We are excited to spotlight our partner, Ashley Gersuk Murphy with Summit Lacrosse Ventures. Her organization is a leader in nationwide lacrosse events and programs for boys, girls, men, and women, with a clear focus on the responsible and sustainable growth of the game. They deliver exceptional value and first-class experiences for their customers, with an emphasis on the development of life skills, alongside athletic skills. She is a 4-time team captain and National Champion from Northwestern. With 15 years of experience in the industry, we are excited to share a small part of Ashley’s story.
What is your earliest sports memory?
- My earliest sports memories are a combination of playing every sport under the sun with my brother and neighbors in our neighborhood cul-de-sac, throwing the baseball with my Dad, and begging my Mom to lobby the local Boys & Girls Club to allow me to be the first girl to play baseball little league, rather than softball. She succeeded!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
- I always wanted to be in the FBI, and also to be a college athlete.
Did your involvement in sports change your approach or motivate you to do anything differently during your time with Summit?
- My lifelong involvement in sports is fundamental to who I am, and most everything I do in my adult life – team orientation, work ethic, motivation to succeed, leadership, accountability – these all stem from the experiences and skills developed as an athlete who was always a part of something bigger than myself, with a great drive to be better, and makes those around me better.
What has been Summit Lacrosse Ventures' best achievement and biggest challenge so far?
- Summit Lacrosse Ventures (SLV) was formed in 2015 as an umbrella organization to manage various existing events, and engage in new event opportunities. Our best achievement thus far has been to maintain the character, integrity, and history of our traditional events (ex. Lake Placid Summit Classic, est. 1990 and Northstar Midwest Showcase, est. 2005), while streamlining, professionalizing, and standardizing our operations to create an ‘SLV standard’ to meet the expectations of today’s customer and our industry’s evolving landscape. Our biggest challenge was in the face of the global pandemic – to ensure the survival of our organization, and maintain the jobs and livelihoods of our small team, while protecting the customer relationships that we value tremendously. I am proud to say that we survived, rebuilt, and are well positioned for long-term sustainability.
What is your vision for Summit Lacrosse Ventures in the future?
- SLV will continue to operate high-quality events in desirable destinations because we firmly believe in the enduring value of team and family-oriented experiences, in special places. We strive to give young athletes a platform to develop tools for success in life, and we believe that the experiences offered through quality youth sports are a fundamental piece of the puzzle.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to run events in the youth amateur sports industry?
- You must have a passion for youth sports and their value to our next generation. From there, (some) keys to success are sound strategy, relationships, diligence, transparency, and adaptability. The adage – “do it right or do it twice’ – holds true!