PA Women’s Open

Valley Country Club

79 Country Club Lane, Sugarloaf, PA 18249

May 24-27

• There will be 78 players, consisting of the world’s best professionals and amateurs

• Tournament Purse: $100,000

• First Place: $20,000

• Title Sponsor: Computer Aid Inc.

• Benefits Geisinger Health System’s Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute

Schedule of Events

• Wednesday, May 24 — 18 Hole Open Qualifier, Women’s Clinic, Cocktail Pairings Party

• Thursday, May 25 — Pro-am, Jr. Clinic, BBQ

• Friday, May 26 — Round 1

• Saturday, May 27 — Final Round, Award Ceremony

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