Big Canoe POA General Manager
Big Canoe Company
Jasper, GA

The General Manager (GM) position at Big Canoe POA (BCPOA or BC) is an exciting opportunity to join a large scale (8000+ acre), resident owned club community with a wide array of amenities and member services looking for a dynamic club and community professional who is passionate and energized to provide engaged leadership to this well organized, progressive community. 
The ideal General Manager is someone with a true and sincere “hospitality gene” and who recognizes the special uniqueness of “community” found at Big Canoe.  The confluence of members/residents, staff and guests the natural environment of Big Canoe has formed a distinctive and captivating setting where genuine care and concern for all parties is clearly evident.  This role requires a unique blend of talent----the General Manager of Big Canoe needs, at various times, to be a traditional club leader, a city manager and a caring mayor for his/her constituents.  Recognizing that quality amenities and execution of service therein is critical to one’s overall success and to enhance values of residents, the GM must also be able to lead a strong, capable, and tenured team of key managers in all non-club areas like community and member services, finances, and infrastructure.
Naturally embracing of the desire to work in what is a large natural park, is critical and Big Canoe will most definitely spark the interest of those club/community leaders with such interests; this is an outstanding opportunity with tremendous upside as the community is only about 60% built out to its eventual end goal. 

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“It’s like living in a State park!”
“There is something about Big Canoe that is very special and ‘Mountain Magic’”
Located in Northern Georgia, approximately one hour north of Atlanta in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, 8,000+ acres of pure beauty surround Big Canoe (BC) and has historical roots dating back nearly 4,000 years as is evident in the Paleo Indian burial grounds located in the 50-acre reserve called Indian Village at Big Canoe.  Officially opened in the fall of 1972, this award winning private mountain community features 27-holes of Championship Golf, resort-style amenities, and breathtaking views.
BC is registered with the Atlanta Audubon Society as an official Wildlife Sanctuary and with nearly 30% of its land preserved as usable green space it was named “Best Hiking Community of the Year in 2015” with 22 miles of genuine hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, Indian trail tree markers, historic moonshine stills and cabins dating back to the early 1800s.
A very active community with approximately 58 social clubs, activities and volunteer organizations, BC is a completely self-sustained community with on-site utilities, six fire stations, a post facility, community amphitheater, chapel, retail center, public works, public safety, and on-site storage for RVs, etc. 
Social and outdoor activities and exercise are at the forefront of member interest at BC and this is reinforced through the following amenities:
CLUBHOUSE AND DINING – The clubhouse offers four dining rooms to accommodate up to 300 diners in addition to numerous meeting rooms.  Clubhouse venues include The Black Bear Pub, where diners enjoy laid back cuisine, beer on tap, wine and mixed drinks in the bar area, formal dining in the lakeside rooms and live entertainment on Friday nights and the Sunset Veranda, which is an extension of the Pub and features special events including chef stations, musical entertainment, dancing, and Happy Hours.  Casual fare is also available in-season at Duffers, conveniently located for the golfers, and at the Swim Club snack bar.
GOLF – 27-holes of championship golf with three distinct nine hole courses and well-presented practice facilities.  The golf pro shop is situated on the lower level of The Clubhouse, overlooking Lake Sconti.   The full-time golf professional staff offers individual and group lessons in addition to clinics and schools for all skill levels.
FITNESS – The BC Fitness Center offers a significant 23,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility featuring a variety of cardiovascular and strength training equipment, group exercise classes, racquetball/squash court, indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, and access to the indoor tennis courts in addition to massage therapy, physical therapy, and personal training.
MARINA – Lake Petit, BC’s largest lake covers 111 acres and is regularly stocked with Rainbow Trout under the supervision of professional biologists and state fishery personnel.  BC allows electric powered vessels on the lake in addition to kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, etc.  Members can rent boats and fishing poles and may launch their private vessels at the boat ramp or avail of the nearly 127 wet slips and dry storage for a fee.  
RACQUET SPORTS – The Racquet Center has four Har-Tru clay courts, two new ClayTec all weather courts and two hard courts with two indoor out-of-season courts located at the Fitness Center.  There are also four recently added, lighted outdoor Pickleball courts open year-round and a pro shop with a full-time staff offering lessons and an active tennis schedule.

SWIMMING – The Swim Club is comprised of a free-form, saline system, zero entry swimming pool in addition to 300-yard beachfront on Lake Disharoon, a unique and especially ‘kid-friendly’ 200-foot Rockslide, dedicated beach volleyball area, bathrooms with changing areas and daily food service in-season at the Swim Club snack bar.
WILDCAT RECREATION AREA AND PARKS – Located within the residential section of BC, this area offers a 75-foot lap pool, kiddie pool with zero entry and water play features, bathrooms with changing areas and showers, children’s playground, three Bocce Ball courts, basketball court and soccer and baseball/softball fields. 
While too extensive to fully detail in this document, Big Canoe has a significant philanthropic and community involvement approach that “Leadership Big Canoe”, a program designed to help identify and prepare residents for future committee or Board service.  There is a Wellness Collaborative of members that, as needed, will provide other residents with assistance for rides, meals, in-home visits, and such, demonstrating the caring, true “community” nature of Big Canoe.
Additionally, found within the community, but managed separately from this role is a no-kill animal shelter supported by residents, a large, multi-denominational chapel, and the Wolfscratch Village complex, which houses Big Canoe Realty, formerly a restaurant (which may be repurposed at some point) and conference center space.
Vision Statement:
“To be the pre-eminent private mountain community in the Southeast recognized for providing
 an extraordinary, friendly and enriching lifestyle.”
Mission Statement:
“To be responsible stewards of our unique mountain community and to enrich Property Owners’ lives through facilities, programs and events.”
  • There are approximately 2,278 single family homes and 397 cluster homes at present, with an approved eventual build-out of 4,750 homes.
  • Approximately 60% of the residents live in the community on a year-round basis
  • There are 87 miles of roadways within the community, all maintained by the POA
  • Overall operating budget of approximately $16.6M with annual capital expenditures of $3.0M - $4.0M
  • There are several levels of membership available to residents:  Golf, Non-Golf Member Driving Range, Tennis, Pickleball, Fitness, Swim and Fishing.  The range in dues from the top family membership starts at $3,580 annually and goes to $793.80 for Pickleball only, and so on.  Long-term renters are eligible for membership access as well.
  • F & B revenues are approximately $2.3M from all sources with approximately 75% of that derived from ala carte dining and 25% from banquets/catering
  • There are approximately 32,000 rounds of golf played annually on the three nines
  • There are seven members on the Board of Directors, six who serve three year staggered terms and one appointed by the Developer.
  • Club/Community committees include: Architectural Environmental Control Department, Audit, Clubhouse, Conservation, Dog Park, Election, Finance, Golf, Golf Handicap, Lakes, Streams, and Marina, LRP, Programs and Events, Tennis, and Trails 
Big Canoe POA operates under the General Manager (GM) organizational structure. The GM reports to the POA Board.  At present, direct reports to the GM are divided into “Community Management” and “Amenities” and include:  Director of Community Support, Director of Finance, Director of Administrative Services, Head Golf Professional, Golf Course Superintendent, Director of Club Operations, and Director of Fitness and Swim Club.  Under each of these Directors is a significant group of community and traditional club operations managers and supervisors as well as line staff that will reach a total of 200+ employees in the height of season.  Additionally, there are some outsourced positons such as lifeguards (up to 50 in season) that add to the overall oversight of the BC Team.
Big Canoe is a diverse environment and community and requires an especially well-rounded professional with exceptional and intuitive hospitality skills to supplement competencies and general functional understanding in other key areas within his/her purview. 
As a general overview of responsibilities and expectations, the General Manager of Big Canoe has a full scope of responsibilities covering amenities and operations, community relations, fiscal and business planning, and overall property maintenance. 
More specific areas of focus include:
  • Hospitality - Ensuring Property Owners, potential owners, and guests have an excellent customer [member] service experience at all facilities and amenities.
  • Amenity Leadership - Assuring that amenity leaders and managers are well qualified in their respective areas and provide exceptional customer [member] service to Property Owners and guests.
  • Property and Home Owner Relations – Maintaining responsive and sincere, two-way communication to assure staff interactions with owners is professional, complete, and timely.  Assist owners in understanding POA responsibilities and owner responsibilities in a common community interest.
  • People Leadership - Drive the community desire to be an “Employer of Choice” through positive employee experiences and leading by example.  Ensures performance management, compensation, and benefit systems are administered as directed by the POA Board and all employment practices are equitable and follow local, state, and federal laws.
  • Financial Management - Prepare operating and capital budgets to support Board strategies and staff business plans.  Manage to plan and advise Board of required changes or adjustments throughout the year.
  • Governance Compliance - Manage the business consistent with the POA’s Governance Model including policies, procedures, rules and regulations, and other legal documents.  Advise the Board of changes needed.  Work with legal resources, as needed, for guidance in decisions and proposing changes.
  • Property and Services Management - Ensure the maintenance of POA assets based on sound practices including, but not limited to: capital replacements based on the reserve study analysis and multi-year resource allocations and selection of in-house and contracted services.
  • Advisory Committee Leadership - Maintain the GM Advisory Committee Charter; create and terminate committees as needed; provide each committee a staff contact to participate in meetings and activities, as appropriate.  Ultimately, “be the leader and face of Big Canoe!”
  • External Relations - Maintain working relations with elected and appointed officials at county, state, and federal levels as appropriate for furthering the business of the POA and maintaining a favorable perception of Big Canoe as a community.  Maintain relationships with key business and community leaders, providing continuity as the face of Big Canoe.  Big Canoe is situated in two counties, so relations with both is critical. 
Initial priorities for the new General Manager include:
  • Recognize that Big Canoe “is not broken” and, therefore does not need to be fixed, but rather polished and provided true sincere and passionate leadership.
  • “Listen, learn, respect and rely” --- VISIBILITY is key for the success of the new GM – get to know the Board, members, staff, and community in general and develop a congenial relationship with each of them.  Be friendly and welcoming and get to know the Property Owners, and staff while learning the inner workings of the club, amenities, and community is critical.  Be seen and be present at EVERY venue!  As is being responsive to Property Owners’ inquiries.
  • Working with the Board, evaluate roles and responsibilities and ensure that appropriate and necessary structure is in place to clarify who is responsible for what within the organization.  Work diligently to get to know the team, many of whom are long tenured and possess a wealth of knowledge and passion for BC!  They need and want a “quarterback”!
  • Review current practices for talent acquisition, orientation, training, professional development, and utilization in all operating departments, ultimately making key recommendations or changes after thoughtful analysis.  Developing a ‘network’ of shared employees with other complementary geographic regions, or through thoughtful local development is critical.
  • Evaluate the F&B operation and, working with appropriate staff and committees, to determine strategy to bring it to its full capacity and maximize its financial return while improving overall quality and consistency.
  • Review/understand budget and Strategic Plan of Board---its hierarchy includes:  Customer, Financial, Internal and Staff components and has a balanced scorecard strategy that all needs to be incorporated into action plans and executed.
  • Work closely with the Marketing/Communications Director to initially ensure sound and robust internal marketing plans, then turning outward to ensure external marketing is sound in its focus and targeting plans.
  • Quickly reach out and develop relationships with local community/governance entities that share or contribute to the well-being of BC, and with whom strong, supportive relations mean responsiveness to the Community as needed.
  • Prepare for the upcoming, busy summer season at BC.
  • Create a “State of the Community” report to the Board after ninety (90) days of evaluation and observation, providing them with keen insights and recommendations regarding procedures, staffing, programming, and other key processes within BCPOA. 
The ideal candidate:
  • Will possess superior communication skills – confident, respectful, and responsive communications with EVERY constituency group (members, residents, staff, external communities, etc.) is a critical success factor.
  • Is an individual who is “relaxed,” “inspirational,” “confident,” “diplomatic,” “approachable,” and “has the ability to relate to others with diverse backgrounds, experiences and interests.”
  • Will need to have exceptional general management and leadership skills with verifiable strengths:  financial performance, programming, and recreational amenity management, as well as an understanding of community management.  Especially strong credentials are preferred in highly regarded exceptional member/guest service programming, quality food and beverage programming, strategic planning, activity programming and project management, POA management and most importantly, the ability to consistently define and achieve goals and objectives, and execute to those standards.
  • Will have full operational responsibility for the entire community, and will be responsible and accountable to develop, monitor and manage the Annual Operating Plan and Budget.   He/She is someone who can establish appropriate benchmarks for staff management success, and is clearly able to articulate the reasons “why” to both senior staff and the Board.  He/She is someone who understands relevant club and community industry metrics to success and comparable communities of high performance and owner satisfaction, and who has demonstrated capability of instituting operational standards of consistent success.
  • Is a true “partner” with the Board and Committees to the long-term success of BCPOA.
  • A person who understands and effectively functions in a non-profit, volunteer, member-owned Board and Committee environment, who further recognizes the need to use these groups as sounding bodies, raising issues of a policy nature, and offering alternatives in addition to pros and cons.  Ultimately, an enthusiastic supporter of Board decisions and directives.
  • A disciplined and visionary leader who can impart an appropriate culture of quality service and attention to detail.  Is hands on, but works strategically and can clearly communicate his/her strategy and expectations to the team for whom he/she is a natural “mentor.”  
  • Has the experience and financial acumen to monitor and report planned expenditures for the year in both Operating and Capital Budgets and show actual performance in financials, metrics and tracking, and intelligently and accurately respond to all questions raised regarding the budgeting and expenditures.
  • Is expected to be a “consummate hospitality professional” with a “servant’s heart” and strong operational management skills, who, in collaboration with the Board, Member Committees and Senior Staff can define and strategically execute plans to ensure that the Big Canoe POA is viewed as one of the premier communities of its kind in the Southeastern U.S.
  • Is naturally “energized and engaging, visible and interactive with members and staff” in a sincere and meaningful manner; the epitome of respectful, diplomatic relations.  Exceptionally strong and timely communication and facilitation skills, both written and verbal, with the appropriate personal presence, desire, and ability to interact effectively before diverse constituencies of members, owners, staff, vendors, and other people who are part of the success of Big Canoe POA.
  • As noted, will have the verifiable ability to attract, hire, mentor, develop and lead a high performing team of professionals ensuring that they function as one team, rather than individual departments, while setting and maintaining standards of performance appropriate to perpetuating the Big Canoe’s strategic vision.
  • Is armed with a high degree of creative, relevant, and innovative ideas relative to food and beverage operations, member activities and programs. 
  • Preferably, a college graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, Operational Management, Business Administration, or Public Administration with a minimum of 7 - 10 years of significant management experience and a preference for at least 5 years of General Management experience in a similar, private, member-owned premier club and/or community environment. 
  • CCM, CAM certification or similar credentials are preferred, yet not required.  Participation in continuing hospitality and community industry education a must.  
Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The community offers an excellent bonus and benefit package including CMAA and CAI memberships.
Please upload your resume and cover letter (in that order) using the link below.  You should have your documents fully prepared to be attached when prompted for them during the online application process. 
Preparing a thoughtful letter of interest and alignment, clearly articulating your “fit” with the profile and the above noted expectations and requirements is necessary. 
Your letter should be addressed to Mr. Steve Wilson, Search Chairman and the Big Canoe POA Search Committee, and clearly articulate why you want to be considered for this position at this stage of your career and why BCPOA and North Georgia will likely be a “fit” to you, your family and the community if selected. 
Expressions of interest in this manner should be conveyed to our Firm no later than Sunday, February 18th.  Interviews occur in February with the successful candidate likely in place in Spring 2018.
IMPORTANT:  Save your resume and letter in the following manner:
“Last Name, First Name - Resume” &
“Last Name, First Name - Cover Letter”
(These documents should be in Word or PDF format)
Note: Once you complete the application process for this search, you are not able to go back in and add additional documents.
For directions on how to upload your resume and cover letter visit this page
If you have any questions please email Patty Sprankle:
Lead Partner and Search Executive:
Kurt Kuebler, CCM
561-747-5213 (O)                                 

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