Executive Search: GM/COO at Grandfather Golf & Country Club
- April 21, 2021
- Placement, Governance, Executive Search
GENERAL MANAGER/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
GRANDFATHER GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
The history of Grandfather Golf and Country Club starts in 1885 when businessman Hugh MacRae first viewed the Linville River Valley and the rugged peaks of Grandfather Mountain. MacRae was so awestruck by the area's natural beauty that he immediately wrote his father, Donald MacRae of Wilmington, N.C., for support to purchase a tract of land. The tract, which stretched from Pineola past Linville Gap, encompassed all of Grandfather and Grandmother Mountains, Linville Ridge, lnvershiel, part of Sugar Mountain, and what is now Grandfather Golf and Country Club.
Donald MacRae consented to the purchase, and along with a few other investors, including department store founder of Philadelphia John Wanamaker, Linville Improvement Company was formed. By 1889, Hugh MacRae had purchased a total of 15,570 acres, mostly from S.S. Lenoir, for whom the city of Lenoir is named.
The area quickly became a popular summer resort for golf and health and is a visual reminder of MacRae's native Scotland. By 1944, Linville Company sold 3,000 acres to the Linville Resorts Property Owners Association. Included in the sale were the golf course designed by Donald Ross (creator of the Pinehurst Golf Club), Eseeola Lodge, horseback riding facilities, and the townsite of Linville. In 1952, the Linville Company was dissolved, and the remaining 11,000 acres were divided between four family members, including Mrs. Hugh MacRae, daughter Agnes MacRae Morton, as well as Agnes' children, Agnes Morton Cocke Woodruff and Hugh Morton.
Aggie's share of the lands included 1,958 acres in the Linville River Valley, two miles north of Linville. Having spent most of her summers growing up in Linville, her love of the High Country remained strong. Aggie, a three-time state ladies' amateur golf champion, invested her inheritance, and – with the help of highly-respected golf course designer Ellis Maples and cofounders Hugh Morton, her brother, and John Williams, their friend – her vision turned to reality with the opening of Grandfather Golf and Country Club in 1968, where friendly amenities surround some of the best mountain golf in the world.
Vision Statement: "To be one of the pre-eminent, family-oriented clubs in the Southeast."
GRANDFATHER GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB OVERVIEW
- 480 Members: capital of 434, club/social of 28, legacy of 18
- Initiation Fee of $85,000
- Annual Dues: $18,100 for club operations and capital expenses and $4,500 for village fees
- Budgeted total expenditures for fiscal year 2021 of $15 million (includes club, capital, and village)
- Food and beverage volume of $1.5 million
- Gross payroll of $6 million
- Strong balance sheet and positive cash flow
- 220 employees (165 seasonal, 55 year-round)
- Nine board members plus one ex-officio
- Average age of members is 67
- Championship Golf Course ranked second in North Carolina and first in the West Regional ranking and first among private courses in North Carolina per the North Carolina Golf Panel
- Club community ranked seventeenth in the top 200 resort communities in the U.S. by GolfWeek
- Grandfather Village is an incorporated municipality
THE GENERAL MANAGER/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER POSITION
The General Manager (GM) has total operational responsibility for the club and reports to the president of the club, who also chairs the board of directors. The GM oversees a country club with two golf courses, multiple dining venues, and a broad array of other amenities. Further, the GM has comparable responsibilities to a city or county manager as it pertains to overseeing all aspects of the incorporated municipality of Grandfather, including managing common property and infrastructure, maintaining roads, operating a state-regulated water/sewer utility, and providing security services. Finally, the GM directs a real estate operation that markets and sells residential properties within the village and that supports the attraction of new members.
- Coordinate the development and execution of the club’s long-range and annual business plans to achieve the mission of the club
- Prepare comprehensive operating plans and budgets, obtain approval from the board, and operate in accordance with approved budgets
- Maintain a long-term capital budget to assure the sustained material condition of all physical assets of the club
- Plan, develop and approve specific operational policies, programs, procedures, methods, rules and regulations in concert with board-approved policies
- Direct the recruiting and training of all staff
- Establish employee rules and regulations, work schedules, internal controls, and a performance appraisal system
- Assure that the highest standards are set and achieved in providing member service and satisfaction
- Ensure that the club is operated in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws
- Ensure compliance with regulatory and other governmental agencies that have oversight of various club assets and operations, including utility regulation, water quality, and environmental statutory law compliance
- Provide the board and committees with relevant information on trends and developments in the club/residential community business
- Ensure that the committees established by the board are well-supported and operate in accordance with board-approved policies and directives
- Oversee security, risk management, and health and safety programs to ensure that measures are in place to protect members, employees, staff, and club physical assets
- Ensure that the board is thoroughly informed on the status of club operations, member satisfaction, and financial performance
- Provide a comprehensive communications program that keeps all appropriate constituencies informed on relevant matters
- Interact with local community leaders and organizations
- Perform other duties and functions as the club board may direct that are consistent with this job description
- Chief Financial Officer
- Manager of Human Resources & Administration
- Director of Agronomy
- Director of Golf
- Director of Recreation
- Head Tennis Professional
- Head Croquet Professional
- Director of Security
- Director of Facilities and Infrastructure
- Clubhouse Manager
- Executive Chef
- Communications Director
- Membership Coordinator
- Manager of Community Housekeeping
- Head Broker of Grandfather Club Properties
Core Leadership Competencies
- Ability to define a simple and understandable vision of success for the management team
- Ability to see the big picture, take stock, identify problems/needs, and conceptualize solutions/strategies
- Ability to focus on the essentials, to attend to detail, and to follow through on decisions
- Ability to create a sense of followership among subordinates
- Ability to attract and develop a strong supporting management team
- Ability to demonstrate a strong member satisfaction ethic and to interact with the membership in a frequent and friendly manner
- Ability to articulate the highest performance and ethical standards, demand compliance, and move swiftly and positively when corrective action is warranted
- Ability to cope with day-to-day pressures and maintain a healthy and positive culture
- A minimum of 7 years of progressive leadership and management experience in a private club environment.
- A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
- Certified Club Manager (CCM) or in active pursuit of designation preferred.
Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position is available August 1, 2021.
Salary & Benefits
Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The club offers an excellent bonus and benefit package.
IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit résumés along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
Documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Grandfather GM/COO Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Grandfather GM/COO Resume”) respectively to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email résumé with references.
For more information about Grandfather Golf & Country Club, please visit www.grandfatherclubnc.com.