FAIRBORN, OH – The Southern Ohio PGA is excited to name Kathy Keller – representing Straight Down, Corkcicle, Belyn Key, GustBuster, Feetures, Vimhue and Cappai Designs – as the 2022 SOPGA Sales Representative of the Year.
Kathy Keller has been a golf industry Sales Representative providing quality service to Southern Ohio PGA Section Professionals for more than 15 years. Based in Northern Ohio, Keller has a passion for representing products from a variety of brands with unique selling points. Although she entered the industry knowing not a single golf professional in her new territory, Keller has steadily grown her business to working with 125 accounts throughout her area. Her commitment and dedication to both her vendors and accounts set her apart as an outstanding representative to partner with. In her experience, Keller has found that her personal excitement to use and wear each product she represents makes the selling process much easier when working with each account.
Q: What does it mean to you to be named the Southern Ohio PGA Sales Rep of the Year?
KK: I am humbled and very proud to receive this reward which comes directly from my customers. The last two years have been challenging with respect to workload – and I feel as though I was rewarded.
Q: How did you get started in your career as a Golf Sales Rep?
KK: I “grew up” in bicycling apparel but my heart always wanted to be in golf apparel. In 2005 I was working as a consultant for a company in Beaverton, OR (not Nike) and one of the sales representatives for this company told me about a women’s golf line she was selling in Canada that needed a sales rep in Ohio. So without knowing a single golf pro in Ohio I tried to sell an upper end price point women’s brand that no one knew of. This was not financially successful, but it did get me in the industry I had always wanted to be in.
Q: Since beginning your career as a Sales Rep in the golf industry, what has been the largest change in the industry you’ve experienced?
KK: Definitely the growth of the women’s market. Especially in the last two years with the growth in numbers that has come from Covid. Also my customers are booking products earlier than ever to ensure availability.
Q: What key traits make a successful Sales Rep in the golf industry in 2022?
KK: Communication skills and the ability to follow up QUICKLY. Also knowing and understanding the brands you represent, your customer, and their membership.
Q: What has been the most surprising / interesting thing about your career that you have experienced?
KK: The amount of friendships I have formed with my buyers and PGA Professionals.
Q: What would you say is the best part of working with Southern Ohio PGA Professionals?
KK: Their friendship, loyalty, and support. I feel incredibly fortunate to work with each and every one! I believe everyone you meet in life has something to teach you, and without a doubt I have learned so much from my buyers and PGA Professionals in the Southern Ohio Section.
The Southern Ohio PGA recognizes a sales representative (hard or soft goods) serving the Section who has made significant contributions to the game of golf at the Section level and within his/her company and whose overall performance as a sales representative including service to accounts, overall integrity, courtesy, and professionalism is second to none. Click here to learn more about the Southern Ohio PGA Special Awards and to view previous recipients.