Join us for S4:EP26 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Nathan Grube, Tournament Director at Travelers, sit down with our host Roy Kessel to discuss their stories and the great work being accomplished at Travelers.
Nathan Grube has been the Executive Director of the Greater Hartford Community Foundation, Inc. and the Tournament Director of the Travelers Championship, Connecticut’s PGA TOUR event, for 10 years. During this time, the tournament has generated more than $7 million for charity and has been awarded the PGA TOUR’s Best Title Sponsor Integration and Most Fan Friendly Event in 2010 and 2012 and Best Charity Integration in 2013. He is also a Class ‘A’ member of the PGA of America and an active member of the Connecticut Section of the PGA. After graduating from Auburn University in 1996 with a degree in Mass Communications, Nathan worked for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Academy of Golf as an instructor through 2001. During this time, he also played professional golf on various tours throughout the Southeast. He then went to work for the Bruno Event Team from 2001-2004 where he was the Executive Director of the First Tee of Greater Birmingham and also worked on all four major professional golf tours in the United States. He worked on the Champions TOUR, LPGA TOUR, Web.com TOUR, and PGA TOUR, including serving as Tournament Director for the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
Andy Bessette is Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Travelers. He is a member of the company’s Management Committee and Operating Committee. Bessette is responsible for Corporate Real Estate, Administrative Services, Community Relations, Aviation, Internal Investigations, Event Management and Business Continuity. He is also responsible for sports sponsorships, including the company’s official marketing partnership with the PGA TOUR and title sponsorship of the Travelers Championship, for which he serves on the board of the Greater Hartford Community Foundation. He is a member of the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the University of Connecticut Health Center, and serves as Vice Chairman of the Capital Region Development Authority. He is a corporator for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and serves on Hartford Hospital’s Board of Governors. He is a past chair of the Metro Hartford Alliance Board of Directors and serves on the executive and compensation committees. He also serves on the board of the Greater MSP in Minneapolis. A member of the 1980 United States Olympic Team, he continues to support Olympic Committee activities. Bessette holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island.
Travelers is an insurance company that cares. Travelers take on the risk and provide the coverage you need to protect the things that are important to you — your home, your car, your valuables, and your business — so you don’t have to worry. They have been around for more than 165 years and have earned a reputation as one of the best property casualty insurers in the industry because we take care of our customers. Their expertise and focus on innovation have made them a leader in personal, business, and specialty insurance and the only property casualty company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Every day, approximately 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent agents and brokers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland help provide peace of mind to our customers.
HIGHLIGHTS OF ANDY AND NATHAN’S PODCAST
- 00:00 Introduction
- 01:00 How Andy’s Passion for Sports Started
- 03:50 How Nathan’s Passion for Sports Started
- 09:40 Andy’s Vision of Travelers Being a Signature Event
- 18:04 Responsibilities & Challenges of Giving Money to Charities
- 21:58 Travelers Area’s of Focus
- 24:33 Nathan’s Involvement with Money Raised Through Tournaments
- 29:24 Define the Geography of your Impact Through the Tournaments
- 31:16 Balancing Programs and Geographic Impact
- 33:40 Hardest Part of Building a Culture with the Community
- 36:53 What was Special about the Way Travelers Came Together
- 39:04 Plans for the Future
- 40:47 Key Elements to Expand and Improve Upon
- 44:18 Tip for Other Nonprofits
- 46:18 One Mistake an Organization can Benefit from Handling Differently
- 48:54 Commissioner of the PGA Tour
- 51:45 Closing Remarks
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