General Manager & COO
Frank Melón, CCM, CCAM, RPA, CEM
Frank has been with The Lakes Country Club since 2016 and is a Certified Club Manager as well as Certified Community Association Manager with over 30 years of experience in the private club, HOA and hospitality industry. He has been involved with developer to membership transitions for premier community developments in the Rancho Santa Fe area, such as Fairbanks Ranch Association and SantaLuz. As prior General Manager of Bermuda Dunes Country Club, Frank managed the club during the heyday of the original Bob Hope Classic. During his eight years as General Manager of Bay Area's Moraga Country Club, he was responsible for the successful vote and construction of a new clubhouse and aquatic center. Frank is a past President of the Club Managers Association Roadrunner Chapter as well as the Moraga Chamber of Commerce.
 
Assistant General Manager & CFO
Ron Phipps, CCAM, PCAM, LSM
Ron joined The Lakes team in 2010. Born and raised in Southern California, he graduated with honors from the University of California, Riverside with a BA Degree in Business Administration. His career began as an auditor with Price Waterhouse, LLP combining his passion for sports and career goals. In 1998, he became the first full-time CFO of The Canyon Lake Property Owners Association, a Master Planned Community. Ron has obtained all certifications as it relates to Community Association management, both State and National level. Holding a Large Scale Community Management Certification, he is actively involved with Community Associations Institute. Ron is a member of the Club Managers Association of America. He has been an avid golfer since middle school and was captain of his high school varsity and college club golf team. Ron is happily married and they have two beautiful girls. As a family, they love to travel and enjoy relaxing by the pool.
 
Director of Communications
Leslie Benjamin, CCAM Notary Public
Leslie joined The Lakes as Director of Communications in 2016. Her career in hospitality began in 2012 with the appointed position as the Director of Communications at Toscana Country Club and Executive Assistant to the Vice President of the PGA of America. Leslie is a Member of the Club Manager's Association of America, Roadrunner Chapter, has been a Notary Public since 2013 and became a Certified Community Association Manager in 2017. Born and raised in Northern California, Leslie graduated from Simpson University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Business Administration and Human Resource Management. Leslie enjoys trips to the beach cities, fine tuning her golf game, fitness and spending time with her family.
 
Director of Golf
Mike Clifford, PGA
Mike has been with The Lakes since June 1986. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he attended Purdue Indianapolis Regional Campus. Mike won The Indianapolis Amateur in 1972 attaining PGA status in 1976 while an Assistant Golf Professional at Otter Creek Golf Course. Mike moved onto Denver Country Club where he was mentored by Head Golf Professional and former tour player, Fred Wampler. He moved to Palm Desert in 1978, where after a short time at Rancho Las Palmas Country Club, was named Monterey Country Club’s 1st Head Golf Professional, then holding the position of Club Manager for several years before moving to The Lakes Country Club. In 2010, he received the “Bill Strausbaugh” Award for mentoring fellow golf professionals. He has four children and two grandchildren, all of which live locally. Mike enjoys participating in the Super Senior Division of SCPGA Tournaments, golf trips with his sons, reading, exercising, gardening, hiking and most of all, spending time with his grandchildren.
 
Clubhouse Manager
Bryan Cox, CCAM
Bryan has over 40 years of food and beverage service and hospitality experience. Having opened his first hotel at the age of 19, Bryan worked for 15 years with Marriott Hotels where he served as Corporate Chef of the Southern Region before moving on to the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and San Jose where he served as Culinary Team Captain and Executive Chef. Bryan began his country club career in 1994 at the famed Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles. There he served as Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage for 17 years. Bryan has achieved numerous awards and recognition during his career that include, Golf Magazines "Best of the Best", Mobil Guides Top Hotel, Conde Nasta Traveler "Gold List", Gold Platter Award, DiRona, Meetings and conventions "Hall of Fame" to name a few. Bryan has lived in the desert on and off for over eight years. He has two children and resides in Palm Desert.
 
Community Manager & Executive Coordinator
Teresa Falconer, CCAM, CMCA, AMS
Teresa joined The Lakes team in 2006, most recently assuming the role of Community Manager and Executive Coordinator. Teresa is a member of the California Association of Community Managers, is a Certified Community Association Manager and holds the designation from the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers. Teresa has earned the Association Management Specialist (AMS) designation from the Community Associations Institute (CAI). Prior to moving to the Coachella Valley, Teresa worked at the Walt Disney Company for the Senior VP and Executive Producer of Theme Parks in Glendale, California working on the Disney California Adventure Theme Park project from design to build. Prior to Walt Disney Company, Teresa worked for Allied-Signal Ocean Systems in Sylmar, California as an Executive Assistant to the CFO and Director of Finance. Teresa’s interests include spending time with her family, reading and trips to the beach.
 
Director of Security
Bill Markson, QM/PPO, DABCHS, CLSD
Bill has over 30 years of security and life safety experience. His career began as a Nationally Registered Paramedic accomplishing a successful 18 years of traveling the country enhancing safety and security operations for the Marriott International Hotels & Resorts and Hilton’s Waldorf-Astoria Collection. His career transitioned into the area of gated communities, where he assumed a role as the Community Standards Director of Sun City Palm Desert. Following, Bill joined The Lakes and rebuilt the infrastructure of the Security Department. He continues as an active Board Member with the California Association of Licensed Security Agencies, Guards and Associates. Bill remains linked with the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security with an active certification in the areas of Disaster Preparedness, National Threat Assessment, Emergency Medical Response and Homeland Security level 5. Bill’s and his spouse have a son in high school and a daughter enrolled in Cal Poly Pomona.
 
Director of Membership
Alisa Ramirez, CCAM
Alisa joined The Lakes at Membership Assistant in August 2009. In June 2013, she was promoted to Membership Administrator and then to Director of Membership in 2017. Her career background is in the hospitality industry where she worked as an Area Director for an Audio Visual Company for over 10 years. She was part of the sales marketing task force established to grow sales revenue across the enterprise. Her track record shows her turning business centers into profitable entities. Alisa is a member of the California Association of Community Managers and earned her Certification for CCAM in 2015. She is in the process of earning her Specialty Certificate CCAAM-LS for Large Scale Community. She loves spending time with her family of six and friends. Alisa and her two younger daughters have a passion for soccer. Most weekends they can be found on the local soccer to Orange County fields. She enjoys boogie boarding at the beach, traveling, dancing, planning events, decorating and crafts.
 
Executive Chef
Angel Ramirez
Chef Angel has been with The Lakes since 2011 originally hired as the Sous Chef. Angel was promoted to the Executive Chef in 2016. He fell in love with culinary at a young age watching his grandmother make homemade tortillas. Shortly after high school, he attended the world famous Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, CA. After attaining his AOS in culinary, he worked in Hollywood’s nightlife restaurant, the Geisha House. He stayed in the L.A. area for five years working for different catering companies then deciding to bring his passion for culinary to the Coachella Valley. Chef Angel has had the honor of working under award winning Chef Jimmy Schmidt at Morgan's of the Desert. His menus are seasonally driven with fresh local ingredients and he loves to cook seasonal modern American food with a Latin twist. His chef belief is that with hard work anything is possible and in the culinary industry there are always new things to learn.
 
Director of Sports
Marcin Rozpedski
Marcin was born in Warsaw, Poland coming to United States as a young boy. He spent most of his tennis training at the Van Der Meer Tennis Academy in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. At the age of 18, he won the Polish National Championship and became number one in Poland. In 1994 and 1995, he played in the Davis Cup for Poland as well as all major tennis tournaments around the World. In 1995, his professional career came to halt when he fell ill with malaria. Marcin settled in the desert while playing college tennis at College of the Desert and UCLA, which commenced his teaching career. His vast accomplishments include the 2016 US Open and National Pickleball Champion, Head Tennis Pro at The Ritz Carlton Hotel, Indian Ridge Country Club, Head Tennis Coach for College of the Desert, traveling with Ana Ivanovic as she won the French Open Championship, serving as the hitting partner for Victoria Azarenka as she became number one in the World.
 
Director of Operations
Jim Schmid
Jim is originally from New York State where he graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a Bachelors degree in Economics. After returning to school to study turf, Jim moved to the desert in 2006 to take a job at PGA West. Jim directed the preparations of the Palmer Course at PGA West for the Bob Hope Classic from 2009-2011 before arriving at The Lakes. He lives in Palm Desert with his family and has been active in the industry and community teaching golf course management classes at the College of the Desert for the past three years. Jim is involved in several industry groups; sitting on the board of the HiLo Desert Golf Course Superintendents Association, is a member of the Coachella Valley Golf and Water Task Force and is a part of the SCGA volunteer program.
 
Director of Human Resources
Sheila Valentine
Sheila began her career at the Lakes Country Club in October 1986 when she was hired as a food server in the main dining room, later named as The Mountain View Dining Room. She spent the next few years working in the restaurant as well as in the Santa Fe Grill. In 1993, she transferred to the clerical side of the Food & Beverage Department where she began working as the Dining Room Supervisor and Administrative Assistant. In 1998, she moved to the administration office working for a short time as the Administrative Office Receptionist before she was promoted to the Personnel/Human Resources Administrator position in November 1999. This is where you can find her today! In her spare time, Sheila loves to read, eat out and golf with friends.