Recent industry hires and promotions include new General Managers at Hermann Park Golf Course in Houston, Texas, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pa. and Newport Beach (Calif.) Country Club; Head Golf Professionals at Cherry Hill Country Club in Englewood, Colo. and Pittsburgh Field Club in Fox Chapel, Pa.; and Executive Chefs at Mizner Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla. and Bay Harbor (Mich.) Yacht Club.
Here are some of the recent new hires and promotions announced by club and resort properties and other companies in the club industry. Announcements and photos for this regular People on the Move report can be submitted at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/submit-industry-news/.
Hermann Park Golf Course in Houston, Texas named Maulana Dotch, PGA as General Manager, making her the first African-American woman PGA Member to serve as a General Manager of a golf facility. Dotch earned her PGA Membership in 2010. At the time, she was the second-ever African-American woman to become a PGA Member, following in the footsteps of her inspiration, golf trailblazer and PGA Hall of Fame Member Renee Powell. Dotch spent the past 12 years at Cedar Crest Golf Course in Dallas and served as PGA Head Professional since 2014.
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, Pa. named Ashly Ryan, CCM, as General Manager. Ryan was most recently Clubhouse Manager at Philadelphia Country Club.
Newport Beach (Calif.) Country Club named Robin Shelton as General Manager. Shelton most recently served as General Manager at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach, Calif. He has also held this position along with Director of Golf and Director of Sales positions throughout Clubs in California including Glendora Country Club, Marbella Country Club and The Club at Pasadera.
Long Beach (Calif.) Yacht Club named Norman Rich, MMH as General Manager. Rich has previously been General Manager at Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, Ore. and COO/General Manager at Jonathan Club in Los Angeles.
Buffalo Creek Golf Club in Rockwall, Texas named Brad Dutler as General Manager. Most recently, Dutler served as an Interim General Manager at Broadmoor Golf Links in Fletcher, N.C. He’s held leadership roles at Bear Creek Golf Club in DFW Airport, Texas; Foxtail Golf Club in Rohnert Park, Calif.; and five other facilities across Missouri, Nevada and Texas.
Pelham Country Club in Pelham Manor, N.Y. named Gary Merjian as General Manager/Chief Operating Officer. Merjian most recently served on the Executive Committee and as the Director, Catering/Food & Beverage/Event Management at St. Regis Hotel, New York.
Escalante Golf hired Steve Brennan as General Manager of The International and Paul Celano as the Bolton, Mass. club’s Director of Golf. Brennan is an accomplished hospitality leader whose career spans 25 years operating multiple golf clubs and resorts across the United States, including leading a turnaround and repositioning effort at New Seabury (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/the-club-at-new-seabury-offers-a-cape-escape/) as VP of Resort Operations at Icahn Enterprises. Celano is currently splitting his time as Director of Instruction at both The International and at Bay Colony Golf Club in Naples, Fla. Prior to his time at The International, Celano served as Director of Golf at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Sherwood Country Club in California, Doral Resort and CC in Miami, Governors Club in North Carolina and TwinEagles Golf Club in Florida.
Colleton River Club in Hilton Head, S.C. added Jason Sutton as Director of Instruction and two Head Professionals—Nicholas Lykens, PGA and Tyler Bessinger, PGA. Sutton most recently worked at Caramel Country Club in Charlotte, N.C. as Director of Instruction. Lykens has served as an Assistant Professional at Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Md.; Tournament Coordinator at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, Fla. and Lead Assistant at Savannah (Ga.) Golf Club. Bessinger has since spent time in different roles at facilities such as Glen View Club in Golf, Ill., The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, Calif., and Whitetail Club, in McCall, Idaho. He was most recently Tournament Director at Secession Golf Club.
The Country Club of Ithaca (N.Y.) named Joey Sindelar, a player on the PGA Tour Champions, as PGA Professional. A New York State Golf Association Hall of Famer, Sindelar is a seven-time PGA Tour event winner.
Cherry Hill Country Club in Englewood, Colo. named Andrew Shuck, PGA as Head Golf Professional. Shuck was most recently Head Golf Professional at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club.
Pittsburgh Field Club in Fox Chapel, Pa. named Christian Sheehan as PGA Head Golf Professional. Sheehan most recently worked as Head Golf Professional at Lebanon Country Club near Hershey, Pa. He previously served as PGA Director of Golf at Pelican’s Nest Golf Club in Bonita Springs, Fla.
The Summit Club at Armonk (N.Y.) named Christopher Alonzi as Golf Course Superintendent. Alonzi most recently was Project Manager & Senior Assistant at Westchester County’s Saint Andrews Golf Club, America’s oldest club. Prior to his golf operations experience there, he served as Golf Course Superintendent for 11 years at another historic Westchester facility, Elmwood Country Club.
Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course named Kerry Tiernan as Golf Course Superintendent. Tiernan has 15 years of experience with the Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course as the golf course foreman.
Mizner Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla. named Hannah Flora-Mihajlovic as Executive Chef. Flora-Mihajlovic joined the Mizner culinary team in December 2018 as Sous Chef and was then promoted to Chef de cuisine and Executive Sous Chef after one short year. Previous Experience includes Sous Chef at Vineyard Golf Club, Edgartown Mass. and Lead Line Cook at The Everglades Club in Palm Beach Island, Fla. Flora-Mihajlovic has personally cooked for former President Barak Obama and his family.
Bay Harbor (Mich.) Yacht Club appointed Chef Adam Hightower as Executive Chef. Hightower has previously worked in venues throughout the world including The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich., Bali by the Sea in Honolulu, Hawaii, The American Club in Tai Tam, Hong Kong and the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Fla.
Maggie Valley (N.C.) Club & Resort named Ashley Westbrook as Director of Food & Beverage and Jon Cropf asExecutive Chef. Prior to Maggie Valley, Westbrook served as the Private Events Director and the Banquet Manager at The Clubs of Peachtree City in Peachtree City, Ga. Cropf served as Executive Chef at Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, Va.
The Landings Club in Savannah, Ga. named Theresa Dileo as Director of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness. Dileo was most recently Vice President of HR at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Six club industry leaders have been selected for the 2021 class of Fellows. Announced and recognized at the Opening Business Session at the 2021 Virtual World Conference and Club Business Expo, the Class of 2021 Inductees are: Albert Antonez, CCM, CCE, Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, N.M.; Haissam Baityeh, CCM, CCE, Country Club of Spartanburgin Spartanburg, S.C.; Rick Bayliss, CCM, CCE, Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, Fla.; LuAnn Giovannelli, CCM, CAM in Bay Colony in Naples, Fla.; Paula Kelly, CCM, CCE, Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.; and Dick Kopplin, Kopplin Kuebler & Wallace in Scottsdale, Ariz. Created in 2019, the CMAA Fellows Program is an honorary recognition program distinguishing CMAA members who epitomize the leadership, integrity, involvement, and contributions of club management professionals.
Jeff Swanson, the PGA Golf Professional at Cedar Knob Golf Course in Somers, Conn. for 25 years, died unexpectedly of a heart attack February 20 at age 55. Swanson, whose first golf job was at the old Edgewood Country Club (now the TPC River Highlands, home of the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship), earned his PGA certification while working at Rockledge Golf Course in West Hartford. After several winters working at TPC Sawgrass in Florida, he joined Cedar Knob in 1995.