CCNC's Dishner's Resumé Impressive
Ever since she was a small child, Kathee Dishner has excelled at whatever she undertook, whether it was learning to ride a motorcycle, being a gymnast, or working her way to the top in her professional career.
Her list of accomplishments is long and impressive, and covers such diverse activities as photography, cheerleading, sports and the hospitality industry.
And she has done it, for the most part, in things that are usually dominated by males.
For the past three years she has been club manager at the Country Club of North Carolina, and one of a small number of female club managers in the nation.
“It doesn’t bother me to be in a position that is male-dominated,” she says. “It’s been this way all my working career. But ours is an industry that is seeing more and more females become involved in management as our professional roles spread out to new territories.”
At CCNC, she is in a tri-management arrangement with Jeff Dotson, the director of golf, and Joann Phillips, the chief financial officer. “The three of us work together closely,” she says, “and are responsible for our areas of expertise. It’s a pleasure working with them, and we work extremely well together.”
Dishner, 51, was an Air Force brat who was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and lived in Alabama, California, Ohio and Maryland before settling in Virginia, where she attended high school and college.
As a schoolgirl she thrived on athletics and competition, which set the tone for her business training. She even learned to ride a motorcycle so her father wouldn’t have to ride alone.
Dishner also had strong encouragement and motivation from her mother, who worked both in and outside the home; her grandmother, who was secretary to a U.S. Supreme Court justice; and Peggy Kirk Bell, the renowned golf champion and owner of Pine Needles and Mid Pines resorts in Southern Pines.
“All were strong role models and helped me immensely,” she says. “I learned much from them that has helped me throughout my career.”
Dishner’s grandfather was the official White House photographer during the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and served as president of the White House Photographers Association. “His influence was what lured me into photography as a hobby,” she says.
After graduating from James Madison with a degree in communications, and getting married, Dishner ventured to California and Arizona before coming to the Sandhills, where she was hired as director of sales and marketing at Pine Needles. Her tenure there lasted 10 years and saw her work her way to the top, taking over as resort manager from 1993 to 1996.
“Working with the Bell family was especially helpful,” Dishner says, “and was educational and enjoyable in every way.”
During this time she also attained the presidency of the N.C. Chapter of Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, taught two hospitality courses at Sandhills Community College, and helped originate the Sandhills Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For a year after leaving Pine Needles, she worked on her own to create an online office that was designed to connect a company’s branches in an unprecedented way. She sold her interest in the company in 1997 and became vice president of marketing and food and beverage at Signet Golf Associates, a golf management company. She later became VP of operations for the group that handled multiple golf courses. She is also the author of a book, “Ask Him Into Your Heart,” which is in its second printing.
After 11 years with Signet, Dishner joined CCNC. “It’s a pleasure to be a part of such a fine private club,” she says. “It’s steeped in tradition, has 960 members, two fabulous golf courses and a talented, creative staff.”
Founded in 1963, CCNC is one of the state’s largest and most prestigious private clubs with a resident, local, North Carolina and national category of members. Its two golf courses, Dogwood and Cardinal, are rated among North Carolina’s best.
“Clubs around the nation are experiencing trying times because of adverse economic conditions,” Dishner explains. “Our financial status is strong, and we’re fortunate to have members that use the club and continue to recommend it to other families and friends.”
The former Kathee Stoy has been married to Jess Dishner, who is a partner in the construction and development business, for 30 years. The couple have two daughters, Brandee, 28, and Brittney, 22, who was recently married to Luis Arce.
When time permits, which is seldom, she enjoys traveling, walking, reading, writing and shopping.
“But there just aren’t enough hours in the day for spare-time activities,” she says. She and her husband are active in The Village Chapel, in Pinehurst.
“I would like to become a better golfer,” she admits. “I promised one of our golf professionals that I will find time to take some lessons this year.”
If there is one person Dishner would like to run into, it would be the college guidance counselor who told her she probably would not be very successful in the business world because she’s a female.
“I was smart enough to change guidance counselors, graduated in three years, and haven’t looked back,” she says. “I was always taught to never give up. I hope that I have been influential to other young women who want to be in the club and hospitality industry because it’s a wonderful and challenging career.”
Bill Hensley is a North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame freelance writer and golf publicist who lives in Charlotte.
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