Palm Harbor, FL-- Sheila Johnson, the owner of Innisbrook Resort and the CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, is only starting to blaze new trails in the golf world.
In a conversation with 10 News Sports Anchor Dave Wirth, Johnson talked about her new role on the executive committee of the United States Golf Association. She's the first African-American women to be elected to the 15-person committee. She wants to use her marketing skills to open up the game of golf, to everyone.
"This is a game we want everybody to play, we want everyone to feel welcome," Johnson told 10 News. "We have got to break that barrer of isolation, that it's only a game for so many people, not for the rest of the community. I want people to feel vested in the game of golf."
EverBank Financial Corp. came onboard this year to be the presenting sponsor of the Tampa Bay Championship. But it's only a one-year deal, and there's no guarantee that EverBank will be back next year, although organizers are hopeful.
Without a sponsor, the tournament may not return. But to Sheila Johnson, that is not an option.
"If you know anything about me, you know I'm like a dog on a bone, and I'm not going to give up on this. I'm really not. We have people that are interested, companies and corporations that are interested. It's my job, it's what I owe Innisbrook, the membership, the Tampa Bay community that I want to keep a tournament here at Innisbrook."