By Kim J. Harmon
By Kim J. Harmon
sabelle Murray can be forgiven if she canât remember if she was first vice-president or second vice-president of the Rock Ridge Country Club Board of Directors back in 1999 because, well, since becoming a member of the board in 1990 she has had several different positions.
The last, of course, being president.
Isabelle, 53, is in the last five months of her two-year run as president at Rock Ridge and while she hasnât yet decided what she might want to do in November she can at least sit back and reflect upon things and how they have gone so far.
In 1979, Isabelle (born and raised in Fairfield) and her husband, Bob, came to Newtown by way of Long Island with their two children (and one soon to arrive). Seven years later, in 1986, Isabelle started serving on the Newtown Board of Education and three years after that, in 1989, she and her family became members of the Rock Ridge Country Club.
In 1990, she became the pool chairman.
âThis club was incorporated in 1954,â said Isabelle, âand it was really just a golf club. When we got our pool in 1990, I think we really started turning it around into a full family club.â
After pool chairman, she became the social chairman.
After social chairman, she became second vice-president.
Then vice-president (first or second) again.
And then to top all of that off, in November of 1999 she became the second female president of a country club in Newtown (Joan Crick is the president of Newtown Country Club) and the fourth female president in Connecticut.
âI guess they were ready for a female president sooner that I thought,â said Isabelle.
Not bad for someone who doesnât really play a lot of golf, huh?
Her 19 months at the helm have been pretty smooth â with a couple of larger issues taking up a lot of her time. One was a controversial land-purchase that was eventually voted down by the membership and another (still very much in motion) is a long-range project plan that details improvements in just about all of the clubâs facilities.
âI have felt, since Iâve been on the board, that there should be a long-range plan to do things here,â said Isabelle. âItâs not like any of it would be ingrained in stone, but it would be good to just have a plan.â
It seems like that would a lot for any presidentâs plate, but Isabelle owes of lot to the clubâs business manager, Jerry Yacovone, and to the clubâs (newly-recognized) PGA professional, Bill Flood.
âJerry has been in the club business for more than 30 years and he does a great job here,â she said, âand weâre pleased Bill has become a member of the PGA. He has done a terrific job of working with the members.â
With Mr Yacovone handling the business end of the club, Mr Flood handling the pro shop and wide-ranging golf events, and Bob Welch handling the maintenance of the grounds, Isabelle can do what most presidents do best.
âI think Iâve gotten to know a lot more people,â said Isabelle. âWe have to make a lot of decisions here and we have to consider the entire membership. I take a lot of calls and Iâm very willing to talk with the members.â
There are 207 members at Rock Ridge Country Club and for the past 19 months or so they have been led by a woman that â be it the PTA, the Board of Education, or the club Board of Directors â just loves to serve.