Meet the first female GM at The Country Club in Brookline


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Some households move down antique vases, residence, scrapbooks or prime-top secret recipes. Kristen LaCount inherited a country club.

LaCount, the typical manager/COO at The Place Club in Brookline, is the third generation in her spouse and children to do the job at the historic club, and the first girl to lead the club in its 138-year background. The training course will host the U.S. Open up from June 16-19.

Her mother grew up just throughout the avenue from the club, in Buttonwood Village, doing the job weekends at the entrance desk all over higher education whilst LaCount’s grandmother worked in the club’s organization business office. LaCount’s father commenced as a dishwasher, immediately functioning his way up to turn into TCC’s youngest government chef, a place he held for decades.

“We experienced one automobile in our household, so we’d occur about and select up father at the back shipping spot, and we’d be sitting on milk crates with a bowl of peppermint stick ice product ready for him to end up perform,” LaCount recalled. “So the club was often incredibly present in my everyday living.”

There is a widespread trope of executives setting up in the mailroom and functioning their way to the major. For LaCount, it was the club’s snack bar, where by she bought her start off as a youthful teen in the mid-1990s.

“It really was my first flavor of interacting with team and mastering how to deal with persons, and that was almost certainly a massive issue for me … that just strengthened that this is the marketplace that I required to be in,” LaCount mentioned. “It wasn’t just about food stuff and beverage and provider and golfing, and all all those points. It was truly about the individual connections that you make.”

Clean out of college or university, she noticed a career supply tumble as a result of and, on her father’s advice, met with previous TCC Common Supervisor David Chag for some vocation guidance.

“Mr. Chag, David, took me beneath his wing and explained, ‘What do you imagine about understanding a little little bit of the entrance of the household and the administration side?’” LaCount recalled.

With Chag as her mentor, LaCount buried herself in the work and rose through the ranks. By the time the club hosted the 2013 U.S. Newbie Golf Championship, she knew she desired a long term in club management. And TCC, with its substantial membership and sprawling, school campus-like grounds, captured her heart.

She was manufactured TCC’s 1st-ever assistant normal manager, elevated as Chag’s eventual successor. And she manufactured her property in Brookline with her husband, Prairie Fireplace restaurateur Dan Kerrigan, and their two young children.

The Region Club of Brookline in Boston, Massachusetts. Picture by Stephen Munday/Getty Visuals

Of his mentee, Chag mentioned LaCount’s character and function ethic created her a normal chief.

“She has an amazing work ethic and enthusiasm and personality which is infectious, so other individuals have a tendency to want to function with her,” he reported. “People get pleasure from getting about her.”

Now, practically two many years immediately after she very first joined the club complete-time, LaCount has taken the reins.

“She just struck us that she was the best particular person for the career, so much so that we determined not to do a search, but just to instantly employ her,” stated TCC President Lyman Bullard.

He extra, “I consider she has been making ready for this occupation her entire existence, and she has just jumped proper into it with wonderful strength, enthusiasm and leadership.”

LaCount, who took business in Oct of 2020, experienced her work lower out for her amid a pandemic, Bullard mentioned.

“As you can visualize, in a COVID earth, there are no boring months in any group, everywhere,” he said. “I feel she has every person on the workers prepared to be as imaginative and adaptable as we need to have to be to make it a fun winter working experience for our members.”

For her component, LaCount claimed she designs to maintain the steadiness the club saw under Chag’s leadership, even as TCC navigates large-profile assignments and functions, like the 2022 U.S. Open.

Chag, who is even now with TCC in a senior advisor job at the club. but took a move back following 33 decades on the position, stated it has been “rewarding” to observe LaCount choose the helm.

“To move again and watch somebody else consider it on, I do it with delight, mainly because it is an person that was properly trained listed here and was ready to do it, so there’s a fantastic deal of satisfaction in it,” he claimed.

As the 1st woman to direct TCC, Bullard stated, LaCount is continuing her report of paving the way for gals in the club management planet, a commonly male-dominated industry.

“She gained it,” he reported. “She was produced around a prolonged time period of time she labored her way up and she totally gained it.”

The significance of currently being the club’s very first woman GM is not misplaced on LaCount.

Arnold Palmer Ligonier, Pa., winner of the U.S. Open up golfing championship in 1960, watches his tee shot on the first hole at The Region Club, June 20, 1963, in Brookline, Mass., at the start off of the 1963 USGA Open.

“It comes with a fantastic offer of responsibility, in my thoughts,” she mentioned. “I have a daughter now. That, to me, comes with a total other set of tasks for setting an example, whether or not it’s the upcoming era of club supervisors or the next technology of gurus, interval, in any sector.”

But at the end of the working day, she claimed, “There’s a section of me that normally says, you want the most effective person for the job, and what is first and most important to me is that I was the most certified person for this task.”

And do her small children have any designs to be part of the loved ones small business?

“I did inquire [my daughter] 1 working day what she required to be when she grows up, and we haven’t gotten extremely considerably, other than that she wishes to do gymnastics,” LaCount claimed, laughing.

With LaCount in club administration and her husband in the cafe industry, she described theirs as a “hospitality household,” just one for whom doing the job evenings, weekends and vacations is just portion of the norm.

“My husband and I just could not be happier executing what we do,” she claimed. “If either of our youngsters decides that they want to consider this route, they will have nothing but guidance from their mom and dad. But if they really do not, that’s Alright as well. As cliche as it appears, just about every father or mother just needs to make sure that their little ones are doing what they are passionate about.”

(Editor’s note: This tale at first ran on Nov. 10, 2020, in the Brookline Tab, and was edited to include things like the current title of Chag. Abby Patkin is a reporter for the MetroWest Daily News, portion of the United states of america These days Network.)

By diana