West Aurora grad Chrissy Ormond makes her mark in golf, tennis
By Rick Armstrong email@example.com July 6, 2013 2:30PM
Chrissy Ormond (left) with Roger Federer after his championship in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in August. | Supplied photo
Updated: August 8, 2013 6:59AM
Well, look at her now.
Chrissy Ormond has to admit, it’s funny how things work out.
She earned 10 varsity letters in three sports — tennis, basketball and softball — at West Aurora High School before moving on to play tennis for four years in college for Miami (Ohio) University.
Now, though, she’s making her living working in a sport she has little familiarity: golf.
“I never played golf. I told them at the interview, ‘I don’t even know what a birdie is,’ ” said Ormond, who recently left her position as an assistant to the athletic director at her alma mater to take a full-time position with the Humana Challenge, a PGA Tour event in the Palm Springs suburb of LaQuinta, Calif., that formerly was the Bob Hope Classic.
“My title is Client Services Manager, which is a fancy way of saying sponsor relations. I’m the liaison between the tournament and its sponsors. Once our sales guy has made his pitch and signed a sponsor, I take over and it’s my job to make sure they have a good experience with the tournament.”
Next year’s tourney will be from Jan. 13 through 19.
“It’s hard to understand how you can work 12 months a year for a five-day event, but there is a lot of prep work,” Ormond pointed out. “For certain, we keep busy. It’s also held in partnership with the Clinton Foundation so I may be doing a lot of work with former President Clinton, too.”
Ormond, who graduated from West in 2002 and earned her bachelor’s from Miami in 2006, then went south to the University of Miami (Fla.) and earned her master’s in education.
In between, she gained valuable experience in sport administration in a variety of positions that included internships with several tennis events on the ATP tour and the PGA Tour’s California Championship as well as with the Bob Hope Classic (in 2011) and the Miami Heat (box office rep).
The work in tennis included stadium production assistant with the ATP’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
The daughter of veteran West Aurora athletics broadcaster and school board president Neal Ormond said she has golfed just once.
“It was this past Christmas, in LaQuinta,” she said. “My cousin said I had to try it. I was horrible, but it was really, really fun. I told him after I got a 12 on the first hole, ‘You’re going to want to stop keeping score.’
“My parents always told me a lot of business gets done on the golf course.”
Her new bosses also have agreed to free her up to return to work for the BNP Paribas Open this year, too, since it’s held in March, which is a slower time for the golf tourney.
“I have an equal passion for the golf tournament as well as tennis,” she said. “I work as a stage manager there. I’m on the headset with ESPN, speaking with the cameramen, (announcers) and director as well as the players.
She’s had fun rubbing elbows with the pros and celebs, even “starring” in a Fila commercial shoot with women’s pro Nadia Petrova that was shown every day on the videoboard in the stadium. Here’s a link to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kjrsjjmjeU.
“Some of the players recognize me now. I’m no longer ‘just the girl’ telling them when they can and cannot walk onto the court,” she said. “They recognize my face and are getting pretty friendly.
“In Cincinnati last August, Serena Williams was grabbing the tennis balls and Sharpie (to sign autographs) from me and did a double take and said, ‘Wow, you have beautiful eyes!’ I was a bit stunned, thanked her, then smiled all day long. Of course my co-workers and the camera guys teased me the rest of the tournament.”
She can’t wait for her next adventure.
“College athletics has been great and it is a great field to learn from, make an impact on the development of the students, on the field and classroom, but I am enthused to begin working more on the entertainment side of things,” she said.
“There is just something about being right there in the action, face to face with Phil Mickelson or Bubba Watson and helping them solve and issue or make sure they have what they need.”