Those who know Sylvia Summers, the 2021 recipient of the Nancy Oliver – Act Like a Founder award, are already well-acquainted with this superwoman who has dedicated the past 27 years to providing opportunities for mentoring new golfers and future leaders.
As a founding member of the LPGA Amateurs – Birmingham, AL Chapter, Sylvia exemplifies the passion and spirit of Nancy Oliver, the woman who established the LPGA Amateur Golf Association (then known as the Executive Women’s Golf Association) in 1991, and she has now been voted to receive the organization’s highest leadership honor due to her track record of positively impacting her chapter and her local golf community.
“Sylvia is the epitome of a humble leader—one who leads by example and is always there to mentor and say a kind word,” current President of Sylvia’s LPGA Amateurs chapter Madge Gregg said. “Our members know that Sylvia loves the game of golf, but it is her allegiance to our organization that makes her special.”
Sylvia became a member of the LPGA Amateurs in 1994, and throughout the years she has served in multiple rolls, including Membership Chair, Secretary, twice serving as President and Leadership Chair, Vice President, Chapter Development Specialist, Tournament Director, and currently serves as the Sponsorship Chair.
“In 27 years of membership, I can’t possibly calculate how many volunteer hours Sylvia has logged in for our chapter and the LPGA Amateurs,” Jane McGriff, past President of the Birmingham chapter said.
Whether it’s on the golf course or in the board room, Sylvia believes in developing leadership skills and is a mentor to new golfers and LPGA Amateurs members, and she has also been instrumental in helping her chapter expand diversity in membership.
“She is always the first to reach out to new members and invite them to a social or encourage them to come to a league play for the first time or attend a clinic,” Jane McGriff added.
But Sylvia’s involvement in mentoring doesn’t stop with the LPGA Amateurs. Since 2000, she has been an asset to her local LPGA*USGA Girls Golf site. When she learned that the program’s longtime site director was retiring in 2019, she stepped up to answer the call. Thanks to Sylvia, the program never missed a beat, and she continues to help girls aged 5-16 achieve their #LittleGirlsBigDreams.
The award was announced to members at the LPGA Amateurs Virtual Scramble Ceremony livestream. When Sylvia received the news a few days earlier from Nancy Oliver, Founder of the EWGA, now the LPGA Amateur Golf Association, Sylvia was overwhelmed with joy.
“This Organization owns my heart,” Sylvia said. “Since 1994, when we started this, I made my commitment to always stay involved, to try to lead it and grow it. I wanted a group where women—any women—could play golf. All these years, I’ve strived to do that, and I have enjoyed it. I love it.”