T : (828) 526-4118

 

Meet Our Team


It’s easy to assemble a great team when you get to work in a beautiful facility surrounded by incredible vistas and interact with kind and caring members. At Highlands Falls, we happen to think we have assembled the best team on the Plateau. So if you need help, we encourage to reach out to any of us.


 

Staff

Name

Jason Macaulay, CCM/CCE

Title

General Manager/COO

There are many things Jason likes to do, but one of them is not talking about himself. He’d much rather talk about the wonderful staff and members, the amenities and the exciting activities at Highlands Falls. That philosophy comes from his more than 30 year career in the hospitality industry which began in the kitchen and worked its way through the front of the house before he made the jump in 1989 to the private club industry where he found his true calling. Jason absolutely loves what he does which is why he does it so well. His ability to remain cool and calm in any situation is just one of the many attributes that attract an incredible team and members who don’t ever want him to leave their Club. Jason is an impeccable dresser which belies the fact he is a hippie at heart….until he starts playing his guitar and singing a tune, a self-taught skill he loves to share whenever friends and family need to relax, unwind and be calm.

Name

Delmus Higgs

Title

Clubhouse Manager

Delmus began his career the year he was eligible to get his driver’s license and has never looked back. His career began as a dishwasher, but his professionalism and dedication to quality quickly allowed him to climb the ladder to banquet manager and into the private club arena. His introduction to Jason Macaulay occurred while they both worked at Colonial Country Club. After Jason secured the GM/COO spot at Highlands Falls, he knew Delmus was exactly who he wanted as his Clubhouse Manager and he wasn’t wrong. Ask any member about Delmus and you hear words like “a true gentleman” or “a real professional.” Ask any member of the Highlands Falls staff and they will tell you that he expects nothing more from them that he wouldn’t do himself, he has their backs and he has helped them elevate their level of member care to higher levels. Basically, they love him.

Name

Shawn Olah

Title

Executive Chef

Chef Shawn is new to Highlands Falls and has exciting plans to take our cuisine to a higher elevation! Shawn brings a wealth of experience in fine dining, from wine dinners, chef’s tables, cooking classes and other creative concepts, while also having spent much time focusing on the a la carte operations in his clubs. Prior to that he was Executive Chef for the Green Bay Country Club and The Town Club in Wisconsin. During Shawn’s early years of his culinary career, he was fortunate to work at Royal Poinciana Club, a Platinum Club of America, The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Naples, FL., Bald Peak Colony Club and The Club Pelican Bay. Along the way he was mentored by some outstanding Chefs, including Manfred Brauer, Joseph Gross and Derin Moore C.M.C. Shawn is also the current Vice President of the Sarasota Bay ACF Chapter in Sarasota, FL. Like a true culinary artist, he plans to create a fresh, unique and memorable dining experience at our Club.

Name

George Thompson

Title

Membership Director

To say George has a wealth of experience in the private club industry is an understatement. In addition to holding several management positions and working as a consultant assisting over 75 private clubs, George also found the time to publish The Complete Membership Director, an industry training manual that has experienced worldwide sales. George hails from Spring Valley, Illinois where he met his wife Joanie during their freshman year at Hall High School. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his 40+ year career across the U.S., George found his home here at Highlands Falls in 2018 where he has been helping members and prospective members every day. When off the clock, which isn’t often, George plays tennis, hikes, boats and likes to watch his alma mater’s football and basketball games as well as his favorite professional team - the St. Louis Cardinals.

Name

Jessica Emery

Title

Executive Assistant

Jessica is the newest team member at Highlands Falls. She a NC native originally from Winston-Salem. After graduating from Western Carolina in 2007 she remained in the area and began her club management career in F & B at Mountaintop Lake & Golf Club. After years travelling and working for Discovery Land Company at private clubs in California, Montana, Mexico, and the Bahamas in various departments and positions she decided to settle permanently in the Highlands/Cashiers area. In 2017, she earned her Court of Master Sommelier’s Level 1 designation while managing the wine program at the Chattooga Club in Cashiers. She then shifted her career in 2019 and became a NC real estate broker. She and her husband have two young daughters, and she enjoys being a busy mom and spending time outdoors with her family. She is excited to bring her skills to HFCC and looks forward to getting to know all the members and their families.

Name

Judy Gregory

Title

Controller

A Southerner born and bred, Judy uses her expertise to ensure the finances are in order at HFCC. She learned her trade at NC State University, graduating with a degree in Accounting. Never one to stop learning, Judy decided, after 30 years of experience as a controller at private clubs, to mix it up a bit so she pursued a degree in philosophy which she earned from Western Carolina University. Now she not only makes the numbers work, she does it while understanding the reason and logic of human existence. Judy was born in Mobile, Alabama, so you can rest assured she is a big fan of the Crimson Tide. Her favorite saying – Roll Tide!

Name

Allen Chandler

Title

Head Golf Professional

Allen is passionate about his chosen path as a PGA professional. Like so many others who love the game, Allen was introduced to golf at an early age by his father and he knew he had found his calling. He chose to become a PGA Professional, earning his status in 1990. Since that time, he has focused on sharing his passion by helping others learn how to play and improve their games. As dedicated as he is to golf, he is even more dedicated to Bonnie, his wife of 35 years and his three beautiful and in his words, well-rounded, children. Allen is grateful for many things in his life, but at the top of the list are his parents, his fellow PGA mentors, his fellow team members and the members Highlands Falls for the opportunities they provide every day for him to grow and prosper.

Name

Mark Todd

Title

Assistant Golf Professional

Mark Todd, our assistant golf professional, experienced two defining moments that set his path for a career in golf. At age 23, he read Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphey and shortly thereafter had a conversation about living life to its fullest with a dying friend. While playing junior college golf, he quickly became more interested in teaching rather than playing. That revelation lead his to begin his apprenticeship in Visalia, California under the tutelage of former PGA Tour player Jerry Heard and the club’s teacher Ralph Lomeli. Four years later he became a certified club fitter for Slazenger, a company headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina and it was there he fell in love with the South. He became a PGA Professional in 1996 and spent the next 14 years working at several different golf clubs. In 2010, he arrived at Highands Falls to work at what he refers to as his “dream job”.

Name

Fred Gehrisch, CGCS

Title

Golf Course Superintendent

Highlands Falls is lucky to have Fred in charge of our golf course and so much more. In the words of one member, “he can be anything.” That is because Fred is always striving to not only learn the best practices for maintenance and construction but ensuring that the education is put to use around every turn at the Club. Fred learned at the ripe young age of 15 that he would pursue a career in golf after his interest was piqued during a summer job at a country club in Ohio. He came to Highlands Falls in 1999 after earning a degree in Agronomy from Ohio State and positions at Cherokee Town & Country Club as well as Newnan Country Club. Since arriving, Fred has not only employed best practices to keep our golf course in tournament condition, but also managed the construction of our fitness facility, our croquet facility and our most recent golf course renovations.

Name

Onifer Wilmoth

Title

Director of Fitness, Croquet & Junior Camps

One of our longest tenured employees, Onifer has been our Fitness Director since 2005 and has loved every minute of it. He is quite serious about his passion for helping others stay healthy and put in the time to ensure he had the knowledge and education to do so. Onifer earned a BS in Sports Management with a focus on Exercise Science. Then, to take his education to a higher level, he earned an MBA as well. When he is not helping members in the Fitness Center, he’s helping our members arrange their Croquet lessons and play. And on top of that, he is also organizing our ever-popular Junior Camps. His energy fits his role at HFCC and we are lucky to have him as a dedicated member of our team. And if that isn’t enough, after work he’s watching or attending sporting events, having movie night or traveling with his wife and two daughters.

Name

Dave Sherwood

Title

Tennis Professional

When it comes to tennis and pickleball, there are few who have the knowledge and experience of Dave Sherwood. He has been a certified tennis professional for more than 30 years and a certified pickleball expert for the past 5 years. He has trained and coached several national and sectional ranked adult USTA teams and both designed and implemented several Junior Tennis academies. While that is impressive, what is more impressive is the advice and instruction he provides members at HFCC to elevate their games and enjoyment of the sport. When the season ends, Dave heads down to Longboat Key and Venice, Florida, where he has taught tennis for more than 20 years. He so enjoys tennis that he even graduated from Welch’s Har-Tru court maintenance school after which he designed and built his own red clay tennis courts. Now that’s what we call passion.

Name

Tim Griffith

Title

Facilities Manager

When it comes to managing a facility as large as Highlands Falls, you need a person with many technical skills. We found that skilled person in Tim Griffith. His talents lie in his ability to blend engineering skills with aesthetics which took him on a coast-to-coast path in his career. A few of his many accomplishment include the development of a $50 million campus in Arkansas, managing facilities for the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Atlanta History Center, and creating incredible lighting displays for holiday and art exhibitions as well as high profile installations for clients that include Coca-Cola, Suntrust Battery Park and the Callanwolde Fine Art Center. Tim is an avid car buff and auto racing fan. When he’s not taking care of our Club, the spot you’ll probably find him is wherever he can watch F1, Indy Car and NASCAR.

Name

Victoria Thomas

Title

Communications & Events

Victoria is known around HFCC as the “can-do” person. That’s because we haven’t found anything she can’t do – well, professionally and with a smile on her face. Victoria began her career at HFCC in 2018 as an assistant to Onifer, doing what she could to assist members in the Fitness Center and at croquet events. This year, she moved into the Events & Communications sector to help take the Club to a higher elevation. Originally from Virginia, Victoria grew up in Sarasota, Florida and spent time in Colorado amid the Rockies before moving to the mountains of North Carolina. It’s the perfect spot for her because she loves the outdoors, art and most of all, her family.

Name

Mary Painter, CPCE

Title

Clubhouse Manager/Assistant GM

Mary W. Painter brings over twenty-five years of professional hospitality and private club management experience to HFCC. Mary began her career in hospitality with Radisson Hotels, before transitioning to private country clubs. Mary’s career portfolio includes private luxury communities, including The Cliffs in upstate South Carolina as General Manager for six years and most recently, Churchill Downs of Louisville Kentucky as COO/GM of The Louisville Thoroughbred Society. Mary has an extensive background in food and beverage, event management, membership, and team building, as well as private club leadership. Mary holds a CPCE designation, (certified professional in catering and events as well as a master Culinary/Professional Cooking teaching certification). She is excited to join the HFCC team!