14:58 PM

The job of a lifetime - supporting the American Family Insurance Championship


When it comes to golf tournaments, Gail Perla is a pro. 

Gail PerlaAny dream is possible.

My most recent job at American Family is the dream of a lifetime! I have worked here for 37 years in many capacities and never imagined I’d have this opportunity.

I am one of the tournament coordinators for the American Family Insurance Championship held in June at University Ridge Golf Course. Much of what I do is coordinate the many volunteers who help the championship run so smoothly.

Dream of a lifetime

I’m a 25-year veteran of volunteering at golf tournaments. I started well before our AmFam Championship even existed. The fun and joy in these events is hard to explain. You need to experience it to truly understand. That’s why, when I was lucky enough to become a part of the American Family Insurance Championship team, it was my dream come true.

Our volunteers are an amazing group! This year, 1,200 volunteers came from more than 13 states. And more than 300 of them were American Family employees, agents and retirees. 

What is it like?

Gail and sustainability analyst

During the championship – which ran from June 18-24 this year – I arrived at the golf course every day around 4:30 a.m. That’s early, but it’s one of the most peaceful times at the course. As I worked, I’d think about what the day would bring:

  • The hundreds of volunteers who’d stream through the gate.
  • Thousands of spectators we’d help have a wonderful experience.
  • Professional golfers we’d provide a great event experience.
  • And then, last but not least, the many charities we’d impact through this event.

Strength in numbers

Our volunteers have their own reason for volunteering. They think it’s fun. Or, they like helping others, meeting new people and participating in an annual event. Or, they just love golf. Whatever the reason, for that week we are all family working to make the American Family Insurance Championship a great event. We are all giving back to the community.

I get emotional when I am asked about why I do this …

Because, this is not just a golf tournament. It’s so much more than that. It is the leaders at American Family who want to give back. It is the community where we live and work that supports our efforts. And, it is the family of staff and volunteers, friends and fans that help make it happen.

I’m so proud to be a part of it.

It takes all of us

Although the championship may be over, the goodwill still lives on for our more than 300 employee volunteers. Meet our employee volunteers from Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

They are Claim Quality Assurance Specialist Jennifer Knutson, Casualty Claim Adjuster II Jane Kuchta and casualty claim managers Sue Perala and Barb Siegel.

Their camaraderie, enthusiasm and dedication exemplify the family spirit of our volunteer corps. Learn more about what motivates them to make the over four-hour drive to the championship.