In addition to the Round Rock, Texas property being honored as the top-performing club in 2020, other awards issued as part of the management firm’s annual Leadership Conference included Chris Parker of Rock Spring Golf Club in West Orange, N.J. being named the James R. Seeley General Manager of the Year, and Andy Donaty of Swan Point (Md.) Yacht & Country Club being named the Emil Esposito Golf Professional of the Year.
The KemperSports annual Leadership Conference took place virtually this year, bringing together more than 500 company leaders from across the country for two days of learning, setting the vision for 2021, and celebrating company culture and achievements.
At the event, KemperSports recognized its top achievers from across the country. Honorees recognized at this year’s event include:
Forest Creek Golf Club in Round Rock, Texas was named Facility of the Year. From receiving a 91 Net Promoter Score, to exceeding financial goals, to producing a positive force within the community such as a toy drive benefitting more than 150 kids in the area, Forest Creek’s 2020 achievements spanned all aspects of the property. According to Skinner,
“Forest Creek is the embodiment of our company spirit and truly showcases what it means to be a KemperSports-managed property,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner.
Chris Parker of Rock Spring Golf Club in West Orange, N.J. was named the James R. Seeley General Manager of the Year. Standing out in a crowded field, Parker excels at leadership—a quality that helped him rally his team, who were based in a COVID-19 hotspot, to outperform and deliver stellar results.
Andy Donaty of Swan Point (Md.) Yacht & Country Club was named the Emil Esposito Golf Professional of the Year. Passionate about the game of golf and player development initiatives, Andy created creative junior camps and a “Friday Night Social” series to encourage participation in the game.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore. was named Retailer of the Year. The team at Bandon Dunes grew retail sales by double-digits in 2020 through creative online promotions and products for guests, and enhanced product training for staff.
Dan Lloyd of The Country Club of St. Albans (Mo.) was named Superintendent of the Year. A recent addition to the property, Lloyd made a major impact on St. Albans, producing outstanding course conditions while operating more efficiently and committing to best practices in conservation and environmental stewardship.
Sam Rozano of Skyway Golf Course in Jersey City, N.J. was named Hospitality Professional of the Year. Despite a nine-week shutdown of the property’s food-and-beverage operations, Rozano led his team to beat their budget with reimagined operations and a strong focus on safety. The team also found time to give back, feeding local first responders and supporting food banks.
Tammie Zarak of Sand Valley in Nekoosa, Wis. was named the James S. Kemper Staffer of the Year. Zarak was recognized for her calm, measured approach to leading the property’s COVID-19 response team, which ultimately enabled the course to open for the season—to high demand—and provide exemplary services to guests and staff.
Bolingbrook (Ill.) Golf Club was named Safety National Facility of the Year. For the sixth consecutive year, Bolingbrook Golf Club took home this award, which recognizes efforts to ensure that overall property and workplace safety are front of mind for all staff members on a day-to-day basis, year-round.
Nemadji Golf Course in Superior, Wis. was named Safety National Most Improved. In 2020, the team at Nemadji was able to reduce its audit score by eight points and had an eight-stroke improvement in its overall safety score.
Thornberry Creek at Oneida (Wis.) was named Green to a Tee Facility of the Year. Going beyond the basics, the team at Thornberry Creek stood out in 2020 by reducing water usage by 30 percent, thanks to a mix of innovative strategies and a deep commitment to environmental stewardship.
Kevin Dudleston of The Village Club of Sands Point (N.Y.) was named Salesperson of the Year. Dudleston was recognized for his outstanding sales performance, adding more than 100 new memberships, marketing innovation and contributions to the company and local community during an extraordinary year.
Megan Godfrey, Director of Marketing, was named the Mady Lesnik Home Office Staffer of the Year. Godfrey was recognized for her leadership in the company and industry, and the critical role she played in counseling the KemperSports leadership team and properties across the country as they navigated the pandemic and beyond.
“We are proud to recognize these high-performing staff members and properties, who truly went above and beyond during a challenging year,” said Skinner. “Our staffers are the core of our company, and in 2020 they played a critical role in creating a safe, welcoming environment for our guests to enjoy the game. We congratulate our award winners and recognize their outstanding achievements.”
KemperSports experienced many highlights in 2020—driving strong growth in rounds played and in private club memberships, while also achieving the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) in the company’s history. In his remarks to the team, Skinner focused on family values and the importance of leaning on a strong culture.
“When times are tough, like those that we experienced in 2020, we need to stay connected to our core values. They always carry the day,” Skinner said. “We are an unusual, if not a unique, company in the golf business. Our goal is never to be the biggest, but rather the best. We strive to be the best operator in each market and every segment of our business. Hiring and developing the best talent in the industry is key to our success and to providing the best customer experience.”
In 2021, KemperSports will continue to build strong relationships with its new and existing golfers, clients, and the community.
“We look forward to a great year with a deep focus on service and loyalty at the heart of everything we do,” said Skinner. “The expectations of the experience have evolved and it’s time to double-down on these core company values.”
Recently, the company assumed management of all hotel and food and beverage operations for Streamsong Resort, adding to the collection of golf resorts the company manages across the country. C+RB reported on the news at the time.
The conference also highlighted the organization’s dedication to corporate social responsibility, which expanded to address the challenges of 2020. C+RB also reported on its innovative Rain Suits for Responders program—which transformed new and gently used golf rain suits into PPE for medical professionals and first responders—to countless fundraising and donation drives to support unique community needs, the KemperSports team stepped up to give back.