Our Staff

What to Plant for Fall
August 23, 2019

The Staff of Life

Maggie Denison-Events Director

We begin September with the celebration of Labor Day, and we wanted to take a minute and celebrate those that are “laboring” for Callawassie Island all year. You might say that they are the staff of life as we live it here. The warmth, balance, and connection that make Callawassie Island unique are embodied in the people who work here, as much as in the people who choose our Island as home.

Blessed with a Dream Cast

No matter what the subject – whether it’s art, photography, fitness, golf, boating, and kayaking, tennis, theatre, or gardening – eventually the story includes a member of the Callawassie Island staff.

Certified Arborist Billy Bagwell with his easygoing manner and passionate, expert knowledge of our ancient oaks. Events Director Maggie Denison, who makes a lifetime memory for someone every couple of weeks. Executive Chef Jim Spratling, who breaks the barrier between fine dining and home cooking, making every day a bit of an occasion at the Club. Staff gardener Ann Sauers, who is known for going from elbow-deep in topsoil to tidy and presentable like magic. From cordial, confident, competent Concierge Jennifer McMahon, whom everyone sees regularly, to Security Director Waverly Patterson and Security Manager Vaughn Holland, whose work is mostly behind the scenes, Callawassie Island is home to a cast of stars.

Billy Bagwell-Agronomy


Guided by a Rare Quality

Jennifer-Concierge

These folks and more, too numerous to name here, reflect the pattern of alacrity set by General Manager Jeff Spencer and Assistant General Manager David Spivey. That word, alacrity, isn’t used much anymore – possibly because the quality is rare. It means cheerful willingness. The ability plus the readiness, the expertise plus the character – the team at Callawassie Island reflects the high value our leadership places on alacrity.

We know a friend who got acquainted at one of our monthly breakfasts at the Club with the General Manager. A specialist whose career brought an acquaintance with many of the gated resort communities of the Carolina coast, our friend remarked from the beginning that the trust and confidence he saw in that meeting, the mirror images of leadership reflected in the questions as well as the answers, was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

The elements, the chemistry, the lessons we’ve learned together, have grown here an environment not often seen in any community. It’s what people want to feel, this confidence and comfort, yet no one person can bring it into being alone. Our staff, as much as our neighbors, our fellow Members and residents, make this rare environment possible. The beauty of the unseen matches the beauty we can see, here on Callawassie Island.

David Spivey- Assistant General Manager


Where Everybody Knows Your Name

We suppose it’s possible to learn all the wrong things in a bar. Yet, like elsewhere in life, it depends on what you’re looking for. Maybe the best face of it – the fellowship, the loyalty, the service, and hospitality – was illustrated in that theme song from the long-running TV series, Cheers. The Food & Beverage Director here at Callawassie Island got his start as a bartender, but he surely didn’t let the story finish there.

Darryn Beck came to Callawassie Island eight years ago, initially to take on the duties of Dining Room Manager. He had held a similar position at Colleton River Plantation, and our General Manager Jeff Spencer was familiar with the quality of Darryn’s work there. Jeff had a sense of the difference Darryn could make, and of his capacity to keep on growing. Darryn’s impact was felt immediately.

He pointed out to the Club staff that the Callawassie Island Club is an extension of our Members’ homes. “Everybody’s a regular here,” Darryn said. People noticed right away that they were greeted sooner, more cordially, and that the staff was attentive to their preferences, tastes, and opinions, to what makes a Member unique.

“We’re part of people’s memories, too,” Darryn explained. “What people experience here at the Club leaves a lasting impression, even when it’s just an everyday visit.”

Listening turned out to be a major hospitality skill for our staff at the Club, and Darryn brought that lesson from his previous experience. “The members here are awesome,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to learn where they come from and how things look to them. We’ve got Members who eat here all the time, and it’s up to us to make that worthwhile.” The fact that hometown dishes, from the cities our Members came from, often find their way onto the menu at the Callawassie Island Club is not because of research. “We just listen to our Members,” Darryn said. “People tell us their stories, and that leads to their hometown. It’s easy to see what is special to them.”


Part of Our Island Ways

“You have to understand that you do make a difference.” It’s one of the first things Darryn shared with the Food & Beverage people when he arrived. It’s a realization that radiates throughout our staff, to every point on Callawassie Island. The basics of service, consistency, and imagination are fundamental here.

In this region, “hospitality” is sometimes used as the name of an industry. On Callawassie Island though, our staff seems to know that hospitality is actually a holy thing in some cultures. The considerate, generous reception and treatment of guests, whether neighbors or strangers, is valued as a real element of civilization, to be practiced avidly and guarded carefully. That value is alive and well here. It is the very atmosphere in which Warmth, Balance, and Connection live and grow, and our staff plays a crucial role in bringing that atmosphere to life every day.

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Maggie Denison-Events Director

The Staff of Life

We begin September with the celebration of Labor Day, and we wanted to take a minute and celebrate those that are “laboring” for Callawassie Island all year. You might say that they are the staff of life as we live it here. The warmth, balance, and connection that make Callawassie Island unique are embodied in the people who work here, as much as in the people who choose our Island as home.


Billy Bagwell-Agronomy

Blessed with a Dream Cast

No matter what the subject – whether it’s art, photography, fitness, golf, boating, and kayaking, tennis, theatre, or gardening – eventually the story includes a member of the Callawassie Island staff.

Certified Arborist Billy Bagwell with his easygoing manner and passionate, expert knowledge of our ancient oaks. Events Director Maggie Denison, who makes a lifetime memory for someone every couple of weeks. Executive Chef Jim Spratling, who breaks the barrier between fine dining and home cooking, making every day a bit of an occasion at the Club. Staff gardener Ann Sauers, who is known for going from elbow-deep in topsoil to tidy and presentable like magic. From cordial, confident, competent Concierge Jennifer McMahon, whom everyone sees regularly, to Security Director Waverly Patterson and Security Manager Vaughn Holland, whose work is mostly behind the scenes, Callawassie Island is home to a cast of stars.


Jennifer-Concierge

Guided by a Rare Quality

These folks and more, too numerous to name here, reflect the pattern of alacrity set by General Manager Jeff Spencer and Assistant General Manager David Spivey. That word, alacrity, isn’t used much anymore – possibly because the quality is rare. It means cheerful willingness. The ability plus the readiness, the expertise plus the character – the team at Callawassie Island reflects the high value our leadership places on alacrity.

We know a friend who got acquainted at one of our monthly breakfasts at the Club with the General Manager. A specialist whose career brought an acquaintance with many of the gated resort communities of the Carolina coast, our friend remarked from the beginning that the trust and confidence he saw in that meeting, the mirror images of leadership reflected in the questions as well as the answers, was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

The elements, the chemistry, the lessons we’ve learned together, have grown here an environment not often seen in any community. It’s what people want to feel, this confidence and comfort, yet no one person can bring it into being alone. Our staff, as much as our neighbors, our fellow Members and residents, make this rare environment possible. The beauty of the unseen matches the beauty we can see, here on Callawassie Island.


David Spivey- Assistant General Manager

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

We suppose it’s possible to learn all the wrong things in a bar. Yet, like elsewhere in life, it depends on what you’re looking for. Maybe the best face of it – the fellowship, the loyalty, the service, and hospitality – was illustrated in that theme song from the long-running TV series, Cheers. The Food & Beverage Director here at Callawassie Island got his start as a bartender, but he surely didn’t let the story finish there.

Darryn Beck came to Callawassie Island eight years ago, initially to take on the duties of Dining Room Manager. He had held a similar position at Colleton River Plantation, and our General Manager Jeff Spencer was familiar with the quality of Darryn’s work there. Jeff had a sense of the difference Darryn could make, and of his capacity to keep on growing. Darryn’s impact was felt immediately.

He pointed out to the Club staff that the Callawassie Island Club is an extension of our Members’ homes. “Everybody’s a regular here,” Darryn said. People noticed right away that they were greeted sooner, more cordially, and that the staff was attentive to their preferences, tastes, and opinions, to what makes a Member unique.

“We’re part of people’s memories, too,” Darryn explained. “What people experience here at the Club leaves a lasting impression, even when it’s just an everyday visit.”

Listening turned out to be a major hospitality skill for our staff at the Club, and Darryn brought that lesson from his previous experience. “The members here are awesome,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to learn where they come from and how things look to them. We’ve got Members who eat here all the time, and it’s up to us to make that worthwhile.” The fact that hometown dishes, from the cities our Members came from, often find their way onto the menu at the Callawassie Island Club is not because of research. “We just listen to our Members,” Darryn said. “People tell us their stories, and that leads to their hometown. It’s easy to see what is special to them.”


Part of Our Island Ways

“You have to understand that you do make a difference.” It’s one of the first things Darryn shared with the Food & Beverage people when he arrived. It’s a realization that radiates throughout our staff, to every point on Callawassie Island. The basics of service, consistency, and imagination are fundamental here.

In this region, “hospitality” is sometimes used as the name of an industry. On Callawassie Island though, our staff seems to know that hospitality is actually a holy thing in some cultures. The considerate, generous reception and treatment of guests, whether neighbors or strangers, is valued as a real element of civilization, to be practiced avidly and guarded carefully. That value is alive and well here. It is the very atmosphere in which Warmth, Balance, and Connection live and grow, and our staff plays a crucial role in bringing that atmosphere to life every day.

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