When you have an uncle so passionate about golf that he sets up a hitting studio in his bedroom, it’s hard not to catch the bug.
“Everywhere around his house, there were marks on the ceiling from him swinging,” said Chris Barredo, a brand marketing manager at the USGA.
Barredo played a lot of sports growing up but ultimately chose soccer. Nevertheless, after college, he focused on becoming a better golfer.
“It’s introduced me to a lot of people and new friends,” Barredo said. “Some of the best days I’ve had were spent playing golf with family.”
With such an affection for the game, he knew he wanted to one day work in the industry. After nine years on the agency side, Barredo took a position with the USGA.
“It offered me an opportunity to grow,” he said. “I feel strongly about helping to grow the game as well.”
This past January, Barredo was one of 14 golf industry employees invited to participate in Aspire, a diversity and inclusion strategy forum for emerging leaders.
“Diversity was not about just ethnicity and color of skin, but also diversity of thought, experience, socioeconomic background and lifestyle,” he said. “It’s about bringing people of different walks of life together to think about challenges we have and how we can better address them.”
The goals of the program included empowering attendees to innovate solutions, build their professional capabilities and improve their networks.
“One thing I took away was this process in critical thinking, identifying challenges and solutions and thinking of ways to approach them,” Barredo said. “We’re so conditioned to fall into the same routines so this challenged us to think differently.”