Land Harbor - Management and Operations

When CCC began development of Land Harbor, Ernie Hayes and Douglas Miller were employed as joint Managers. Dick DeBell was employed as Sales Manager and J. D. Isaac as Building Foreman. It was this team that got the development under way. Some of the construction was done by contracting with outsiders and some was done by hiring workers who worked under the supervision of the Managers and the Building Foreman. In 1972, Boyd Coffey was Superintendent of Maintenance, Utilities, Roads, and other construction
associated with the development of Land Harbor. Doug Miller left Land Harbor to return to his operations in Augusta, Georgia.

It is not quite correct to use the term “Manager” for either Ernie Hayes or Boyd Coffey. They were much more than that. If Security needed them, they patrolled. When fireworks were needed for the Fourth of July, Boyd and his crew set them up on the dam and fired them that night for spectacular displays across the lake from the Recreation Building. Ernie helped design and build the front-nine holes of the golf course, and later designed and built the back-nine. These two men were wherever and whatever the situation demanded. Ernie Hayes left Land Harbor in 1974, but returned in 1975 and has remained here since that time. In December 1987, Ernie Hayes became eligible for retirement and did so, but continued working part-time with the golf course and other operations.

Ernie Hayes’ son, Michael, who grew up at Land Harbor, replaced his Dad as Golf Course Superintendent on January 1, 1988, having just completed the Turfgrass and Golf Course Management at North Carolina State University. In 1990, Mike left to join Linville Ridge Golf and Country Club and was succeeded by Paul Waycaster, formerly with Hanging Rock Golf Club, who had long experience in course maintenance. His son, Clay, also worked on the golf course.

In 1999 Clay left Land Harbor to become Assistant Manager - Turf and Landscaping Manager at the Elk River Club in Banner Elk. The family tradition continues.

Faye Hayes, Ernie’s wife, together with Deanie Dixon (B-99), as volunteers, developed and maintained the flower beds in Land Harbor. As the number of flower beds increased, Faye was employed part-time for this responsibility. When Faye retired in 1993, a full-time gardener was employed.

Another family who has had long association with Land Harbor is the Hicks family. Bobby Hicks, Maintenance and Utilities Manager, whose father worked for CCC in its early development, came to Land Harbor in 1973 and was involved in almost every improvement for over 30 years. Unfortunately, Bobby became ill in September, 2005 and has left employment with Land Harbor. His brother, Billy Hicks, is still employed in the Maintenance Department.

In 1979, under a joint agreement between POA and LHDA, Bob Bingham was employed as Executive Director of both POA and LHDA. After one year, LHDA opted out of the agreement and Mr. Bingham continued to serve as Executive Director of POA. At the end of the second year when Mr. Bingham departed, Ernie Hayes stepped in and served as Manager in addition to his duties as Greenskeeper.

Frances Banner came to Land Harbor in 1981 as Office Manager and is now Business Manager. Her father, the late Fred Banner, served as Chief of Security.

In 1986, POA employed David Huskins as Executive Director. He served until August 1987, when the direction of Land Harbor operations was assumed by the Board.

To cope with increasing Federal and State requirements placed on all municipal (and private) government activities, the Board of Directors, in 1989, established an Organization and Management Committee and employed a Professional Engineer to assist the Board in reviewing and developing policies and procedures to meet the growth demands of Land Harbor.

With the increasing influence of Federal and State environmental requirements in the Maintenance and Utility area, James E. Stewart, a Professional Engineer, was hired in 1991 to manage the Operations Department and Building Inspection with Bobby Hicks reporting to him as Maintenance and Utilities Manager.

With the help of Bert Butler, who gave POA its first computer, Orville Underwood (A-42), President of POA from 1990 to 1993; Paul Weber (RK-18), member of the Board; Don Powers, and others; administrative functions were computerized enabling a more timely financial reporting and data management.

At a meeting of the POA Board in July 1996, it was decided that Linville Land Harbor would change to a managerial type of administration. Dealing with federal, state and local authorities had become so involved the Board felt it could no longer deal with all the matters required. Accordingly, the Board employed David Twiggs who came on board as General Manager on January 1, 1997. Mr. Twiggs resigned as of December 8, 2000.

Kevin McCracken was employed as General Manager, and assumed those duties on January 1, 2001. (Modified June, 2006-Kevin McCracken left Land Harbor on September 5, 2005. In October of 2005, Mike Simpson was employed as General Manager, and assumed those duties on November 14, 2005.)