“Let’s Talk Golf” Celebrity Breakfast with Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA

Join us for our first “Kolbe Conversions” Celebrity Breakfast to benefit Kolbe Cathedral High School with USGA CEO, Mike Whan on July 27th at the Patterson Club in Fairfield, CT. 

Featured Guest: Mike Whan
New CEO of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and former Commissioner of the LPGA

Moderator: Armen Keteyian
11-time Emmy Award winning journalist and co-author of Tiger Woods

When: Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Time: 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM EDT
Where: The Patterson Club
1118 Cross Highway
Fairfield, CT 06824
Tickets: $100 per person

Mike Whan

Michael (Mike) Whan was announced as the new CEO of the United States Golf Association (USGA) in February 2021. He will be the eighth top executive in USGA history effective July 1st. Previously, he was the commissioner of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), one of the longest-running and most successful women’s sports organizations in the world. Whan assumed the leadership role on Jan. 4, 2010, with an eye toward enhancing existing business relationships, growing the tournament schedule, increasing exposure for players and maximizing the LPGA experience for fans.
Since celebrating his 10th year as Commissioner in 2019, Whan continues to lead a resurgence of the LPGA on all fronts, embracing the global makeup of the Tour and promoting the DRIVE ON new brand positioning that focuses on celebrating the LPGA’s 70-year track record of driving on to break barriers and provide opportunities for women. Drive On isn’t just rooted in golf, but it is so much bigger. It’s about that fire that burns inside you when you discover your passion. It’s about the motivating power of big dreams and the resolve to defy convention and stereotypes. It’s about finding the vision to see beyond what has already been done and to believe something greater is possible. 
Whan oversaw strong renewal rates amongst title and marketing partners, developed new tournaments that showcase the world’s best players and drove huge increases in the LPGA’s television viewership. Not shy to embrace the global aspect of the LPGA, Whan has expanded playing opportunities throughout Asia while increasing the number of North American tournaments for the U.S.-based Tour. His “role reversal” concept challenges players and staff to think like tournament sponsors, a strategy which ensures that everyone plays a role in delivering value to those who financially support the Tour.
Under Whan’s leadership, the LPGA Tour’s playing schedule has soared from 23 to 34 events with innovative tournaments such as the Founders Cup; strategic partnerships like the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship; The Evian Championship, the LPGA’s fifth major; the unique eight-country UL International Crown; and the CME Group Tour Championship with its season-long Race to the CME Globe points competition that awards the winner with $1.5 million, the largest single prize in the history of women’s golf. As testament to Whan’s efforts, he was honored in April 2017 as Sports Executive of the Year at the sixth annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards in New York.
In addition, under Whan, the developmental Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA has also grown in schedule (+50%) and purse money (+100%). The LPGA’s Girls Golf program has more than 100,000 members by the end of 2019, up from 5,000 in 2010, and the LPGA’s Professionals division has its largest-ever membership and has now expanded into Asia and 15 countries worldwide. Now embracing all things global, the LPGA caters to fans in over 200 countries via the website and boasts television partners in 175 countries.
Whan developed a passion for golf at a young age, cutting greens and caddying to earn money. He attended Naperville Central High School in Naperville, Ill., for his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to Anderson High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Whan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1987 and began his business career the same year at the Proctor and Gamble Company, rising through the ranks as a Brand Assistant, Brand Manager and eventually Director of Marketing, Oral Care, before pursuing his passion for sports.
In 1994-95, he served as a Vice President and General Manager at the Wilson Sporting Goods Company responsible for all aspects of the golf ball and glove business. He also managed the marketing department, two manufacturing facilities and the Research & Development division.
Whan joined the TaylorMade Golf Company as Vice President of Marketing in 1995. Over the course of his four-year tenure, he was promoted to Vice President, Sales and Marketing and eventually EVP/General Manager-North America for TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. In his role as General Manager, Whan’s business unit represented more than 70 percent of the company’s worldwide sales and profit.
Whan served as President/Chief Marketing Officer for Britesmile, Inc., from 1999-2002, before returning to sports as the President-CEO of Mission Hockey, a hockey equipment company. During his seven-year tenure in the hockey business, he restructured and redefined the company, then acquired Itech Sports to create Mission-Itech Hockey. When Whan finalized the sale of Mission-Itech Hockey, it commanded market share leadership in nine product categories, sales in more than 30 countries and had more than 50% of the National Hockey League (NHL) players using the brands.
He and his wife, Meg, and his children Austin, Wesley and Connor, will move to New Jersey from Lake Mary, Florida.

Armen Keteyian

11-time Emmy award winner Armen Keteyian is widely regarded as one of the finest sports journalists in the country with a decorated career spanning nearly 40 years. Most recently, he was the Anchor and an Executive Producer of video for The Athletic, the digital sports media company. Prior to The Athletic he spent 12 years as a network television correspondent to “60 Minutes” for eight seasons.
From 2013 to March of 2017 Keteyian was the lead correspondent for “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime. Beginning in 2006 he was the Chief Investigative Correspondent for CBS News for seven years, winning multiple Emmy awards. He has also worked as a special features reporter for CBS Sports, a correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports,” ABC News “World News Tonight” and Writer-Reporter at Sports Illustrated.
Keteyian is also the author or co-author of 11 books, including Tiger Woods, the critically acclaimed No. 1 New York Times best-selling biography. A television and film producer he was an Executive Producer of the 2021 HBO documentary Tiger. Keteyian earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Diego State university in 1976 where he started as an infielder on the baseball team. He and his wife, Dede, live in Fairfield, CT.

Annual Harvest Fund

Most private schools rely on their Annual Funds to provide the greatest and most important single source of annual fundraising support. Kolbe Cathedral’s  initiative is named the Annual Harvest Fund to remind us of the hard work, care and nurturing it takes each year to produce a bountiful crop of caring graduates and college-bound students. It also pays homage to a long KCHS tradition of inter-class student competition each November called “Harvest Party”. This fund will provide vital, flexible-use resources and discretionary income that allow Kolbe Cathedral to sustain its educational mission with an excellent faculty and proper facilities and programs that allow students to achieve at their highest level. The proceeds from the 2022-2023 Annual Harvest Fund, which will run from November through June, will go to much-needed student tuition assistance and building upgrades/repairs (the main school building was built in the 1960’s).  Giving levels are as follows: Giving levels are as follows:
$1 – $249  Friends of Kolbe Cathedral
$250 – $999  Cougar Club
$1,000- $2,499*  Patrons Club
$2,500 – $4,999*  Principal’s Circle
* Gifts at these levels will provide membership to the Maximilian Kolbe Society. Benefits will include a reception with Bishop Frank J. Caggiano following the Baccalaureate Mass on June 1, 2023.