Louisville will host the African American Golf Expo & Forum scheduled for August 25-30, 2023, becoming the focal point for a week-long event featuring a golf scramble, education sessions, networking events and professional job opportunities in the golf industry.
Louisville will be the third city to host an estimated 1,000 event attendees. The primary goal of the expo is to cultivate an interest in golf along with bringing industry networking, golf business and career opportunities. The show will feature youth clinics, golf exhibits and an expo tradeshow with educational sessions about the sport and opportunities for minority businesses to gain exposure in the $84 billion industry. A key component of the tradeshow will be workforce development through educational sessions and networking focusing on jobs and internships in the industry ranging from golf course oversight and turf management to business and marketing opportunities.
“I have been involved in many site selections and community projects nationally in my career,” said Expo Organizer James Beatty, president of Jim Beatty Golf Ventures. “The persistence, leadership and intentionality of the groups involved in this recruitment process is unparalleled. The group was so persuasive that I am adding an additional day for tours to take advantage of the historical, cultural and community assets of Louisville. I will be working closely with all parties to ensure maximum local and national exposure.”
Louisville was awarded this hosting opportunity thanks to Louisville Tourism, Louisville Sports Commission and Black Tourism Advisory Council members including Shawn Summerville, who serves on the council and works with the local African American Amateur Golfers’ Association.
“In November 2020, representatives from 3AGA reached out to us to discuss the opportunity for Louisville to host the AAGEF,” said Louisville Sports Commission President and Chief Executive Officer Karl Schmitt Jr. “Working with our partners, it is rewarding to see how quickly we were able to successfully secure this event for Louisville.”
“I am honored to be a part of forward-thinking organizations like the BTAC, JBGV and the 3AGA,” Summerville said. “We are excited to diversify Louisville’s economy and encourage community renewal and reinvestment. This is more than a golf exhibition, it’s a robust strategy to intentionally expose and empower minority businesses socially and economically to a sports environment that they may not connect with otherwise.”
The Black Tourism Advisory Council was formed in 2020 and is headed by Louisville Tourism President & Chief Executive Officer Cleo Battle to drive intentional inclusivity in the hospitality industry by identifying areas for improvement to attract a diverse mix of convention groups and leisure travelers to the city.
“We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of AAGEF and plan to take every opportunity to showcase the best our city has to offer, giving these guests many reasons to return to Louisville,” Battle said. “Not only does this event represent a financial economic impact to Louisville, but it also gives us a platform from which to inspire African American travel to our city as we strive to increase annual visitation by Black travelers beyond the current 11 percent annually. Creating and identifying this type of tourism opportunity is one of the primary reasons BTAC was formed and winning this competitive bid shows we’re on the right track with our diversified and intentional outreach to court minority-focused groups and events.”