By Terry Rhodes
On a beautiful Fall morning, Oct. 14, the Leadership Big Canoe (LBC) Board of Directors delivered LBC “Session 2” for the 28 property owners participating in the 2022-23 program.
Starting promptly at 9 a.m., Sue Merrick, LBC Chair, opened “Session 2” by welcoming the participants and then turned the podium over to LBC Vice Chair, Bob Tropfenbaum. Bob then walked through the day’s agenda of speakers and activities to follow.
The session began with a presentation from Big Canoe Public Safety Director/Fire Chief, Ricky Jordan. Following Chief Jordan on the agenda was the Big Canoe Grounds and Landscaping Manager, Matthew Parks, and concluded with Big Canoe’s Director of Amenities, Carrie Scott.
Chief Jordan, Mr. Parks and Ms. Scott kicked off their time in front of the program participants by providing a brief introductory bio of their educational and professional work history. Each outlined the qualifications they hold in support of their current roles. Then came an overview of their team’s direct reports and personnel on staff. Followed by an explanation of the depth and breadth of their team’s responsibility within our community.
Chief Jordan shared a breakout of fire-related calls versus medical emergencies within Big Canoe and detailed how the Big Canoe Fire Department is trained to respond to each. Including working hand in hand with both Pickens and Dawson Counties emergency response teams. The Chief emphasized the critical importance of using 911 inside the community for any fire, accident, and health-related emergency needs. He then spoke to the 24-hour staff rotation he has in place to ensure the necessary support and response teams are ready and available when called upon.
Mr. Parks spoke to the demands of maintaining the Big Canoe’s aesthetic appeal while adhering to and fostering of the natural beauty of our mountain community. From invasive plants to the challenges of living side by side with the wildlife of Big Canoe, Matt’s presentation was a blend of useful information and humorous anecdotal history. Mr. Parks shared how each day brings a new challenge to our team of landscape specialists/Kudzu warriors as they work to protect and complement our community’s natural beauty.
The morning’s presentations wrapped with Ms. Scott providing a high-level overview of the Amenities team day to day responsibilities, departmental goals, and projects underway or on the drawing board. Ms. Scott noted she has been with Big Canoe for less than year and continues her focus of building out the Amenities Team first line leadership. And of course, the continuous hiring and training of staff below the first line leaders. Be it the Clubhouse, the Swim Facilities, Marina, Tennis or Wellness Centers, Ms. Scott’s team has the highest level of daily Big Canoe property owner interaction. At times the Amenities team interaction with property owners is greater than all other Big Canoe departments combined. When asked what the Big Canoe property owners could do to aid in achieving the department’s service level goals Ms. Scott responded with; “continued honest communication between our community of property owners and my team.”
The next event for this year’s LBC participants took place Oct. 25 & 26, with a “Behind the Scenes Tour” of Big Canoe, with “Session 3” scheduled to take place Nov. 10. If you have an interest in learning more about Big Canoe and you’d like to participate in Leadership Big Canoe for the 2023-24 class, look for the invitation to apply in the July 2023 time frame.
For those not familiar with Leadership Big Canoe, our Mission Statement is to provide specific education and hands-on training designed to give current and emerging community leaders opportunities to become more knowledgeable about Big Canoe and to enhance their leadership skills required in a volunteer setting.”
Note: The Big Canoe community is filled with many talented people eager to share their time and talents with others. If you are looking to plug in to a volunteer opportunity, please see our online directory to find out how and where to connect with volunteer opportunities inside our gates as well as at large across Dawson and Pickens counties.