20 Years of Service

The most important job of any successful leader is to build and sustain a great team. When R.D. Hubbard and the group of Member investors took control of BIGHORN in 1996, most people couldn’t foresee what it would one day become – a thriving, innovative, and extraordinary Club with championship golf, a world-class Spa & Wellness Center, award-winning properties, and a roster of Members that rivals the Fortune Global 500. 

And while Mr. Hubbard is credited for developing barren desert land into one of the most enviable clubs in the world, he is quick to assert that, “The right people are what really make it a success.” The team that works every day to make BIGHORN so special is a loyal group of more than 300 people who happily work as a family to support Mr. Hubbard’s imaginative vision. No matter their title or duties, BIGHORN employees share one very important quality – they have mastered the art of excellent service and anticipating the needs of Members.

In an environment as extraordinary as BIGHORN, it’s not surprising that people want to be a part of the team. What is astonishing, however, is that so many have chosen to make it their life’s work. Nearly 50 BIGHORN employees have been a part of the team for 20 years or more. 

Feeling like part of a caring family is key to employee longevity and happiness, according to BIGHORN’s Human Resources Director Patti Babrowski, who stresses that BIGHORN is devoted to going the extra mile for its employees, just as they go the extra mile for the Club. 

“Everyone is valued no matter what their title and rank is,” said Babrowski. “We send out birthday cards; flowers when employees are ill; and we visit employees while in the hospital.” She added that BIGHORN has been quick to aid families when they face difficult times or just give gift cards as random acts of kindness.

Meet the Family

Jacquie Burns

Jacquie Burns, whose journey at BIGHORN began as a paralegal for Westinghouse in 1993, was given the opportunity a few years later to move from the legal department into real estate sales. She recalls Mr. Hubbard’s comment at the time she was making the transition, “He said to me, ‘I don’t have any reason to believe you can do this, but I don’t have any reason to believe you can’t.’” Now many years later she is a part of a very successful team that has sold over $2.5 billion in real estate at BIGHORN. I am grateful every day for the privilege to represent BIGHORN and work with such an amazing group of people. I am inspired daily. You can make a list a mile long of what makes BIGHORN unique – the property setting, the gorgeous homes, the amenities, the guest services, etc. but the one thing that truly sets us apart from everyone else is the people who live and work here.”  

Francisco Jara

Among all the employee benefits that BIGHORN offers, the Scholarship/Tuition Assistance Program has had one of the greatest impacts among the employees and the quality of life of their families. For Francisco Jara, a Golf Cart Mechanic since 1994, the financial support has enabled his oldest son Ivan, to attend Harvard University this fall as the first member of his family to go to college. Jara feels BIGHORN has really shaped him in his 25 years of employment. 

“Being a part of this family has brought out my full potential, to be the best that I can be,” stated Jara, “and now my son is on the way to being the best he can be.” 

Sue Babington, who has worked at BIGHORN since 1991, agrees with Jara’s sentiments. “To be part of this team has been the biggest blessing of my life. BIGHORN has always been there for me and my daughter, Amber, who was only 18 months old when I started here. Because of the scholarship program, she was able to graduate recently as a Registered Nurse.” 

In addition to BIGHORN’s generosity, “Building BIGHORN as part of the Planning and Development Department with Carl Cardinalli and meeting my husband have been equally amazing,” revealed Babington. And she isn’t alone—there are numerous employees who have met their spouses at the Club. 

Lorna Ball

One of those who met her spouse at work is BIGHORN Properties Broker Associate Lorna Ball. After 29 years at the same position, she is proud to be a part of the amazing real estate team, “We all work together every day and still truly enjoy it. It’s not a job, it’s an adventure.” And how does she stay inspired after all those years? “The next person who calls or walks in our door is my motivation. You are only as good as your next performance,” she often quotes. “When I think of BIGHORN, I think of Mr. Hubbard. He’s bigger than life with his vision and selfless dedication to this community. I am so grateful for him and my entire ‘work’ family.”

Chito Valasquez

“The best move I ever made in my life was accepting a position at BIGHORN 22 years ago,” shared Chito Valasquez, Golf Course Manager. “I was so in awe with the beautiful surroundings, but even more so with the people who work here.” Longtime banquet server Arturo Perez agrees that the staff is more like family, but for Perez, BIGHORN really is family with eight close relatives all employed by the Club.  

One particular employee memory stands out for General Manager Tony Ogrodnick. “We had a long-time employee who had worked in the Maintenance Department who passed away,” said Ogrondnick. “His family told us his last request was to be buried in a brand-new BIGHORN golf shirt. We not only gave them a shirt, we also dedicated a special plaque to him on property with an all-employee toast in his honor. It was truly touching. There’s a culture here that makes BIGHORN a very special place.”  

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