President and Owner, McConnell Golf
John was invited to play at RCC in the summer of 2003 just after returning from a business trip to Pittsburgh where he played the famed Oakmont Country Club. “I thought to myself, this course could be a mini-Oakmont. It was that good,” he recalled. It was not soon thereafter that McConnell took over ownership of the club, rescuing Donald Ross’s last design. Now, fully devoting his time to his passion - the game of golf - what began as John’s vision for one club, has grown over the past 10 years to a portfolio of eight prestigious clubs in the Carolinas.
John was born and raised in Abingdon, VA and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1972. John a denizen of the Triangle’s technology community, co-founded Medic Computer Systems, Inc. in the early 1980’s and ran it for 16 years, before selling it to a British Software giant. In spring of 2006, John sold a second company, A4 Healthsystems, a Cary based healthcare information management system, to Chicago based Allscripts before founding McConnell Golf.
Chief Operating Officer, McConnell Golf
Trained in one of Austria’s finest hotel and culinary management schools, The Hotelfachschule in Bad Gleichenberg, Christian graduated with a hotel and restaurant management degree in 1982. For more than 20 years his professional work experience has been solely concentrated in the private club field that began in clubs in the St. Louis and Houston metropolitan area and then in the Carolinas beginning with Raleigh Country Club in 2003. A significant component of his work with McConnell Golf centers on managing the fundamental values of a private club culture and leadership development that fosters the team achievement concept. Living on the golf course, Christian is community-centered and dedicated to education and excellence in club management.
Vice President, Director of Agronomy, McConnell Golf
Michael was born and raised in the mountains of East Tennessee. After high school, Michael went to East Tennessee State University on a football scholarship and graduated with a BS in Education and Sport Science. Soon, thereafter, he realized that golf course maintenance was his calling, and attended Walters State to pursue a career in the turfgrass industry. Michael graduated with a horticulture degree specializing in Turfgrass Management. Michael's first golf course management position was as an Assistant Superintendent at Warrior's Path golf course in Kingsport, Tennessee. From there he moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. where he started as an Assistant Superintendent at the Governors Club for two years and then was entrusted with the head superintendent position. In January of 1999, Michael began his tenure at Raleigh Country Club and has since grown to oversee and manage all eight courses with the network of McConnell Golf. Each course sets a standard unmatched by most golf courses and the challenges of maintaining such standards truly guide his spirit.
Vice President of Golf Operations, McConnell Golf
Brian, a graduate of Central Connecticut State University, brings considerable knowledge of high-end customer service from his more than 18 years of experience as a golf professional with country clubs. Working with previous clubs such as Old North State Club in New London, N.C., Wethersfield Country Club in Wethersfield, CT, and The Emerald Golf Club in New Bern, N.C, Brian joined Raleigh Country Club in March 2004. Soon after, rose to the Executive Director position to manage all golf operation teams within McConnell Golf. Brian’s experience, enthusiasm and continued passion for the game are the motivating factors in creating a great environment for not only the staff but most importantly the membership to enjoy the game of golf.
Corporate Controller, McConnell Golf
Stephanie was born and raised in Ft. Worth, Texas. She is a CPA and a graduate of Texas Christian University. She spent the first five years of her career working for KPMG as an Auditor. She then began working in the Hospitality Industry in 1998 at Treyburn Country Club as the Controller. After the Treyburn acquisition in 2006, Stephanie moved to the corporate office of McConnell Golf and in 2007 she assumed the role of Corporate Controller.
Director of Membership, McConnell Golf
Golf has always been a part of Lauri’s life. Having been introduced to the sport as a child by her grandparents, the love for the game has been carried out through the generations with her parents, brothers and son all as avid players. After a successful profession in a large mainframe computer industry as a Computer Field Engineer, Lauri went on to follow her passion and dream of getting into the golf business. In the Fall of 2001, Lauri was hired on with Clubcorp, USA and soon became certified as the Membership Director overseeing their three Raleigh golf properties. A few years later, she accepted an opportunity with East West Partners Club Management to head up membership sales for a new North Raleigh golf club community. Today, Lauri is excited to be part of the McConnell Golf Corporate Membership and Marketing Team in which she plays a lead role in driving membership initiatives for the company’s eight private club properties.
ClubSoft CEO, powered by McConnell Golf
A native of North Carolina, Ray graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988 with a B.A. in Economics. From 1990 until 1994 Ray worked under John McConnell as a Regional Sales Manager for Medic Computer Systems. After leaving the software business for 5 years, he reunited with McConnell in 1999 and was picked to manage the sales team for A4 HealthSystems. As a member of the McConnell team, Ray helped to build A4 into one of the market leaders in Electronic Medical Records. The company was sold to Allscripts in 2006 and a year later Ray once again joined John McConnell taking their business skills this time to the private club industry. In 2007, Ray joined McConnell Golf as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Today the company owns and operates 8 exclusive private clubs in the Carolinas. With the merger of McConnell Golf and ClubSoft, Ray has been tapped as the new CEO of the ClubSoft division. The combination of managing the membership and marketing of eight clubs, along with working in the software industry for 15 of the last 20 years, allows Ray to bring a unique perspective to the challenges and growth opportunities of the private club market.
Marketing and Member Relations Director, McConnell Golf
Born in Connecticut, Lauren has grown up in the Raleigh area since the age of 10. Before assuming the role as Marketing and Member Relations Director with McConnell Golf, Lauren previously worked as the Events Director at one of the McConnell Golf properties, Treyburn Country Club, for almost 3 years and as an intern with Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida within the Event Management field. Lauren graduated from North Carolina State University with a Communications degree in both Public Relations and Mass Media and was a member of the Women’s Tennis team during her four years at the university.
Corporate Executive Chef, McConnell Golf
Starting at the tender age of 14, John pursued his culinary apprenticeship in some of the finest restaurants, clubs and hotels in his native Cleveland, Ohio. In 1979, he opened Friends Restaurant, and in 1984, L’Escargot Restaurant. Both establishments were met with enthusiastic acclaim and much critical praise by the media. As a result, John was a fixture on local television and radio, as well as in demand for cooking classes and demonstrations in the Cleveland area. John also served as a maître grillardin and Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and was awarded the title of Chevalier by the Les Amis du Vin International Wine Society. Additionally, he won the international Helix Escargot contest in 1982, for which he was honored in Paris, France. In 1990, while employed as a Corporate Executive Chef for a club management company, Chef John migrated to North Carolina where he began to inject traditional southern cooking techniques into his classically trained repertoire. In his travels he has been awarded numerous medals at culinary competitions, served as vice-president and apprenticeship director for the Charlotte chapter of the American Culinary Federation and earned his certification as an Executive Chef. In addition to his duties as Executive Chef of The Old North State Club, John also attends to the duties of Corporate Executive Chef for McConnell Golf.
Website Services and Communication Manager, McConnell Golf
Born and raised in Raleigh, Matthew McConnell is a recent graduate from The University of Mississippi with a degree in Marketing Communications and a minor in Business Management. In his role as a Membership and Marketing Coordinator, Matt serves to welcome new members and continually enhance member experiences as they socialize, dine, and play at all of our eight properties.