Justine Harris '11 Works for the ANNIKA foundation with LPGA Pro Golfer Annika Sorenstam

November 16, 2011

The ultimate job description

By Justine Harris '11

Pro golfer Annika Sorenstam has amassed 89 professional victories, 10 of which are LPGA major championships. She is an eight-time Player of the Year Award-winner and claimed the title "Ms. 59"_ when she became the only woman to break 60 in a professional event. Annika is the best female golfer of our generation and is often described as the best of all time.

She's also my boss.

I work for the ANNIKA Foundation, a charitable organization that Annika started in 2008. Her goal with the ANNIKA Foundation is to teach children the importance of health and wellness and give junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams.

Though she has stepped away from professional golf, Annika is busier than ever. She had great opportunities to stay healthy and well when she was younger and has been very involved in sports her entire life. She frequently explains how passionate she is about providing these same opportunities to kids today, which is why the ANNIKA Foundation was created.

My job as communications manager is to direct the development and distribution of ANNIKA Foundation communications. This is a big undertaking, as the ANNIKA Foundation is only three years old and is really beginning to pick up speed. This includes our annual report, media communications, brochures and event programs, social media outreach, building sponsorship packages and much more. I work daily with my colleagues to create and cultivate our donor base, make partnerships with leading health and wellness organizations and create awareness of, and participation in, the Foundation's work.

I also act as the event coordinator for ANNIKA Foundation fundraising events and help coordinate junior golf programs and pro-am tournaments. I always wanted to be in event planning and this career gives me that opportunity in a fun and energetic setting. Some of my favorite moments at the ANNIKA Foundation have been outside at these events. I love getting out in public and meeting the kids and families we impact and the people and organizations that support us.

Better yet, I get to enjoy sunny Orlando every day. My office is about 30 minutes from the Atlantic coast. Though I do miss my friends and family in Central Illinois, I will enjoy not having to dig my car out of seven feet of snow this winter season.

I am lucky to have found a job that combines charitable work with writing, graphic design and event planning. I couldn't have laid out a better job description. It's fun to be a part of this organization and getting to work side-by-side with Annika and my colleagues at the Foundation.

Through classes, mentorships and internships during my years at Bradley, I learned how valuable my talents are to a professional organization. I was able to create professional relationships - the same kind I now create with media, political officials and other community leaders in Orlando and beyond. My position at the ANNIKA Foundation is the culmination of everything I have learned and it's just the beginning of the exciting professional career ahead of me.