In wake of failed sale, members take charge at Lakeside Park Club

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Lakeside Park Club is tucked away off Lakeside Avenue. (BizSense file)

Left without a clear leader after losing out on a deal that would have given it a new owner and a needed financial boost, Lakeside Park Club is plotting its future with an unlikely set of bosses at the helm.

Three of the longtime country club’s members have teamed up to form an operating committee, effectively taking it upon themselves to assume its empty general manager’s seat and run the day-to-day operations.

The unorthodox setup comes as the club, formerly known as Jefferson Lakeside Country Club, is working to shore up its finances to pay for sorely needed upgrades and try to attract and keep new members.

“We’re operating the club with a three-headed operating committee,” said Mark Grossman, who is on the committee with fellow members Matt Cannon and Ed Riley. “We’ve been inserted to help the resurgence.”

The trio took over late last year in the wake of the club’s failed sale to North Carolina-based McConnell Golf. The deal would have allowed the member-owned club to pay off its debt and infuse $3 million into improvements.

LPC had an interim general manager on board to help shepherd it through the McConnell deal, but the position has been empty since McConnell called off negotiations last May.

When the deal fell apart, Grossman, who has been a member of the LPC for decades, said he and the others found themselves griping about the state of the club. Then they changed their tune and decided to get more proactive.

mark grossman

Mark Grossman

“We said ‘if we’re going to bitch about this place we might as well join a committee,’” Grossman said.

The committee members each bring plenty of business experience to the table.

Grossman owns insurance company Monument Sports Group and indoor athletics facility Sports Center of Richmond (SCOR). Cannon works for Capital One and was just voted in to take over as the club’s board president as of April 1. Riley is a longtime local attorney and has been board president in recent years.

Also helping the cause is member Mike Lech, a former head of logistics for big corporations like Dollar Tree and Supervalu.

In the months since they took over, Grossman said the group has brought a sorely needed level of management that’s pushing the club toward a more stable path.

“We have really turned the corner in terms of changing the culture for customer service, diversity and restoring accountability in everyone,” Grossman said. “We have formalized things there where there was never any formalization at all.”

Riley said having Grossman, Cannon and Lech helping run the show has brought a new set of eyes to what’s needed at the club.

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Ed Riley

“They’ve given a different perspective,” Riley said. “It gives a new energy that’s very helpful. It takes a lot of effort to make a club with as many moving parts as this type of business has run effectively and efficiently.”

On membership, the committee’s…

Read More: In wake of failed sale, members take charge at Lakeside Park Club 2024-02-09 07:03:14

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