Vol 4 July 2008
Tournament Staff

Mac Everett
General Chairman

Kym Hougham
Executive Director

Jan Ivey
Director of Marketing and Sponsor Relations

Tony Schuster
Director of Operations

Gwen Mahler
Tournament Coordinator

Paula Burnett
Volunteer Coordinator

Christine Coman
Tournament Project Manager

James Stevens
Tournament Assistant

 

The 2008 Wachovia Championship was another great success. We were interested to hear about the event from the Executive Director. With time to reflect, and begin planning for the 2009 tournament, Kym sat down and answered a few questions about the tournament.

When does it jump into your mind that you have another year to prepare for the next tournament?
My staff and I don’t really look at the time frame of “a year”. We all know that as soon as the tournament is over that we have certain duties immediately after the event that have to happen to get ready for next year’s event. Certain things have to happen in a certain order for us to systematically get ready for the 2009 tournament. Surveying our patrons and sponsors is our first duty concerning the 2008 tournament followed by debriefs with several constituent groups to identify ways to improve the tournament.

How quickly do you and your staff start looking for ways to improve the Wachovia Championship?
That varies, but sometimes we know before a tournament what we would like to add or do differently for the one the following year. We identify a lot of items, issues and areas during tournament week that we talk about after the event and create a plan of attack to implement the ones that will improve the experiences of people that come to the tournament.

What is the most difficult part of tournament week being over?
The incredible sense of abandonment by our patrons, sponsors, media and players. For seven days they are a huge part of your life, then on Monday after the event no one comes out to the course and it is totally quiet. When you work all year long for one week, it is sad when the week comes to an end.

How much follow up do you do with players, corporate partners and patrons during the summer months?
We do a lot of follow up. I regularly go to other TOUR events to talk to the players, not only to seek their comments but to thank them for coming to Charlotte. As for sponsors, we hold debrief meetings. Patrons, we email surveys to a cross section of purchasers to seek their input and ideas for improvement.

Tiger Woods couldn’t come this year, how did that affect the tournament?
While we were very sorry that Tiger could not come back to defend his 2007 title because of his knee surgery, the tournament was still considered a huge success by many of our financial indicators. We are very fortunate that our strength of field brings us most of the top players in the world, so we find it more important to focus on the players that attend the event than the ones that could not be with us. What we have discovered in our six year history is that the Wachovia Championship is not just a golf tournament, but an important spring event in Charlotte and one that will be supported for many years to come by the Charlotte community.