Unique two-week series to support and celebrate women’s initiatives
(Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) – Organizers of the ORCA Golf Bags Women’s Match Play Championship presented by PXG announced today the addition of two key leadership roles. Joan B. Blecha has been named Tournament Volunteer Chairperson and Mindy Herrick has joined the team as Social Media Manager. The unique, two-week tournament series for women professional players will take place at World Golf Village October 25-November 5, 2021. The Orca has also partnered with Generation W to create programming that celebrates women’s initiatives inside and outside the ropes.
A golf member at World Golf Village, Ms. Blecha will be responsible for recruiting, managing and creating a team environment for 100-150 volunteers who will “staff” The Orca. She has been involved with the game for more than 60 years, when she started playing as a kid with her $40 set of Wilson clubs and an Arnold Palmer blade putter that she still has. Ms. Blecha grew up in Pensacola (FL) and graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in political science and has a degree in accounting from the University of North Florida. She practiced as a CPA at the Jacksonville office of Coopers & Lybrand, was financial VP of Taylor Concrete then CEO of Joelson-Taylor until the Company sold to Hanson PLC where she was President of the Southeast Region and responsible for 36 concrete manufacturing plants and 2,000 employees. When Hanson was sold to the Heidelberg Cement Group she continued in her role and was the only female among their top 165 international executive managers.
Ms. Blecha said, “I spent my career in industries where most positions were filled by men. During this time, I have simultaneously watched the growth of women in business and women in golf. I have been so pleased to see the ladies develop the understanding that opportunities are also there for them if they decide to take advantage of them. I am most grateful to see The Orca present one of those opportunities.”
Tournament Operations Director, Tim Iley, of On The Green Consulting, said, “Joan is the personification of The Orca outside the ropes. She has gotten to the top of the mountain in a
male-dominated industry and is giving back to the game through her volunteerism. She is the leader and team builder The Orca and its volunteers need to execute a successful event.”
Mindy Herrick is currently a senior at the University of North Florida, where she majors in communications with a concentration in journalism. She also helps lead the Top 50-ranked women’s golf program inside and outside the ropes. She works with C.A.M.P Osprey, a community outreach program with the Taylor Leadership Institute, as well as with the Jacksonville Ronald McDonald House, creating leadership activities for its residents. Mindy has interned with the UNF Athletic Communications Department, creating content and running events, as well as being the social media representative for the Women’s Golf Team. Ms. Herrick will be creating and deploying the social media content, essentially acting as the voice of the tournament to its many constituents, including players, sponsors, supporters, and spectators.
“Mindy is the perfect representation of the young women competing at The Orca, an exceptional player who is not quite LPGA-ready and who’s best golf is in front of her,” said Tournament Director and producer of the event, Mark Berman of MediaShare Consulting Group. “Right now, she is deciding between making a run as a professional golfer or looking at other opportunities in the golf industry – or, as many of these young women will, having a solid Plan A and Plan B. She has the talent and the ambition for both, and this opportunity allows her to survey those options in real time. We are all excited to have her perspective and for her to communicate the tournament’s mission through her very specific lens.”
The ORCA Golf Bags Women’s Match Play Championship presented by PXG will feature 64 women professionals pursuing their dream of playing on the LPGA Tour, battling over two weeks in two separates, but connected, tournaments. The first week will feature a 54-hole Stroke-Play tournament on the King & Bear course, which will seed the second week’s event, a 64-woman Match-Play championship at Slammer & Squire. There will be no cut in the Stroke-Play event and all players will advance to the Match-Play tournament.
Each tournament will have its own prize purse, a guarantee of $50,000 shared between the two events. The winner of the Match-Play event will be The ORCA Champion, and in addition to cash prize money will also receive a $2,500 Gift Card from PXG, along with a commemorative golf bag designed by Erica Bennett of ORCA Golf Bags. The tournament series will feature a pro-am event, junior clinics, and local community-based activities and fundraising opportunities.
In addition to the golf competition – and of equal importance – the tournament will celebrate women’s initiatives by providing programming such as leadership forums, executive networking, and education. The programming will be developed and provided by Generation W, a national nonprofit based in Jacksonville Beach (FL), founded and run by Donna Orender. Their mission embraces the guiding tenets of education, inspiration, and connection and the power of women’s leadership.
The ORCA Golf Bags Women’s Match Play Championship presented by PXG represents two of the 14 official events on the Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT) in 2021. The WAPT was established in 2019 in partnership with the LPGA’s Symetra Tour. The WAPT is the Official Qualifying Tour for the LPGA’s Symetra Tour, providing more opportunities for women to play professional golf, and to advance their careers to the next level.”
Information on elevated hospitality opportunities, Pro-Am spots, tickets, key sponsorships, and volunteering, as well as media contact is available on the tournament website at www.TheORCAGolf.com and by calling MediaShare Consulting Group at 904.838.4962. You may reach the office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Orca Golf Bags Women’s Match Play Championship presented by PXG
The Orca was founded to shine a bright light on the developmental level of professional women’s golf, to create playing opportunities for those players to continue their journey, and through its collaboration with Generation W, to amplify the event’s bigger mission to inspire, educate and mentor The Orca players as well as members of the North Florida community.
About MediaShare Consulting Group, Inc.
MSCG was started in 2009 in Jacksonville, FL as a boutique marketing strategy company serving small to medium-sized business. MediaShare is designed to act as a fractionally-owned marketing department for just a few clients at a time. MSCG has evolved to specialize in brand reinvention, sponsorship activation and event production.
Mark D. Berman