As many of you will be aware, our General Manager of almost twenty-years, Kevin Lorimer has left The County Club for pastures new.
We could not let the moment pass, without paying tribute to this fine man and taking a look back with Kevin over the last two decades of life at The Club.
It was in 2004 that our previous General Manager, Alan Gilmore suggested Kevin as his replacement, having known him as General Manager at Lythe Hill Hotel in Haslemere. A formal interview with Claude Kauffman was arranged, and the rest as they say, is history.
Kevin did not actually join us directly from Lythe Hill, he was in fact selling granite to builders in Ireland, a position that he loved, but the lure of The County Club proved too hard to resist, and his swift return to hospitality management was made.
When asked about the difference between managing a hotel, and managing a private members club, Kevin was as always, very frank. ‘In a hotel, there are processes in place to ensure the smooth running of the operation, and the only thing that ever gets in the way of this approach is the guests. At The County Club, it is the comfort of the Members that is of prime concern, and everything has to be organised around them.’
Without the support and good will of the Members, I could not have done my job properly, and it has been the greatest pleasure of my working life to have made so many friends in my time here.’
So what does Kevin see as his greatest achievements?
‘I have tried to develop an atmosphere where Members feel at home, a place to ‘just sit and relax’, or meet friends and colleagues. I have always wanted Members to feel proud of ‘their club’.
I am proud of the fact that The Club is on a much more sound financial footing than it was when I arrived, and of course helping to deliver the refurbishments has been a source of great pleasure to me.’
For almost ten-years, Kevin represented The County Club on the Board of Experience Guildford, the organisation dedicated to making our town safer and more attractive to businesses and visitors. Kevin sees his time at EG as an important part of keeping The County Club at the heart of business activities in Guildford.
‘I was Chair of Experience Guildford for five years, and I always felt that it was important that The County Club ‘did our bit’ for the town, it is after all a place that we all love, and want to see thrive.’
So, what’s next for Kevin, will he return to the world of granite sales?
‘Well, I am obviously far too young to retire, but I imagine the granite samples will be a little too heavy for me to lift these days!
I intend to take things a little easier, but I have been asked to take a look at a couple of projects that suit my experience in hospitality and event management. Whatever I get up to, I can assure my many friends at The County Club, that I will not be a stranger to the place.’